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  • Writer's pictureTracey L. Kelley

Book: The 52 Lists Project

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

Since I'm also a writer and editor, it's not difficult for me to express myself through words, phrases, and clauses. But to move through a stream of consciousness, without stopping to analyze, evaluate, critique is a more challenging task. The very nature of my other businesses requires those applications daily. To simply allow thoughts and emotions to unwind without consequence...

...well, that's more like meditation, isn't it?

One of my favorite books of all time is The Artist's Way : A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. A great group of writers I knew long ago decided to form a workshop around this release to explore aspects of inner self in a safe, comfortable environment. For some people, it was a little too much to handle, and they left the group after a couple of meetings. For the rest of us, it was an incredible journey: not self-absorbing as much as it was self-exploring. I'd really like to do it again, so if you're interested, let me know! (Really. Seriously. Reach out.) If I remember correctly, the whole process took about 12 weeks. After doing some deep diving into many things (and burning my notebooks at the end, as I talk about in this post about yoga journalling ), I had two major takeaways:

~The importance of "morning pages", which are three pages of fluid, unedited writing of emotions, dreams, thoughts, ideas, and such right after you wake up. ~The necessity of artist dates, in which you allow for an hour or three hours or a half day to simply connect with yourself, your art, what brings you joy, what invites beauty, and so on. These are the two practices I try to maintain on a regular basis. However, not everyone wants to flow in an unfettered way. They like a little more structure. And 52 Lists is perfect for that. It's "a year of weekly journalling inspiration". I gave this book to some clients and colleagues this year. It's a lovely adventure set out in an orderly fashion, with writing prompts such as "List the things you treasure most" and "List the things that make you feel most free" and "List the ways you can love yourself more" and "List the things you want to be known for"... get the idea. There's even a social media movement, #52ListsProject, if you're interested in sharing your lists. Using writing to explore thoughts and emotions is a gift of freedom. Similar to meditation, you learn to release judgment, remove the gatekeeper of external influences, and return to the center of self.

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