Journaling 101

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart" William Wadsworth

 I really enjoy journaling, I've been doing it for twenty years. The main thing, the best thing, for me, is that journaling takes the world off of my shoulders, mind, and heart and puts it on the page. This really lightens my load, slows or stops compulsive thinking, and improves my attitude and performance. For me it is intimate conscious contact with my Higher Power, inner child, and loving inner parent, my three best friends! 

It is so good to keep in touch. I write to them and they write back. It's part of my  recovery program work and my self care. I write in spurts and stretches here and there. There is no set schedule except to take time in the evenings and on days off. It is vitally important to me now. I get so much peace and satisfaction, I will never stop! 

Now writing has become one of my favorite  things. I really enjoy researching and writing about interesting things like Sacred Geometry, personality archetypes, developmental stages, and lots of other topics. You can be as simple or creative as you want.  You might use pencils, pens, crayons, and markers for big, bold, bright words and images. These are your stories, your thoughts and feelings, your life, so have some fun and get wild and crazy sometimes! Believe it or not, it is a work of art. Keep on writing and you will see! 
Tips, tricks, and benefits from Judy Willis and Becky Kane

Body and brain: The practice of writing can enhance the brain’s intake, processing, retaining, and retrieving of information… it promotes the brain’s attentive focus… boosts long-term memory, illuminates patterns, gives the brain time for reflection, and stimulates the brain’s highest cognition. Research also finds journaling helps people better cope with stressful events, relieve anxiety, and boost immunity.
Achieving Goals: Journaling about your goals helps you clarify what you want and encourages you to consider the why and how, not just the what. Reflecting on goals reminds you to take the next action step necessary to achieve them. They serve as a tool for identifying what you should prioritize on a daily basis, and what you should let go. Lastly, journals give you a record of progress to keep you motivated.

According to many sources, pen and paper is still the key to the psychological and productive benefits of journaling; writing things out by hand improves memory, encourages deeper thinking, and reflection.

Make it a habit: But how? You need a consistent trigger that signals to your brain it’s time to write, such as incorporating journaling into your morning and evening routines, or when free time is available.

Embrace slowness: Take the time to sit down with your thoughts as journaling can feel self-indulgent or a waste of time. Resist rushing through it to get to the next thing, especially when life is at its busiest. In fact that is probably the time you need it most, as journaling can be both prayer and meditation. 

Perfectionism: Don’t try to make it sound good. Self-consciousness is the enemy of writing. It doesn’t have to be good reading for you or anyone  —  just get your thoughts on paper. Don't try to create a masterpiece. 

What you write, you learn: The key to learning is to stop passively consuming information and actively engage with the ideas we encounter. Think of writing down what someone says verbatim, versus summarizing the information in your own words and connecting it back to what you have learned.

Make it useful for you.  You don’t have to follow the same approach every day, but giving yourself structure  makes it easier to stick with it and not be overwhelmed with possibilities. Find what works for you.

"Writing has been an important exercise to clarify what I believe, what I see, what I care about, and what my deepest values are. The process of converting a jumble of thoughts into coherent sentences makes you ask tougher questions". President Obama