Seeking Life’s Best Gifts? Journal!

    Slipping into my sacred chair to put pen on paper feeds my center.

    I wonder who I’d be without this long-time practice called journaling.

    I’ll expand on four ways that this journaling practice has gifted me, allowing me to touch others with goodness.


    May these anecdotes with poems convince you to practice, too.

    1) Healing Our Creative Wounds

    Family History

    …My father hated his own

    Mother, this Nana who

    Whined from Wisconsin.

    When Dad was eight,

    She threw his birthday watch

    Against a wall,

    Shattered it

    Along with something

    Inside my father that

    Raged the rest of his life.


    “Why would I go to the band concert? Those kids can’t play?” blares Dad from his paper-strewn corner on the couch.


    This raging man who slams my bassoon-playing, my art experiments, and all visible attempts to create leads me to privately pen poems on the elephant-sized rock outside.

    I suffer, grow, and attend college under his warning to kill me if I don’t get a good job upon graduation.

    Thank you, Dad!

    Bless healing that allowed me to love you well in your later years and in the great beyond.

    My daily journaling begins in earnest as I write Morning Pages, which author Julia Cameron encourages in her classic book, The Artist’s Way: The Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity.

    Three times I work through The Artist’s Way to heal my creative wounds, saying more about me than about the book, I imagine.

    This journey leads me to recover a love from childhood: hula hooping, to release aspects of perfection, and to daily journal ever onward. In time, after other healing, my creativity soars.

    Lean into The Artist’s Way if you feel stuck or if your creativity could use a jumpstart; enjoy the journey.


    2) Surprises Arrive

    Sleep Writing

    If I write, if I shuffle straight from sleep

    to my sacred room and close the door,

    don’t worry that I’m staying away from you.

    It’s just that morning thoughts are difficult

    to capture—they disappear in an instant

    like bubbles blown through brittle wands

    or late spring snow meandering down.

    I write upon waking to pick words

    fresh from their nocturnal vine

    and to commune with heaven

    between the lines.


    In the early stages writing Morning Pages, I whine, write grocery lists, and more, emptying my brain of all thoughts entering. Before too long, I’m out of complaints. I discover in my journal a gentle coach responding to my questions, leading me onward with wisdom and compassion. Poem lines and complete poems arrive. Playful. Deep. Adding prayer for a friend I haven’t seen in months, we run into one another that afternoon.

    One day and for many days in a row, I write a prayer, “Dear God, create in me the Joy I’m created to be.”

    The years overflow with synchronicity as I’m led to books, classes, and healers that support my evolution into new versions of who I am.

    May you journal daily, discovering the coach inside you as your creative juices flow.

    May journaling offer you wondrous surprises!


    3) Longings to Release

    Long Distance Sister

    …When we turn the radio volume high,

    Angle lounge chairs to catch direct rays,

    I tread water in a separate pool—

    You are way too cool to have me near.


    We swim to remote islands to raise our young.


    In a winter session of Jenny’s journaling class, she instructs us to make a chart.

    “Divide your paper into sections: birth – 10, 10 – 20, and so on. Within each section, write what mattered to you, who you looked up to, what you longed for, what you excelled at…”

    Longed for strikes a chord within me.

    For as long as I can remember, I’ve longed for my older sister to pay attention to me. Having this realization invites me to write a poem reflecting pent-up angst and to send her an email. She replies, “I’m sorry. I ignore everyone out of town. All I can manage is in view.”

    Releasing that longing allows me to send her cards and gifts, without needing to hear back. Additionally, I release other fantasies; no more wishing that my husband sits next to me in church or wishing that Mom had picked me up on time from Brownies.

    What ideas, thoughts, or emotions run like old tapes within you?

    Might you write through longings you hold? Resentments? Wounds?

    Allow writing to bring release.


    4) Grounding Our Lives

    Welcome Home

    Placing a photo of myself

    Into a frame long owned,

    Hallelujah roars in heaven

    And in my soul.


    To believe in myself,

    Prodigal daughter returning

    After years of self-contempt,

    This coming home.


    A celebration without end.


    Having a morning journaling practice along with my spiritual practice grounds and supports me.

    It’s a part of me that feeds who I am, akin to breathing, which began one day 25 years ago:

    Our older son convinces little brother to make three piles with him – basement, bedrooms, and give away. Ipso facto, they vacate their playroom off the master bedroom.

    Since I’d long pined for a space of my own in this testosterone-driven home of kneepads and firecrackers, I plant my stake.

    Yes...thank you.

    I’ll sink into this corner chair to connect within and with all I don’t see.

    I treasure this pajama-clad ritual breathing into silence, writing in journals (a daily one, a gratitude journal and a five-year journal) and reading devotionals.

    Upon completion, I invite Michael into the room to read aloud to him from The Way of Mastery by the Shanti Christo Foundation.

    If I’m unable to ground and center this way, days don’t flow as well.

    Do you have a morning practice?

    Might you start journaling in the morning? Could you wake earlier than others?

    How will carving out time for yourself to journal change your life?


    May you discover release, healing, and centering through a daily practice of journaling.

    Morning journaling is a wondrous tool I’ve long used that brings life’s best gifts.


    Joy ResorAuthor bio: Joy Resor thrives in western North Carolina where she daily journals, appears on podcasts, hosts Zoom meetings and writes books that inspire readers onward.

    Joy serves clients as their spiritual mentor and participates in a prison book and letter-writing ministry. She and her partner Michael enjoy daily walks and adventuring to new spots. Beyond pandemics, she enjoys being a vendor in spiritual conventions, offering her presence of love, peace and joy with the books and inspiring Batik cotton wares she offers.