What to do with old journals?

I have NEWS and it's kind of exciting.  OK, my inner 5 year old says it's VERY exciting!

I am flying to Winnipeg to sing with Tegan and Sara in a mini choir!choir!choir! at the Junos! That’s the Canadian version of the Grammy’s for my international friends.

You can check out my audition video if you like at the end of this post.  (Yes, I had to audition, scary!)

From the Junos to old Journals...

What is your relationship to your old journals?  Do you catalog them and keep them in chronological order on your bookshelf?  Are they mouldering in the basement somewhere?  Are they long gone?

What to do with old journals is a contentious topic so I thought I would tackle it in this week's blog and video.  I'll say right now that it's very important that you do what's right for you not only when it comes to old journals but when it comes to any of your stuff.

Here's the video and I'll dig a little deeper below:

OK, so first things first, what am I talking about when I say journals? 

I'm talking about the brain dump, complaining, does s/he like me, what's wrong with me, I hate my _______ (fill in the blank: parents/boss/bf/gf/bff/husband/wife/partner/SELF/job/city/friends/body/hair/clothes/LIFE etc...) journals.

I am not talking about the latest draft of a short story you're working on or the notes you're taking for a screen play you've been thinking about.  This is not creative writing.  This is prime the pump, take out the garbage so you can actually hear what's really there, writing.

I spent years doing morning pages from the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.  If you've never had a stint of doing morning pages, I highly recommend it. 

Every morning I would grab my journal, head to the bathroom (TMI?) and write for 15 minutes or 3 pages whatever came first. 

(I know what you're thinking...  Ewww, why the bathroom and if you're sitting there for 15 minutes something is wrong!)

Well, the bathroom analogy is kind of perfect because it reflects what this writing was.  A way to clean the system of worries, repetitive thoughts, anxieties and dull observations.  To clear out the crap to make way for a fresh new day. 

Julia describes morning pages this way:

Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*– they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.

- Julia Cameron from the Artist's Way

Now I'm sure there are some folks who are producing beautiful, thoughtful, well-written, engaging Morning Pages, but that's not what I'm talking about here.

Half the time I would open mine with "I don't know what to write about.  I feel stupid.  I should shave my legs.  I miss the sparkly leg hair of my youth..."

So, are we clear?  Not high writing. Just thought clearing, boring, repetitive crap. 

Three pages a day for just one year amounts to 1,095 pages of writing.

If you use those cheapo 100 sheet composition notebooks from the dollar store like I do, that's about 12 journals a year.  If you've been journaling regularly for the past 5, 10, 20 years, that's 60, 120, 240 journals.


Now, the question is, what to do with all this writing?

Well, I would like to recommend that you LET IT GO!

Do you have to let it go perfectly?  No. 

  • You can burn it

  • You can shred it

  • You can rip it up

  • You can put it in the recyling bin

If you decide to burn it, make sure that you have a plan and a firepit to complete your project. The last thing you want is for the journals to go back in the basement for a year or two while you figure out how and where you'll do it.

If your mind is screaming "Cecilia's crazy, I don't want to let go of my journals!" it's OK, you don't have to. It's very important that you listen to what's right for you.

This post is meant as encouragement for those who already have an idea that they might like to let go.

And what freedom there is in letting go!  Freedom from the negative beliefs and self talk.  Ahhh...

There was great freedom achieved in writing them down in the first place and there will be great freedom experienced in letting them go.

All those years of writing morning pages changed me profoundly.  I am so grateful for the process.  I'm also grateful that I gave myself permission to say good-bye as that changed me profoundly too.

If one of your intentions is to write more or create more and you're feeling stuck this post is especially important for you.  There are great strides to be made when you let go of the old to make space for new creations.

I'm so curious to hear...  What is your relationship to your journals?  Have you ever decided to let go of old writing?  How did it feel?  Please let me know in the comments below and if you have a friend whose been talking about the boxes of journals their basement, take a moment to pass this along.

Big Heart-Wings LOVE,



p.s. It's Spring which is obviously a great time to clear clutter whether it's old patterns or old journals...  If you've been thinking about getting my help I'd love to hear from you.  Email me and we'll set up a time to chat!

p.p.s. If you're reading this and you're not on my list, you should really get yourself on it!  Just pop on over here to join!  All the cool kids are doing it!

Bonus Video!  Here's my audition video for Tegan and Sara if you're curious, and if you have a TV and want to see me on it, just tune into the Junos on Sunday.  :)

Mercury is Retrograde? An interview with Astrologer Julia Wawrzyniak-Beyer

It's winter!!

It's February!!

Mercury is retrograde!! 

It's the last point that I want to talk to you about this week.  I've been wanting to write a post about Mercury Retrograde for awhile now, but it never felt quite right. 

This Friday, however, I was visiting my friend and astrologer Julia Wawrzyniak-Beyer (genius, btw) to get some insight into what's coming up in my life (sooooo helpful) and asked if I might interview her about Mercury Retrograde while I was there. 

