If you’ve been reading my book, Soul of the Seasons: Creating Balance, Resilience, & Connection by Tapping the Wisdom of the Natural World, you know that keeping a journal is an integral part of the journey through the seasons. Journaling can help you track your insights and progress as your mine the wisdom of the seasons. Guest blogger and author, Mari L. McCarthy has written this helpful blog that includes some excellent questions for journaling through the seasons. —Melody
In the book, Soul of the Seasons we are encouraged to get back in touch with the natural world and the innate rhythms and cycles that guide our own lives. When we find balance in each of the five seasons, or passages of life – Spring, Summer, Harvest, Fall and Winter – we get to know ourselves better and seek meaning, purpose and connection in small and large ways.
Just as the natural world transforms itself every year in distinct seasons, we also go through our own internal seasons. Regardless of what month it is during the calendar year, we’ll be in the midst of a period of growth, connection, abundance, loss and/or reflection.
How to navigate our inner seasons? Journaling is our best co-pilot.
Journaling is a simple but powerful daily practice that helps us process what we are experiencing right now. In our journal, we have the wide open spaces to explore and express our raw thoughts and emotions, understand them more deeply and move forward.
My Journaling Journey began in the winter of 1998. I started journaling, specifically with Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages, for physical therapy, to teach my self how to write with my left hand when an MS episode took away most feeling and function on the right side of my body.
Journaling introduced me to my now favorite 4 letter “F” word: “Feel” and helped me rediscover my creativity. What a surprise that was! I started hearing rhymes and began writing poetry for the first time ever. My Journal helped me reconnect not only with My Writer and My Singer and we’re creating my first album, Practically Romantic.
In addition to providing her therapeutic acumen in recovering long buried talents of my mind, body and soul, she’s been a great muse/mentor in writing my award-winning self-help memoirs: Journaling Power: How To Create The Happy, Healthy Life You Want To Live, (my inner seasons journey) and Heal Your Self With Journaling Power (the inner season journeys of 10 other journalers).
Above all, My Journal has guided me to inner peace and self-love and given me the courage to meet, manage and master my internal seasons challenges.
The following are some inner seasons exercises to include in your daily and seasonal journaling practice.
Spring is a time of birth and rapid new growth. As old makes way for new, spring inspires us to look at fresh possibilities and revise or recommit to our goals.
Spring Journaling Questions:
- What new beginning are you looking forward to?
- Are you doing any spring cleaning (of physical clutter, mental space, relationships, etc.)?
- What new habits or goals do you want to make room for?
- What do you like or dislike in a period of growth?
Summer is the season of maturation, connection, warmth and happiness. It is the moment when our aspirations have almost come to fruition – but may need a bit more development.
Summer Journaling Questions:
- What have you been working on that you are excited to complete?
- How do you want to share it with others?
- What are sources of connection, communication or warmth for you right now?
- When are you experiencing joy during this season?
Harvest is about abundance, nourishment and balance. It offers us an opportunity to take satisfaction in our hard work and share our abundance with others.
Harvest Journaling Questions:
- How do you define abundance?
- When do you feel most rich, cared for or nourished?
- How do you appreciate and share this season’s rewards with others?
- When do you feel most balanced or at peace?
Fall is the season of acceptance and letting go. It reminds us that some things must come to an end, even if we don’t feel ready for that to happen.
Fall Journaling Questions:
- What do you struggle most with when letting go?
- What did you learn the last time one chapter ended and another began?
- Who or what do you turn to for support during difficult times?
- What old grudges, hurts or other baggage would you like to let go of?
Winter is a time for quiet, reflection, rest and death. It often sparks fear because it is a step into the unknown – but if we ignore it, we only create more anxiety and distress.
Winter Journaling Questions:
- What forms of rest do you find most restorative?
- What are you afraid of or nervous about right now?
- When were you scared of something, but you did it anyway?
- How do you make room for quiet reflection in your day-to-day life?
Mari L. McCarthy, is Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer of CreateWriteNow.com. She mentors health-conscious people in using Journaling For The Health Of It to heal the issues in their tissues and transform their life. She is the multi award-winning author of Journaling Power: How To Create The Happy, Healthy Life You Want To Live and Heal Your Self With Journaling Power, She is the creator of 20+ life-changing Journaling Power eWorkbooks.