Can you believe that it’s only less than a month to the end of 2018?
I have been a little bit busy with work these past few months (and I am also working on my YouTube channel on journaling), but I have been missing working on my blog and sharing my thoughts & musings the way I used to do in the old days.
I always feel as if time flies away so fast, and I have to admit that sometimes I am being hard on myself–feeling that I haven’t done anything great, anything meaningful, anything worth remembering.
Maybe this is why one of my end-of-year favorite moments is actually having my me-time, flipping over the pages of my journals and reading all the small things that made me happy, tiny fragments of life that made me grow or rethink my beliefs and perspectives, delicious food that makes my belly purrs in delight.
This year’s end-of-year me-time involves creating an affirmation calendar for myself.
I found it a bit challenging to find a lovely calendar for 2019 that is already equipped with some Indonesian national/public holidays; so I decided to create one with the pictures from Unsplash in passport size for everyday carry.
When I finished, I thought: “Why not share it with everyone else?” And so, the calendar is available if you’d like to download or print it. Just click here: Calendar 2019 – Passport Size
All in all, maybe it doesn’t matter if there is nothing big happening in our lives, as long as we can recall and reminisce the tiny ones as we remember them with gratitude.
Well, first, it was because of #inktober–the 31-day challenge in the art community to draw something with ink throughout October. I was thinking of joining, but I wasn’t sure that I could actually do it for 31 days. Drawing (or painting) is still something quite new to me, and I’m still trying to get a hang of it.
I was trying to come up with something that won’t take a lot of time to do and won’t need any specific tools/supplies; when it suddenly dawned on me that in 3 months, we’d say goodbye to 2018! How time flies! So, I thought, why not having a journaling exercise that will help us to reconnect and discover something new (or old) about ourselves–thus, we have 2 more months to prepare our smooth transition to 2019?
Some refer to it as free writing or automatic writing. The idea is to set a timer for a certain period of time: one minute, three minutes, five minutes, ten minutes up to you (although for this challenge, we’ll do a 3-minute session per day).
As the timer starts, begin writing (with pen and paper) on your journal, without really thinking, without really stopping. Write whatever crossed your mind. It doesn’t matter if things appear to sound weird, funny or senseless. The idea is to translate your tangled and busy mind into the paper.
Here’s the secret: DO NOT stop as you write, not even for a split second. Do not think. Just write until your time is up. Follow the chaos of your mind and write everything down. Everything.
You could even write something like, “I don’t know why I am doing this, oh, I’m so hungry, like so, hungry and my foot itches and what should I write this is strange really…”
Keep writing no matter what until your timer beeps.
I like to call this technique ‘intuitive writing’ or ‘intuitive journaling’ because after doing this practice for a while, you will notice the magical moment when your intuition starts talking to you from the chaos of the page.
This is exactly why you need to relax and let go of the need to control; set aside the urge to think, to edit, to look for the right words or sentences. When you’re still trying or thinking, you are not letting your intuition take over.
So, let it flow. Let whatever needs to come out from within you find its way onto the page.
How to Join This Intuitive Writing Challenge and More.
Here’s how it’ll play out:
All you need is a pen, a notebook to write, and a timer (you can use the timer on your phone). Set the timer to 3 minutes to start your intuitive journaling session. Can you do more than 3 minutes a day? Sure. However, remember that we tend to go strong at the beginning of a project and then lose our drive a little bit more every day. Personally, I believe that completing the challenge by writing 3 minutes a day for 31 days will benefit you more than writing for 15 minutes a day, but stopping after the first 7 days. And please only write by hand! Why? Find the answer here.
Every day, before 8 am, I will post your intuitive journaling prompt on this page (at the end of this post). I don’t want to post all the prompts right away, because I think it will be overwhelming. Plus, there will always be that temptation of “thinking” about what to write for tomorrow’s prompt, which is something that will beat the purpose of intuitive journaling. So, every day, when you’re ready to write, open this page and see that day’s prompt. I will also share the prompt via my Instagram Stories.
If you want, you can share your experience of going through each challenge or even share what you write. But you don’t have to do this. Just know that you’ll benefit from it even if you want to keep the journal to yourself. Don’t feel the obligation to share if you don’t feel like it.
I am using the hashtag #intuitivejournaling #writeandwander and #octoberjournal to talk about this challenge/project on social media. I might not share what I have written throughout the challenge, but I might want to share some lessons, memories, or sentiments that come up when necessary. You can also share your experience by using those hashtags, so we can find each other. Know that you don’t have to share or use the hashtag if you don’t want to. You know I’m not fussy about those kinds of things 🙂
Have fun, and don’t forget to set your intention to use this challenge as a way to discover something about yourself, or to hear the message you need to hear.
Usually, it started out with a conversation like this:
+ “What are we going to have for lunch?” – “I don’t know. Can’t think of anything.” + “Me neither. Let’s go to the market, then.”
+ “What are we going to do this weekend?” – “I don’t know. Can’t think of anything.” + “Me neither.” – “Visit the market?” + “Sure.”
While traveling, visiting local markets (and grocery stores) has always sat on the top of my bucket list. I love people-watching and local markets are the best place to do this while sipping a cup of freshly-pressed orange juice or having a bite of that delicious Kibbling (fried cod) sandwich–topped with onion sauce.
Some of them, like the flower market (Bloemenmarkt), Waterlooplein flea market, Het Spui book market (Boekenmarkt) and the ever-popular Albert Cuyp Market can be pretty packed with tourists–but even then, I still find the whole experience entertaining.
It’s all about the music in the air, the clinging and clanging of goods and utensils, the explosion of scents and colors, and the murmurs on the stalls on the left, and on the right: everything is so alive, so vibrant, so attractive!
My favorites to visit are actually the neighborhood markets–smaller local markets in different residential areas where locals get their fruits and vegetables, fish, meat, and bread. The one closest to where I was staying the last time was the Ten Katemarkt in Amsterdam West (the hip foodcourt De Hallen is nearby!), and the other one I love is the Noordermarkt on Saturdays–when they have their farmer’s market.
Some tips before visiting the local market in Amsterdam:
Find out what kind of market you’d like to visit. There are book market, flower market, flea market, fabric market, art market, vinyl market, and many more.
See the opening days/hours. Some markets closed early (or completely closed) on certain days. You don’t want to be disappointed!
If you don’t have enough time to explore the popular markets, find a neighborhood market that is closest to where you stay. You can always get some food there.
You can find more information about the local markets in Amsterdam (location, opening hours/days, and what they sell) here and here.
Personally, these are some of my favorite things to see (or buy!) when I visit Amsterdam’s local markets:
Heavily-decorated vintage plates and cups.
Delicacies from a country I’ve never visited, served from a food truck.
Watercolor postcards or canvas paintings.
Home-made jam, tea-mix, or spices.
When I’m alone, I can spend hours in these markets: standing in front of different stalls, sniffing the fresh produce, reading the labels on jars, running my fingers through vintage dining utensils, and admiring the naturally artistic way the sellers move behind their counters.
It reminds me of the feeling I have while I am sitting by the beach, gazing at the rolling waves licking the sand. It’s strange how I can always feel somewhat calm in the midst of such a bustling environment.