You'll want to watch it if you ever travel, communicate, buy things or use electronics.  So basically, unless you're  a hermit ludite, you're going to find this helpful.

This was pretty last minute so it's not a fancy video and my hair is sticking up, but I hope it will give you some insight into this astrological phenomenon and why you might be interested in paying attention to it. 

You'll also be able to see my heart wings necklace and Julia's totally rad glasses. 

Watch the video and I'll review and share some of my insights and experiences below:

(click here to join my extra special heart wings email list)

Mercury Retrograde times for the 2014:

February 6th - 28th

June 7th - July 1st

October 4th - October 25th

If you ever want to know if mercury is retrograde you can always check out ismercuryinretrograde.com

To review, Mercury Retrograde happens 3-4 times a year and lasts for three weeks.

It's a very internal time and we really only get into trouble when we don't heed the call of mercury to take a deep breath and slooooow down.

What to watch out for during mercury retrograde?

Mercury effects travel, communication, commerce and technology.

If you have to travel, give yourself extra time and don't be too concerned if your flight is canceled.  It just means bonus time for yourself.

If there's an important communication that you need to make, just take extra special care that it gets there.  Check to make sure he got the email you sent or that the bank got your payment. Read instructions twice.  If you're in an argument make sure that the person you're talking to actually heard what you said.

If it's November 7, 2000, you live in Florida and you don't want George W Bush to win, ask to make sure your chad isn't hanging. 

It's not a great time to make big purchases or sign contracts. 

I've learned this the hard way.  I can't tell you how many things I've bought during mercury retrograde that I've later had to return, were ruined quickly or were never quite right.

Don't be surprised if your car breaks down, your computer won't talk to your printer or your texts aren't going through.  For example it took me 3 HOURS to upload this video to youtube, I risked the internet for you my dear reader.

Things can get muddled at mercury retrograde, so please be kind to yourself and the people around you. 

I once was at the airport to pick up my parents at exactly the right time but on the WRONG DAY, during mercury retrograde.  It wasn't until I was showing my calendar to the airline agent, pointing my finger on "today" that I realized they weren't arriving until "tomorrow".  Whoops?!

It's just your cue to stop and ask how you're feeling.

What is mercury retrograde good for? 

It's a great time to CLUTTER CLEAR, you heard that right my friend.  After Valentine's Day will be an even better time to clutter clear with the waning moon and mercury retrograde until the end of the month. 

Why is it such a good time to clutter clear?  Because of the internal action of mercury retrograde, it's easier to listen to yourself and how you really feel about that clearance cookbook you got from your aunt for Christmas. 

It's a great time to hatch plans, to research, to write, to think, to create, to revise and review. 

As Julia said: Plan the wedding, don't get married.  Revise the resume, don't send it out.  etc...

It's a wonderful time to spend time with yourself.  Restore, replenish and remember.  Ahhh...

A beautiful time to take a personal retreat, meditate and connect with yourself.

I have to say that I've been so full of amazing an ideas and insights since mercury went retrograde on the 6th.  It's a matter of giving myself the journaling time and the alone time to write down and process all of them.  It's a wonderful freedom to know that this is not the time to act, but to experiment in my head.

I realize that I could go on and on about mercury retrograde, but I don't want to overload you. 

But I will mention one more thing. You might notice people from your past popping up during mercury retrograde and it's also a time when things that have been dragging on for awhile get resolved. OK, that was two more things but I'm done now, I promise. 

When you can embrace it and have a sense of humour, there's a lot more ahhh than argh when it comes to mercury retrograde.


Do you have any great mercury retrograde stories to share?  I'd love to hear them below. 

Julia and I would be heart wings happy if you could share this with your friend who is wondering why her car won't start or why his flight was cancelled.  Tell them to take a deep breath, curl up with some tea and read/watch all about it.

Sending you love,



p.s. I've been getting lots of emails and calls from folks who want to work with me this year, yoohoo! My schedule is filling up quickly but there's still space for you if you want 2014 to be amazing.  This could be the year that everything changes, seriously...  Email me!

p.p.s. If you're reading this and you're not on my list, you should really get yourself on it!  Just pop on over here to join!  All the cool kids are doing it!

p.p.p.s. So, this interview thing is new.  What do you think?  I know a lot of really wonderful people I would love to introduce you to but only if you're interested.  Email me and let me know what you think.

Beat Procrastination with the SUPER TOMATO! The Pomodoro Technique

How goes your 2014 so far?  I'm not sure if I told you, but I've declared 2014 to be a "should-free" YEAR.  I invite you to join me in this revolution!

Even when you stop "shoulding" on yourself, there might still be things that you want to do, BIG cool projects, that you're finding difficult to get started on or work on consistently. 

I totally understand and that's why I'm super excited to share this procrastinating beating tool with you today.

Do you have a big project that you're working on that you find challenging to sit down and tackle?  It might be a book you're writing, a big event you're planning or a big move. 

