The question may have been asked of you at some point, “If you had to pack up your life into one small suitcase, what would you bring with you?” A popular response may be, “photographs of my family, heirloom jewelry, my favorite sweater or the family recipe book.” It’s often the things that have the most nostalgic weight that we’d make sure to grab if the house was on fire, because material things can always be replaced, but tangible things that remind us of a special memory cannot.
So this got me thinking about how special my journal is to me. Sometimes I go back and read through it to see what I was up to 2 years ago, going through different life transitions, some good and some bad. It can make you think “Wow, if I would’ve known then what I know now…” or “That was truly an amazing adventure…” It’s a special thing to reread passages from the life you’ve lived, because even though we remember big moments in our lives, we may not remember how it felt or the thoughts that were going through our heads at the time it was happening. It’s the written memores that remain special to me.
More recently, I’ve started a new type of journal, one that I write small notes in, but not the typical long entries about life lessons and the like. I call it an Inspiration Journal because it contains snippets of things that inspire me, things that I enjoy, would like to become, or simply things that I think are pretty. One evening I took a pair of scissors to a bridal magazine and began cutting out all the pretty pictures that would encapsulate my Big Day in a perfect way; I’ll use it as a reference tool when I begin planning my wedding. I’ve included small fortunes from fortune cookies that have sayings that are either funny or sweet, because I know I’ll never remember it on my own. As well, I’ve added great advice I’ve received from friends or relatives. The point of the Inspiration Journal is to be able to look through it and recognize yourself by your sense of style, sense of spirituality and aspirations of a particular moment of your life.
Some people create Vision Boards that illustrate a vision for the future and give them goals to strive for. An Inspiration Journal can use some of those same ideas by creating goals for yourself, but it can also be a broader and more inclusive vision of inspiration and positive thoughts.
- Blank Journal – I recommend a thick one with a spiral binding so it is easy to open and paste things into.
- Newspapers – Even go to the library and print off copies of old newspapers that they have on file. For example, check out the front page of your city’s newspaper on the day you were born!
- Holiday and Birthday cards from friends and relatives that you’ve saved.
- Love letters, you know you still have a few!
- Anything else you see fit
Set aside time to go through your favorite magazines and clippings to find things that inspire you. Much of the time, I’ll see something on a whim and just add it to my Inspiration Journal – hear a quote, a song lyric or see a beautiful flower. The possibilities are all part of your own adventure, and the finished product will be a true treasure!