“The nicest part is being able to write down all my thoughts and feelings; otherwise, I might suffocate.” ~ Anne Frank
My first journal was a Christmas gift back in 1997. It was pink and had the smiling portrait of Barbie inked onto the cover. I remember cherishing the privacy. I felt so open, and wild, and unstoppable – even though I only wrote about playing in the mud, and running from snow plows in the wintertime. With this journal, I had a secret friend.
Later in life, I realized that my friend had been my deepest Self all along.
Kicking off with the good ol’ Barbie journal, I’ve now maintained a daily writing practice for nearly 16 years. Each day, I crack the spine of my Moleskin, slip the cap from my pen, and allow myself to be torn open and sewn back together with ink, over and over again.
Journaling has gotten me through 13 years of education, a handful of relationships, a young marriage, my parent’s divorce, my grandmother’s death, and the turbulence and strangeness of daily living. It has spread my dreams and desires before me and forced me to make more decisions than I ever thought I could.
If I have learned anything at all in this life, it’s that we swallow up and stuff down more emotions, truths, and dreams than we realize. But if we only allow ourselves a little bit of openness – even if these dreams will never fully blossom – we are giving our Spirits the incredible gift of potential, and clarity.
Journaling is one of the first things I suggest to my clients – no matter what they’re going through. Because I believe it always helps. So, find yourself a pen you love (Precise V7 is the only kind this hand will grip), a journal with nice, ripe pages, and a block of only 5 minutes that you can peel away from the rest of your busy day.
Then, think about these 5 questions. When the words bubble up hot in your ribs, don’t stop them. Write them down.
Journal Yourself Back to Life with These 5 Questions
1. Am I being honest with myself?
Often, the person that we lie to the most is ourselves. But this journal is your safe space. Let loose the chains. Radical self-honesty can work miracles, I swear.
2. Do I feel like I can give myself permission?
Let go of the need to seek without – your permission lies within. You can tell yourself yes. Write it down – “I give myself permission to…”
3. What does my ideal life look like?
If I were living only for me, without the worry of making an impression on others. Use imagery, colors, sounds, places, and feelings. Create a beautiful scene that you can then figure out how to slip into.
4. What do I really want?
Be wild. Be forgiving of your wildness. Remember radical self-honesty? Apply it again. This quote has saved my life on more than one occasion:
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” – Rumi
5. What is the most important thing right now?
Bringing your focus to the present moment is something I believe can heal most internal wounds. Here, lies the truth. Here, we can see what is important. A month ago, the choice to either go to India for a month or stay home with my husband was nearly tearing me in two. After all, it was only a month! But when I sat down & reflected upon the most important thing RIGHT THIS SECOND, the answer was beautifully obvious. (Just so you know, I’ve still never been to India.)
I can’t exactly say how journaling will help you specifically. Sometimes, you make a grand realization. You find your true passion. Other times, you will finally see what’s been holding you back – for it’s now scarred in ink before your eyes. It’s all about the transformation. The wild journey.
There is so much power in journaling because it helps you become aware of your own thoughts and emotions, of what and who you THINK you are, helping you see things from a totally different perspective.
Have you ever kept a journal? Do you think journaling can bring more clarity into your life? You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below