LIFE

ENDURING LIFE: WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN AND WHY? The Optimist’s Guide To Journaling!

With less than a month left before the release of my book, The Optimist’s Guide to Journaling, I have been asked a few times, what has been the inspiration behind my first book? To me, this is something of a loaded question and I have never been able to express it verbally, until now…sort of.

I thought it would be easier to break down the details about my book in a WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and WHY format:

What inspired this book? 

Well, I am an avid “journalist” and I have been one since I was a little girl. I love the art of journaling and I believe in its power. I’ve also read a few books on journaling and I felt that some lacked a personal touch. So when I started brainstorming my book, I knew I wanted to add some of my insight in it, in hopes to inspire others and share my lessons through journaling.

One of my many brainstorming days for the guide.
One of my many brainstorming days for the guide.

 

Who is this book for? 

My book is for anyone who is new to journaling. From the outside looking in, journaling can appear somewhat intimidating, especially when you have no idea where to start. I wanted to created a guide that was easy to navigate and fun to try. This guide is also for anyone seeking to take their journal writing to the next level. I was strictly a free write journal writer until I learned about various types of journaling. Free writing allows us to purge all our thoughts; however; types of journaling like prompt based and art journaling allows us to think outside of the box. And finally, this book is for those who are looking to understand just how important journaling can be to our personal development.

I brainstormed during the day and did much of writing of the guide at night.
I brainstormed during the day and did much of writing of the guide at night.

 

Where did the initial concept of the book come from? 

Believe it or not, the idea came from a journal post. While writing in my list journal, I listed some projects that I wanted to do and launch for the rest of this year and THIS guide popped into my head. I immediately went to work, brainstorming how I would go about writing this guide and what I would include in it.

Journaling and brainstorming at the same time!
Journaling and brainstorming at the same time!

 

When did you decide to write this book? 

Honestly? A while ago. 6 months to be exact- maybe more. My initial outline for the book was done months ago but my own fears got in the way. I was so fearful of what people would think about this book and I feared rejection. But thanks to some great friends/mentors and a special one on one session with an inspirational individual, I decided to sit down and make some serious goals for this book!

Writing and setting my SMART goals for my book.
Writing and setting my SMART goals for my book.

 

Why is this book different from other books about journaling? 

What I love about this book is the fact that this book is personal, informative, interactive and fun! What I loved about writing this book was this book became something of a journal for me too. I was able to share some of my breakthroughs through journaling and I created a fun quiz to help you uncover your journaling style and there’s a mini workbook filled with prompts and writing pages.

I mean, what’s a guide about journaling without prompts and space to journal?

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I believe in the power of journaling. The benefits aid in our personal growth and help us document our lives. I have heard so many reasons why people journal and they are inspiring. Some do it to de-stress, others journaling to share their legacies and no matter why you journal, just know that there is a purpose in your words.

My book, The Optimist’s Guide to Journaling is coming out November 10th, 2014!

Are you an avid “journalist” or a novice one? Share your journal experience with me online here on my blog or on Twitter (@EndureOptimist) and Instagram (@the_enduringoptimist)

Until next time, stay blessed and unique!

TEOLOGO1

 

 

 

MUSINGS

ENDURING MUSINGS: Count Your Blessings with a Gratitude Journal

Okay, I admit it…Life is HARD!

The older we get, the more responsibilities we accumulate and the more complaints we have about all the elements of our life. Here’s a question?

How can we counter those complaints and negative thoughts?

EASY! Journaling!!

One of the easiest and best ways to reduce our negative thinking and speaking is through the art of journaling. The best journal to aid in more positive thinking is a gratitude journal.

Photo via Google

The sole purpose of a gratitude journal is for us to reflect on the joys in every day. Gratitude journals allow us to count and celebrate our blessings no matter how great or small they are.

Photo via Google

What I love about gratitude journal writing is the convenience and flexibility. You can reflect on your blessings throughout the day or at the end of the day. I like to jot down some of my blessings during my day while at work (it helps me keep calm during a busy day) and I like to reflect on my list and add to it at the end of the day as well.

Nightly reflection on the things you noted you were thankful for during day can surely help you drift off to sleep with ease.

