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Embrace the Season With Nature Journaling

Refresh your Journaling Practice

Few sights are more inspiring than rows of trees bursting into flame with the red and gold leaves of fall. Unless it’s the fist pink blossoms of spring. No matter what the season, it’s likely you’ll encounter a few days that provide an ideal opportunity to take advantage of the natural beauty around you to explore your journaling self with refreshed spirit.

Pick a day when the weather seems to be begging you to go for a long walk. In the autumn, you want a day that’s cool and breezy yet with plentiful Therapy sunshine. In winter, you might need your heavy coat, and don’t forget warm socks! Bring your journal, a pen, and a blanket, and set out on a nature journaling adventure.

Prepare to Journal: Move, Listen, Write

1. Follow your instincts and walk to a quiet, peaceful place where you can write without too many distractions. You can stay as close as the neighborhood park around the corner or go as far as a day hike on mountain trails. Go wherever you are likely to feel positive and inspired.

2. As you walk, resist the temptation to listen to music and instead allow your mind to become more still and serene with every step. Become aware of your breathing and the sights, sounds, and smells around you. Pay attention to the people you meet, animals, plants, and whatever else is nearby.

3. Find a good spot to sit, spread out your blanket (or find a park bench or bring a folding chair), and make yourself comfortable. Take a few easy breaths, open your journal, and write about your thoughts and observations.

Writing Therapy Cures! Let Inspiration Flow

If you’re too cold, or too hot, or otherwise uncomfortable, move elsewhere until you find the place where you can relax and let nature’s muse play with your imagination. Then let it fly!

Here are some prompt ideas to get you started:

• Write about what you see in front of you right now. Record the flora, the fauna, the weather. Enjoy describing them in detail.
• Collect a few brightly colored leaves and describe them vividly. Bring the leaves home with you to press or glue into your journal later. Or, in winter, choose a stone or tree and illustrate it in words.
• Write a short story about animals that live in your area. What are their habits? What are their days like, and their nights?
• Describe your feelings about the season. What are your most favorite and least favorite parts? Let in some memories that the season tends to bring back to you every year.
• Consider what smells you associate with the season and what memories and emotions they bring up. Do you smell wood smoke and immediately think of reading by the fireplace as a child? Or do you remember the smell of hot dogs and popcorn from football games? Or maybe the fragrance of pines on frosty mornings takes you back to school days.

The more you practice your journal writing, the more you recognize where inspiration comes from, and the greater respect you gain for wonders of every kind. And natural wonders are, of course, at the top of the list.

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