I have journaled since I was in second grade. My favorite entry is one I wrote as an 8 year old, proudly proclaiming in my little green and blue flowered diary, "I was self-reliant today!" I am grateful for the window into the life of the child I was that my journal offers. I imagine I'll feel that way about my current journal when I'm 85!
I am such a believer that I give journals out to every one of my clients who will take one! There
are so many benefits of journaling. Your journal is always there when you need it, ready to listen-even in the middle of the night. Your journal never judges or interrupts! It strengthens your self-reflection muscles.
The process of journaling helps you translate sometimes confusing emotions and experiences into words, and helps you find meaning. It "gets it out" so that you can begin to respond rather than react to events in your life. It is like mindfulness in writing. It's creative. And in the fullness of time, it can be a poignant and rich record of your life's path.
Have I sold it enough? Yes? Okay, let's get started.
Get yourself a journal. Decide whether you want an unlined art journal that you can draw, paint and scribble in, a plain lined copy book that you can keep as is or decorate, or one of the lovely journals that are available for purchase. The picture above shows the variety of my own journals over the years. They all worked.
Begin. Here are some options if you need support to get started:
Free write for 5 minutes a day whenever you decide is the most conducive time for you (often at waking and before bed is a good time). Free writing is letting your pen go quickly without censoring. It is good to get the juices flowing.
Get Encouragment. Julia Cameron's Artist's Way books are wonderful as are Luccia Capacchione's books on journaling to liberate the inner child. You also can subscribe to free art journaling e-classes. These generous creative souls will send you great prompts weekly or daily.
30 day journal challenge
Find your own prompts. Below are some easy ones that you might find helpful.
Things you must do before you die.
Ways you have changed for the better
Losses you’ve survived in your life
Foods you’d eat if guaranteed you wouldn’t get fat
Toys you wish you would have saved from early childhood
Sights, smells, and sounds from your grandparents’ home
The best gifts you’ve ever been given
All the songs you know by heart
Ten tiny changes I want to make
Twenty things I like doing
Finish these sentences:
I intend to…..
I have the right to……
When no one is looking I…..
If it weren’t too late I’d….
I’m thinking of….
I don’t want…
Who am I?
What am I totally sure of?
What in nature am I most drawn to?
What can I love and accept about myself today?
When did I feel loved today?
When did I feel lonely?
What did I do today that made someone feel appreciated?
What did I say that made someone feel unnoticed?