Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Are You Journaling?

Oprah does it.  So do Nicole Kidman, Richard Branson, Renee Zellweger and Alicia Keys. They all journal. Says Oprah, “Keeping a journal will absolutely change your life in ways you never imagined.” 

Think of a journal as a room for your thoughts—a special place to write down your fears, your dreams, your goals, or simply a place to record how you feel. Journaling is an excellent way to express negative thoughts as well, especially because no one will ever read it except you. Journaling is a perfect way to understand yourself because writing down your thoughts forces you to deal with issues honestly (no one is judging or censoring you).  Journaling can also be a form of meditation—just letting the pen scrawl thoughts in no particular order is a way to quiet your mind.

How to start?  First, buy a journal—it can be lined or unlined, elaborate or plain. Choose one that inspires you. For those not concerned with looks, even a yellow-lined note pad will do. But once you’ve bought your book, where do you start?  All those blank pages can be pretty intimidating. Amanobooks has six suggestions.  Try writing down one of the following thoughts and then let it flow:

“Today, I am grateful for…”

“Right now, I am feeling…”

“Three things I know to be true are…”

“I have faith that…”

“My life is lacking…"

Still stuck? Write down your feelings on a certain event, idea, or person; or write about a change in your life and how you dealt with it. How about this: if you could live five different lives, what would they include?  An artist?  Doctor?  Teacher?  What does your dream life look like?  Try collecting photos or anything having to do with your dream and put them in your journal. Visualizing is an excellent way to actually make your dreams happen.

Sandy Grason, author of Journalation: Journaling to Awaken Your Inner Voice, Heal Your Life, and Manifest Your Dreams (New World Library, 2005), says, “The beauty of journaling is that it’s not just about recording and interpreting, it has the power to change who you are.  Journaling changes the way you think and feel about your world, because you start to notice more of your life. You find yourself more ‘in the moment’ than you have ever been.”

In her workshops, Grason often asks, “If I had a magic wand and I could grant you anything, could you tell me what you truly wanted?” Although participants may have an idea of what they’d like, they often have trouble putting it into words. “Ask yourself now,” says Grason, “Do you really know what you want? If you had to state your greatest desire out loud, in a succinct, passionate sentence, could you do it?” Having a written vision for your life inspires you and guides you in all of your actions.  It also keeps you on track; so when distractions come up, you can re-read the vision you’ve created in your journal and remind yourself of what you really want.

Think of the journal as your special friend who will always be there for you. So grab your pen or pencil, open your journal and start writing!

This post was taken from and it is entitled Journaling.

1 comment:

  1. Tracie,
    I found this post so unbelievably inspiring; journal writing does have the power to change who you are when you write in it honestly and answer those big and little life questions. It's the perfect place to answer, What do I really want? I love the starters you provide and the inspiration for anyone to get started with journaling.

    I have chosen your post, Are You Journaling?, for the #JournalChat Pick of the Day on 6/29/11 for all things journaling on Twitter. I will post a link on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, my blog, Refresh with Dawn Herring, and my new Refresh Journal, which you can sign up for here:

    You're also welcome to join us for #JournalChat Live on Thursdays at 4 p.m. CST/2 PST for all things journaling on Twitter. My account is @JournalChat.

    Thanks again for such an inspiring look at the life changing benefits of journal writing.

    Be refreshed,
    Dawn Herring
    JournalWriter Freelance
    Host of #JournalChat Live and Links Edition


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