Ah, summertime, when the living is easy! Sure, we have to keep up with business and pay the bills as usual; but there’s something so sweet and gentle about summer, a relaxed attitude that makes everything a little less stressed.

Because of this, summer is an ideal time to re-group. Business slows, kids are out of school, the days are longer, and inspiration thrives in every budding tree and gorgeous seashore. We can use summer activities and attitudes to propel us into new learning or desired new practices that have evaded our best efforts during the frozen months.

As the weather warms, our resistances thaw and it becomes more possible to at least think about that new fitness regime, that novel you started last summer, your desire to be a better Dad, or your determination to make your lawn more beautiful than your neighbor’s. Summer imparts to us a certain invincibility.

With its cool mornings, afternoons when time seems to stop, and beautiful breezy twilights, summer is perfect for initiating a journaling practice for personal growth. Using summer’s charms as the background for your journal writing explorations is a sure way to make connections with your creative self. And strengthening creativity always strengthens personal growth.

Here are a few tips for starting and growing your journal writing habit this summer.

1. Seek out the ideal place to journal. Let the whims of a summer day lead you on an intuitive hunt for the perfect perch, where you can settle with your notebook and pen regularly. Notice that while you want to find a place where there are minimal distractions, at the same time you might want to select somewhere that is fairly inspirational. A garden, for instance, might be a more stimulating choice than your kitchen table.

2. Allow your journaling to inform you, instead of intently pursuing personal growth. In your conscious mind, for example, you may think that you want to lose weight. Your journal, though, may tell you that with far greater urgency what you want is relief from your fear or loneliness.

3. Let go of thinking. When you begin to write, let your prompt be stream-of-consciousness or a creative exercise to shake loose of the “shoulds” and “musts” in your awareness. In other words, begin to write with as little express intention or expectation as possible.

4. Let your pen go where it wills. Examine whatever you encounter with a journalist’s objectivity; or, conversely, let everything crush you like a bug as it rolls by, expressing it with all the emotion you feel. It doesn’t matter which tactic you use: as you write, you are a channel, not an engineer. The act of journaling channels a relationship between your Self and your Universe.

5. Open to the Summer for clues. Written yourself into a corner? Stuck for solutions or ideas? Feeling anxious, sad, scared, worried or any of those difficult emotions? What does the Summer tell you? What is whispered in the sizzling sky, the balmy night air, the ice cream cone, or the lizard skittering across your deck? Slow your breathing down as you journal your state of mind and body. Let the environment shape answers.

Very likely, you’ll think there’s nothing remarkable in the journal entries you write with these suggestions, but time will show how prophetic and powerful they are. Relax and let them manifest. You’ll appreciate them in the cold of next winter!

Author's Bio: 

Mari L. McCarthy is The Journaling Therapy Specialist, founder of Create Write Now, the Personal Growth Journaling Place. Mari offers counseling and encouragement to journal writers through her many online journaling resources, as well as private consultations. Mari’s teachings and workbooks center around journaling for self-discovery, self-growth, and self-healing. Her most recent publication is Perfect Health: 7 Days Journaling Heal Your Body Challenge. A free chapter is available for download at http://www.createwritenow.com/Journaling-to-Health-ebook/.