We’ve put together our list of spiritual journal ideas and best practices. It’s the first tool we recommend because it’s a close friend who will be with you every step of your spiritual journey. This friend needs to be faithful in recording your experience with no judgments. Let’s go!
Using Different Types of Journals
There are many kinds of journals that fill the need for different uses. Some think journaling is old-fashioned and outdated, but there are some excellent reasons to use this proven technology.
The journal is a technology that captures a lot of valuable data, and the content and handwriting tell a lot about what’s happening. Best of all, this document is available day or night. It’s your personal life coach. Once you learn how to use this tool, it will be indispensable. You’ll probably have more than one; here’s why.
You can use data to improve your life. Use it to track food, travel, dreams, and creative ideas like poems and songs. These documents go by many names, such as morning pages, scrapbooking, gratitude keepers, reflective journals, travel journals, etc. Our other favorite type of journal is the book of shadows.
We recommend using different types of journals to record different aspects of your path. It is common to have at least three kinds: one for automatic writing sessions, one for comparative religious studies, and one for dreams. Use can use other kinds of journals such as calendars or planners for exercise, health objectives, and work-related stuff. There’s a journal for everything!
Some people refer to this document as a spiritual journal. That’s because it is one of the best tools to spot trends in our thinking that directly affect our spiritual life. It will help you see incremental growth and uncover unhealthy self-talk and patterns: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
How to Journal for Self-Care
Believe it or not, the core benefit of journaling is self-care. Journaling shows what you need to be healthy. Here are the five best recommendations for journaling.
1. A Handwritten Journal is the Best
This document is an accurate record of your deepest thoughts and emotions, your spiritual growth, and the obstacles to your development. It is best if you use handwriting rather than a digital version. It is a simple but effective tool.
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, and 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 your development patterns or indications.
Your handwriting expresses your emotional state. The size and slant of the letters are important clues to your state of mind. Plus, you can even draw pictures is another way the subconscious mind communicates. When you look back over the document, you can feel the emotions used to write it.
Writing in a journal helps you improve your critical thinking skills. When you see the logic or lack thereof in your writing, it helps you to correct mistakes that otherwise would have become actions. This one is first on the list of the best spiritual journal ideas. Why use a journal? Because it will help you spot trends. It will show you the roadblocks and incremental growth and assess your mental state honestly.
Remember, 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 force yourself to write if you don’t want to.
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 joys and struggles and are a source of inspiration for others. You are teaching others how to journal for self-care.
2. Record and Correlate Data
One of the most common types of journals is the dream journal. Use it to record your dreams and daydreams. Even the fragments of your dreamland experience can be important clues. It often reveals patterns of dreams and awakens your memory to recall more of your dreams.
Correlate your dream journal with your work journal or other lists. You’ll be surprised at the common themes and goals. You may even notice the same roadblocks. Hmmm.
Journals are also helpful in documenting experiences with the Shamanic Journey, Japa Meditation, and the Siddhis. It’s not uncommon to find similar themes and messages with these three methods. 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.
3. Automatic Writing or Automatic Handwriting
Why use a journal for this exercise? 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. These types of journals reveal the symbolism of the subconscious mind, so people often keep it a separate automatic writing journal.
4. Time and Memory Machine
Use your journal to record details of memories. We can use our memories to reveal lessons and overcome past traumas. You learn how 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. All we are is what we remember (to paraphrase Kurt Cobain).
5. Goal Coach and Problem-Solving Catalyst
Make your journal a place to write goals and solve problems because 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.
You’ll find the key to interpreting your dreams when you compare journals. Keep a notebook by your bed. A dream journal is often one of the first types of journals someone uses. Once you see how valuable it is for unraveling the meaning of your dreams, you’ll use it to record other things.
Top Spiritual Journal Questions and Answers
By now, you know we recommend keeping several types of journals. They don’t have to be expensive. You are after the data they provide. So, they aren’t the documents you keep on the bookshelf for everyone to see. These are for you alone.
We recommend keeping a small pocket-sized notebook that 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, encourager, and friend. Yes, you’ll accumulate several, but that’s okay. It’s one of the most overlooked spiritual journal ideas, but it yields excellent information.
“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
Why People Resist Using a Journal
People are self-conscious. People are afraid others will judge their writing, spelling, and grammar. Or worse yet, they think what they’ve written is silly and meaningless. Don’t let this stop you.
Some say they feel they write too slowly and take up valuable time. Others 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 is self-conscious and feels like they are in a fishbowl. 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 must 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. You will have several journals when you have been on the path for a while. These are a roadmap of your path. They show how far you’ve come.
Spiritual Journal Ideas and Best Practices
Don’t put rules around journaling, except for always using a handwritten journal rather than a digital version. Sure, electronic devices are easy to use, but you only get half of the essential data. Your handwriting captures all the critical clues and emotions. The other key is to review your journals from time to time. Set a reminder on your calendar to write in a journal at least once a week. Build a good habit of journaling.
- The best way to learn how to journal, start using one! Learn what works for you. If all you do is doodle or draw pictures, that’s okay. It may not seem important, but you create the emotional space for your subconscious and intuition to come forward.
- 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 record your thoughts, you will miss these opportunities. These trends are often the primary substance of your practice.
- Keep a small pocket journal handy. You never know when something will come to the surface. It’s the tool of songwriters and poets. You never know when something will give you a creative spark.
- Reflect on the events and ideas you’ve had and explore your feelings about them. It’s how to journal for self-care needs.
- Doodle, draw pictures, and let your imagination express itself. Allow your subconscious mind to communicate. Allow your creativity to express itself. Write some poetry or stories.
- Don’t judge 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 quotes and passages from books that resonate.
- Record your Daydreams and Night Dreams, Synchronous events, and Intuitive messages.
- Develop and document your own rituals and spiritual practices. Some refer to this as their book of shadows.
- Set a reminder to review your journals. Once a month is a good timeframe. You will spot trends when you re-read.
Learning how to journal for self-care and spiritual development is the first lesson of spiritual exploration. There are many uses and different types of journals. No matter what you call them, they are one of the best tools for your journey. Use the list of spiritual journal ideas to enhance your path.