Journaling is a simple and effective tool that allows you to develop a greater understanding of who you are, how you came to be the way that you are, and what direction you want to head. It connects you to your experiences -- both the mundane and the extraordinary. Life is a learning process, but how can we learn if we are disconnected from ourselves?
Journaling can guide, inspire and heal.Key benefits of journaling:· It can be a form of meditation· Provides an outlet for pent up emotions· Gives dreams and ideas a place to grow and be respected· Allows you to gain clarity as you sort through the constant deluge of daily life· Insights emerge as you deal with your issues honestly in the privacy of your journal
Starting a journal can be intimidating. All of those blank pages staring at you -- where do you start?Five starting thoughts:·
"Today, I am grateful for…"·
"Right now, I am feeling…"·
"One way to lighten my life would be to…"·
"Three things I know to be true are…"·
"I have faith that…"·
"My life is lacking…"
Journaling ideas if you ever get stuck on a blank page:· Start with a quote that provokes thought· Write about an image you saw -- artwork, a photograph, a gesture observed· Write about your feelings on a certain event, idea or person· Include newspaper clippings and photos· Write about a change in your life and how you dealt with it· List five ways that an experience affected you positivelyIf you had five different lives to live, what would they be? An artist, a doctor, a teacher, a photojournalist? No holding back! What does your dream life look like? Collect photos or anything that has to with your dream and put them in your journal. Visualizing your dreams is an effective tool for making it happen!Make your goals and dreams happen:· What decisions have brought you to where you are today?· Where do you want to go from here?· The hardest decision?· The biggest breakthrough?· The biggest challenge?· What do these experiences teach you about yourself?What are your goals in these arenas:· Career· Relationship· Physical· Spiritual
Blank page still making you hesitate? Fill it up!· Paste in a copy of an email or letter you wrote to someone· Paste in a newspaper clipping· Press a flower· Paste in a photo· Paste in a postmarked stamp· Write the lyrics of your favourite song· Copy in a poem· Paste in a postcard· Sketch, doodle, stamp, collageScribble with crayon, then paint over with watercolour. Whatever you write will look cool regardless of what is says! Get your hands on a rubber stamp alphabet set. Use the letters to date the top of your journal entry or to stamp in something short.Write freely.
Don't worry about spelling or grammar. Don't worry about smudged ink or cross-outs -- your journal is for you and you alone. You may share it with someone later, but when you are writing, write it for yourself. Don't write to impress anyone. Be true to yourself. Find time! Bring your journal along with you wherever you go. You'd be amazed at how much "extra" time we have in our busy lives.
Meditation/Prayer Journal: Keep inspirational quotes in this journal and a record of specific prayers or meditations. Think of this journal as a place to seek guidance and answers from your higher power and as a daily record of what God is doing in your life.
Travel Journal: Writing as you travel will capture as much and even more of the essence of your trip than just photographs. Write during layovers, on a bus, or at the day's end. Paste or write in your itinerary. Bring along an envelope to collect ticket stubs, pamphlets, programs, brochures, postcards, etc.
Quote Journal: Collect your favourite quotes in a journal dedicated solely for this purpose. Don't forget to write where you got it from, as you may want to go back to that book again!
Grief and Healing Journal: Use a journal to help you during an illness or the death of a loved one. So many emotions and issues come to the surface we deal with the mortality of being human. Journaling can help you cope with an illness or with a death of a loved one. Use it as a tool to find the beautiful things in life when things look so bleak. If you have lost a loved one, a grief and healing journal can be used to maintain "communication" with him or her. On birthdays or anniversaries of his or her death, write to that person and describe how the past year has gone.
Dream Journal: Keep this journal by your bed and write down your dreams as soon as you wake up. Dreams can be very telling of how we feel about current situations. Or sometimes, they are so bizarre that you just have to write them down!Remember: You can never journal wrong. Your journal is whatever you want or need it to be. The way will open.