Significance of Daily Journaling
Decades ago, like most people, I too had accumulated mental clutter that I could not share with anyone, neither with my husband nor with my daughters, people closest to me. Yet I felt I must get rid of it. But how? Then Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones taught me that mental junk must be dumped by penning it down, by writing freely about it in a journal.
Journaling is an integral part of Writing Meditation Method (WMM) because like meditation it heals you inside out. It transforms you from masked individual to a genuine person. It enables you to express your authentic emotions. What you write may be deeply painful, embarrassing or guilt ridden but your notebook is for your eyes only. You may journal about most audacious thoughts and unacceptable ideas unhesitatingly. In the process, you make strong connection with your inner companion who is the best listener and a wise teacher.
Time and Place
Minimum journaling time is fifteen minutes, or one to three pages and if you can’t stop, continue to write as long as you want. But journal daily. Consider it as an essential part of mental hygiene like cleaning your teeth is of physical hygiene. Write anything and everything that comes to your mind, no matter how trivial it is.
Where should you write? Read about finding an ideal place for you to write in 21 November at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/706933849506291/?source=create_flow
Write Long Hand
You don’t have to be a writer to journal. Simple and straightforward journaling is done in long hand with a pen on a notebook.
On the first day of journaling you are like a visitor in a new country. Nothing looks familiar. A bit nervous, you wish you had a guide to lead you. You do! Your heart and mind are best guides in the inner world. Listen to them and write in long hand what they have to say.
Your handwriting is unique, as genuine as the person you are deep inside and you want to become. This is an original and ancient way of knowing yourself. It echoes your your own truth. Its original form nourishes your most intimate subject matter. Let it summon things that demand to be written.
Negative feelings and thoughts can suck energy out of you. Emotional triggers have power over you until you confront and control them. When you pen them down you turn their energy into self-empowerment.
Sooner than later your journal will ask you questions about the world within you and around you. It will push you to consider your beliefs and values. In turn, feel free to ask questions. Keep digging deeper for answers. Some days the effort may seem fruitless but some other days you will be baffled with the brilliance of the answers.
Renown psychologist, James Pennebaker, studies people who either keep their mental anguish and physical suffering a secret or don’t talk about them. He writes that they are high-risk for physical and psychic illnesses. But those who talk or write about life’s traumas feel much better afterwards. Pennebaker was surprised when, “It became clear that writing was far more powerful than anyone ever dreamed.”
Life’s accumulated stresses and strains block creativity and well-being. Your journal is your mind’s mirror. With daily practice, you not only alleviate your physical and mental anguish but also understand yourself better.