Journalling...yes I've been there and it can be difficult to know where to start. Even the thought of sitting down to a pen and paper may have you spiralling and thinking "I barely have time to write a shopping list, or brush my hair in the morning never mind sitting down to journal". And yes; hands up; I was certainly guilty of coming up with a multitude of reasons as to why I didn't want to commit to a journalling practice.
First of all what would I write... I don't really see any point in it. I'll feel silly writing down my thoughts and feelings...I wasn't raised to openly express myself. My show is starting soon, maybe i'll do it before bed....aaaaagh yes and the list goes on and on and before you know it that beautiful new sparkly pink journal and fancy pen with the fluffy topper are left in a corner to gather dust! Truth be told we will always find an excuse to get out of doing our practices that serve us... but there is "no" magic tonic i'm afraid ladies. We simply need to be the change that we want to see!
Now, what I would like to ask you is..."what if" journalling was an opportunity for escapism, and acted as; perhaps a break through mechanism for you. What if that journal and pen represented a best friend; a someone, somewhere or something to turn to when you needed support most. A listening and compassionate ear. A place to seek clarity and intuition and where you could go to seek the answers that you just cannot find elsewhere. A safe and trusted haven where you can tell anything to and be truly accepted without judgement. A place where your true essence, your heart, soul and your greatest cheerleader resides. This my friend, is what my journalling personally represents for me. A confidant and way show-er that brings me clarity each time.
Journalling has been an instrumental tool for my own wellbeing and self development. Just to be able to take 5 or 10 and write down how you are feeling today, what you need in this moment or even just to write what you are grateful for, or perhaps any challenges you are dealing with.
To give a little bit of further context; for me, journalling has been a way to bring to the surface and work through releasing decades of suppressed emotions; fears, self judgements and criticism. Of grief, pain, insecurities, self belief and confidence. The voices, behaviours and projections of others where, since being little Helen, I've carried through my entire human existence. Through primary school, secondary school, through my teens, twenties and thirties right up until my shy of being 40 years on this earth. All that non truth that I have carried, engrained in my sub consciousness just lingering there. Being told as a little girl that i'd never amount to anything, by our bully of a headmaster who placed us in a row of seats he christened as " the dummy row"for his pleasure. Day after day keeping us small, crushing our dreams and robbing us of our innocence, our creativity and of our belief where we once imagined we could be anything. Insecurities and fears such as growing up where alcoholism was prominent in our home "thankfully" only until my teenage years and how it affected and shaped our family as a whole. Different layers of heartache, the great loss of both my parents, my fertility journey and so on.
You see, like so many of you; I seen myself as resilient and tough from the hardships endured, it was in our DNA after all. I was a "brush yourself off, up you get and keep on going kind of girl". That was just how it was. Unfortunately however; yes we keep moving on, but with it, so does the sh*t we have endured and have gathered along the way. This; both the good and the not so great experiences is what ultimately, shapes our lives. How we view our lives and handle situations, our relationships with other "and ourselves", how our values and beliefs are shaped and how they are triggered/clash when not aligned with others. Being able to scratch at and bring the above to the surface has been heavily supported by my commitment to journalling. Feeling safe and encouraged to get it out and down on paper. It only took 40 years.... yes it's a work in progress but i'm certainly getting there and seeing the benefits!
Journalling has been a gateway and although it is not a stand alone solution, it certainly has assisted in the ability to clear out and bring to the surface all that is ready to be acknowledged, honoured, and"truly felt". Only then.....can it be released. A continuous effort in clearing out the debris.
Is it easy...initially not so much! But does it get easier and is it worth it...absolutely! Layer by layer and each time triggered, or challenged... journal. Journal what is coming up for you, how you are feeling, why is he/she/this situation is making you feel like this, and how can you learn from and respond with a level of awareness that is for your greater good. Each time you begin to unveil and unravel you begin to see more of who you really are. Journalling allows you to not only express and surface what needs to be dealt with, but it gives you the time and the space to understand why you are being triggered...many of which will be from the unhealed parts of us. It also allows you to reflect and to recognise; when another person is involved, whether, this is something that is being projected on to you from their own conditioning or their own triggers. This is where awareness and compassion can play a huge part and can bring through the gold as it will ultimately begin to shape how you respond in every day moments.
