I'm sharing these deeply soulful resources that I've found helpful and inspiring in my yoga and journaling practice. What's interesting is that there are so many resources out there for any given topic. With that said, we all have to find our own way.
I've journaled since I was a young girl. It was a safe place for me to give voice to my feelings and emotions. I went into my own little world when I would open up my journal to write. It was a comfort for me to have my feelings heard. We all need a safe place to land. Life is full of ebb and flow. I shared my inner most childhood excitement and also my deepest pain and fears. Since then, there has never been anything else that has given me such an outlet for my highly sensitive self.
That is, until yoga came along. Whoa! I set out my mat and felt right at home with myself. I got out of my head and into my heart. I opened up and felt like I was alive again for the first time in a long while. I felt like my mat was my own sacred space where I could just be, with myself and connect with something greater. I thought, wow, this is my church. This is what I've been missing all along. Years later, I continue my home practice where I focus on self-care and self-love. I bring my spiral bound journal with me and let myself write whatever comes. Sometimes, I use a prompt, a question that I need clarity on. I will get still and write. It's a great gift to open up and share this with all of you.
These are some wonderful books that I refer to and have deeply resonated with:
- Writing Down your Soul How to Activate and Listen to the Extraordinary Voice Within by Janet Conner Her book is laid out in such a way that she goes into great care and detail on the Four Steps to Writing Down Your Soul: Show Up, Open Up, Listen Up and Follow Up. She shares some deeply personal stories and goes deep into the voice within. This book is so special and is more about connecting to spirit and intuition. I was instantly taken by the cover art, a wise owl, my fave.
- The Artist's Way A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron Most of us have heard of this movement and course in discovering and recovering your creative self. It's a phenomenon and with good reason, it works. It provides tools, basic principles, laid out into 12 weeks. It's a program, that begins with a contract to fill out and sign. In essence, it's a commitment to yourself. "Creativity is God's gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God." It's a lot more than getting up and free writing 3 pages. So much more.
- Writing Yoga A Guide to Keeping a Practice Journal by Bruce Black I must share my favorite quote: "Your journal, like your mat, is your refuge, a place where you can let your guard down and discover who you really are and celebrate that discovery. It will help you explore the question: Who am I?" I enjoyed reading Black's personal excerpts from his yoga journal. He organized the book by themes and includes writing prompts and exercises.
- The Teacher Appears 108 Prompts to Power Your Yoga Practice by Brian Leaf This book came to me as a gift from the lovely peeps at the San Diego Yoga Festival. I thought, could the timing be any better? I immediately flipped through the pages and was inspired by the lovely pages. This book includes contributions from many recognized yoga and meditation teachers. There are so many words of wisdom on these pages but I have to share this one. It might surprise you coming from the father of Power Yoga, Bryan Kest. "The harder you are on anything, the faster you wear it out. Be gentle." Well said, Señor Kest, well said.
I hope that these resources help you as much as they've helped me. They will be on my bookshelf and on my bedside for a lifetime. You don't have to wait to read all of the above to get started. There's no right or wrong way. Just open up your journal and let your voice be heard.
When in doubt, breathe, take a savasana and journal.
Lots of love,