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 Tool — The Spiritual Journal
This is your best personal coach. It’s a valuable roadmap of your journey. That’s why it’s the first tool for every spiritual explorer. In fact, 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.
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. And, you’ll learn to refer to them for problem solving and guidance.
This invaluable tool is also known by other names like, “life of mind”, and “book of shadows”.
Why is Spiritual Journal so Important?
Why is this tool so important? The process of 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 be dealt with. So, yes, above all, a spiritual journal is the first 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. Let’s face it, using a handwritten journal is “old-school”. It makes me look like I can’t afford an Ipad or laptop.
All of the above-mentioned 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’ll need to decide you are going to be serious about your spiritual journey. Then muster the courage to take up a pad and pencil. The first tool is the best method for inner work.
Remind yourself that the long-term benefits will be worth it. It does make 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 employ 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.
Tips for Using Your Spiritual Journal
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.”
- Moreover, don’t edit yourself or worry about grammar and spelling. Just Describe your experience without editing. This will help you see trends. These could be in the substance of your practice. It might be in the thoughts and emotions that come up. Or, you might spot trends in the handwriting form itself.
- By all means, keep your journal handy. Thoughts may come to you after your practice. In this way, you are also able to 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 thoughts.
- Help you identify the lessons of your past. And, so s improve the way you handle things in the present
- Let your journal writing be your writing practice to clear your mind.
- Record the “eureka” moments…The “ah-ha” moments, anything causing “goosebumps.”
- Copy Inspirational and quotes and passages from books which resonate
- Record your Day-Dreams and Night Dreams
- Synchronous events and Omens
- Intuitive messages
- Trust yourself to just write “automatically.” Don’t think about what you are writing. Just let your hand move. Use it for automatic writing exercises. 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, don’t. Don’t make self-imposed rules about how or when you write.
The spiritual journal is the first tool for any serious spiritual explorer. Don’t start your inward quest without one.
Interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their own path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s Book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia