joy journal

I’m messy.  Really messy.  You should see the mahogany dresser in front of me piled with yesterday’s laundry.  Though honestly, I’m glad you can’t.  The truth is that I seem to need hours alone in an echoing empty house in order to be creative enough to make order.  But, order begets order and that seems to be the problem here.  My brain overfires with three little ones around (highs, lows, constant need for bandaids and pleas to “Mommy, can you play?”).  And multitasking just tangles my brain into so many knots.  That’s why, I suppose, I haven’t written in here for a while.

(Oh ya, that and two family weddings, a church wedding and then a glorious week on Little John Island in Maine taking deep breaths of the pine trees from the open windows. And, I promise, the pictures will come.)

I’ve been home for almost a week and haven’t discovered anything near a rhythm.  No flute skipping Mozart-like rhythms.  No methodical moonlight sonata.  If I was grace-filled, self-accepting, I might call this a spontaneous jazz…but the truth is that I know that the lack of self-acceptance and the messy house are more than likely intricately linked.  When I clean, I find that the Voice gets louder.  Do you know that voice?  The one that reminds you that you haven’t done enough, you aren’t enough, won’t be enough?  The stronger I scrub the black marks out of the white porcelain sink, the louder she yells.  Interestingly enough, when I quit cleaning, shut my eyes to the mess, the volume turns down considerably.

It’s not rocket science, but it is brain science.  If I’m cleaning, my thoughts run right through a familiar pattern, landing in this carved out ditch: not enough, not enough, not enough…and once again my hatred of cleaning is reinforced and the brain pattern just got bolstered.

But, can I let you in on a secret? Honestly, I figure if I tell you, I’ll get inspired again and if you get inspired, well, that would just be a big bonus.

The only thing that seems to keep me out of the ditch (besides crying out to the God of order to hover over my brain) and into a new thought pattern leading me into the Land of Order is a Celebration Journal.  I get cheesy and call it the Home Joy Journal.

It sounds bizarre, but lists and discipline only lead me to the familiar frustrations of a self-imposed perfectionist while a Home Joy Journal becomes the scaffolding leading me to someplace new: increased energy to bring beauty and order to this little yellow cottage.

How does it work? My Home Joy Journal is a celebration of lists…not of what I should do… I write that somewhere else…but of what I and my family have already done towards organization.  The thanksgivings usually start small, embarrassingly puny even like this: “tonight my kitchen sink is shiny white and I hear the dishwasher humming.  I’ve set the stage for more joy to greet me in the morning.”  The only rules of celebration?  Nothing negative and no endless lists of what still needs my attention.  When I’m just starting off with the journal, I keep glancing at the joy that line after line keeps building.

When I begin a Home Joy Journal, cleaning becomes more like flight and less like slogging through the ditch.  I’ve found it’s all in the patterns of the brain.

Now, in which pile is that Journal hiding?  It’s time to scrawl down joy.

Is there an area in your life as well, where you are stuck and a Joy Journal might prove unleashing?

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