This is the most underrated spiritual tool. It’s the first tool for your spiritual toolbox. Here are some tips to get the most out of this effective device.
The First Spiritual Tool
This journal is your best personal coach. It’s a valuable roadmap of your journey. That’s why it’s the first tool for your spiritual toolbox. We consider it an essential best practice. They are easy to use and inexpensive. It gives you a safe place to vent. It reflects your thoughts and emotions. So, it helps you spot trends.
Whether you are just starting, or an experienced spiritual traveler, this tool will help you in several ways. For instance, with this tool, you can see the progress of several aspects of your journey in one place. Use it to record dreams and inner-work exercises, thoughts, and daily experiences. You’ll probably use several journals. They will become your best problem-solving tools and most accurate and unbiased spiritual counselors.
Some people call this tool “life of the mind”, or a “book of shadows”. No matter what you call it, this is an indispensable tool of personal discovery. When we start any of our learning groups, the first thing we are sure they have is a journal.
Handwritten Spiritual Journal Not Digital
Why is this first spiritual tool so important? Handwriting enables you to express your creative inspiration without filtering it through technology. In this way, you will capture your thoughts, moods, and emotions. It becomes an accurate roadmap of your spiritual journey. It’s also a barometer of your overall health and wellness.
Keeping a journal enables you to notice incremental growth, as well as, trends or obstacles. Above all, it’s your private space for written contemplation. Use it to capture your dreams first thing in the morning. Explore your inspirational ideas and frustrations.
Your handwriting reflects your state of mind. You can see it in the pace, slant, and pressure in your penmanship. This will help you spot issues that need to deal with. So, yes, above all, a spiritual journal is the first spiritual tool we recommend. Even before you learn any basic meditation techniques. If you use a journal, you’ll soon discover the value in paper and pen.
We always ask participants to come with a favorite pen(s) and a paper journal. Although we appreciate digital devices, a journal is indispensable. Nothing records our thoughts better than our handwriting. The meter of your handwriting, the style, the force, the symmetry of your frame of mind will flow from your writing. Even the little things you underline, draw, etc. will all be important clues to your journey.
You’ll need several journals. So, get the least expensive ones. These become invaluable for reference when learning or teaching others. Once you have a journal and pen, you are ready to begin. Some come with lined pages and some blank, the choice is yours. It doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate, just something to jot down your thoughts.
Why People Resist Using a Spiritual Journal?
Most people are socially self-conscious. We fear the judgment of others. So, we fearful of others seeing our innermost thoughts. We are also self-conscious of poor spelling and grammar. Or worse yet, others will think my inner thoughts are silly, or meaningless.
Some people believe they write too slow and are taking up valuable time. Or, they’ll say, I don’t “like” my handwriting or printing. Besides, I use the keyboard for everything else. Using a handwritten journal seems “old-school”. It makes me look like I can’t afford an iPad or laptop.
All the above concerns are a reflection of our culture. Today, everyone feels like they are in a large fishbowl. There’s no easy way to get around the peer pressure of our modern culture. You must decide that you will be serious about your spiritual journey. Then muster the courage to take up a pad and pencil. The first spiritual tool is the best-kept secret for serious inner work.
Remind yourself that the long-term benefits will be worth it. It makes sense to keep your journal private. After a while, these social concerns will fade. And, the more you study, the more you’ll see others who also use the handwritten journal. Those of us who have been on the path for many years have many journals. It’s a good roadmap of sorts, one that I visit from time to time to see how far I’ve come.
You don’t have to write in your journal every day. However, the more you use it the more powerful of a tool it becomes.
Spiritual Journal Best Practices
Other than the above highly suggested medium for keeping your journal, avoid making a lot of other rules. It’s not about perfection, but inspiration. Here are some tips, ideas, and benefits for keeping this spiritual “track record.”
- Don’t edit yourself. Don’t or worry about grammar and spelling. Just write. This will make your writing easier. Your thoughts will flow. Your creative and intuitive mind will engage.
- This document will help you see trends. So, it helps you spot obstacles that are holding your back. But, it also helps you see incremental growth. It is your personal life-coach.
- By all means, keep your journal handy. Thoughts may come to you after your practice. In this way, you can reflect on the learning (but not while driving a car or walking).
- Doodle… draw pictures… let it happen. Let your intuition communicate your internal wisdom.
- Indulge in a little poetry or creative writing about life whenever the notion strikes you.
- Don’t draw judgments about the value of your writing.
- This document will help you see past patterns and lessons. And, so it’s a way to improve the way you handle the present.
- Let your journal writing be your writing practice to clear your mind. Many people find this a safe place to vent.
- Record the “eureka” moments… The “ah-ha” moments, anything causing “goosebumps.”
- Copy Inspirational and quotes and passages from books that resonate.
- Record your dreams or dream fragments. A dream journal is one way our psyche and soul speak to us.
- It will help you spot Synchronous events and Omens. Many times we are so busy we overlook messages that the Universe is sending our way.
- Writing encourages intuitive messages.
- Learn to trust yourself. Learn to write “automatically.” Don’t think about what you are writing. Just let your hand move. Use it in more advanced techniques like automatic writing. Let your intuition speak to you.
- Develop your own rituals and practices. Some refer to this as their “book of shadows.”
- Writing should be fun. If you don’t feel like writing, then don’t do it. Don’t make self-imposed rules about how or when you write.
It is such a simple tool it is often overlooked. But the spiritual journal is the first tool for any spiritual explorer. Don’t start your inward quest without one. Its importance will grow the more you use it. You’ll wonder why you didn’t start using one sooner.
We hope you found this article helpful, maybe even thought-provoking. You will find more interesting posts on our blog page. Use the “search” option on the blog page to find articles by key terms, topics, or category.
Does spiritual exploration interest you? If so, we offer both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. We use a blended learning process to get the best learning outcomes. This blended approach aligns with what Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey.
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Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia