Have you ever been told to keep a record of you thoughts or feelings? That it would help you to journal? Did you nod because that's something you've heard before but you do not actually plan to ever freely journal? Are you unsure of how to write to yourself? Does it feel uncomfortable?
What I recently learned was the profound power of journaling. In fact, I just got a new paper insert because for the first time in my life I filled an entire journal! I had written things off and on in the past, whether in the notes section of my phone, in a word document, or in a notebook, but all very sporadically. The practice of freely writing was never a consistent thing and while it always felt good to get thoughts out I did not want an actual "journal." It felt like too much commitment and like there was a stereotype associated with people that journaled and I didn't fit the mold. Until I decided I was going to take a trip to India. As a gift for my birthday that year,two weeks before leaving, I received a truly beautiful journal. The perfectly golden brown cover and the handmade paper were so divine that I actually felt inspired by it. I thought I'd give this whole journaling thing a chance and decided to pack my journal for India. Am I ever glad I did.
While I was in India I decided I would write when I felt like writing and not feel guilty about the amount of writing I did or did not do. The result was amazing and I hope it might inspire you. I found I would pour my heart out, getting things out of my system, and processing thoughts, feelings, and experiences. There were times in India while studying and practicing yoga that there were big thinks awakening inside of me. As I wrote freely I processed those things and they took root in my being. I was completely opened and raw as a human and now I have some pieces left of those shifts, not just in my heart, but also on paper.
Journaling freely opens us up in a very real and raw way. We explore ourselves in our beautiful and natural state without judgement. When we journal we are able to figure things out on our own. The most powerful tool I had before journaling was either taking a hot shower and thinking or talking with an intimate friend. Now I am an intimate friend in myself and I can work through and discover a lot of things on paper. I have revelations on my own, feel a sense of self esteem after doing so, and begin to really open myself to giving and receiving more love. Especially for a person who has a lot of vata characteristics (someone really in their head) this a is a really healing practice. In fact, it is profoundly powerful.
Being able to own a notebook or journal that calls to you and you want to carry around with you and write in is the first step. The next is to be open and willing to explore writing freely without judgement, sometimes writing so feverishly that you may not care about punctuation or spelling. Not to force a stringent routine, but to write in it if you feel inspired to - if there is something you want to work through perhaps. The more you explore writing in an open and exploratory way, the more you may want to write. Or maybe you will go through stages of writing as you are in different areas of transformation in your life. Be opening and willing and maybe give it a try. See what the power of journaling can do you for you. That is my encouragement for you. Be able to keep it safe where you know it is truly just a space for your most intimate thoughts and feelings. Allow yourself to open up and discover some deeper aspects within your bold exploratory self. Allow the beauty of you to unfold. Love to you on your journey.