“We are each responsible for our lives and, more important, the thoughts that create them. If you want your life to be more rewarding, you have to change the way you think.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
Journaling, the ultimate personal transformation tool, is a daily opportunity to explore your inner life and discover who you are, understand what you really think and feel and why you do what you do. Learning how to journal will help you examine and eliminate all the erroneous beliefs and unhealthy messages that you’ve been carrying around since childhood.
Plus, a Journal Writing Practice guides you to become your authentic, healthy self: experiencing and enjoying all the talents, abilities and artistry with which you were born.
To get healthy and happy and live the life You want to live, then you have to get to the root of your repressed feelings and overly critical thoughts and release them. The simplest way to do this is by starting and sticking to a Journaling for the Health of It™ daily, pen to page self-therapy writing practice.
It’s free, and it’s accessible 24 hours a day. The biggest challenge is getting started.
These 4 steps make it easy for you to learn how to start journaling and transform your life today!
1. Create You Time Every Day
Sit down. Close your eyes; take some deep, belly breaths. As your body relaxes, imagine how you want your mind, body, and spirit to be, what the life you desire looks and feels like. You’ll probably feel yourself smiling. Spend as much time in this sacred space as you need.
When you open your eyes, remind yourself that you can feel the way you just envisioned and that spending time daily for yourself is not selfish; it’s a necessity.
Daily Journal Writing helps you chip away at all the pieces of yourself that don’t serve you. It restores you to the person you truly are. And, even better, it helps you become who you want to be.
2. Prepare to start journaling.
Choose your materials with care, and make it fun. This is a chance to customize your personal journal writing experience. Maybe you already have an unused or seldom-used journal(s) somewhere in your home. Maybe you feel comfortable with a spiral bound notebook. Maybe a rollerball pen or a ballpoint feels right for you? You might even opt for crayons and binder paper if you’re feeling playful. You choose your journaling tools.
The same goes for space. Select a suitable area, where you can be alone and quiet as you write your journal. Perhaps it’s your kitchen table or the cleared desk in your home office. The local coffee shop might work. Whatever feels right for you.
Pick a time of day when you can dedicate 10–15 minutes to journaling. You might schedule the spare moments before your kids wake up in the morning, at coffee break time or right before bedtime. Remember that the only right way to journal is your way!
3. Compassionately Confront Your Brand of Page Fright.
When you hunker down with a blank page in front of you, I guarantee you’ll encounter internal resistance. Nagging thoughts will intrude to do the laundry, read that newspaper article, even suggest that you have nothing of substance to write about… the list goes on.
The truth is it is scary to face yourself… we have a lot of ingrained fears and anxieties. Your Journal can help you get going. After you date the page, ask it a question like, “What do I write about?” or “How do I … ?”.
So…Congratulate yourself for getting this far in the process. Tell your inner critic, “Thank you for sharing, but go and play in the traffic.” Then put your pen to the page and write.
4. Write, write, and write.
Write freely, without self-censorship. Keep your pen moving without stopping, even if you write, “I don’t know what to write.” Write whatever idea comes to mind; get it out of your head and onto the page. Be honest. Be grateful for the rare opportunity to express yourself without hesitation.
Remember that getting started with a personally transformative daily journal writing practice is the hardest part. Once you experience how inspiring, informative, and liberating a daily journaling practice can be, you’ll never, ever want to stop!
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Learn about Morning Pages
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12 Days of Morning Pages
The following additionally presents a strong confirmation for how helpful journaling can be to one’s well-being . . . no matter how difficult the circumstances are. It originally appeared on Mari’s Journal Writing Blog
Morning Pages: There’s No Thing as Coincidence
Guest Blog Post by Maggie Jeffery on October 6, 2015
Like a proper diet, Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages practice is a key component of self-care and creating your healthy lifestyle.
Devote twelve days to this gentle introduction to a daily habit that will change your life. Originally espoused by author and creativity expert Julia Cameron, Morning Pages give you a new lease on life.
From the Introduction:
We are in a continuous struggle against worries, fears, doubts and other distractions that clutter our minds and block our creativity. We obsess over the lukewarm performance review at work. We give into our own negative self-talk. We stress over the messy house and the bills that need to be paid. Morning Pages give us a release for these thoughts – they provide a necessary “brain dump” that allows us to clear out the bad and make room for the good.
Sometimes it’s those little mistakes in life that open doorways for us. This happened some years ago when by I pulled two books from the shelf by mistake instead of just the one I wanted. The other book was ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron.
It was one of those difficult times in life when challenges were piling up and I was feeling lost, deeply bereaved and all at sea. After years of looking after my ailing father who I loved beyond words, he had died. We had just uprooted and moved to another community and soon after that I was diagnosed with breast cancer and another family member became ill. On top of all this because caring for dad had been a full time job I found myself suddenly out on a limb as far as returning to my old career was concerned. All the known routines and roles vanished with his death and I struggled to find a sense of structure and meaning in life any more.
As I looked at the two books in my hand, my attention was drawn to ‘The Artist’s Way and I opened it up at random. To my amazement, the heading of the chapter on the page was called, “Recovering a Sense of Identity”. Stunned I sat down and began to read. That day was the start of my relationship with the ‘Morning Pages’ that Julia Cameron describes in this book.
At the time, it didn’t quite sink in that I’d been thrown a lifeline. Yet the more I thought about it, the more interested I became. I’d kept a journal off and on since the 70’s. It had sort of evolved from a diary, becoming more of an account of those days as the children grew up. But the description of ‘Morning Pages’ sounded different and I wondered how I could make that daily commitment to myself. It was a big step given my low energy levels and lack of motivation at that time.
Yet somehow I did get my act together and, although I can’t explain how or why, slowly and imperceptibly a sort of magic began to happen. Change took a little time and I must admit, at first I struggled to stay on board. My grief would surface and tears would blind me as I tried to write, yet the words kept flowing and it didn’t matter that I repeated myself as I filled those waiting, listening empty pages.
Gradually I began to notice the little things that formed part of each day. Prior to that I’d been frozen and had moved through each moment like a robot on a treadmill, numb and not feeling much, blind to my own pain. Now I started to look around again and come back to life – unfreeze – although it wasn’t comfortable or easy, I kept writing almost stubbornly morning after morning after morning through the days and weeks that followed.
Was it the self-imposed discipline of writing each day that put me together again? I certainly had to look within to discover the will to keep going. Writing each day gave me structure and purpose and became a habit, a pattern, when I awoke. It also led to a certain awareness, a way of taking one moment at a time and experiencing it fully, which I think was healing in itself.
Maybe it was this combination of awareness and routine that led me to the healing and nourishment inherent in the daily small changes in the natural world around me. It was as though those feelings frozen deep in my body began to thaw as they formed into words on the page. Slowly I began to have more energy. My body felt lighter. It truly felt that page by page I was shedding a heavy load.
Morning Pages are still part of my life. I wouldn’t do without them. They keep me on track, nourish my creativity and well-being and deepen the joy that day brings.
A back injury ended Maggie’s nursing career and opened doorways to self-healing through creativity and inner work. She retrained in astrological psychology and person-centred counselling and now coaches creative wellbeing. Maggie lives in the west of England with her family and is active in the community promoting green issues and whole health. She loves books, poetry and writing and also talks to her chickens quite a lot ……..
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