Reaching into a Christmas gift bag, I pulled out a brand new blank Journal with a flower adorned cover.
“I love it!” I shrieked. “It’s exactly what I wanted.”
Written words have always felt pretty powerful to me.
Written, spoken or read I’ve always been amazed how one or two words could encourage someone to keep going. Or a devastating sentence could painfully break a person’s heart. Even a simple written phrase could change someone’s life forever.
It’s a love that started pretty early for me. My eighth birthday to be exact.
That afternoon I received the first book I would write in from my Nana. I tore open my present to reveal a small blue and white book with a young girl on the cover and the word ‘DIARY’ spelled out in large blue letters.
I looked up at her and asked, “What’s a diary?”
She smiled, “It’s a precious book where you can write about the day you hope to have; even your plans for the following day. Think of it as a beautiful secret between you and the page. Nothing is boring and there are no rules or boundaries.”
Nana was a remarkable and beautiful woman. Her simple insights and positive zest for life, love and laughter was absolutely contagious.
As the first grandchild, she cherished that I was born the day after her birth-date. It somehow gave us an extraordinary unspoken bond that made treasured moments like this unforgettable.
My joy for words and writing began that day.
On my thirteenth birthday my Nana purchased me another diary. This time it was a red leather bound book with a heart shaped lock and key.
Once again, she encouraged me to write.
It was amazing how each entry was helping me identify what I liked and disliked. What my hopes and dreams were. As well as learning whom I was becoming.
Unbeknownst to me this simple habit had become my journey of self-discovery.
I continued this practice for most of my high school years. Yet the busier I got with school, friends and work the more this practice fell to the wayside.
Flash forward to my early thirties and the end of my first marriage. I found myself struggling with too many uncomfortable emotions.
Once again I took pen to paper and started writing.
No longer called a diary, but a journal, I filled the pages with words of anger, sorrow and grief.
Writing this time enabled me to listen and understand myself from a different perspective. I was able to filter through the mental negative noise. Get things off my chest and empty my heart and mind of sadness.
Very different from my earlier years, this discovery would recount a serious struggle from heartache to healing.
I had now learned how cathartic and therapeutic writing could be.
Over the years I’ve owned many journals, each one with its own path to discovery and growth.
With the launch of the Positive People Army, my writing has changed once again. Entries focus more on plans, goals, intentions and ideas.
My words are written with purpose, but something felt missing.
In pursuit of this end, I attended a wellness retreat called Grail Springs for a long weekend. A magical spot to rest, rejuvenate and re-focus.
During my stay I had the privilege to hear the property owner speak about journaling. In need of some direction, Madeleine’s inspiring talk felt like it was directly spoken to me.
“Don’t just ask for success, intend it”, she said.
“Clearly state what success looks like and how you want it to happen. Your intentions need to be specific, detailed and precise.” she encouraged.
I’ve had some success writing out my intentions. However this advice seemed like a new heightened level of journaling, yet so logical and simple.
This was the guidance I was looking for. I took Madeline’s advice that night.
Page after page I wrote out all my explicit intentions. What I intended for my family, health and the future of the Positive People Army.
In one particular paragraph I intentionally requested to become a public speaker. I wrote about my desire to be in front of a large audience and to influence people on a grand scale.
I’ve never really had any journaling guidance before, so this felt good.
I fell asleep that night excited to see just how powerful these words could be.
Twenty four hours later I was shown.
One of my intentions came to fruition. But not exactly.
My intention stated I speak at large engagements and now I was being asked to do just that. Yet the subject matter wasn’t what I wanted.
I wanted to talk about the Positive People Army topics. However I wasn’t asked to chat about these themes. It was my past experiences they were interested in hearing about.
What went wrong?
That evening I returned to my journal. Re-reading the paragraph I had written the night before. What was I missing?
Frustrated, I lay back and closed my eyes.
Moments later a thought crossed my mind. You must make your intentions Specific.
The word 'SPECIFIC', beaming like a neon ‘Open’ sign.
I sat up, grabbed the journal and read the paragraph again.
Yes, I had intended to become a speaker, but I had left out one very important detail. What I wanted to speak about.
I started to laugh.
I immediately wrote out my specific intentions.
To date, I’ve been scheduled to talk on behalf of the Positive People Army at four speaking engagements.
Yet again, words had shown me their true power.
Throughout the years my writing has taken on many styles. Whether it was to discover myself, de-clutter my mind, get over heartache or decipher the lessons I was supposed to learn. Good or bad, words have always been there for me.
It‘s one thing to live your life, it’s another thing to observe your life and reflect on it via writing.
You notice new things. See relationships from broader perspectives. Start to see patterns and glean insights into your purpose. Not to mention, finding your true passion through specific intentions.
Sitting there now looking at my new crisp journal, I wondered what my Nana would say looking down on me today.
I have a feeling she would tell me to keep writing. And so should you.
Written by Heidi Allen - Positive People Army Founder
If you want to visit Grail Springs follow the link and start your own journey today! For over 23 years Grail Springs has been dedicated to the well being of people, animals and planet, respecting their inter-dependency on each other for sustainable health for all. Grail Springs's mission is to provide experiences which teach and integrate body, mind and Spirit, bringing balance to all other aspects of our lives that make us whole, happy, wise and fulfilled.
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