Plus 4 Etsy shops to buy your next journals from
If you're here for the notebook recommendations only, you can skip to the end to find links to four of my favourite ETSY shops for notebooks and journals. None of the links is affiliated. I share for the pure joy! Hopefully, you'll find something that resonates.
Julia Cameron, a woman who wears many hats, among others a teacher, a writer, a playwright, and an artist, has said that "writing is a powerful form of prayer and meditation, connecting us both to our own insights and to a higher and deeper level of inner guidance as well."
I most certainly agree. I could never quite get into a "traditional" way of meditating but showing up to my morning pages acts as a form of meditation. Hanging out on the pages first thing in the morning as the sun is rising helps me make sense of the world and connect me with my inner knowing. Sometimes the pen reveals things that take me by surprise.
My journal has become a trusted companion in the act of untangling the web of life.
Not only does it reveal the hidden treasures within your soul but the act of writing also helps to ground yourself in this earthly body. It is a way to root yourself on this planet, in this city, in this house, on this chair, wherever you find yourself. Although consistent journaling habit is rather new to me, it is one of the most important habits I have cultivated this year. When I feel lost in my daily life, I find myself on the pages.
Cultivating self-trust and self-empowerment
Hanging out on the pages has connected me to a deep sense of self-trust and self-empowerment. Writing is an intuitive act of listening to our way around our lives and allowing the inner nudges to guide us on our path. It is a "handmade life" as Cameron refers to it. We get to be as vulnerable as we feel ready to be on the pages. It is our space to name and claim what we want from our life. It is a way to manifest our desires, to put them out there and let the Universe help us along.
It is also a space to name what we don't want. When I was first thinking about leaving social media, it was a mere whisper in my heart. Then I found the courage to write it down on the pages until finally, I was ready to let it go. It is the honest self-inquiry that happens on the privacy of the pages that allows us to live out the possibility of letting go or following our most inner nudges that we don't quite have the courage for to speak out loud to others. Try it out on the pages first and see how it feels. And if it allows you to expand, then all you need to do is heed the call.
The radical act of self-validation
In her "Right to Write," Julia Cameron calls us to "be your own self-validating witness." This is another role that our journaling practice can provide us. It allows us to witness ourselves. It allows us to get out of our Ego and connect with something deeper, more primal within us.
By sitting down and moving the pen over the blank pages of my journal, I am witnessing myself. I am witnessing what's bothering me, what's causing me frustration, but also what's inspiring me and empowering me. I am validating my own life, my own worth. I am validating my own creativity. The act of sharing is no longer about stroking your Ego, but rather a way to truly connect with the world and other humans.
A handmade life
When I think of intentional living, I think of creating a life one choice, one decision at a time. Creativity is our soulful work no matter the form it takes. We have this preconceived idea of what being creative looks like but the truth is we are all born creative. Creativity is in anything that we put into a tangible form, whether it is a piece of art or baking a loaf of bread. Creativity flows through us on both occasions.
Living a life is a creative act. When we start to think about our lives as creative acts, we start to be more intentional with our choices. We start to crave more of what makes our soul happy. When we show up intentionally, we are an open channel to whatever needs to come through us, whatever our lives need to be. In that sense, the practise of daily journaling is a way to tune into our soul, our inner knowing, and handcraft our lives.
Here are a few journal prompts, a few gentle nudges I sent to the inbox of my fellow wanderers. I'd love to leave you this gift too.
What if you chose a different path for yourself?
What would it look like?
What would it feel like?
What would you take with you from your current circumstances?
What would you leave behind?
WHERE TO GET YOUR NEXT NOTEBOOK FROM
Lucy Says I Do is a stationery shop based in London, UK. She writes in her Etsy bio that her products are inspired by her love of print, paper and all things stationery. What I appreciate most about this Etsy store is the fact that all of our products are printed in the UK and assembled and finished by hand. And she uses recycled materials where possible which is always a plus for me.
Port West Stationers is based in London, UK. It is a team of two great friends who met whilst studying architecture in Scotland. What I love most about their notebooks is the quality. They feel so soft and luxurious to the touch, and yet they are entirely made up of recycled material sourced from British and Italian paper mills. Plus, they use natural dyes which is a massive positive in my book.
The Ink Pot UK is based in Reading, UK. It's a team of Kirsten and Eva who create beautiful customisable journals. The thick and smooth pages feel really luxurious. Each cover is hand-stamped either by a pre-made design or a custom one and comes with a beautiful linen or cork cover. Writing in one of their journals has been an absolute pleasure.
Noteworthy Gift Shop is run by Virgil Debique. I was looking for a notebook with a lot of pages for my Astrology course when I came across his shop. He creates massive and thick notebooks and journals and is one of the few places I found that does it so well. I was so happy with the A4 notebook that I went back and ordered a thick A5 for my morning journaling sessions as I found myself going through a lot of notebooks. So if you need something that could last you a while, Virgil is the person to approach.
If these words resonated with you, I'd love to invite you to walk this untrodden path of living a life rooted in your vision with me. In Monthly Musings called NUDGES, we'll be talking about the vulnerable yet expansive journey of cultivating self-trust, embracing your unique gifts and strengths, and following your inherent pace on this earth that will ultimately lead you to a life that's truly yours.
Join the journey!
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