It is important in life, relationships and business to celebrate our milestones, to pause and look back, dream forward and give thanks. That is what I have been doing within the IAJW this past month as we celebrate our 4th anniversary since I re-launched the IAJW and took over leadership of our organization from the amazing founder, Ruth Folit.
You can learn about the history and roots of the IAJW in an interview that Ruth and I did together 4 years ago during our time of transition. You can find that interview here >>
When Ruth invited me to take over the leadership of the IAJW, I felt the instinct to say “yes” and even though I really did not know what I was saying “yes” to, or how much work would be involved, or how it would fit in with my already full life and career, it still felt like “yes” was the right response.
I have always believed that many good things that happen in our lives always begin with the energy of “yes!” Years ago, when I proposed to my now husband, Peter, I remember when he said “yes” the feeling that we were at the beginning of something great!
As I take time to reflect on the past 4 years, as with all things in life, growth and success do not happen in isolation, they happen within the context of a supportive community. There are many people who infuse their positive energy and support into our IAJW community (and into me), to whom, I am immensely grateful. These people include…
- Our amazing IAJW Journal Council – all leaders in the journaling, expressive writing and creativity fields who share their wisdom, teachings, care and presence here.
- Our IAJW Members – kind and compassionate journal writers from around the world.
- Our IAJW team – we are a small, dedicated and brilliant team and I am immensely grateful to Duncan Elsey (website & tech support/valued strategic thinking partner and he also appears on our blog), Mark Hand (graphic designer), Suzanne Little (social media advertising), Kerri Hampton (site and course editor) and Jyoti Ahuja (assistant) – each person makes a meaningful contribution in our organization. I also want to thank Emma-Louise Elsey, my MasterMind buddy, friend and colleague who has offered me practical and kind support as we both grow in some new directions.
- Ruth Folit – who is always behind the scenes cheering me on and is someone who has become a friend, mentor and someone who I want to make proud as her successor to this incredible organization that she founded.
- Eric Maisel – we have co-edited two books together in the past couple of years (The Great Book of Journaling will come out this June 2022). Eric’s support, steadfast ways, and near daily presence in my inbox has enriched my life and work.
- My family (my dear husband, Peter, who wholeheartedly supports everything I do and he even writes for our Museletter and blog, and our two teen sons help with things behind the scenes, for example, Jackson – age 16 – helps me with all our video editing and is going to help me launch a YouTube channel and podcast, Jesse – age 15 – is trying to help me up my game on social media, although I think he might be giving up on this ;) – even our dear dog, Sadie is part of the IAJW team as she is often sleeping beside me in my office as I work away.
- My girlfriends – who are true sisters and Angels in my life and heart, they are always there to champion me and believe in me (even during times when I might doubt myself). We also have a lot of fun together!
- My Mom (see my love story that I share with my mom as she/our family navigates her end of life journey) and my Dad (he has already left this world) – both my parents have always supported my various pursuits, even though they haven’t always known exactly what they were – they always said “that sounds good” – although when I decided to become an entrepreneur at the age of 30 (and leave a good pensioned job as a medical social worker at a hospital and move to an island where I did not know a soul) – my Dad did say “Are you sure you don’t want to keep your job with a pension?” He was dedicated employee with Ford Motor Company for over 30 years and he loved that he would get a pension someday!
I have loved every minute (ok, almost every minute ;) of walking the path to serve and grow the IAJW.org. Here are some highlights from the past 4 years – click here >>
I truly feel we are just getting started in so many ways…
It is my dream to grow the IAJW into the largest membership community for journal writers worldwide – where members feel a sense of belonging and are inspired and supported to enrich their lives through journaling. Thank you to everyone who is part of making this dream come true. Let’s do this, together!
By Lynda Monk, Director, IAJW.org
Do you want to be part of our growing inspirational and educational community for journal writers worldwide? Join us here! Everyone is welcome – new, occasional and avid journal writers alike!