How to journal: Put your heart on paper
If anyone were to ask me what tool has helped me the most to understand myself over the years, it would be journaling. Journaling isn't about writing down your day or saving something for posterity, it's about having a conversation with your subconscious. For everyone, there is that one person with whom conversations flow, the one person who elicits the best ideas and deepest insights about yourself and the world - thoughts of your own that surprise even you. And that's how it is with journaling, or something like that.
Be this one special person to yourself.
There are no rules, no formal requirements, no right or wrong. Every thought is valuable and comes at exactly the right time at the right moment - trust your intuition, your subconscious and your heart that they "know" exactly what should come up. And then write it down. This can create a wonderful dialogue with yourself. Accept what comes out of you with a lot of understanding, love and openness, try not to judge it andlet the magic happen. After that, there is nothing to do but let your subconscious work – relax and don’t think too much about what you have written. It's like a detox for the mind and soul.
There are several very good reasons to start journaling and just as many things that will develop along the way.
The most important thing: be curious, attentive and understanding.
It helps us break out of learned patterns.
Writing down how we feel in certain situations, how we behave, and what emotions and feelings are triggered helps us recognize when we find ourselves in a pattern. A pattern is a conditioned response to a certain situation - a trigger that throws us back in time and uslike in old times feel and act. If we start to keep records about it, routine dynamics become more visible and our cognition, i.e. our head, begins to understand when we act out of conditioning and cannot be impartial. Such a pattern does not mean it badly with us, on the contrary it tries to protect us or to protect us from past suffering. The subconscious has neither space nor time understanding - it reacts from a learned mechanism. However, once our mind has understood that we react and do not act, a big step has been taken.
It helps us to change sustainably.
We bring pent-up energy to paper through the act of writing, through the mechanics, through the use of the pen. It is nothing but a change in the flow of energy in the body. If you imagine the whole thing like an electric circuit, the loop created by the thoughts circling in your head is broken by the arm, the hand, the neck and a new dynamic can develop. Changing the energy in the body is admittedly a difficult way to change in the beginning, but it becomes easier and easier with practice. As on the outside, so on the inside, energy always tries to take the path of least resistance. So don't be surprised if there is a lot of (negative) emotion and resistance when it comes to picking up the pen and writing. We all love our comfort zones – don't we?!
It helps us gain clarity and insight about ourselves.
A feeling of self-understanding. Because the head first recognizes the pattern and the rest of the body internalizes the new “truth” in the next step. There are several routes to self-knowledge, the easiest for many of us is through cognition. Due to our male-dominated understanding of the world and culture, we tend to rely primarily on our heads. So the way of writing is a well-known one that can be well accepted. Logic as the key to our subconscious - even if the subconscious is often not at all logical or rational, it can be an understandable and therefore sustainable detour.
It helps us to be more understanding of others.
With understanding comes acceptance, gentleness and compassion - towards oneself and the environment. In order to feel a real emotion (real means value-free here - real in the sense of free - free from trained behavior patterns or the reaction from a lack) and to be able to show it to someone else, we must first show this emotion to ourselves. No matter how cosmopolitan, understanding or objective we may think we are, if we can't feel love, respect and compassion for ourselves, then neither will those around us. Once we have started to love ourselves, the world is open to us.Everything is love and it's one of the few things that multiplies when we share it.
It helps us to quiet our monkey mind in the head.
If our thoughts go round in circles, if we worry or are afraid, then this often has to do with the loss of the connection to our basic trust. Basic trust is found in the firstchakra again (link to other blog post) and is formed very early as a baby. It is the trust to be held and loved, to be able to let go and surrender to the flow of life. Even if formed early, it is never too late to work on strengthening it. Journaling helps us get some energy out of our heads and distribute it to the rest of the body. An energized pelvis becomes a strong pelvis and leads to more rootedness and a secure attitude towards life.
It helps us to make important decisions and to fulfill our dreams.
What lets us better understand what we want and need than a clarifying conversation. Journaling is nothing else. The opportunity to talk to yourself in plain language and thus uncover hidden and secret desires.
It helps us to become more active and vital.
Thinking circles can make us very tired, we feel depressed and drained and want to compensate with physical rest. Often, however, it is not the body that needs rest, but our mind and soul. Our system cannot distinguish between an actual and an imaginary threat and so we release stress hormones that cannot be broken down by a lack of exercise. Journaling helps create more headroom for idleness and recovery.
All you need is a journal, a pen, time and rest. Our "How do you want to feel"journal comes in three different colors, is lined and has an elastic band to keep it from unraveling.
Once you've become a pen pal, you'll find plenty of other reasons why taking the time to get over your weaker self was a great idea. And if you don't, that's perfectly okay too - just the fact that you've read this article up to here has changed something in you and will make an impact.
Have faith, everything comes at the right time for each and every one of us!