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I begin…

I begin my blog with a quote which pretty much narrows down how I feel about life in general:

“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive…” -Joseph Campbell

First of all, if you ever want to be blown out of your chair (or carseat riding shotgun on an 18-hour drive from Colorado to Minnesota), relish in the conversation between Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth series.

This quote is how I feel about my writing life.  I write it all–the joy, the fear, the devastation, confusion, epiphany, insecurity, serendipity, and the monotony–because it’s all so real and necessary on this journey of life.  Sometimes when I write, I think to myself, “All I do is complain and worry and bitch in these pages of my journal,” and I wish that my pages were unmarred by the negative.  Yet I have to feel it and experience it because, one, it’s a part of my journey, and two, when I write it down, I can let it go.

I always find myself striving to be better than I am now, striving to reach a place where I can finally accept myself and feel like I have finally arrived (where?  I don’t know).  But deep down, I know this is a futile endeavor because life is not “When…”  Life is now.

That sentiment is repeated in so many different ways by so many different people that it has become cliche.  But in my 37th year with my two children (and myself and my husband) growing older so quickly, I understand the cliche of “now” better and better.  My goal now is to align that sentiment with my life and to stop waiting and be so present that I can feel the hairs on my arms blow in the wind as I ride my orange cruiser bike along the parkways of Minneapolis.

I have tons and tons of goals, but my primary goal has become simply to let Life flow through me and just experience the rapture–all of it–of this blessed life without judgement.  It’s really, really hard sometimes.  And I’m terrible at it.  But working toward living each moment fully is so worthwhile and makes Life so rich, it’s worth it.

This is why I love to write.  I want a record so I can feel a little peace about how fast and furious Life is going by; so I know I can look back and understand from where I’ve come.  I rarely do though.  It just helps to know that I can if I want.

So I’ve decided this blog, since it’s attached to my website, is going to be about Life and writing about it.  It will be a blog about the practice and art of journaling.  So if you have actually read this far and feel inspired to start journaling, you can come here and get some inspiration and ideas to begin.  For now, get a journal you like.  I really like the basic blank recycled journals because I like to write stuff on the front cover and sometimes tape pictures or old concert tickets or whatever. I like a totally blank slate.  But no two journals are or should be the same, so pick one you love.  Have fun.  Be inspired.  Enjoy your moments and days.  Be proud of and honor this life that is so totally unique that it has never been lived before and will never be lived again.  It’s yours.  Take it and love it.  Bye for now.

Janna Brayman Krawczyk is a writer and a teacher.  She has a B.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Masters in Teaching from Hamline University.  She has been writing in a journal for over half of her life and has finally accepted that life is not easy, yet our struggles and obstacles are what inspire insight and wisdom.  For this reason, she must write as a way to understand herself and her life, stay sane, and dream big dreams.  She feels blessed to share this healing and illuminating practice with as many people as possible in her lifetime…

  1. From someone on the outside looking in, you have always lived life to the fullest and seemed to enjoy the now while also having a clear vision for what you hoped the future would hold. From someone who has never journaled much because I always felt I rambled from page to page with no real sense of direction or a “conclusion”… or the fear that someone would later read my naked sole… what you say about the process gives me peace that it isn’t about having a conclusion, it’s whatever it needs to be. Now if I could only sit down long enough to write even one sentence! (I think gardening is really my journal.) But I sure would love to have done a mother’s journal…offer any online courses?

    • I don’t have any online courses yet. I have to talk to Gregorio, my web guy. I think web classes will be a great idea. Until then, I will continue to write about journaling in general. But if you want any ideas, I’ll send some your way. Thanks for the post Julia. Miss you. Love, me.

  2. Janna – I wish I had your wisdom and drive. Watching and hearing you move forward and strive is an inspiration. I wish you only the best with this new endevour.

    Love, Amy


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