Journaling is one of the cornerstones of my spiritual practice and over the years have recommended it in its many forms to clients including :
- The Download Dump – taking out the trash
- The Gratitude Garden – planting seeds of thankfulness
- The Explore & Express – creativity, dreams & inspiration
- The Personal Pride & Achievement – the jewel of you & the treasure of your life
Journaling helps us to remember how awesome we are, what we have overcome and mastered. Plus it creates space in our minds for our intuitive, creative and wise self to be heard.
The only requirement is to physically write. The physical movement of writing something has a different energetic and neurological response and impact than typing on a keyboard.
Which of the following journaling will support you best?
The Download Dump
The Download Dump is similar to Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages (from The Artists Way).
Here you simply dump all those thoughts, fears, joys, percolations that are spinning around in your head down.
This is not for analysing, but simply to clean out the rubbish bin of our minds. A bit like taking the trash out!
Ideally done in the morning and daily but whenever needed works in our busy world.
Absolutely can be thrown out or burnt once done.
Permission given to have this private and not anyone else’s. For your eyes only.
Oh, and if the tears come, allow them
Tears, frustration, swear words, venting all allowed here. It’s literally about getting the emotions moving out of the body (one of the reasons we write and not type as above).
And you don’t need any special tools for this – An A4 refill, or any paper can be used and a pen.
A Gratitude Garden Journal is often a special beautiful journal that you note all the things you are grateful for.
This journaling is especially powerful in times of uncertainty, uncomfortable aloneness and times of transition.
At times you may just be grateful for a warm house, food in your belly, eyes that see…
But it is also an item of beauty and positivity to help open the heart when it is in pain and closed.
Completing this at night, before sleeping is an uplifting way to close off from the day and take positivity through to the next.
Beautiful pens, different coloured pens, pictures or nature treasures all help to enhance the beauty and connection of this journal.
Make it your own.
Thankfulness and Children
You could include your children in the habit of thankfulness – to see with eyes of grace and gratitude, by asking: “What are 3 things they are thankful for?” We used to ask this at the dinner table as one of three questions:
- What was the best thing that happened today?
- What was a hard thing you overcame?
- What are you most grateful for?
The answers they came up with were so cute! Acknowledging what they had overcame provided validation of their ability to cope with hard stuff and challenges, mastering emotions, and as a parent, helped you understand what was happening for them.
Expression & Exploration
Why not keep a journal for exploring your dreams and creative juices? This could be for night time dream analysis, daydreams, or intuitive inspirations. A place to write poetry, draw, doodle, express! Give yourself permission to explore, believe and dream. Put those big unspoken dreams and wishes down in print.
Pride & Achievement
This is where you get to list all the things you have achieved and succeeded in your life. What you have overcome, manifested, created, and been in your life. A celebration of you.
A powerful repository of greatness and awesomeness that sometimes we need to remember, reintegrate and reclaim.
A bit like a lifetime CV that lists all the skills, talents and gifts you give and have given to the world.
Perhaps you could write a letter or list of loving affirmation, admiration and validation to yourself honouring all that you have done, been through and the qualities you shine into the world. Remember to include the things that come easy! Because they are often part of our gift to the world that we overlook.
Journaling – a way to cut through the chaos
I personally find journaling one of the ways to cut through all the chaos and continual hamster wheel thinking that prevents me stay in my centre, and maintain clarity. It helps me be calm within the chaos – inside and out.
Over the years, my journals have been A4 refills, excercise books, artists sketch books, and beautiful notebooks and journals. I’ve written to download and vent, to gain clarity, document dreams, explore ideas and futures, doodled, drawn spiral after spiral, to note an inspirational quote or two, and sometimes just to write words with lots of curves and flow.
Taking the time to be mindful ie actually slow down my writing, (which can sometimes be as fast as my speech!), can also bring me home to myself.
And then I’ve had separate journals for the esoteric studies undertaken. Because it’s very easy to forget where we were and the transformations undertaken.
Journals play a key part in my daily spiritual practice. How about you?
What’s been your journey of journaling?