the weekly spark: capturing me

THIS IS OUR PURPOSE:  to make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us,

… to live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves, to act in such a away that some part of us lives on.  

~  Oswald Spengler, German Philosopher 

Last week, a blog reader asked if I journaled in my twenties when I would have been juggling a new job, keeping up with family, being healthy, maintaining friendships, etc.  That question reminded me of a unique thing that I did to supplement my journaling in my twenties because it can sometimes be hard to journal when you are incredibly busy.

The gift of journaling is that it allows you to process, to consider, to study, to learn, to remember, to establish touchstones for yourself.  And while writing really allows you to discover what it is you already know (oh how our sub-conscious processes so much and we can’t discover what we know deep down inside unless we give it a chance to come out).  That said, there isn’t just one way to process as I mentioned in The List last week.  Processing is about surveying the scene and paying attention and, this week, I want to suggest you enhance your processing by creating a Capturing Me Notebook.

What is a Capturing Me Notebook?  In theory, the Capturing Me Notebook is a place to capture touchstones for yourself so that when you have the time or desire to reflect, you can flip through it and glean all sorts of information for yourself.  The notebook might hold special notes that have been written to you, an article that struck you, a poignant photo, journal entries, quotes or images that inspire you. In many ways, the Capturing Me Notebook is like a multilayered vision board.  It captures both who you have been, who you are, and who you want to be.  It’s a filament that travels across your life.

For me, my Capturing Me Notebook ended up being two 3 ring notebooks filled with plastic page holders with all sorts of memorabilia tucked in (Imagine a multi-dimensional, multi-media Pinterest project in notebook form).  In between the plastic page holders were bright sheets of paper that captured quotes that meant something to me and journal entries.  When I felt low, confused, nostalgic, contemplative, I would pull out those notebooks and go through it and, every single time, it would bring me back to myself.  It was a place for grounding during a time of my life when I felt I really needed it.  And as I revisit the concept now, I can see how the Capturing Me Notebook could still be good for me today.  And while some of my journaling happened inside the Capturing Me notebook, a lot of it still happened outside of it (I would sometimes process outside and then transfer some good information, milestones or crucibles, if you will, into the Capturing Me notebook.  Overall, what I wanted from the Capturing Me notebook was a grounding during a time of life that felt fast-paced, in flux, and seminal to my development.

This week, I want to encourage you to create a Capturing Me notebook.  Recycle an old 3 ring notebook or get yourself a new one (along with some page protectors) and get started.  Do you have favorite quotes that are True North for you?  Articles, poems, song lyrics that really touch or inspire you?  Artwork that speaks to you (I did have pages of just art in mine)?   Journal Entries where you really captured something about yourself?  Begin to compile it all into your Capturing Me notebook and then store your notebook in a place where you will remember to add to it as you are struck by things that capture you in your everyday life.

Can you imagine the Capturing Me Notebook working for you in your life?

What are some things that you already know belong in your Capturing Me notebook?

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One response to “the weekly spark: capturing me”

  1. Cecile

    What a great idea! This would totally work for me! Until now, I collected articles and inspirating things but I didn’t have a real place to keep them – so I just don’t read/see them very often, and they don’t touch me as often as they could.

    Amongst my current treasures: articles about happiness and awareness, a lot of great quotes, post cards and letters with deep thoughts from dear ones, pictures of fantastic works of art, poetry – mostly addressing my 5 senses, a description of the smell of the forest for example.
    Amongst the quotes I love:
    “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” Dalai Lama XIV
    “Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass…it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” (I don’t know the author)

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