I have journaled for as long as I can remember.
It started with a tiny locked diary when I was a kid. I wrote things like – today I ate mac n cheese for lunch and it was delicious and then I rode my bike and then I had to do homework which I didn’t like.
As a teen, I wrote into a much larger diary (I so wish I’d kept those ones to read now). They were full of school crushes, gossip, angst, and summer vacation thrills.
I started to get serious about journaling when I graduated from high school, and moved out on my own. I wrote down my inner thoughts so I could make sense of my rapidly changing life. My journal was there for me, like a self-counselor, helping me unravel my feelings, ideas, and thoughts on my future.
When I was in my early twenties I travelled to Mexico, and I met an older woman who’d kept a dream diary for twenty years. I was astounded and inspired. I’d never really thought about the power of dreams, and often didn’t even remember mine. I started a practice of saying before I fell asleep – I will remember my dreams, I will remember my dreams, I will remember my dreams. This simple chant, said three times over a few days, had me recalling my dreams as I woke. I wrote them down in my dream journal, and later, learned how to interpret them.
My journal was there for me in my saddest times. It was there for me when no one else was. It was where I could express my loneliness or fears, and quite often, it would make me feel better. I could write out my worries and dissect them, and make them more manageable. Writing in my journal helped me unravel, uncover, and understand the deep being within me.
I’ve also kept a gratitude journal. I’ve written one word, or one sentence a day, for what I’m thankful for. I’ve reflected on the eve of a new year, and written down all that I’m grateful for, including the big lessons (that may or may not have been pleasant). I’ve also tracked my days of ease and love and peace.
Currently, I have a few journals going. One is tracking my feelings around food. One is for my dreams. One is for my day to day. One is for all of my future ideas.
I could rave on and on about my love of journaling. Do you journal? What kind of journaling do you do? How long have you done it? How has it impacted your life? I would love to hear from you.