Journaling x Mindful Living

In this modern age of technology, I might be one of the very few who still uses a journal. For some reason, I grew up in love with papers and pens. I got to keep a diary in my younger years where I wrote my daily sentiments and random whereabouts. Come college, my planners turned into journals as well. Ironically, they weren’t used for planning but for noting the important highlights of my day.

Through the years, my purpose for journaling has been to document my personal growth as I continuously work on achieving my dreams. These dreams vary from something personal to a picture of a kind of world I’ve been dreaming of.

“I am a believer of love…”

That is one of the few things I said in the speech I shared in my best friend’s wedding. Robin Chase once said, “Create the world you want to live in.” When I got in college, I met a handful of friends. They were enough for me to see more of what the world really was. This was the time I began to be more aware of what was around me – school, family, friends, or society in general. As I continuously got exposed to the real world after graduating, I then started, sort of, daydreaming of the “better” world.

I wanted a world filled with love. Not the very grand kind of love, but more like the tap at the back that says, “Hey, I appreciate your hard work!” or a random note to cheer up someone who is having a rough day. I wanted to see a world filled with positivity + faith to takeover and for love + encouragement to be thrown away everywhere like confetti! And I believed that, in all things, we need to be intentional if we want our dreams to come to life. When I began to be more purposeful in what I wanted to achieve, that was the time I clung to my journal more.

At first, I filled it with my ideas and aspirations. Later on, I learned to be less OC, loosening up by doodling illustrations and mind maps to get a clearer vision of what I wanted and how I would achieve it. I’ve even thought of other ways to reach out to people – one of which was to create a blog/website (which I did and made public last March)- and all the others I kept instead in my journal. During the start, what I did was simply to become a person who uplifted others in a practical way. How? I wrote notes to friends to let them know that even after the years of friendship, I still appreciated their presence. I posted comments in blog entries/Instagram posts that I found inspiring to let the author know that his/her post was appreciated and was contributing positively. I gave compliments, even to strangers, and meant them.

Those tiny acts of, if I may say, kindness, was what I kept in my journal too. But not just that, I also took note of the things I did that hampered me from coming closer to where I wanted to be. I journaled to keep track of the things I learned as I took steps in mindful living. And it has always been helpful for me to practice another habit: gratitude. I know I’m still far away from hitting bullseye in my target since I’ve been missing it by letting negativity get in my way at times, but at least I am actively working on it.

Sometimes, I also wonder if I am even able to make an impact at all to the lives of others or if I am creating a world of my own. Besides, I’m just one in what? 7++ billion humans living in earth! But hey, I still count! And you do too! At the end of the day, I believe it does not harm anyone to be kind. And even if I get no commendation for any of the things that I do, I know I can always go back to my journal, see where I started and where I am now. The personal lessons in my journey will always be enough for me, and I will always be satisfied to know that I took action and lived intentionally.

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2 Thoughts

  1. Nina says:

    Hi Ilyn. I’m not sure how many people still keep paper journals, but I do. I have a journal for daily life rants and whatever, another for my travels, and a third one to document the progress I’ve made and the milestones I’ve achieved in life after deleting my Facebook account.

    I’ve been keeping journals since 8 years old, and I’m re-reading some of them now. Those old journals have been useful for keeping track of who I used to be vs how I am now, what issues I’ve resolved and which ones I still have, and which of my entries are worth keeping (or scanning).

    I used to keep a gratitude journal in college but I’ve not really found a way to make it work for me. Just the same, reading my old journals have renewed my sense of gratitude on the blessings I have in life.

    Thanks for writing this article.

    1. Ilyn says:

      You’re welcome Nina and thanks too! Keep on journaling! 🙂