Wait, Jessica has a new company?

standard January 13, 2016 Leave a response

If we’re friends on Facebook (and if we’re not, what up with that?) you might have heard a little something about my new company, The Zen Pencil. It’s new and I’m SUPER excited about it and therefore I can’t stop talking about it, which is why you’re hearing about it here too.

Journaling prompts via email subscription

So what’s the deal with The Zen Pencil?

Well, it grew out of a desire to help people find the kind of joy at the tip of a pen or pencil that I find at the end of mine.

I see you back there with your skeptically poised eyebrow. But I’m 110% serious.

The Zen Pencil is a subscription based journaling prompt service. You sign up for a themed course and I send you daily journaling prompts. It’s that simple. Really.

And why should you sign up for daily journaling prompts? Well, that’s simple too. Journaling is the gateway to a healthier and happier you. And it seriously doesn’t take more than an idea of something to write about (which I send you), a pen, and a piece of paper.

The science behind the whole concept is sound. When you write, you engage both the creative side of your brain and the fine motor part of your brain. BOOM. Left side working in conjunction with the right side. And that’s where the magic happens. Because when your whole brain is engaged, all of your brain power works to help you understand yourself, process your issues, or just even help you get a better understanding of the world that surrounds you.

It’s like crazy cheap therapy.

Not 100% convinced? Give it a go. What do you have to lose?

 

And if you’re looking for other ways to support me? Thank you! I’d be incredibly grateful if you could:

 

I look forward to helping you and your friends discover the joy of journaling!

7 Great Reasons You Should Start Journaling Today

standard October 16, 2015 1 response

So, what’s the deal with journaling? Why is everyone talking about it? Why does everyone say it’s something you absolutely must do, like right now?

Well, first of all, relax. The good news is that journaling is possibly the lowest hanging fruit of all the healthy things you could decide to try. You don’t have to learn to sit still and breathe. You don’t have to wear specialty clothing. You don’t even have to eat kale. You just need something to write on and something to write with. That’s it.

Start Journaling Today

There are as many ways and reasons to journal as there are types of journals available for purchase. Some are leather bound and seem very solemn and serious. Others are simple school composition books, less imposing and grandiose, but no less functional.

Journaling is the same. There are no hard and fast rules for how to do it, or even why to do it, but here are a few reasons you should consider trying your hand at putting pen to paper.

1) The little things are all too easy to forget, and so very worth remembering

I have almost zero recollection of my youngest daughter’s first year. She hardly ever slept and I was working full time. It’s amazing to me that I survived that year, but not all that surprising that I remember nothing beyond the bone deep exhaustion that plagued me.

Luckily for me, largely inspired by Anne Lamott’s memoir, Operating Instructions, I did make time to journal every day that year. Some nights I could barely string together more than three sentences. Other nights I was able to wax poetic about some mundane aspect of life as a working mom to two little girls.

So I can’t remember that year, but I can read about it. Cracking open that journal is bitter sweet. It was a hard, hard year, but I love being able to visit my baby and “see” her again.

You might think that yours days are too ordinary to bother recording, but our lives are made up of tiny little things that only seem inconsequential as we’re living them. What might seem routine today might be a treasured memory one day, only you won’t be able to remember it if you don’t write it down.

2) When you journal the trees, you can see the forest.

Writing down the little or not so little details of our lives can help make sense of it all. What seems like noise and chaos sometimes just needs to be set down on paper and looked over at a later time for patterns and logic to emerge.

You might not realize how crucial your work-out routine is to your well-being until you look back at some journal entries and see how differently you think the weeks you can work out from the weeks you can.

You might not spot a quirk in one of your children’s behaviors until you see it written about again and again.

Consider your journal a daily log that helps you keep track of the details of your life, even those you don’t yet know are important.

3) Everyone deserves to hear themselves think

Our lives are so very noisy and busy that sometimes it seems like it takes super human strength to not only have a complete thought, but to have time to ponder that thought and let it lead us where it wants to go.

Journaling is a great way to put these fleeting thoughts somewhere safe where they won’t be pushed out or blown away by more thoughts and more chaos.