Just like an onion, we have many layers built to us, but through our mindfulness and practices as we begin to shed these layers, we come back to the true core and essence of who we really are, and that's a pretty awesome thing...... don't you think?!?
Journalling can also be incredibly helpful if you experience difficulties in expressing yourself, your needs, being heard, finding your voice or standing up for yourself. This is why as an energy healer, I see stuck or blocked energy in the Throat Chakra which I work on with those clients.
So "write it down". Write how you feel, say it as it is and GET IT OUT, express it on paper and write until your hand aches...seriously; it can be such a liberating, sometimes even emotional experience. This can really assist in navigating you through blockages and you may then feel empowered to confront or address a person or move forward with a particular situation. Sometimes it can also be incredibly cleansing to burn or tear the page afterwards. You can simply do a follow up affirmation or manifestation exercise to cleanse and clear. I love doing a simple ritual under a full moon; saying good bye to what no longer serves me and calling in what I want to bring in more of i.e. more calm, peace, abundance. Own it and claim what is rightfully yours! Give it a go and see how empowering it can feel for you. (please do be careful and have a saucepan of water close by if lighting it)
Before coming towards the end I mentioned above words, such as triggers, conditioning and projection. This is why journalling can be so beneficial and healing for us as it provides an opportunity to gather time and space and to allow our pens to flow. It also creates the space to move from the fight of flight mode where we get the chance to sit with and "then" respond... instead of instantly reacting when a situation or a person pisses us off. Journalling alongside our other practices can assist in bringing that level of needed awareness and presence where we can identify what or who is triggering us and from here this is where we can instill a level of love and compassion.This of course takes time and practice, however once that awareness begins to drop in more and more frequently it can be such a beautiful thing and you find yourself moving away from a state of reacting to one of clarity, calmness and non attachment.
And, this my friend, this is where the gold, the transformation and the true beauty resides.
So give it a go.
Here is a short summary of tips to get you started:
Get yourself a new diary or writing pad and pen specifically for the purpose of your journalling.
Keep it somewhere safe. Always useful to leave close by your bed so you can see it as a reminder in the morning and before bed. A great way to empty out your thoughts from the day so that you can go to sleep with no noise or clutter; promoting a better nights rest for you.
Aim to start your day by writing down 3 things you are grateful for today. It's great to start your day on a positive note, we can all think of at least 3 blessings...waking up to another day, morning coffee, sunshine...or fresh crisp air, a hug from a loved one.
Pop a reminder in your phone to journal and even change the alarm title to "time for me" :) sometimes I might even set two, just to give me that extra accountability kick up the bum.
Start off with 5 minutes ...just allow the pen to move. If you get stuck don't worry! Some prompts can include, how was your day, how are you feeling, what can you do tomorrow to make it even better, if anything came up for you; good or not so good how did this make you feel, any thoughts or emotions coming up, how did you handle a particular situation and why...is there anything you perhaps would like to have done differently. What do you need...and what "even little step" can you take today to meet that need. How can you show more love and compassion or appreciation for yourself...or another.
Have fun with it. It's not meant to be a chore or another tick off the to do list, but more so just a way of checking in with yourself. If you forget a day, no need to worry just pick up the pen the next day. We already have so many demands each day but journalling is a great way to just gather and process your thoughts and emotions (Energy in Motion) which are only temporary. You may start off with just a few lines but then may find yourself writing a page or two...or three. It's your personal journey so just let it all flow and whatever way you do it know that it is perfect.
Feel free to post any comments or Questions below, or you may even like to add a picture to show us how you are going with your own journalling journey xx