Restart your journey. Record your thoughts. Close the book. Your power is inside you.
Since 10th Century Japan and right through our childhood days of “Dear Diary” journaling has long been an important tool in documenting our lives. While I admit that I have not always had the patience to repetitively record my life, I have always had successful interactions when I have done so. So have my clients. The health, healing and problem solving benefits are extraordinary. Journaling works.
Journaling has so many virtues. It forces us to pause and to think about our feelings, our interactions and our successes and failures. Writing our thoughts down validates them and in essence allows us to really hear ourselves speak. It provides a space to be alone with ourselves. When we shut the book on our writing, we can also close that chapter of our lives and move ahead. Journaling allows us to respond to life with less anger and more choices because venting is a big piece of the journaling process allowing us to gain clarity and reduce stress. For those who have trouble sleeping, journaling provides an outlet to catch our active nocturnal ideas, providing a safe place to record them and let them go. Still for others, journaling creates legacy. Many people, especially moms, journal to record the current moment in order to share it with future generations.
Our “biographies” provide great insight at the end of the year as we look back to look ahead. What have we accomplished and what got in our way? Where are we ahead of the curve? Journals can also provide a mental to-do list allowing us to jot down a “success list” and actually begin the task of converting our lists into reality. Recording our thoughts in journals provides us with endless opportunities to “say” what we never had the opportunity to in a relationship that has ended, or in response to the loss of loved ones. Journaling helps in the healing process associated with so many changes in life.
Journals help us to manifest what we most want personally and professionally because in order to attract what we value we need to first define it and then create a path toward it. Journaling provides the ultimate conversation with our Forgotten Woman (or Man) because when we discover our inner child and allow ourselves to reconnect with our alter ego, we bond deeply with ourselves.
In this season of giving and celebration, journaling is a gift we give to ourselves. It is also a gift that keeps on giving because our greatest successes and best solutions come from within. Journaling sets our thoughts free, empowers us to learn, and promotes vision and opportunity.
Not into keeping up with a journal but want to reap the benefits? Here are 3 suggestions:
- Keep a Journal Jar: Start off 2016 using an empty Mason Jar and record your successes by writing a small note about them and placing it inside the jar. At the end of the year have a Journal Jar Party and celebrate your year!
- Keep an Anger Journal: Success Magazine recommends keeping a running tab of what triggers your anger and how you respond or react. Every month look back for clarification and insights as to how you may have been able to better handle the same situation with more emotional intelligence and higher energy.
- Let It Go Letters: Put pen to paper once a month and write yourself a letter What did you get right, what do you want to do differently and what are your next steps? It is powerful to write down your thoughts and seal the envelope on them. At the end of the year, open the letters and read what you wrote. Your own solutions are always the best ones and self-to-self letters may reveal interesting inspiration.
There are many more ways to journal beyond the traditional book and pen. Here are 5 suggestions that you may entice you to begin the process of journaling or to take it forward in a new and different way.
- Blog posts are journals gone wild! Start a blog about something you are passionate about and your thoughts have a voice and an audience.
- On line videos/podcasts/Blab/Periscope are virtual ways to “journal” your ideas through social media.
- Vision boards and treasure maps are simple arts & crafts methods of journaling You can begin a vision board at the start of a new year or every month throughout the year. Vision boarding leads you toward and highlights your dreams and goals. It is an activity that connects you to your “why” and challenges you to think about, evaluate, and focus on what you really desire by creating a physical representation or collage of what you most want to achieve.
- Sketchbooks and scrapbooks are another creative way to record your thoughts, memories and desires. Ideal legacy component as well since whatever you create is unique, individual, and one-of-a-kind.
- Yes,there are APPS for journaling too! If you cannot separate from tech screens, there are many great APPS to record your thoughts allowing you 24-hour access, no pen or book required.