Journaling is paying attention to the inside, for the purpose of living well, from the inside out."
Living from the inside out, what does that mean? It means to live from your values. That your values and your behavior are aligned.
This weekend I spoke with a client who is struggling with being her authentic self when she is in relationship with certain people.
When she is around certain people, she shuts her true self down, quiets her voice to avoid conflict and to “keep the peace”.
But the truth is, she is sacrificing her inner peace. How? When she leaves the situation she is angry with herself for not speaking up.
Journaling is one strategy that is helping her to gain clarity.
Gaining clarity about what is important, about what her voice is saying and developing the courage to stay in difficult conversations, to not run away from conflict but to stand and continue the conversation, saying what she has to say, being her 100% authentic self. Journaling is helping her with this, and journaling can help you as well.
Journaling is not just for kids. Here are a few benefits of journaling:
· It helps you gain clarity and vision about your life,
· It can help you express yourself, empower you, encourage you,
· It can improve your self -understanding and
· It can serve to document your journey so that in later years, you can recognize how far you’ve come.
· It can help you process difficult events and emotions.
· Journaling can make you more aware of unhealthy thinking patterns and can help you to put things in perspective.
There are many reasons why journaling is important, and it is one of the first homework tasks I give to my counseling and coaching clients.
Why? Because it is important for you to take the time to be with yourself, think about your thinking and make conscious decisions on what to write. This process of thinking about your thinking and deciding what to write can help you to work things out in a more positive way. I have many clients who begin with me and have all of their ideas in their head, yet they don’t journal.
When I ask them why they don’t write down their thoughts using pen and paper (writing things with pen and paper has different energy that is important for you to tap into, rather than writing in your phone) if they journal they will either say
- I put stuff in my phone
- I have things down on little bits of paper
- I have it all in my head
- I don’t like to write
But journaling can benefit you in many ways, not the least of which is to help you to “park” all of your thoughts, feelings and goals ideas in once central place.
Many years ago, my pastor urged me to create A Book of Remembrance. He referenced
Deuteronomy 8:2 - “And you shall remember all the way which the Lord your God led you (these 40 years….) to humble you and to prove you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.”
We are all prone to wander, and prone to forget.
Prone to forget the lessons learned and how far the Lord has brought us.
A book of remembrance, a journal, can help you to “park” those learnings in one place.
Here are some ideas for you to consider as you think about journaling;
- Write in a private place, free from distractions
- Give yourself enough uninterrupted time to allow thoughts to come to you. Many times you will open your journal and nothing comes to mind, you don’t have anything to write. Wait a few minutes and just sit with your journal, trust that the right words will come and that the Holy Spirit will guide you.
- Keep your journal private – it is for YOU only, not your spouse or your children. Even when I give this assignment in counseling or coaching sessions, I ask my clients to share “generally” what they’ve written but not to specifically read from their journal unless they chose to.
Journaling is powerful and can be used to write your prayer requests to the Lord, to document the good things that have happened in your life, to process the difficulties that you may be experiencing.
Journaling every day is a great habit to develop, journaling in regular, daily journaling sessions.
There are many benefits to journaling, try it and share with me how it goes for you!