“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”
I was always intimidated by the idea of starting a new journal. I did not know what to write about, couldn’t decide what was important to talk about from my “ordinary” life. Until, one day while I was staying with a friend of mine, the idea came back to my life. My friend had her rituals before going to bed, and one of them was writing in her journal. I was so surprised and curious about what is it about writing that she made out time every day for downloading her thoughts no matter how late she went to bed. Then, as soon as I went back home, I decided to give it a try. I went to a bookstore, bought my very first journal as an adult, and started a new habit in my life.
Once, I read the reason so many people block themselves from writing, is that they are not “here”. Pen in hand, journal in front but the mind is somewhere between past experiences or possibly future ones. However, the heart, mind, and body are not connected in the present time. The needed combination to release an untold story that which to be born.
I believe more than ever, now is a good time to release those untold stories in a journal. We seem to keep accumulating the external noise and anxiety without noticing. More and more, we hear people getting overwhelmed and not because they are ill from The virus. They are overwhelmed by the external anxiety around it. They lose the connection with themselves as are carried out by other people’s fears and beliefs. Hence, we need space to selfishly and uncensored express all our thoughts and emotions. We have to honor our own survival.
Reasons to start a journal are plenty. One would like to download all that happened during the day, set goals and new habits, describe dreams, release concerns, shameful thoughts, etc. As you may notice, all those reasons have three common characteristics. They show you who you are, help you to remember how courageous and vulnerable you were in a given time, and sets a healing ripple in motion that touches you and others beyond understanding.
While journaling, you construct a relationship with your mind, your heart, your body, and your spirit at the same time. It becomes part of your self-care. The “whole you” is hearing, noticing, whispering, and trying to show you is there to help you all the time. By keeping a diary, you acknowledge your story matters, your voice matter. Besides, clearing space for what is about to come.
“Her journal was more gracious and forgiving toward her than she was towards herself.” Alana Terry
So how to start a journal?
Choose a journal/diary/notebook that inspires you and choose the style that speaks to you. In journaling, there are no rules or censorship. You set the time and the length that fits you best. Your journal is an expression of you.
Ideas for journaling
* Letters (no need to deliver them): expressing hurt, disappointment, anger, resentment, confession, apology, gratitude, appreciation, truth, forgiveness, welcoming, or farewell, to be seen and heard.
* Free-flowing writing: Recollections of the day, memories, inspirations
* Imagined dialogues with other people
* Explore specific feelings. For example, how do I feel about belonging? Do I feel loved right now? Is there guilt that I may not yet have owned? what is it that is making me feel this anger? Why I’ve been feeling anxious?
* Explore possible burdens, resentments you may be carrying that are not yours. For example, a phrase, a decision, a belief that you feel was imposed on you by a close one.
* Explore your role within your family system. Am I owning my right place? am I replacing or excluding someone? Do I feel I belong?
* Explore changes you would like to see in you or around you.
* Gratitude and appreciation quotes
* Phrases of self-recognition
You will know what to do as soon as you have that diary in your hands.
I wish you a steady journey on your self-awareness
Keep writing. Perhaps one day, you may look back to understand how you survived the times we live in. 🙂