“Remember what it was to be me, that was always the point” – Joan Didion
We are all born whole and complete. It is in living that we lose ourselves to others, dismiss ourselves to societal pressure, dull ourselves to not stand out. Journalling is a tool to help you to come back to who you really are, to come back to who you always were.
Simply put, journalling is a place to write down your thoughts, without judgement from yourself or others. It is a place to record the thoughts as they come up for you. Journalling is such a personal thing and when we start putting stipulations on it, what you should / shouldn’t do, rights and wrongs, then the need for perfection and the detrimental effect of that can limit the benefits of journaling. Are you journaling? Intermittently? Great – you are doing it! If not, would you feel it might be beneficial to start? As Joan (above) says, it’s all about finding a way back to you. How wonderful would that be?!!
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to journalling – it is just a place for reflection but hopefully some of the prompts offered here might help. If you feel comfortable with your journalling style, please continue. If you would like more direction, there are a few journalling options below. Does one of these sound appealing?
Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages
Julia Cameron is the best-selling author of many books, the most notable among them is “The Artist’s Way”. She is an advocate of the power of journaling and its positive effects on your emotional well-being. Here she describes her idea for morning pages:
“Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*– they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize, and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow” – Julia Cameron.
And if that sounds like a lot
Gratitudes – many find a huge benefit in starting their day with an “attitude of gratitude”.
I often use the power of gratitude in my work with clients. Here, I ask you to find a time in the day – morning is great as it sets you up for the day – to give to gratitudes. Now, when I first ask this of clients – think of at least 10 gratitudes to write down in the morning – they look terrified. We are so hard wired (often out of a place of fear) to negative thinking that to think of positive things that have happened is a totally foreign concept. We notice very easily in our daily lives the things that have gone wrong, paying little attention to all the wonderful aspects of everyday living. So, as my clients who were in a habit of seeing the world negatively, it was hard to find the positive.
Hard but not impossible.
Start small – that lovely cup of coffee, the sun rising this morning, the hum of nature outside. As you start, guess what, it gets easier. Why? Because it was always there. It’s just that we can be so focused on joining the dots of negative thinking that we simply miss the abundance of positivity in our lives. So now, as you make your list of (at least) 10, with each one say out loud – Thank you for ….
For each one. Out loud. Thank you for …
You will start to notice a difference in your waking day. As you begin practicing gratitude your brain, well quite simply, doesn’t want to have to work so hard for the 10 gratitudes each morning so it starts looking out for them all the time. Now, we start to see the hidden beauty in our lives – by highlighting the positives that were already there – that were unknown to us as were too busy looking the other way.
An affirmation is a phrase that you repeat that affirms what you know to be true but sometimes lose sight of. What affirmation of your own comes to you? Like with the gratitudes above, your own offering / affirmation will be plain to see as you open yourself up to it. What is it you most need to hear today? What will help you most to keep in mind today?
Stop now and ponder this for a few moments – what comes up?
Examples might be:
I am living my life with good intention
I am open to the possibilities of the world
I have faith in myself
You get the idea? The main thing to remember is that the statement is yours, present-focused, say it as if you already have it, and is what you need most to hear today to live today with a contented mind, body and heart.
I encourage my clients to use their affirmation every time they wash their hands, as well we all do that quite a lot and intermittently throughout the day. Research shows that habits are easier to adopt if we attach them to a habit we already have. We are all particularly focused on washing our hands at this time so please use this space to attach this positive daily habit of affirmations. The more you chose to use this, the more positive and loving your mindset will become.
Today I invite you to look at your own journaling. What is working for you? Can you write an affirmation for yourself today? One that will truly speak to you?
Go on….. it’s just between you and you.
Note – For more information on journalling, gratitude and all things self-care you can purchase Self-Content – my self-paced guide to self-care here…