Journaling has always been one of those great expectations I had when growing up.
I remember at 8 years of age, begging my Mother to buy me a small bright pink diary with a lock and key affixed to the side. It was pretty but I wanted it because I felt like it was begging me to share all my secrets with it (of which I had none).
When I finally got my hands on it (yes, the wait for “another day” was agonizing) I opened the book to the first blank white page with thin blue lines. I wrote my name, the date…then promptly stopped.
‘OK, go’ I thought waiting for inspiration to strike and words to spill forth. But nothing. Nada. Zip. The cute pink diary remained unused for the rest of its life.
It took many years for me to come around to the idea of journaling again. A good friend of mine swore by the benefits of keeping a journal and I soon learnt many women used them, so it appeared the primary school stigma attached with keeping a diary was gone.
Since this revelation I’ve gone on to use journals sporadically over the last five years, however since the birth of my second child six months ago I’ve now grown accustomed to writing most nights before bed…and I’m totally hooked!
If you’ve never tried journaling before, here are three reasons why I believe keeping a journal is a vital tool in any woman rising’s self-care routine:
The majority of my journaling in recent times has been about healing past and/or current pains to reconnect with my heart and understand what my soul needs from me.
I don’t sit down with a plan or purpose with these journal entries, instead I start writing in a stream of conscious using my current emotional state as a launch pad. For example, ‘I’m really feeling frustrated about XYZ’ and the rest tends to roll naturally.
This process is healing and helps me get everything out of my system so it doesn’t stay with me during sleep or eat away at me subconsciously. It’s my way of working through issues and I find it very helpful.
2. Gratitude & Appreciation
If I catch myself being a negative nelly and facing the world with fear and loathing, I take to my journal to write down a gratitude list for the day. I don’t write down things just for the sake of it, but I genuinely feel in to my heart and write why specific things are important to me and what value they bring to my life. I find the process of understanding the ‘why’ is much more powerful than observing the ‘what’.
Besides, Oprah swears by keeping a gratitude journal, so if it’s good enough for the Queen, it’s definitely good enough for me and you!
3. Learning & Discovery
Because I’ve met my Future Self I’m able to tap in to this source of wisdom quickly and ask her questions I need help with, such as ‘should I do this’ or ‘should I do that’. I write all my answers down and refer back to it for comfort and support when I need to.
Note: As Members of The Woman Rising Network know, I teach you how to connect with your Future Self through a guided visualisation in the Bonus Material section. This is a tool I picked up in Tara Mohr’s book Playing Big. As a result of undergoing the visualisation, it was one of the most powerful shifts I’ve experienced on my rise, because you’re able to ask her (aka you, only 20 years older than you are now) for advice and support to help you get to where she is.
The alternative to this is, asking yourself a question as you sit with paper and pen in hand and allowing your pen (i.e intuition) to automatically write the answer without your rationale mind intervening. This format takes practice, but it’s very reassuring and cathartic.
If for no other reason to give journaling a go, it’s an important self-care tool that works to shine a light on what’s going on for you on the inside without fear, judgement or confrontation.
Let me know in the comments below, do you journal? If yes, what method works for you? If not, would you reconsider after reading the article?