Photo via Google

If you’re new to journaling in general, a gratitude journal is a great icebreaker. All you need is a notebook, pen and your every day life.

Photo via Google

And for my more advanced fellow journalists seeking a challenge, gratitude journal prompts offer themes for our daily blessings and allow us to reflect solely one topic.

If you have yet to try your hand at a gratitude journal,  keep one for 30 days. Be sure to date your entries and at the end of the month, reflect back on your last 30 days, re-read your lists and even highlight your best days and you’re not so best days.

Ready for a serious challenge? Try a 365 day gratitude journal. Grab a planner or create your own filofax for this journal (Pinterest has some great ideas by the way!) and keep track of what you’re thankful for.

An extra note: Gratitude journals are great for kids too. Not only does it teach appreciation, the journal sessions also boost creative thinking and enrichment for kids. So make it a family activity and grow together.

Have you tried gratitude journals? Are you currently keeping one? Share your thoughts and questions about gratitude journals and journaling in general below.

Until next time, stay blessed and creative!

TEOLOGO1

MUSINGS

ENDURING MUSINGS: Sneak Peek- A Sample Chapter of My Book!

Happy Friday, Optimists!

So the countdown has officially begun until the release of my book, The Optimist’s Guide to Journaling!

I have been working on promoting the book and getting the word out there but of course, I gotta share something special with all you wonderful readers, right?

OF COURSE I DO!

In honor of the upcoming release of my book and as a special thank you to all you wonderful readers, I am sharing a sample chapter exclusively with YOU!

Here it is, the sample chapter of my book, The Optimist’s Guide to Journaling.

Please let me know me know what you thing and feel free to share and retweet it.

Enjoy!

 

Click HERE to read the sample chapter of my new book!

 

I have to thank everyone who has stopped by my blog, commented and liked my posts, it really means the world to me. Your support is what made me want to finish this book and share it with the world.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Until next time, stay blessed and unique!

TEOLOGO1

 

MUSINGS

ENDURING MUSINGS: All About Art Journals

ArtJournalLogo

 

In my book, I highlight various types of journal writing. Journaling itself is a creative art form and one of my favorite types of journaling is art journaling.

Like standard journaling, art journaling is expressive and innovative. You can document your life’s journey through images, collages and doodles.

Trust me when I say that art journaling is fun and a real stress reliever plus you don’t have to be world renown artist to create works of art.

The Anatomy of an Art Journal

Definition: An art journal is a creative collection of one’s interpretation pf journal prompts through the use of different mediums including but not limited to: paint, markers, colored pens and pencils, glues and magazine clippings.

Anatomy of an art journal
*Photo via Google

Have you tried your hand at art journaling? If not, grab a sketch book this week and try some of these creative prompts:

  • Create a self-portrait of yourself using magazine clippings
  • Doodle until you fill an entire page
  • Grab a piece of junk mail and make it the background for your next journal page
  • Create a page that defines what beauty means to you
  • Draw your five favorite things
  • Create thought bubbles and fill them with all the things you are thinking about

Share your art journaling with me on Instagram (@the_enduringoptimist) using the hashtag #artjournalingoptimist

Until next time, stay blessed, productive and positive!

TEOLOGO1

LIFE

ENDURING LIFE: Dear Creatives…FAIL!

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Dear Creatives,

It’s okay to fail.

In fact, it’s okay to fail over and over again. Why? Because you’ll learn, you’ll grow and that fire will be reignite itself.

As creatives, we are sensitive about our craft and when our craft fails us, we feel like we have failed our craft and that we lack what it takes to succeed.

Believe me when I say that it is not the end of the world…In fact, it’s the beginning of progress

In last three or four years, I have tried to launch a handful of businesses. I have tried my hand at event planning, jewelry making, even blogging (on a different site). I thought that these were the things that I wanted to do but after trying my hand at these different things, I failed. Despite the fact that I was featured on a morning TV show and sold my wares at a shop in New York…

I failed.

Somehow I lost my way while running these business, I made numerous mistakes from lack of marketing, lack of passion and lack of understand exactly what “break even” means. Before I knew it, I had a handful of Facebook fan pages and I could practically hear people groaning with every invite I sent to “LIKE” this page and that page.

