27 February, 2014

Simply Begin

A few weeks ago I heard Ali Edwards speak about the importance of finding joy and gratitude in daily life. Ali is a scrapbooking, daily life documenting guru! She documents her weeks in photos, featuring the daily things we take for granted but would be devastated if they were gone: taking the dog for a walk, helping the kids with homework, reading a devotional with our husband, driving with those we love, the coffee and creamer we can't live without in the morning. The moments that make our life rich, real and amazing, and yet, we can easily overlook or take for granted in our busy, hectic, over-stimulated world.

Here is her list about how to approach scrapbooking. I have modified it slightly for my approach to writing/journaling/being creative:
1. I believe that there are an infinite number of ways to tell any story ... There is no right or wrong way to document our memories. 
2. I have no intention of “keeping up” with my scrapbooking. I tell stories as I feel moved to tell them and don’t feel bound to chronology. Some days I’m creating a layout that tells a story from 1980 and other days I’m focused on a story from today. 
3. I believe that telling the stories of our lives can actually change our lives for the better. 
4. My daily mantra in memory keeping & in life: don’t make things more complicated than they need to be
5. The best way to begin scrapbooking (journaling/documenting/photographing) is to simply begin. Start writing. Start photographing. Start bringing them together on your computer or with paper and glue. There is no better time than right now. 

(You can read more about Ali and her scrapbooking on her website.)
I started Project Life last May. Since I quit my job in October, it's been harder to find stuff to document (let's be honest - how many days can I take a picture of my laptop or puppy?). So it's not as consistent as it could be. And while there are multiple pages for the BIG things - vacations, graduations, trees falling on the house. I also remember the capture the special moments: my dog sleeping in the office, the pages of my book edited, snow, dinner. 

I am also trying to bring my creative visual side to my journal. 

I've journaled since I was in middle school, but it's always been writing and nothing else.  I can (occasionally) be fairly regimented in how I think. Journals are for words - nothing else! But for my 30th birthday a dear friend gave me the supplies to collage journal and I've come to see things in a whole new way! I'm taking a journaling class with Dr. Brene Brown and we are bringing together art and writing. It's amazing. 

I'm learning to add photos to my journal, to collage, to put in articles, fun photos and quotes. My journal can be where I am now, and that doesn't always have to be shown with words. 

So, how do you express your daily life? Do you journal, take photos, write on notecards, say a prayer of thanks at night? I'd love to hear how you take in the world around you. 

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© Amanda Lunday