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Monthly Newsletter
March 2001 Vol.1 Issue 2
Corinne Pratz, Editor, creativejournaling@home.com
ISSN 1496-5747 Creative-Journal

IN THIS ISSUE

  • Ramblings From the Editor
  • Special Announcement
  • Feature Article - Try a Home Walk!
  • Contest Winner for February 2001!
  • New Contest for March!
  • Review of Journaling Sites, Products or Services
  • Now On The Creative-Journal.Com Website
  • Guest Column
  • How to Be Featured as our Guest Columnist
  • Reader Feedback
  • Survey Results - What kind of book do you use for Journaling?
  • Classified Ads
  • Advertising Information
  • Subscribe/Unsubscribe information


RAMBLINGS FROM THE EDITOR

Hello Fellow Journalers!

My eight year daughter, Laural is a real gem. Her incessant pack-ratting habits is enough to make this mom scream sometimes. I no sooner think I've got her room totally organized (barbies ith barbies, papers in the desk, sparkly things with other sparkly things and so on) and poof! Mysteriously in a week, it has blown-up again. How this happens despite my insisting that she take care of her things and clean the room before bed, remains an X-File.

I ventured into the land of foreboding recently to do some 'light' cleaning. She has more diaries than even I would know what to do with. Fuzzy covers, glittery covers, cutsie animal covers...the list goes on. And she is well trained. She knows that the punishment for reading someone else's journal is worse than death in this house. She trusts in the knowledge that I will gather her books up and put them away, but I would never violate her trust by peeking inside.

I was surprised to find pages of her latest diary removed and laying on her bed out in plain sight. I picked them up and taking this as a cue, I read the gel pen messages. She had recently experienced a problem, unbeknownst to me. In my grown-up 'wisdom', this was a common kid thing. A friend of hers told her something she didn't quite understand and had sworn her to secrecy. "Don't tell anyone!!!" You know the kid-code thing. Obviously she had really wanted to tell me and to talk it over with me but she had given her word. She wrote about it on these loose diary papers and left them there for me to read. An ingenious way to tell without telling!

This got me thinking. In my own past, writing was pretty much the only way I could communicate. This came from early years of not feeling safe to say what I thought or felt. Strong conditioning! But it worked. Until I met my husband. It was painfully obvious quickly that while I could write like nobody's business, I could not express my emotions verbally very well at all. Of sure, I could speak in public, lecture at the local College and teach classes no problem. But talk to him when I felt angry, upset or down? No way.

I learned. It took years, but I have learned. What's my point? Well, it's this. As powerful as journal writing is and I'd be the first one to scream my convictions from a mountain top, it's only ONE form of communication. Now, I'm not saying that I think my daughter should have broken her word or anything. However, it was obvious to me that I needed to encourage her verbal skills as well.

If all we ever do is write about our feelings, thoughts, problems and dreams in our journals, we are not going to experience a lot of change in our lives. Being able to verbally communicate is essential to connecting with others. We need to be sure we have this balance.

Till next month,

Corinne


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Could you imagine what it would be like to live in this day and age without knowing how to read and write? Personally, this is beyond my comprehension.

This is why we've decided to launch our own special contribution - "One Word at a Time".For every order of Journaling Prompt Cards from our shop you make, $1 will go to help others learn the skills they need for a better quality of life. Please help Creative-Journal support Project Literacy programs worldwide. You help choose which country/project you most want to see contributions go to when you make your purchase.

The card sets have been created by Creative-Journal to launch this effort. Each card has a new written prompt for you to explore and there is enough in one set for something fresh every day of the year. They make wonderful gifts!

Order a gift-set and receive a set of Journaling Prompt Cards with an attractive Journal wrapped beautifully as a complete package. Every order will add $2 to our effort!

Visit our shop to place your order!


TAKE A HOME WALK
[The FIRST article in Creative-Journal's New Techniques Series!]
© 2001, Corinne Pratz

When everything was packed up and loaded into the moving van, I had to go back in. Just for a moment or so I thought. I was so exhausted and definitely sick of the whole moving process. Yet, I felt pulled back into the place that had been my home for the past several years.

Strange how a house that had been bustling with life and full of things only days before could become so hollow. My footsteps echoed and I was struck my the realization that this empty space was no longer my 'home'.