And with these failures came lessons about life, focus and business. I discovered my strengths and weaknesses.

Even with the launch of my first book coming in next month, there were several attempts before this to try my hand at writing a book. I have binders and folders filled with stories, ideas and concepts; I still keep a journal with potential story ideas…just in case.

How many times have you heard that with success comes failure? Last night, I found a form from the band director at my daughter’s school. The form stated that my daughter showed high proficiency with the clarinet. Unfortunately, we missed the day for her to sign up and when I asked her why she didn’t tell my husband and I about the opportunity, she said…

“I was scared it would be too hard…”

Needless to say, my heart hurt because my daughter feared failure. I sat her down and we talked about failure. I explained to her that we need failure, without it, how can we learn? How can we grow beyond our experiences if we do not experience more? Most of time, when we fail a test, aren’t the answers provided?

Coincidence? I think not.

Failure is necessary to achieve greatness. We can learn more from the downs than we can the ups and those lessons can be passed on to others.

So creatives, go on and take those leaps of faith. If we fall, get up, take notes and try it again.

It’s worth it.

I dedicate this post to my 1st leap of faith... my lil muse! She's one of the many reasons why I do what I do and she's the reason I have embraced my creativity!
I dedicate this post to my 1st leap of faith… my lil muse! She’s one of the many reasons why I do what I do and she’s the reason I have embraced my creativity from the inside out! I love you, J! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until next time, stay blessed and unique!

TEOLOGO1

 

LIFE

ENDURING LIFE: Ready, Set, Go! October Goals!

Goodbye beaches, farewell heatwaves.

Hello shorter days and pumpkin flavored everything. In other words…

A new season and a new month is here! Aside from November (my birthday month), I love the month of October. It’s  a month of change, fun experiences and this year,  BIG goals!

I am very excited for the goals I have set for this month. Each of them has me on pins and needles but they have been long overdue.

Here are my goals for October:

1. Send off The Optimist Kit: College Edition to NJ!

OKitCollegeEdit

I have been mum about this on my blog but I have been busy putting together an Optimist Kit together specifically for college students. This kit will be used as a raffle prize at an event at a school in Teaneck, NJ.

The college edition of The Optimist Kit includes 3 notebooks, pens, coffee and tea, treats and 4 months worth of journal prompts, which is enough to get a student through an entire semester.

Sending this kit off is just the beginning of the revamp for The Optimist-Kit and I am very excited for this opportunity.

2. Publish my book, The Optimist’s Guide to Journaling!

The Optimist's Guide to Journaling COMING OCTOBER 2014
The Optimist’s Guide to Journaling COMING SOON!

Well, I have officially set a date for my book release. I’ve had a few set backs but I have been rejuvenated and ready to bring this book to life. I am in the second stage of editing now and on a strict timeline.

Completing and publishing this book is truly going to be a dream fulfilled because I have always wanted to write a book. It’s more than just a “how to” guide, it’s a “why” guide and helps readers understand why they should journal.

Get your calendar’s ready, because the guide is coming very soon.

3.  #GIRLBOSS Grant Application

Last week, I talked about Nasty Gal CEO, Sophia Amoruso paying it forward; however; I failed to mention how. After the release of her book, #GIRLBOSS, Amoruso also launched a foundation for creative women.

She’s offering 4 grants a quarter for women in or looking to start a creative business.

Winners will receive between $500 and $15,000, based on business needs and I am applying for The Optimist Kit.

I am nervous about applying but I am determined to get The Optimist Kit out there because the benefit of this kit goes beyond financial gain and I truly believe that the youth, especially young girls can benefit from this.

To apply for the #GIRLBOSS grant, click here.

Okay, time to turn the tables….What do YOU  want to accomplish this month? Conquer a fear? Start that business? Or write that story? No matter what it is, consider the following when setting your goals for any month:

  • TIME: Consider that there’s at least 30 days in month (I’m not counting February) and only 24 hours in a day. Don’t overexert yourself, time and efforts; be realistic about what you can do with the time you have.

**TIP: Use a calendar template and a pencil to outline your availability during the month to tackle your goals.

  • ACTION STEPS: Do more than just write out your goals, create at least 3 action steps to accomplish each goal.
  • BE HONEST! Focus on what YOU want to achieve and go for it. When we stay in our lanes and hone in on our dreams, the odds of crashing are slim.

