Guest Blog: How to Use the Wholy Mama Journal, by Melissa Ambrosini
An idea from my rocking chair...
The idea for creating this beautiful and meaningful Wholy Mama Journal came to me at 2:00am one morning, as I was sitting in the breastfeeding chair, breastfeeding my beautiful daughter.
I was feeding her and rocking her in my rocking chair, and I just felt so much gratitude. Even though it was 2:00am, I felt so much gratitude for being able to breastfeed, for having her in my arms, for the smells, for everything.
I just was sitting there smiling.
And I had this realisation. When I was pregnant with her, I'd had a beautiful pregnancy journal I would write in. On each day it prompted me, "What are you grateful for?" on one side of the page, and then on the other side was a question and you could journal your answer to that question. I wrote in it every single day of my pregnancy and absolutely loved it.
I loved the ritual. I loved that time with myself. It was a beautiful act of self-love. And sometimes I would sit there for 5 minutes, maybe 10 minutes, sometimes just 2 minutes, and it was just the ritual of sitting with myself and taking the time to reflect on my day. It really made such a difference.
But then I was breastfeeding at 2:00am that day, I realised that I'd stopped doing that journal because it was a pregnancy journal, but I'd really missed it. I really missed stopping and taking a moment for myself each day to reflect back on what I was grateful for.
So as I was sitting there, I literally created this Wholy Mama Journal in my mind. When my daughter fell asleep in my arms and I put her down, I literally just wrote out everything that was in my mind. And that's how it started.
Then when I reached out to Kristina and said, "I want to do this journal," she was like, "Okay, send me the concept and let's see what we can do."
And here we are! I'm so excited we've brought it to life for you.
It's the journal that I wanted - and I write in it every morning and every night. I love it.
It's the most beautiful ritual and act of self-love. And I look forward to it. I get so excited for it. And I'm so excited that it's finally here.
How to Use the Dream Life x Wholy Mama Journal...
This journal is yours to use in whatever way serves you best.
Some days, that might mean sitting with it for an hour and pouring your whole heart out. And some days, it might mean a few notes jotted down during those ‘in between’ spaces foraged between feeds, naps and the school run.
I encourage you to shed any expectations or judgments you may place on yourself, and to instead, just do what works for you.
The vision for the Wholy Mama Journal is that it becomes a nourishing place for you to retreat to.
So if it feels good, you might like to create a ritual around your journaling practice. Perhaps you always light the same beeswax candle or diffuse an oil blend when you open up this journal. Perhaps for you, having a cup of tea or a ceremonial cacao in hand makes the experience feel especially lush.
Whatever you choose, I encourage you to start each journalling session with a moment of stillness — put one hand on your heart, one on your belly, and take three deep breaths.
You might like to close out each writing session in the same way, as a beautiful bookend that marks how special and meaningful it is that you’ve taken this time for yourself.
As for the structure of this journal, each daily entry is split into two — a morning section for you to feel into the day ahead and set your intentions, and an evening section, for you to reflect on how your day unfolded and the precious mama-moments you shared with your little ones.
That said, the pages are there to serve YOU. So if you can’t fill in the morning page until lunchtime, or if you decide to do the PM section in the early afternoon, or if you simply decide on your own journaling schedule altogether, know that it’s all perfect. You do you babe.
On that note, let it be said: there’s no such thing as ‘falling behind’ here, sister. If you skip a day, a week, a month, whatever, know that this journal will always be here for you.
Like an old friend that you can catch up with effortlessly no matter how much time has passed, these pages will welcome you back with open arms, always. Remember that.
As for the questions themselves, write as much or as little as you choose. Write from the heart, without censoring.
This is a place to let thoughts and feelings run free, not to worry about spelling or constructing the perfect sentence, so unhook yourself from those restraints and simply express yourself.
I will share one writing tip though — the more you can feel your words in your body and cells as you write them, the more powerful they are. Especially when it comes to gratitude.
Finally, I want to leave you with a story about self care that someone told me when I became a mama.
Imagine that you’re walking down the street and you find a five dollar note — how would you react? I’m guessing you wouldn’t say to yourself ‘Dammit, it should have been a twenty!’ And you certainly wouldn’t berate yourself — ‘That’s not good enough! Next time, try and find more!’ That would just be silly, right?!
No, I’m guessing that you’d probably pick up that five dollar note gratefully and joyfully, send a silent little ‘thank you’ out to the Universe, and feel extra chuffed as you continued your walk down the street.
That’s how I want you to think about acts of self care — including your journaling here.
Every single drop you pour into your cup counts.
Whether big or small, they all add up. And they’re all something to be celebrated. So don’t beat yourself up that you didn’t do enough or write enough. Don’t let this beautiful, sacred practice become a source of guilt.
Instead, I encourage you to see every single moment spent within these pages as a gift to yourself that’s growing and compounding with each and every entry.
How’s that for a powerful reframe, huh?!
So that’s all from me for now, beautiful friend! I’m so proud of you for taking this time for yourself and for embarking on this journey inwards. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you’re doing amazing!
Have fun with it, feel into it, and please tag me on Instagram (@melissaambrosini) and @kristinadreamlife with your journal — we would LOVE to see you with it.
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