So much had happened there! I carried two of my children into the living room that first day back from the hospital when they were just born and welcomed them to their first home. Cups of hot coffee and the occasional box of donuts had been shared with dear friends at the table in the kitchen. Tears of grief had flown in my bedroom as I saw my marriage collapse. And I had changed there. Become stronger, older and better. I had learned to be more of who I really was. There were times of joy, agony, defeat, victory, love and even hate. All within those walls.

I was so excited about the move and new house. It felt like a fresh new beginning somehow and I was more than ready for it. Yet, at that moment I stood in the barren living room I knew I needed to express myself. I felt driven to record the events.

I always kept paper and a pen in my purse. Before long, I was sitting on the floor in the empty house and I began to write. And write and write. I wrote about the first time I stepped into the house and about the things that had happened in the time I had lived there. That saying about, "If walls could talk..." - well, talk they did! And I wrote every single word down.

Not only was this an extremely healing experience for me, it brought closure. I was better able to move forward and into the future without looking back as much.

Your home is an intimate expression of you. Your likes, dislikes, feelings about yourself and those who share this space are all evident. There are memories within each and every inch of each and every room. Chances are you'll feel more connected to some rooms than to others.

This journaling technique takes time and movement but it can be spread over the course of several writings. If you use a computer diary, you'll need to break your usual habit and use some paper and a pen for this one. You probably can't (or aren't into) lugging your system with you from room to room.

You'll need a time where you can be alone in the space you are going to write in. Choose a room. Any room. Sit down on the floor with your writing tools and look around for a few moments. Try to feel the energy of the room. Note the colors, the physical condition, the decor.

Then write. Talk about your immediate impressions. Do you like this room? Why or why not? What is it used for? Whose room is it? What thoughts come to mind right away? What memories do you have in this specific room?

Don't leave any room unexplored. Write in the bathroom, the kitchen, the kid's rooms, the basement and your own room. Consider hallways, front steps, decks and other places your frequent. Each space holds impressions and memories. Discover them all.

If you want to explore your past, go back to other homes you've had and walk through in your mind. Mentally sit in the rooms and write your thoughts and feelings. Let the walls talk to you.


FEBRUARY CONTEST WINNER

Thank you so much to everyone who submitted an entry to our first contest. Selecting a winner was no easy task!

Congratulations to Jenny White for her touching, honest and very real account of the role journaling has had in her life.

Jenny's entry in response to our 1st contest on "How has journaling changed your life?" wins her an Online Journaling Course from Creative-Journal of her choice!

Here's how Jenny responded:

Comfort and Growth

"From a young age I had used words on paper, writing down my hopes, fears, gripes and gratitude. Spasmodic at times, certainly, but my journal was always a friend waiting to listen and help me clarify the events and emotions of my life.

Several years ago, while in a less than satisfactory relationship, I fell pregnant. There was no choice for me at that time, already bringing up two children on my own, and with a so-called 'partner' who emotionally absented himself from the situation and avoided commitment of any form.

The abortion hit me harder than anything I had ever previously experienced, including two failed marriages. Overwhelming sadness, disappointment in myself, the ever-present voice in my head that asked WHY?

Thoughts of suicide, led me to a therapist. During two years of therapy, I turned to my journal for solace and understanding. The volumes filled at that time are proof that I was not going insane. I was merely stumbling my way through a labyrinth of pain, caused by the knowledge that I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

With the aid of my journal, I learned to talk to and comfort that wounded and terrified inner child. I learned to face the darkest shadows, the saddest truths, and discover liberating answers.

I am still learning who I am. The journey is long and often frightening, but at least I am alive, travelling with my friend, my journal."

Visit the Contest Page to click to read other Fantastic Entries!


MARCH CONTEST!

Time for a new contest!

Finish this sentence:
I think the presentation of personal journals as evidence in a court trial is ...

Keep your entry between 200-400 words maximum and send it to:

contest@creative-journal.com

The winning narrative will be awarded with a Deluxe Set of Journal Prompt Cards from Creative-Journal!

Contest for this month closes March 23, 2001. The winning entry will be featured here for April's newsletter and on our site!


REVIEW: Website
www.selfgrowth.com

You know how it is when you go the grocery store for only a few things and somehow windup with a cart full? This site is the Internet's version and the best part is it doesn't cost you a cent - just your time. But it is time well spent.

