A journal acts as a key to the depths of the mind, illuminating the hidden parts of the ego. No one sees the words in a journal except for the writer; writing days and ideas on paper to draw parallels in an environment that is secure. Journaling is a way to self study, a way to begin creative endeavors, and a wonderful way to express frustrations of day to day life.
Journals are expression; go a head and curse, badmouth, gossip, or reach down to the parts that are not shared or enjoyed. Use this space to explore and invite change. Work out suppressed or unexpressed emotions that surface through out the day. Express and experience them minimizing conflict and discontent. Journaling is something that should be taken seriously, but in a light hearted manor, it is the expression of one’s own mind; being too strict will constrict ideas and the flow.
Embarking on a journaling project acquiring the perfect journal is crucial. This process may take weeks, or months. The journal ought to speak to the writer, excite the writer, and cause a painful separation when torn away form or not in use. Preference lends some to type, yet a special feeling comes from having a notebook tucked away safely in a bag or purse able to jump into action at anytime.
Money needs to be set aside, usually much more than intended to spend, or thought needed. Take the time to drive from store to store, until a ‘love at first sight’ moment. Then analyze, and decide if the love is meant to be; if not move on. There are also journal covers available with refillable notebooks. They are more cost effective, but like a tattoo, can not be a fleeting attraction. Keep in mind that just because a cover maybe cute and profound, it may not be functional. Bindings are a huge issue, spiral bound journals on the move fall apart, soft covers bend when shoved in bags, hard covers break the binding, any that fold over protect the pages better. Blank pages are better for drawing, but not much fun for writing.
Have the first and last entries of the journal be profound. Leave the first page or so blank at first, to see what phase the journal will begin. Let the last entry sum up that phase of life. Use quotes, and songs that pack a punch and can easily be a starting or finishing line. Scrap booking helps, different song lyrics, pictures and occasionally cards can better mark important events and feelings. Memorable quotes have a profound effect and strengthen the point being made when someone else has beautifully expressed the emotion or idea.
Writers block does not exist when writing in a journal. Start writing about the day’s events, if the day was boring, write about it anyway. Out of the mundane that the most profound is born, out of the mud comes the lotus. Make a point to journal at least once a week, preferably once a day, at minimum; nothing is learned if journaling is not put into practice, patterns show up day by day and often times too small to notice in wide gaps.
Do not look back, life is a forward momentum. These are memories and past events. Occasionally pulling out a poem that was written for editing is fine, but do not dwell on the past, look to the future. Notice how many pages are left in the journal and challenge with finishing dates. Decide what journaling is manifesting.
In yoga Siddhanta Shravana is very important. Self study is not only reading scriptures, but also looking into the Self. Meditation and asana gives the chance for this, but actively looking and logging the Self not only promote change but charts growth. Journaling grounds, in meditation and asana ideas are let go, when writing ideas are pondered and worked out, like untying knots.
If you keep a journal let me know and tell me how it has worked for you, if not why? If you are embarking upon the challenge, tell me if this helped you, and if journaling has never worked, maybe these ideas can re-inspire you to try, and who knows maybe this time it will work!