Did you ever notice how many random thoughts are floating around in your head every single day? The thing that happened at work today, the grocery list, the meeting with your friend, the bathroom needs to be cleaned, laundry, the next vacation, exams, the birthday present for uncle Bert, the kitchen is a mess, the phone call with your mother which is overdue again, the kids homework, the bed sheets need to be changed, what’s for dinner…. Those thoughts require a lot of space and energy. So much actually, that there is not much room for inspiration, creativity or anything new. By journaling your thoughts you’ll gain purposefulness, resoluteness, single mindedness, strength of will, strength of character, firmness, intentness, and decision making. You think it’s silly? I am convinced that journaling is a great tool to transform your life. Let me tell you why.
You will drain that brain of yours
Get it all out! Get out all the worries and random thoughts. Let them flow through your arm into your hand on the white paper in front of you. Every day. In the morning or in the night. It’s up to you. I for example write before I go to bed. It clears my head and I get a good night sleep. Look for a quiet spot and write it all down. There are no rules. There is no wrong way to do this. These pages are not meant to be art, or even any thing worth reading. They are meant to simply be the act of moving the hand across the page and writing down whatever comes to mind. Nothing is too petty, too silly, too stupid, or too weird to be included. The pages are not supposed to sound smart – although sometimes they might. Most times they won’t though, and nobody will ever know except you. So if they look like: “I have nothing to say. I need to do laundry. Did I forget to buy milk today? Blah, blah, blah…” That’s totally fine. Don’t even read them. Although occasionally colourful, the pages might often be negative, frequently fragmented, often self-pitying, repetitive, stilted or babyish, angry or bland – even silly sounding. Good! When you write a journal you literally transfer all your thoughts out of your head onto the paper in front of you. You will feel lighter already after a few days.
Fight your own Unicorn Killer
Soon after you start writing down your thoughts you will notice what I call the “Unicorn Killer”.
The nasty internal and eternal critic who resides in our (left) brain and keeps up a constant stream of subversive remarks that are often disguised as the truth. The UK says thinks like: “What the heck are you doing here? You call that writing? Look at that nonsense! You have never done something like this. You can’t do that! You are not brave! Blah blah blah. But since there is no wrong way to write the pages the UK opinion doesn’t count. Let the UK go on. It will keep going no matter what. When you get smarter, it will get smarter. “Oh well you went alone to the movies. You call that brave? Other people climb mountains and you call yourself brave?” The UK is slithering around your thoughts and your creative Eden. But after a while you will learn to evade that monster. If you feel like it, draw a cartoon image of the UK. Post it where you tend to write. It will loose some of it’s power over you, your creativity and your bravery. You will learn to see it for what it really is, a blocking device instead of the voice of reason.
Find your quiet centre and connect with your inner self
Writing the pages will help you find your quiet centre. It will help you to look beyond your fear, your negativity and your moods. By transferring everything onto the paper you will be able to see beyond those random thoughts and find your true core. Your true feelings. Your pressing fears. Your real joy. Some people think journaling is like meditating or some kind of spiritual practice. Your spirit can and must roam free. It gives you the chance to regularly checking in with yourself. Am I happy? Am I upset about something? How do I feel right now? I for example; I ask myself the same questions every day.
Describe your day with 3 adjectives.
What was particularly good today?
What was not so good?
Jen Morris offers some very helpful prompts for different tophics if you are stuck. By asking my questions I appreciate the good moments and work through the not so good ones. To make sure I don’t limit myself to those questions I give myself some room to just write what pops into my head. Some days I write 3 pages, some days I write half a page. What is important is to at least show up every day.
Finding the answer
After a while this writing process will lead you to an unexpected inner power. Your words are a trail to your inner truth. Your inner truth is coupled with the power of expansive change. I mean you can’t complain about the same thing day after day, week after week, month after month without being moved to constructive action. I guarantee that every time you sit down to write an entry, you will discover new things about yourself, come up with new ideas, solve some of your old problems, and have an overall better connection with reality and where you are right now. Journaling brings you into that state of mindfulness; past frustrations and future anxieties lose their edge in the present moment. It calls a wandering mind to attention, from passivity to actively engaging with your thoughts. You just need to start writing.
If you need some inspiration, make sure you visit Jen Morris’s blog. Besides the free printables, easy journaling techniques and helpful prompts, she offers a self-guided journaling courses called “Journal wild self love-kit” and so much more.
Be creative! Be brave! Be you!