End of Year Journaling & Mind Cleansing – Join In for Free

 

 

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. – Seneca

Life can change in a split second. The moment of revelation, or decision, or when perspective shifts. Often all it takes is a split second. It doesn’t matter what day it is. Life does not wait for the New Year to start, or Monday morning to start a new routine. What that means is that you don’t need to either. Possibilities for change and for growth are year around.
 
Yet, we continue to make New Year’s resolutions. We continue to create monthly, weekly, daily goals. We try often to start things on a Monday, or on the first of the month, or on our birthday, or some such “rational” beginning. While I make plenty of decisions and changes regardless of the date, I, too like to review my year, and set goals for the following year.
 
Why?
 
I suppose it feels tidy. A new year feels like a new beginning, even though it’s same old us moving forward in time. It just comes with that sense of optimism, of hope, of possibilities. But before you can embrace new possibilities, you need to take stock of your current situation, and that’s where the end of year mental cleansing comes in. Don’t get put off by the word “cleansing.” We aren’t going to go into fluffy nonsense. That’s not how Kaizen Warriors function.
 
However, for most us, our increasingly busy and crammed modern lives mean that our minds are just FULL. They are full to the brim of thoughts, worries, goals, dreams, wishes, desires, fears, everything. Often all that once. Sometimes to the point of explosion. That’s where regular journaling helps. That’s where good friends that you can vent to help. But sometimes you just need to do a focused cleansing in order to create that new beginning.
 
Now that December’s almost at the end, that’s my aim, and I want to share with you how I am going about this mental cleansing. All of which is done through journaling, but of course the life you lead will impact it, because our minds don’t wait until we are journaling to process our thoughts.

 

Each day for the next 8 days until 31st of December, I will post a prompt on Kaizen Journaling Facebook Page & link it on Kaizen Journaling Twitter. You can follow the prompts, do your journaling, as well as participate through your experience, comments and insights. 

 

I hope these prompts will, well, prompt you to squeeze in some journaling during the holidays. (Bad pun, I know) I hope it will also help you have a clearer mind before you firm up your 2017 goals. Because you are going to have goals right? Remember, if you don’t even know where you want to end up, you may spend a lot of time blundering about. 

 

Of course you can use these prompts any time you like, but it is a good idea to get into them daily so that you are mentally ready for your new goals at the beginning of January. Millions of people set resolutions, but I always prefer to set goals instead, as there is more of a chance of sticking to them. Don’t obsess too much about your answers. The aim is to get clarity – half of which means just getting stuff out of your head. Once it’s out there on the page, you will see more clearly, and you will spot the patterns more easily.
 
As you respond to the prompts over the next 8 days, keep asking yourself how this year went. Focus on facts and feelings. Check if your perception and truths match, or if they are at odds with each other.
 
Just keep writing. Keep digging deep. You won’t only have a better awareness of your year, but you may also end up creating memories of your year which you can cherish. 

 

Happy Journaling, and let’s welcome 2017 with gusto! 

 

 

NAWE 2016 Conference Report

 

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I am about a month late on this report, but fortunately, the subject is not time sensitive. I spent the weekend of 11th to 13th November attending my first academic conference, which is actually only a bit different from BristolCon (Science Fiction and Fantasy convention where writers and artists gather) that I attend annually. The National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) turned out to be a much more useful and fun event than I was expecting. Of course as one would assume, it was full of academics. But also, a large number of freelancers.

I met academics and freelancers from all around the UK, though we had a fair few Australians and North Americans as well. I also met some European representatives too. 

I was also fortunate enough to have a chance to talk about journaling there. I presented a paper, “Handwritten Journaling in the Digital Age,” highlighting why handwriting journals are still important, but also how we can use digital tools and technology available at our disposal to enhance that journaling practice. 

My presentation was segmented in a group with other two interesting presentations, “A Silent Journey: What Video Games Can Teach Us About Storytelling – Inés Gregori-Labarta” by Inés Gregori-Labarta and “Non-Linear Storytelling” by Chris Walker and Lara Munden. The whole weekend was actually full of many fascinating topics and presentations, as well as so many interesting chats.

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Three days in completely immersive environment in a hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon. I didn’t put a foot outside the hotel until the conference was finished, because I simply didn’t have time. I was too busy attending sessions, or talking to people. Multi-stream programme was organised perfectly by lovely Seraphima. After twitter and email acquaintance over the last few months, it was a pleasure to meet her in person.

I came away from the weekend in high spirit, excited about returning to the NAWE in 2017. What’s great about a good conference is that it leaves you bursting with ideas. They may not be ground-breaking, new ideas, but just the process of conversing with like minded people, seeing somethings from a new/different perspective than your own can lead to future projects. It can leave you full of  creative energy. And that is after all what we all love and seek to express.