Please welcome The Writing Whisperer, M. Shannon Hernandez

I’m very pleased to introduce you to M. Shannon Hernandez. I met her a couple weeks ago at Dawn Herring‘s weekly Twitter Journal Chat, as we discussed the benefits of journaling. Journaling is such a wonderful way to tell our life stories and kick off future writing pieces of any genre. I also like to journal to report daily happenings and dreams, and make lists of to dos and what I’ve accomplished. Shannon discusses her technique for journaling in short reflective bursts. Here’s Shannon.

The Journaler’s Nightcap: Conscious Reflection Journaling

by M. Shannon Hernandez

Most of us leave extremely busy lives. We are bombarded with more information than ever before. A short walk from my house to the train station in Brooklyn yields advertisements whizzing by on busses, flyers handed out on street corners, and newspapers thrust at me as I descend underground. I didn’t even mention that you would most likely see me checking my voicemail, email, and text messages along the way too.

One day I was sitting in a hotel room in Baltimore, getting ready to give a presentation to a group of ladies. I was trying to remember a conversation I had had with my mother a few weeks prior. It wasn’t one of those earth-shattering conversations, but it was a nice phone chat where we checked in with one another and shared the little things going on in each of our lives.

The problem was that I couldn’t remember the conversation. This upset me terribly. I realized later that day that I couldn’t recall many of the “everyday moments” happening in my life. It was on this day that I was also given a weekly planner for the new year, from a dear friend. This particular planner had only six lines per day, so I wasn’t sure how I would utilize it.

The next day, the idea for The Conscious Reflector Journal came to me! I decided that I would use this weekly planner to capture short reflections, in words, about moments that characterized my everyday life.

Writing in a succinct fashion was super difficult for me in the beginning. I am a writer and lover of words and description, so I had to focus on a few key moments that I wanted to capture about my day. I began by using the who, what, when, where, why, and how framework to help me zoom in on the moments I wanted to record.

The Conscious Reflector Journal

The Conscious Reflector Journal

One of my earliest entries reads:

I arrived home from Baltimore today to a clean house, wine, bread, salad, and freshly made pasta sauce simmering on the stove. To top it all off, my awesome husband also had a bouquet of sunflowers – my favorite! – waiting for my arrival. He’s a keeper! Shakti was glad to see me too.

When I look back and read over this entry, a smile spreads across my face and tears fill my eyes. This was a special moment for me – one that had I not written it down – it may have been lost forever. One of the many benefits of journaling is being able to “go back in time” and relive memories near and dear to you. 

Another entry reads:

Drove home from PA today in the thickest fog I have ever seen. I couldn’t even see 2 ft in front of the car at certain points in the mountains. The car was shaking and sputtering- it still doesn’t like when moisture gets into the gas line. I wanted to cry. I also saw a huge black bear, dead on the side of the road, with its ear tagged. Astonishing and saddened to see a dead bear! I should be more prepared when I go hiking.

As I read back over this entry, it reminds me that I need to get my car serviced. This short entry also reminds me that I need to order bear spray, and put it in my hiking bag. But above all, the next time I encounter fog like that day, I am pulling off the road. If you take time to read over your past journal entries, wonderful insights will be revealed.

If you have been wanting to get into the daily habit of writing, I believe The Conscious Reflector Journal would be a welcoming way to start. The entries are short, but they are so important in capturing the moments which define your life. The time commitment is minimal. This journaling technique only takes a few minutes at the end of every day. (My journal stays on my nightstand and writing in it is the last thing I do before I turn off the light and drift to sleep.)

How are you capturing your everyday moments and preserving them for later self-reflection and personal discovery?

Shannon’s Bio:

Head shot GardenM. Shannon Hernandez has been passionate about writing since a very early age. One of her unique talents lies in helping people and brands solidify the words they use across a variety of platforms, so they can connect more completely with their markets. As owner of The Writing Whisperer, Shannon coaches and motivates women to hone their writing skills, particularly in non-fiction, journaling, and business writing. She is a leading voice in the world of authentic business writing and writes regularly for The Huffington Post. On a personal level, you will find articles and publications authored by Shannon on a variety of topics including fitness, education reform, the yogic lifestyle, vegetarian and vegan cooking, the healing power of journaling, and the importance of self-care and self-reflection. Connect with Shannon on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

For a chance to work with Shannon, sign up to attend a “Captive Journaling (Insights to the Soul): I Am a Powerful Creator” to be held on January 14, 2014. Click here for details.

Comments

  1. Dear Madeline and Shannon,
    I appreciate this technique as it lends itself to our busy lives. Better to capture a snippet than let it be lost for-ever. It reminds me that it’s the brief moments that matter. Thanks!

    • Kathleen – Thank you so much for stopping by. When I let go of my own self-imposed expectation that I had to write for “x” minutes or “x” number of pages, great things happened! I hope that you check back and let me know how this worked for you!

  2. Madeline Sharples says:

    Hi, Kathy,
    Yes I find this technique so useful. It makes it easier to go back and mine journal entries for other writings as well. Thanks for being here.

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