“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.” Christina Baldwin
We have arrived at that time of year when we get inundated with dieting ads and marketing emails that shout “now is the time to fix yourself”, claiming: “WE have the answer to getting your dream body!”.
What if instead, you listened to your inner voice? To your body’s own internal wise woman that guides and reminds you that your answers to care and truly love yourself and your body are right here, inside of you.
I’m inviting you to find her. Pick up a journal… and write, scribble, free-associate, draw…take the time to get quiet, write, and listen.
When you write in your journal, don’t worry about making sense. The pages of a journal provide a safe place for you to speak, to express, to dream, to conjure, to actualize. Writing your gorgeousness into words through this activity can take just a few moments in a day, drop-ins during your week, however often and for however long works for you.
Journal writing is therapeutic. It can clear and organize your jumbled thoughts, release feelings, or simply provide a space to have an inner dialogue. The pages of a journal are also a place to jot down your sleeping dreams, your life dreams, to plan, and to even make lists about what matters most to you. Not boring lists like ‘I need to do the laundry’, but lists about what more you want to invite into your life now and in the future. NOT resolutions! Rather, musings, intentions and desires, that don’t have a deadline attached to them.
I’ve started journals umpteen times. Each journal when started is chosen to take me through an important phase of my life. Questions are popping up quick and loud and I get that it is time to ponder in a journal. I’ve never been a daily journal user, rather they hang out waiting on a shelf for those moments when I need to close the door, get quiet and just write. I ponder in my journal in spurts and go back and forth between them, often picking up a journal I’ve had for years and adding questions about new stories. Sometimes I revisit the old stories and consider if they are complete – are they offering up new questions.
Some questions definitely beg an answer and even call to be revisited over the years. Other questions find answers in one page or even a sentence.
I know many who use their journals on a daily basis. It is part of a daily ritual or devotion for them. A way of capturing the choice bits of awareness that follows them from a dream into a state of waking. Or, the writing helps them ground and arrive to each new day. It is a beautiful and sacred ritual.
Have you considered a daily practice of writing? Has it always been something you have wanted to do for yourself?
You can start with a daily practice of writing whatever comes up – a download or picking up your journal with a specific question that you want to sort through. Maybe you feel a question brewing that wants to be asked but, it’s not quite clear. Write down the question, try not to judge, just write whatever comes next, then next, then next even if it doesn’t make sense to you.
The answer may not be clear even when you feel done. Just by starting your inner dialogue you have invited the conversation to continue past the point of putting down your pen. It has been awakened – the answer may arrive and coalesce in a form that doesn’t seem like it came directly from your original question, but it’s there and guides you. Maybe even inspires a clear choice leading you to a decision.
Journal your questions. Write every question you have, let go of needing answers right away. Accept that some questions are just for asking and others inspire further exploration. We can have an infinite number of questions but not need them all answered. Some are for now, others for us to revisit later. A journal provides a canvas of sorts where we can store these thoughts. A home for safe keeping. A place to honor our personal process.
The questions can return when we least expect them. Journaling helps us develop more mindfulness and an ability to better hear and recognize when the questions are asking to be honored.
If you find yourself wanting to write about what you want to focus on this year I suggest not holding them as resolutions or rules, things you get to beat yourself up with in December 2018 or throughout the year. Instead, let your inner Wise Woman speak, the one who cares for and nourishes you.
And, if writing from a stream of consciousness or jotting down your thoughts doesn’t quite work for you, here are some prompts or ideas to get you started. The prompts may even trigger your unique questions or stories to start writing in your journal.
What do you like about yourself?
What do you want to celebrate about you?
What brings you joy?
What do you need to know? Is there something that eludes you?
Is it time to ask bigger more evocative questions?
Ask your body to talk to you. What does it want or need? (more sleep, touch, movement, to feel joy???).
What allows your body to relax?
What do you like about your body?
What does your body allow you to experience?
Step inside your vortex of wisdom, soak it up, allow the answers that live inside of you to emerge and guide you on the pages of your journal!