**TIP: Limit who you share your goals with. (I know, I just shared mine with all you wonderful people) If you do choose to share your goals, share them with those you trust and believe will keep you motivated while achieving your goals. 

Are you ready to set some goals? If so, I have a printable to help you get the ball the rolling:

MonthlyGoalSetting

Feeling bold or in need of an accountability partner? Share a goal or two with me on Instagram (@the _enduringoptimist) or in the comments below.

Here’s to a blessed and productive month, Optimists!

TEOLOGO1

 

LIFE

ENDURING LIFE: Getting The Most Out of Your Journal Sessions!

Life has become so fast paced, we all wear multiple hats and we barely have time for ourselves, let alone writing in a journal, right?

WRONG!

While telling people about the purpose of The Optimist Kit, I have encountered some of everyone. The 9-5ers, stay at home parents and others who say that they don’t have enough time to journal; however the truth is that we do.

For some reason, there is this misconceptions that journaling sessions should take hours on end and when people see pages and pages of writing, it’s immediately equated with the art of journaling. Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are journals which is why I’m sharing my tips for getting the most out of your journal sessions.

Journaling is designed to relax us, calm us down and center us. I look at journal writing as reflective meditation and if you’re new to meditation or journaling, you should always remember to start small and slow:

1. SCHEDULE YOUR SESSIONS

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Set a specific time in your day for your journal sessions. Like working out, some people journal better 1st thing in the morning, some like to reflect in the middle of the day or at the end of their day. I love my late night journal sessions because the house is quiet and I can truly take advantage of my journaling routine.

In addition to scheduling your sessions, set a timer. Set it for 10, 15, 30 or 60 minutes and get writing. Several studies have shown that journaling for at least 15 minutes daily can help reduce stress and boost creativity! Who wouldn’t want that?

2. FIND THE RIGHT JOURNAL FOR YOU!

Photo courtesy of Google Images

I like to shop for journals the say way that I shop for my shoes. I don’t grab the first notebook, I see. I think about the size of the notebook, can it fit in my purse? How many pages are there? Is it spiraled or bound? As crazy as it sounds, these characteristics should be considered. You want to get excited when it’s time for reflection and you want to want to write in your journal every day.

In addition to finding the right journal, finding your type of journaling is important too. There are various ways to utilize your pages: art journaling, list journaling, reflective journaling, prompt journaling, etc. Try your hand at different types of journaling to find the one that fits you best.

3.  DON’T HOLD BACK! 

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Now is not the time to restrict yourself. Utilize your journal sessions as the opportunity to get anything and everything off your chest! Journaling enables to speak about openly with ourselves. We can confront ourselves, think our problems at work and home and even confess.

Let go of the guilt, let go of past mistakes and free yourself, mentally and emotionally.

4. HAVE FUN! 

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Every one of our sessions don’t have to be serious. Journaling is fun and inspirational. When you take the time out to write, there is no set format or step by step instructions. All you need is yourself, your journal, a pen or two and an open mind.

Switch your entries as often as you need to. If you wrote a serious entry on Monday, try to follow up on Tuesday and a cheerful entry. Try your hand at listing the things that you’re currently doing (eating, drinking, writing, thinking, etc.) or create a vision board page for you to reference daily.

No matter what you do in your sessions, please have fun!

Journal writing is reflective, stress reducing, creative and inspirational. It’s an art that should be appreciated and utilized daily. Let today be the day that you disconnect from the world, even if it’s for 15 minutes to reconnect with you.

Remember to set time aside daily for your sessions, find the journal and type of journaling that is right for you, be honest with yourself in your sessions and have fun!

Before you know it, you’ll have a book filled with lessons and revelations of life, love and everything in between.

You can check out some of my late night journaling posts on Instagram via my business page @theoptimistkit. If you need prompts, sign up for my newsletter and get 5 journal prompts sent to your inbox every week!

Until next time, stay blessed and unique,

TEOLOGO1

 

 

Creating, inspiring and motivating one positive post at a time. New posts EVERY Wednesday and Friday!

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