We're always on the look out for one-stop sites and this one definitely fits this category! There are literally thousands of links all categorized under topic headings. Fortunately, there is a search feature as otherwise it could be a nightmare trying to find what you're looking for! Everything you could imagine from how to speak better and increase your sales to journaling and relationship development is here. Not only are there links, there are articles galore. Expect to spend some time here and to get caught up in exploring. We sure do everytime we visit!

Rating:

Content - 5/5
Resourcefulness - 5/5
Navigation Ease - 4/5

Editor's Note - While the links and articles were easy to navigate and quick to load, I didn't particularly care for the additional window popping up whenever I clicked on some places. Further load time was slow in some areas such as Gurus. Perhaps I got too impatient or there were technical difficulties but I couldn't access the IQ Test area or Quotes at all.


NOW ON THE CREATIVE-JOURNAL.COM WEBSITE

There has been a lot of growth on our site in the last month! On the 12th, we were forced to switch servers so this and future growth could be accommodated. So far so good!

Some of the new highlights:

- Our Techniques section is now underway. You can read the first in this extensive series here in this newsletter or on the site. There are over 20 other techniques scheduled for this section at this time. They will be added throughout the month of March so be sure to check back often to read the latest.

- As you also read in this issue, our One Word program for Literacy has been launched.

- Several New Articles have been added to the site and to the Library section.

- A New Contest and New Poll for March are there to check out and get involved with.

- We've added a Human Click button on the site that allows you to page us whenever you want to chat!

- If you didn't know, we update our Visual Prompts section each and every week with 3 new images for you to explore.

- Many New Links for your reference have been added.

What you will see in March:

- More techniques.

- More articles.

- More comments from you.

- More, More, MORE!

Be sure to let me know what you want to see there! Write to me at
editor@creative-journal.com


WHAT IS YOUR ATTITUDE TODAY?
Guest Column
© 2001, Iris Grimm

Each day, the most crucial decision you make in your life is the attitude you choose to express when dealing with people and circumstances. Attitude comes very close to being everything about success or failure.

WHAT IS ATTITUDE?

The dictionary describes it as a matter of bearing or mood. But attitude is more than that. It is what sets the stage for what you want, or expect, to happen. Your attitude tells the world what you expect. The key is the realization that you choose. That's right. Every day you purposely choose your attitude. Choosing a positive attitude will lead to virtually unlimited success in your personal and professional life. A negative state of mind will cause unhappiness, poor health, difficulty with people and "bad lack".

WHERE DOES ATTITUDE COME FROM?

Attitude comes from within you. You determine your attitude. You can blame others or situations; however the key is your response to those things or people. If you are cheerful and expectant, your attitude says to everyone with whom you come in contact that you expect the best in your dealings with your world. Your actions, feelings and moods determine the actions, feelings and moods of others. As a matter of fact, people like to be around positive people. As an example, people like to buy from positive business people who are confident in what they are selling and help their customers enjoy the process of buying.

A sustained negative attitude can kill you. Stress is the worst side effect of a bad attitude, which causes all kind of health problems and diseases. Stress turns quickly into anxiety, depression and ulcers. Another tragic part of negative attitude is that misery loves company. If you have people with negative attitudes around you, they will automatically bring you down to their level. And this is how negative attitude spreads.

The following tips suggest ways to facilitate a more positive attitude.

1. Develop a routine to start each day in a positive state of mind

Create a routine that builds up positive energy such as exercising, meditation or quiet time. As an example, every morning I write in my "Gratitude Journal" all the things I am thankful for and that lifts up my mood and motivation right away. It is easier to stay positive if you start you day with a positive attitude.

2. Work on your relationships

Relationships are both our best sources of happiness and our biggest sources of frustrations and problems. As mentioned before, people with negative attitudes pull you down. Therefore, develop relationships with positive thinking people and end relationships with people that only think negatively. This will automatically increase your personal energy.

3. Become aware of your current attitude.

Just like a virus protection software, let your attitude check run throughout your day. Check in frequently, where your attitude is and link negative mood changes to a source or cause, so that you can change it back quickly.

4. Create a positive and energizing environment.

You don't pick up energy only from people but also from your physical environment. Therefore, make your physical environment pleasant and energizing. Increase the lighting in your environment, de-clutter your house, add some flowers or even a small water fountain - do whatever feels right to you and lifts your mood and attitude.

