First, you need a close friend who will be with you at every step of your spiritual journey. This friend needs to be faithful in recording your experience with no judgments.
How To Journal, Why Use a Journal?
It seems so old-fashioned and out of date, but there are some excellent reasons to use a journal. It’s a technology that captures a lot of useful data. It is available any time of day or night to give you feedback. Once you learn how to use this tool, you will find it an indispensable part of your spiritual practice.
Some people refer to this document as a spiritual journal. That’s because it is one of the best tools to spot trends. It will help you see incremental growth and uncover unhealthy self-talk and patterns.
There are many kinds of journals. You can use a journal to record almost any activity. Use it to track food, travel, dreams, favorite poems, ideas, and prayers. We’ll go through the top reasons to use a journal and the best practices to get the most out of them.
5 Reasons to Journal
1. Barometer of Mental and Spiritual State
It is an accurate record of your deepest thoughts and emotions. It is invaluable to show your spiritual growth and point out obstacles to your development. It is best if you use hand-writing rather than a digital version. Your handwriting expresses your emotional state. The slant and size of the letters are all important clues to the state of your mind. Plus, you can even draw pictures that can offer other subconscious clues.
Writing in a journal helps you improve your ability to skills. Of the 5 reasons to journal, this one is first on the list. Why use a journal? Because it will help you spot trends. It will show you the roadblocks and your incremental growth. It will help keep you on track.
2. Record of Dreams and Spiritual Journeys
Record your dreams and daydreams. Even the fragments of dreams can be important clues. It often reveals patterns of dreams and awakens your memory so you can recall more of your dreams. It’s a useful tool for recording your experiences in the Shamanic Journey, Japa meditation, and the Siddhis. You may discover there are common themes between these experiences.
These are windows into your subconscious mind which reveal the real you, the Observer of your consciousness. Freudian psychology uses this as a window to the subconscious mind. It’s often the first journal for many people. Recording your dreams is one of the best reasons to use a journal.
These experiences are windows to the subconscious mind. When you review them as a whole, you may see patterns and synchronicities that you overlooked.
3. Automatic Writing or Automatic Handwriting
Why use a journal? It is a private space to practice and record automatic writing sessions. Another window to the subconscious mind. A place where the universe can communicate with you.
4. Memory Machine
Use your journal to record details of memories. We can use our memories to learn lessons and overcome past traumas. You learn memories are essential links to our emotions. We can change our feelings about the past can change. It’s another one of the best reasons to use a journal to record significant events.
5. Goal Coach and Problem Solving Catalyst
Make your journal a place to write goals and solve problems. If you record a plan, you are more likely to achieve it. Solutions to problems come more readily when we see them in writing. It’s good to have a journal for different activities. Then you can correlate the information from these journals to create an overall picture of your mental and spiritual health.
When you compare journals, you’ll find the answers to interpreting your dreams. It would be best if you kept a dream journal. A dream journal is often the first journal for new to this practice. Still not convinced you should use a journal? Here are even more reasons to use a journal.
Need More Reasons to Use a Journal?
If you need more than 5 reasons to journal, read on. A hand-written spiritual journal is a tool you can use almost anytime and anywhere. You can use it to spot trends you would otherwise miss. It will help you overcome obstacles in your path by showing patterns. And, it is a teacher and encourager, and a friend.
Use your journal to understand life lessons and explore the depth of life. We overlook or forget some lessons and experiences that make our lives unique.
“Keeping a journal has taught me that there is not so much new in your life as you sometimes think. When you re-read your journal, you find out that your latest discovery is something you already found out five years ago. Still, it is true that one penetrates deeper and deeper into the same ideas and the same experiences.” ―Thomas Merton
The “Best Kept Secret” ― A Spiritual Journal
Tip #1 It’s the least expensive and most valuable tool for any level of experience.
As a tool in your spiritual journey, it is an irreplaceable tool. You will want to find a blank journal or notebook, one that “feels right” and is unique to you. 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. Although you don’t have to write in your journal every day, the more we use it, the more empowering it becomes. Don’t make a rule or “force” yourself to write if you don’t want to.
We appreciate the advancements in digital devices. However, this is one document that requires a pen and paper. The meter of your handwriting, the style, the force, the symmetry of your frame of mind will come this way. Many people find it’s the small details that become essential clues. It’s the things you underline, draw, etc., that show patterns or clues to your development.
It is also a powerful, written legacy. Many people leave them as part of their heritage. We sometimes wonder what it would be like to know one of our distant family members. These journals are a way of documenting our life’s journey. They bring to light the joys and struggles.
Why People Resist Using a Journal
More than anything, people are self-conscious. People are afraid others will judge their writing, spelling, and grammar. Or worse yet, think what they’ve written is silly and meaningless. Don’t let this stop you.
Some say they feel they write too slow and take up valuable time. Or, they’ll say, I don’t like my handwriting or printing. I’m used to writing on the computer keyboard. Besides, using a handwritten journal is “old-school.” It looks like I can’t afford an iPad or laptop.
These concerns reflect the values of our culture. Everyone feels like they are in a large fishbowl being judged. There’s no simple way to get around the pressures our modern culture tries to exert on us.
If you are serious about your spiritual journey, you need to have the courage to take up a pad and pencil. 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. The reasons to use a journal will outweigh these social pressures, 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.
How to Journal ― Best Practices
One important recommendation is to use hand-writing rather than a digital version. It will help you capture all the clues and emotions in your handwriting. The other key is to review them from time to time. Set a reminder on your calendar. Otherwise, avoid making any other rules for using a journal. There are, however, some good best practices you can use to help you get the most out of this tool.
- The best way to learn how to journal, start using one! Learn what works for you.
- Don’t edit yourself or worry about grammar and spelling. Write without editing yourself. Letting things happen on paper will enable you to see trends. If you don’t write down your thoughts, you will miss these opportunities. These trends are often the primary substance of your practice.
- Keep your journal handy throughout the day, if possible. You never know when something will come to the surface.
- Reflect on the events and ideas you’ve had and explore your feelings about them.
- Doodle, draw pictures, let your imagination express itself. Your intuition will communicate wisdom.
- Allow your creativity to express itself. Indulge in poetry or creative writing. Write about whatever comes up. You never know what will be necessary.
- Don’t draw judgments about the value of your thoughts.
- Help you see your life’s events from a different perspective, and it can help you improve the way you react to them.
- Let your journal writing be your writing practice to clear your mind.
- Record the “eureka” moments… The “ah-ha” moments, anything that causes “goosebumps.”
- Copy Inspirational and quotes and passages from books that resonate
- Record your Daydreams and Night Dreams, Synchronous events, and Intuitive messages
- Develop and document our rituals and practices. Some refer to this as their “book of shadows.”
- Set a reminder to review your journals. You will spot trends is if you check your documents.
Why use a journal? The 5 reasons to journal here should convenience you to use one. The benefits of using this tool will become apparent the more you use them. You will learn how to journal the more you use them.
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(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia