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Journaling: A Path to Self-Discovery
I believe in the incredible power of journaling to change our mindset, our point of view and our sense of self.
That’s a big statement, I know, but I really believe it. I’d like to talk about how journaling can be a path to self-discovery. Many years ago I was gifted a book called The Artists way by Julia Cameron and this book really got me started in a big way in journaling. It is an inspiring read, dedicated to the artist that is within all of us and it is designed to get those creative juices flowing. The book isn’t only about the benefits of journaling. She also talks about other ways to connect to ourselves, like what she calls ‘Artist Dates’. That is were you take time out with yourself to explore something that inspires you, like an art gallery or an indie movie for example. But, for me, the journaling stuck.
Journaling is not a new thing, it usually begins as a childhood ‘Dear Diary’ but it can evolve into an extension of ourselves, a bosom buddy of sorts. It can be there for us when nobody else can. It can store secrets and feelings too. For me, though, the essence of the journal is the coming home to yourself. And, it is this that gives journaling its power as a path to self-discovery. You can break down all walls and take down all masks with a journal. You can discover things about yourself and help yourself grow, heal or mourn. A journal is a best friend and a keeper of secrets.
What do you write about? Or, how do you get started?
There are no rules in journaling, but to keep writing. You will discover that there is magic in journaling. That the words are drawn from somewhere inside you and out onto the page. You will discover that this life that we lead, this rushed and manic life, has created a monster that needs to be heard. The funny thing is when the words hit the page more magic happens. Somehow you feel lighter, instantly. Finally you can cancel your appointment with the psychiatrist because you have spoken your truth!
I know I sound a little overexcited. That’s because I believe that writing down your feelings in a journal will help you work through anything that life throws at you. I find that people often talk very casually about journaling like it’s a new hobby to consider or a fad that’s going around, but I think if we commit to it the benefits can be enormous.
Journaling has been my go-to for any emotional turmoil I need to deal with. For example, I can spill my guts onto the page and, somehow, the purging process is like an emotional detox. Almost every time I start my journaling in ‘rant’ mode and somehow, in the end, I have found my way back to a positive outlook on life. All is well with the world. Like I said, magic! You may be thinking ‘I’m not a writer’ but this is for your eyes only and you cannot get it wrong. My challenge to you is to just give it a try for 1 week, then see how you feel. See if the writing stirs up any emotions such as fear or doubts. These things are not easy to face, however, like all fears they can only be conquered when faced.
My recommendation would be that you pick out a notebook and a pen. Also, make sure it is ready and waiting beside your bed the next time you wake up. Before bed works too, but getting your head in the right place first thing in the morning is a definite win! If you’re looking for a really fun way to express yourself I highly recommend the Wreck This Journal. Such a fun way to get your emotions out on the page! Ok, now, give yourself just 10min. If you get carried away, great! See what happens. If you don’t know what to write, write about what happened the day before, even if its bad. You will find that the process will help you work through it. Remember, cheapest therapist in town!