Category: Benefits

Illuminating My World

(This is a recovered post from 2013~It has been edited to take out broken links. I have tried to replace the pics as well!~S)

Great artists have sketchbooks and great writers have journals. But you don’t need to be or have a desire to be great to enjoy journaling. There are so many benefits to journaling: health benefits, personal growth, memory keeping, skills exercises for creatives, planning, organization…And I have used my journal for all of those things.

You can tell this is an old drawing because it has a device called a “calculator” in it…

But one of the most unique things about working in an illuminated journal is that it is what I think meditation is supposed to be…I don’t know any other way to describe it. I understand there are huge benefits to meditation along the same lines as those for journaling in general. And I have tried meditation many times. But when I sit there trying to blank out my mind and be “relaxed” and “in the moment”…I feel like a complete idiot. But when I am opening up my senses to what is around me, documenting the sights and sounds and focusing on the minute details of something directly in front of me, I TOTALLY GET IT! I am one hundred percent IN THAT MOMENT. My mind is ONLY on the right here and right now…what I’m seeing, hearing, smelling. If I choose to, I can write about what I think of those things, but that comes later….afterward. For a few moments, your brain SHUTS UP and you can BREATHE!

About my Illuminated Journal

(This is a recovered post from 2013~It has been edited to take out broken links. I have tried to replace the pics as well!~S)

To get my creative juices flowing again, I have revived my daily (or at least several times a week) exercise of the illuminated journal. This means that I sit down with the specific intent to write and draw something in my world. This has always been a good exercise for me, as I have had a diary and/or a sketchbook of my own for almost as long as I can remember. But I only put the two together back in 1991 when I bought the book A LIFE IN HAND: Creating the Illuminated Journal, by Hannah Hinchman.


I was writing in my gratitude journal daily until the last two days. Work has been a bear and I was just too exhausted, for one thing. For another, I just wasn’t getting the benefits I was used to getting from my regular illuminated journal, where the gratitude list was a side note. It was hard to make myself write gratitudes down when I was just so exhausted. It felt like a duty rather than a release or pleasure. What was wrong?

New Year, New Journal

Got a new journal for 2017 and I’m doing something a little different. This year, I got a dated journal with lined pages for each day. Lined. Pages.

I did this for two reasons:

The first is that now that I’m working full time, I have just fallen off the sketching bandwagon. What time and energy I have after work has to be spent on other things to keep the household going. So I don’t really need the drawing room.