These big projects require sustained concentrated focus and dedicated time, but that can be challenging especially if the results aren't instant. 

You know how much I love time containers. 

Unfocused time is often wasted time (hello Facebook!), and it's easy to spend hours procrastinating.

It's also easy to go too far in the other direction once you've started working, spending hours in front of the computer or packing boxes in the basement without a break to get a drink of water or even pee. 

The question is, how do you find the balance between getting started and getting things done without losing focus or burning out? 

The answer is here...

It's the SUPER TOMATO, otherwise known as the POMODORO.  

You could say the Pomodoro is the the mother (or vegetable, ha ha) of all time containers. 

I couldn't believe that I'd never heard of it before so I feel grateful to Racheal from the Yogipreneur for introducing it to me in her Fired up and Focused Challenge (SO supportive, helpful and free!).

I imagine you're wondering what the heck tomatoes have to do with getting things done. 

Why don't you watch the video and then I'll review the finer points below.

(sign up for my email list HERE!)

How to Pomodoro it up!

1. Choose a task

2. Set a timer for 25 mins

3. DO IT!

4. Take a 5 minute break

5. Rinse and repeat 4 times and then take a longer break for 15-30mins or STOP

6. Yay!!

Let's break this down:

1. Task

Before you start decide how long you're going to work during this working period, in other words, how long in hours or how many pomodori.  If you just want to do 1 that's amazing.  The most important thing is that you choose your task or tasks for the time available. 

You want the task to be small enough that if it can't be finished in one pomodoro that you can at least finish it in a set (4). 

This means taking your BIG project and breaking it up into bite sized pieces. 

It's like seeing your project as a book that's broken into "chapters".  For example in creating this blog post there are several "chapters" such as shooting the video, editing the video, uploading the video to YouTube and adding captions, writing the blog post, editing the blog post etc...

Using this technique is also a great way to time how long it actually takes you to do things.  In the video I said it took me 5 pomodori (125 mins so about 2 hours not including breaks) to empty my inbox.  When you time your tasks it's great information for the future when you're planning out how long it will take you to complete a project. 

2. Set a timer for 25 minutes

You can use the timer on your phone, a kitchen timer that looks like a tomato like Cirillo or you can download a pomodoro app (there are many of them).  Whatever you use set your timer for 25 minutes

3. DO IT!

This means that you're only doing the task that you set out to do.  Your email window is closed, your phone is set to do not disturb.  If you get distracted, you come back to your task.

4. Take a 5 minute break

When the timer goes off after 25 minutes you take a 5 minute break.  If you've been sitting down, get up!  Go pee, do a few yoga poses, get a cup of tea, go outside for a bit of fresh air.  If you've been physical sit down for a moment, grab a drink of water, stop and breathe.

5. Rinse and repeat 4 times and then take a longer break for 15-30mins or STOP

After your break, come back to your task.  If you're still working on the same "chapter" come back to it or if you've finished move onto the next "chapter" you have on your list for that working period.

How many pomodori you do depends on how much time you've set aside to work on your project.  If you've decided to work for more than 2 hours, be sure to take a 15-30 minute break after you've completed 4 pomodori so you can stay fresh. 

6. YAY!

When you've finished, CELEBRATE! You beat procrastination and got something done.  Hooray!  Now you can take some time to BE.

Reminder to be Kind: This is a tool to help you get things done in a way that is sustainable and not punishing.  Be kind, take your breaks and listen to your energy levels.  You don't have to spend all day doing pomodori, but it's a great way to focus your energy to do the things that you want to do and have been putting off.  You can also play with the times (longer or shorter working periods/breaks) and see what works best for you. 


Yay!  Now it's your turn to give it a try.  Is there something that you've been wanting to do for a long time but you haven't managed to block off the time to do it?  NOW is the time. 

Find a time in your calendar, block off the time to work on your project and then Pomodoro it up.  You'll be AMAZED at how easy it is to focus and get things done when you have nice little working periods with breaks in between.

Super-BIG-Heart-Wings-Full-SUPER-TOMATO Yay!!!

Let me know how it goes in the comments below, and please pass this along to your friend who has trouble getting their big dreams into the world. 

Love and Tomatoes,



p.s. I've been getting lots of emails and calls from folks who want to work with me this year, yoohoo! My schedule is filling up quickly but there's still space for you if you want 2014 to be amazing.  This could be the year that everything changes, seriously...  Email me!

p.p.s. If you're reading this and you're not on my list, you should really get yourself on it!  Just pop on over here to join!  All the cool kids are doing it!

p.p.p.s. Racheal is making my heart wings very happy these days with her kind and practical advice.  If you are an entrepreneur who works in a healing modality (or want to be) I highly recommend checking out her Fired up and Focused Challenge (where I learned about the Pomodoro).  It's free and it's so incredibly valuable, I've been truly blown away by the giving.  You can sign up HERE!


This is my new favorite c!c!c! song, perfect for your 5 minute pomodoro DANCE break!