When Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines approached me with a proposed collaboration, I pondered long and hard about it. See, I normally teach blogging and digital content workshops. And, when I have a collaboration (like the Craft & Crepes workshops or the Blissfully Wrapped workshop), I normally band together with a more gifted or skilled teacher to do the actual instruction portion of the workshop (and I, the digital marketing side, of course).
“We really believe that Make it Blissful is aligned with us at Brew Your Best Year,” said Nella Lomatan of CBTL. (Incidentally, their lifestyle website counterpart, BrewYourBestYear.com, is very much attuned to our mission here on Make it Blissful, because it believes in helping individuals become the best versions of themselves. In fact on their website, they believe that their events “plant the seeds for great things to happen in your life and to encourage you in your journey towards brewing your best year.”
Long story short, I said “yes” to Nella to do a different kind of workshop, one I had never brought to the light before, because it is such a private, personal part of my life!
Last September 19, I met with 19 gorgeous women on a bright, sunny morning for the first-ever Make it Blissful Journaling Workshop, in collaboration with CBTL & Brew Your Best Year. The ladies who attended the workshop had been handpicked by the Coffee Bean team as winners of the workshop slots, after each one submitted an entry via Instagram or the Brew website.
Honestly, I was nervous during the contest period. What if nobody submitted entries?? What if this idea of “journaling to make your bliss happen” was just something that worked for me? Because that’s what this workshop really was. Opening up about journaling was opening me. Would they think I was being a know-it-all? Would they be able to relate to how I journaled — or worse: would they even care??
All these things were circling in my mind in the days leading up to the workshop.
But somehow, the entries kept coming and coming, mostly on the week of the workshop itself! Even after the deadline (even the day before the workshop!), entries were coming in from people who “visualized their plans and dreams.” Looking through the entries, I felt intimidated: These ladies were SO talented in their journaling! What the hell could I possibly teach them that was new, fresh, and heck creative?
I prayed and meditated long and hard that week leading up to the 19th! (To those reading this entry who were at the workshop: Oh, GOSH. If you only knew how nervous and scared and vulnerable I was THAT.WHOLE.WEEK. Hahahaha!!!)
But inspiration did strike, and I was able to create a simple lesson. I deconstructed the different ways I journaled (because I have more than one way, haha!), and found a pattern in my four (yes, FOUR) different journals: Project Life, my Kikki-K reflection journal, my doodle journal and my “super-duper-private” journal. I realized I never dwelt on anything negative, but either (1) documented the good things, or (2) planned/visioneered/manifested things I wanted to happen.
Boom. That was it. On Thursday night of that week — a mere two days before the workshop — I was finally able to complete my lesson plan, send it to my intern for handouts to be given on Saturday morning. I spent Friday preparing myself mentally for the teaching portion, and going through my journals, internalizing the entries, really seeing the patterns and habits I’d somehow developed through the years.
During the workshop, I made a simple 5-step plan for the participants on how to create journal entries to “make bliss happen.” For me, this meant the two things I mentioned earlier: (1) writing down things to be grateful for, and (2) writing down things that you want to happen, things you want to plan for and manifest into reality.
To help the ladies, I prepared materials — actual things I used in my journaling — so that they could create their entries.
Washi tapes are a big part of my arsenal, just because they’re so easy to use (and, yes, so addictive to collect!) I also made an assortment of Project Life cards and Passion Cards: Bliss Edition available for them to use as prompts or embellishments on their journal pages. For our journals during the session, I gave each lady one of my favorite notebooks, the Sunday Paper Co. Simple Notebook in black, which is what I use incidentally for my doodle journal: minimalist design, great quality paper!
I had five simple instructions for creating a “bliss journal”:
- Use a notebook or journal you love.
- Utter a short meditation or prayer over your journal (sounds silly to some, but if you believe in manifesting and in setting intentions, you’ll see your journal as a tool to help you live your best life, not just as a paper product!)
- Divide the journal into sections that apply to the major parts of your life, e.g. relationships, work/career, etc.
- Write something in your journal each day, say 3-5 things you’re grateful for. Alternatively, you can write a desired goal or outcome that you want to see happen. This is where manifesting comes in: When you visualize things you want to happen, you invite the law of attraction to work in your life. This enables so many positive qualities, e.g. increased motivation, or even action steps towards your goal or outcome.
- Assuming you’ve written in your journal everyday (that’s 30-31 entries a month, right?), take some time on the last day of each month to review your journal. See how many things you have been grateful for. Take note of each day you manifested something, and see if those cross-referenced any of the things you were grateful for. You’ll be amazed sometimes!!!
After the short lecture, it was time to get down to creating their entry for the day, based on step #4. Suddenly, the room was filled with a flurry, a rush for washi tapes, cards and coloring pencils, patterened papers and gluesticks. As I made rounds, it was refreshing to see how each lady interpreted their blissful journals. Here are some photos!
After around 45 minutes of journaling and embellishing, Nella and I invited the ladies to upload a photo of their journal pages to Instagram, using the hashtag #MakeitBlissfulwithCBTL. We would pick one entry as a prize winner, based on their journal entry and their motivation behind that journal entry. We selected Lynne of @arkibabes as the winner! She explained to us the story behind her entry, and her gratitude for her hubby and their love story. So sweet!!! (Check out her entry on her Instagram, where she has also posted more pages of her blissful journal — great job, keep it coming, Lynne!!)
It was amazing to see the completed journal pages! We laid out our open pages for a photo and an Instagram flatlay. It was so great to see how creative each lady was, and how each one expressed their bliss in different ways. I loved looking at this spread of journals! There was just so much positive energy and loads of possibilities radiating from this table!!
You can see more of the journaling workshop on Brew Your Best Year’s Facebook album: Brew Your Best Year x Make it Blissful Workshop. You can also see more of the participants’ journal pages by clicking through to the #MakeitblissfulXCBTLPh hashtag. I’d like to thank Nella of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines, and also the fabulous team of Brew Your Best Year! It was they who got me out of my shell so that this workshop could happen! Side note: I had just recovered from a sore throat one day before the workshop (something I had been praying away, and the prayers worked!). I’m actually looking forward to giving this workshop again — would you want to go if I did?!