5. Create a positive attitude towards problems.

Problems are the spices of life - they make life interesting and they are here so that you can learn from them. In order to solve your problems effectively, ask yourself:

What life lesson am I learning here?

What is the worst that can happen and what can I do to avoid it?

What do I have to do differently next time I am in this particular situation?

Don't see problems negatively, get into the habit of seeing them as a learning experience.

In conclusion, there are basically two kinds of people - those who take responsibility for their lives and those who blame others. People who take responsibilities for their own situations and actions are positive people who see something good in everything. They made a conscious decision to be positive, even if it is not easy sometimes. Keep in mind, choosing your mental attitude is the only thing you can control in your life. Learn and practice a positive mental attitude, and enjoy the rewards.

About Our Guest Columnist:

Born in Germany, Iris Grimm offers Professional Coaching, Workshops and Motivational Speaking. Growing up in a former communist country has given her exceptional insight and appreciation that is reflected in her work. Her personal experience and professional training offers a great deal to her clients. She lives now in Georgia with her husband and enjoys an active lifestyle.
Visit her site at:
www.irisgrimm.com

QUOTE TO THINK ABOUT

Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
Lou Holtz


HOW TO BE A GUEST COLUMNIST

How to become a guest columnist - Write me with your ideas or send your column to
guestcolumn@creative-journal.com

Articles need to be no more than 200-300 words and on a topic that appeals to journalers.


READER FEEDBACK

Comments and encouragement received from you make this newsletter and this site worth every bit of work and time for me. I couldn't resist showing a couple here. Thanks to all of you who take the time out to drop me a note!

Dear Corinne,

I wanted to tell you that you do one of the best 'jobs' with your 'Net site. I really love it!

Happy Journaling,

Chantal

Hello Corinne! I'm really enjoying your daily question. Thanks again for the lovely mailing list.
- Angela

Thanks for the site! It is helping be more open about myself.
- David


SURVEY RESULTS

Here are the results from first poll question. Thanks - it's great to see your participation.

We asked: "What kind of book do your use for your journal?"

23% said they used a scribbler/notebook
37% said they used a store bought book
3% said they used a binder
3% said they used a duotang
3% said they used a photo album
3% said they used a scrap book
7% said they used loose pages - no book
7% said they used one they made themselves
13% said other

Here are some comments from Poll Takers:

"I'm using just a plain sketchbook at the moment... I hate writing on lined pages."

"It's a kid's diary with no dates - just colored pages with lines in it and a ribbon place marker. I love writing it is because it brings back memories of my childhood."


CLASSIFIED ADS


HEART MATTERS, a monthly newsletter to inspire the reader to "get out of her head in into her heart", is open to new subscribers. This newsletter contains articles of Stories from the Heart (life's lessons), Ways to Open Your Heart (top ten lists or poems) and Wisdom from the Heart (recommended books, songs, movies etc). This is a free online ezine.
To subscribe: email cynthia@heart-to-heart-coaching.com
or visit
Heart to Heart Coaching


FREE Inspiration in your e-mail

More than just an inspirational quote of the day, self-focus.com provides you with a FREE daily message of introspection, inspiration and motivation. For a better us ...
www.self-focus.com


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Visit - The Self Improvement Site
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LIVE A LIFE YOU LOVE!

Creating a truly delicious life doesn't have to be an unfulfilled fantasy! Everyone has the ability to manifest as much passion, love, prosperity, health, fun and joy as they want. This FREE e-zine will help you learn how!

To subscribe simply send an email to the following address: Subscribe www.livealifeyoulove.net


ADVERTISING INFORMATION

If you're looking for inexpensive but effective advertising, Creative-Journal is the place! Reach our readers in the Classifieds for .50cents a line or run a Feature Ad for as little as $3.00.

Send to advertising@creative-journal.com for complete details and to schedule your ad. Space is limited and is on a first-come basis!


All Material Copyright of Creative-Journal.Com
No reproduction in full or part permitted without permission.
Copyright ©2001 Corinne Pratz/Creative-Journal.Com
You can email by clicking on the Feedback Button or Write to:
Box 1573, Lake Cowichan, BC, Canada, V0R 2G0

All contents 2001, Corinne Pratz unless otherwise noted. "Creative-Journal" "Creative-Journal.com" and "Achieving Growth One Word At A Time" are trademarks of Corinne Pratz.