And sometimes, you don’t even know what you’re thinking until you sit down and put pen to paper. It’s amazing how clear your mind and your heart can be after just 5 minutes alone with a journal and a pen.

4) It’s a brand new way of processing

Something happens in your brain when you place your pen on the paper and start to write. Things come out you didn’t even realize you were thinking, were feeling, were agonizing over. Little joys pepper the page, surrounded by a myriad of other thoughts and worries. And once it’s all out, you feel lighter, stronger, and sometimes clearer than when you started.

You can think of it as a cheap form of therapy. It definitely helps justify an expensive journal purchasing habit.

5) It’s a safe place just for you

We can’t all stand in the middle of our homes and yell out our frustrations. We can’t hit things, break things, or even have the tantrums we so often deserve.

Journaling is a fabulous, safe, cathartic release valve for the stresses of daily life.

It’s your space, your utterly 100% private, no one will ever, ever read it, secret place to say anything and feel everything. And then, when the words are out, you can go back to being the sane, responsible person everyone expects you to be.

6) Processing to the nth degree

You know how sometimes you come home from an event and you just know there’s a lesson to be learned from being there, but life rears up and clouds everything up, keeping the wisdom just out of your grasp?

Well, journaling is the answer.

Sit down, write about what you experienced, re-live it. And presto, there’s your learning moment, just waiting to be plucked off the page.

7) Ask and you shall receive.

There’s a lot of truth to the notion that sometimes just putting something out to the universe means that you’ll get back exactly what you needed.

Have a question weighing on your mind? Ask your journal the question and then sleep on it. Often we wake up with the answer, or the answer comes to us the next time we write. Facing a doozy of a challenge? Let yourself free-write for 10 minutes and discover that the solution was hiding deep inside the recesses of your brain.

It’s seriously like magic. Magic we can all wield.

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It has been proven that people who journal are healthier, more in touch with their emotions, and more well balanced. The good news is, you don’t have to write well, you just have to write. Still worried about how to get started? The Zen Pencil has the answer. Sign up now and be among the first to know when the service that will start you on your journaling journey launches!

The Zen Pencil - Journaling made easyThe Zen Pencil – Journaling made easy

I’m back and boy does it feel good.

standard October 12, 2015 2 responses

I haven’t been to a blog conference since 2011. When this happened. I’ve been to a writer’s conference and to some small blogger events with never more than 50 people. So it was with some trepidation that I prepped for this conference, packed my bags, and set out for Atlanta.

I was excited to go. I was going to speak about setting goals and expectations at the start of the conference. I was going to sign books*. And I was going to pitch the new business** I’ve been slowly building over the last few months. Oh yeah, and I was promoting my blog and social media consulting business.

And I think that’s why I was pumped.

Last time I went to a blog conference, I was barely holding on to my purpose for blogging and being there and I was struggling with what was happening at home and the challenge of finding myself in the maelstrom that our lives had become.

I was, in short, a hot mess.

Well, friends, I’m back.

No, but really, that’s what it felt like this weekend.

When people asked me what I was working on, I had things to share, things I was crazy excited to share. When people had conversations about our industry, I had things to share, things I was crazy excited to share and discuss. And when I shared what I was working on, people were receptive and had great advice.

I got on the plane Sunday, exhausted beyond measure, but with my head spinning at a million miles a minute with ideas and plans.

And this morning, when I asked M if he was serious about helping me build my new business, I think I impressed him when I laid out, in detail, the plans that were already mapped out.

Life seriously tried to wallop me out of the game. Life failed.

I’m stronger, more focused, and more determined than ever before. I’ve learned more about myself by making it through the last 4 years, than I ever thought possible. I’ve become a true expert about my chosen industry and about what it takes to start a business and make it thrive than I would have if I’d gone down the path I thought was meant to be mine, back in 2011, before everything went to hell in a hand-basket.

I am back.

I never thought I would be.

I couldn’t be more excited to be proven wrong.

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*You can buy Aloha Also Means Goodbye in paperback or for Kindle. Or you can message me and let me know you want a signed copy and buy it directly through me.

**Sign up to be one of the first to know when The Zen Pencil launches in just a few weeks. You’ll be glad you did!