I have been journaling off and on for over 20 years. I have a drawer of completed journals that I’m terrified will fall into the wrong hands. I have used journaling for many reasons – to make sense of situations, understand patterns, create my future, get grounded, practice gratitude, and most importantly come back to myself.
Every once in a while I pull out a journal and read through it. I am both amazed at the progress I’ve made and depressed by some of the patterns (negative mainly) that persist. I’m entertained by some of my goals (swear less) and intrigued by others (the mind map of my ideal partner). (By the way I did find him. I just had to leave the country but that is another story
But I digress … this past week, I went to a session by Lynda Monk on journaling. Lynda did a great job of gently inviting people to journal, along with helpful tips and her personal experiences with journaling. The most insightful observation for me was around how “sticky” trauma or strong emotions can be to those in helping professions. Journaling is a way to release those emotions.
I found her 5 step Life Source Writing process particularly helpful. I would say I have mainly focused on the writing, reflecting and affirming so I look forward to practising the first 2 steps of arriving and relaxing. The middle of the model is my main takeaway, that journaling brings me back to myself.