Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What's So Great About Journaling?

If you've ever cried (or exploded) over "spilled milk," you know what happens when we don't manage our feelings and stress. Someone who is practiced in the art of identifying and releasing emotions is rarely caught off guard by her own unexpected and exaggerated reactions. If you want to learn to identify and get familiar with your emotional landscape, there's perhaps no better way than through the practice of journaling.

Granted, not everyone is a good candidate for journaling---for one reason or another---but if you do find it beneficial to write out your thoughts and feelings, you will be amazed at the wisdom and clarity you gain from this most valuable tool.

Whenever I find myself feeling confused, depressed, irritable, or tense, I know it's time to sit down with my journal and just write. It usually starts out with, "I don't know why I'm feeling so..." Usually within twenty minutes I'm not only clear about what's been bothering me, but I've received inner guidance about what to do, and the acute distress is 90-100 percent resolved. It's like magic.

At the beginning of each journaling session, it's not a bad idea to apply some form of psychic protection, like visualizing yourself surrounded by light, saying a prayer, or calling in your angels. The reason for this is that journaling, like meditating, can open us up, and we don't want to be left vulnerable to outside (energetic) influences.

While there are countless journaling styles and techniques, one of the most powerful tricks I've found is to be willing to start out foolish and finish wise. What does that mean? When you start out foolish, you're saying, "I admit that I don't know what's going on here. I'm behaving badly, being a drama queen. I thought I'd made a lot of progress, but apparently I have not. Higher Self (Universe, God), please help me sort this out!" By honestly expressing how you really feel in the present moment, and "surrendering" it,  you are opening the door to the channeling of your highest guidance. This is what is meant by being willing to "finish wise."

The problem that some people face with journaling is that they approach it in a lopsided fashion. Either they are too formal and present their thoughts as if they already have it all together---as if the lower self does not require a voice or even exist; or they spew endlessly from the lower self perspective without ever inviting the Higher Self to weigh in. The real benefit comes from giving each side a voice. This is one of the important ways in which the ego becomes healed and integrated with our higher aspects of Self.

This week, I invite you to do a little writing. You don't need to know what you're doing. Just open a notebook and let your stream of consciousness flow. Feel free to ramble, complain, say mean things, vent, you name it! But before you finish, make sure you've made a space for a higher aspect of yourself to say a few words. This will probably happen naturally, but if not, consciously invite it in. It's like free therapy, and the best part is that it comes straight from your own source.