Like all relationships, the relationship with one’s journal, if it is to be a dynamic, evolving one, needs tending.
I am going to “get personal” for a moment with a question about your intimate life: Are you in a committed relationship?
I don’t mean with a person. (Although that can be great, too.) I’m asking if you’re in a committed relationship with your journal.
I am not saying that you should be, because to each her own, of course. But I will say that a deep relationship with your journal can be one of the most fulfilling of intimate relationships——a connection that nourishes all others——because journaling can be communion with your soul.
That said, like all relationships, the relationship with one’s journal (like conscious connection with one’s Soul) needs tending. Being truly present is key.
Recently, I led a workshop called The Secret Power and Joys of Women Journaling. Over 25 women gathered, of diverse ages and nationalities—each with the desire to listen more deeply to herself, the only prerequisite for the workshop. When I asked the women present to share more about what had drawn them to come, the responses were as deep and varied as the women before me. Here’s just a little of what was harvested:
A musician spoke of using her journal to find and free her authentic voice in order to talk about her music and new CD from that place of knowing.
A woman who has been journaling for decades realized after just a few minutes in the workshop that she needs more silence around her journal writing——so that she can really listen more deeply to herself. Many nodded in agreement, one woman adding that she babbles in her journal and while she knows that’s okay, her journaling has become less fulfilling and renewing than she suspects it could be.
A shy woman in the back of the room wondered if one “can journal for someone else?” A somewhat surprising question. She continued: “Can you journal for someone who will not be alive much longer and can’t journal on his own?” Her seeking became even more compelling when she added, “somehow too young to have a voice yet?” I was silenced by what I felt was carried in this young woman’s heart. (If the lovely woman who asked this question is reading now, please be in touch with me. I would love to be of support.)
Journaling is a way to enter the heart.
When we journal—willing to ask, to listen, to not know and to discover—we write our way into the heart. Once there, we receive so much more than our minds alone can yield. Quiet and receptive, we hear the voice of our heart (through our own pens and hands. )
Because of the intimacy with one’s self, the truth-telling that can happen in journaling, the dipping into the well, the reflecting of essence, and the stripping of masks — because of all this and more, journal writing can be one of the most delightfully transformative of spiritual practices.
A week before the workshop, late one night in bed, journal on my lap, I spontaneously posed the question to myself—almost like a dare: So what is the power of journal writing? I let myself free write in reply. Here’s what flowed out:
Journaling is not just sitting with pen and paper. It’s a meeting, a rendezvous with a beloved companion. It is an act of loving respect for myself. Journaling is self-inquiry. Meditation. Prayer. It’s showing up to listen to me, to find out why the urge to cry, why the butterflies. It’s deep asking and deep listening.
Writing in my journal is giving myself an adjustment, like when I go to the chiropractor and have my spine helped back into alignment; when I journal deeply into my truth, I can give myself a spiritual adjustment. Journaling is connecting with my soul. I invite my soul to speak to me through my arm and pen held above the empty page. Journaling is stopping in the midst of chaos—even if the chaos is mostly in my own mind—especially when it’s mostly in my own mind.
I journal my way to the eye of the storm—through my vulnerability to my power. Lost, I find my way to unconditional love and to forgiveness (even when I can’t forgive yet beyond my journal). I meet myself in my own heart. Journaling is deep quiet joy. I journal to make my way home to my heart again and again and again.
What is your relationship with your journal?
There is no wrong or right answer, just your answer. Please share in the comment section below.
Note: Not to worry, if you don’t see your comment after posting. I moderate all comments to filter out spam. Your comment will show up with 24-48 hours and is much appreciated!
Whether you are a veteran, new to journaling or somewhere in between, I invite you to deepen and enliven your relationship with journaling. It would be my honor and delight to play a role in inspiring you.
COMING UP ON THE HARVESTING LOVE BLOG WILL BE A NUMBER OF POSTS ABOUT THE HEALING JOYS OF JOURNAL WRITING. If you have any topics you would like to see explored, PLEASE let me know in the comments section below or email me directly. I would LOVE to hear from you.
In the meantime, check out these FREE resources here at the Dance of the Letters:
FROM DOUBT TO FREEDOM: A Guide for Writers and Other Creatives, (38 page eBook)
Bibliography of Some of My Favorite Books to Help Free the Voice and Write to Heal
Inspirational and Practical Quotes about Women Journaling
JOIN ANI'S INNER CIRCLE OF READERS Get Chapter 1 of Ani’s novel, The Tremble of Love: A Novel of the Baal Shem Tov and Chapter 1 of the new audiobook edition—available soon! And be the first to receive Ani's occasional posts.
Your comments make this blog a conversation!
I would love to hear from you.
To avoid spam all comments are moderated by Ani. So if you don’t see your comment show up, not to worry; your comment will be up within within 24-48 hours