“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” -Lao Tzu
In our fast paced lives it’s easy to go from one item on our to do list to the next without mindfully breathing, reflecting or even thinking. The lack of internal attention can encourage a build up of energetic and emotional debris that may create fatigue and limit mental clarity.
We all know what we “should” do to create or maintain our physical and mental well being but the age old struggle for busy people persists, what WILL you realistically do on the daily?
Since, at some point, everything old is new again let’s go back to a tried and true staple that is quick and effective: journaling. Dig out one of the eight zillion half filled or totally unused journals you have in a box or on a shelf someplace and put it to use. This practice is a productive way to start your day. It’s a do-able self care practice to clear out residual mind junk and help you stay present to your feelings and surroundings.
Journaling gives you an opportunity to ask empowered questions about your reactions, feelings and circumstances. Knowing what drives you gives you behavior options. Using this tool as a time for daily reflection, without judgement, can fuel your curiosity which will enhance your ability to become the observer of your own behavior. This is a part of living mindfully.
When I suggest this practice to clients, many get caught up on the idea of “doing it right.” To which I reply, “If you put pen to paper and write something, you are doing it right.” There are many ways to journal to reach specific results. “Morning Pages” were popularized by Julia Cameron in 1992 in her iconic book, The Artist’s Way. Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. According to Cameron, “They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.”
A more mental health based way to journal is to write at night or anytime you are feeling stressed and unsure of the root cause. You have the answers within you. By writing down your thoughts and feelings, you can get to know yourself a bit better and can see more clearly what your next right action might be or why you’re feeling a particular way. Regularly putting pen to paper can create a space for the answers to be revealed with ease and grace.
Try This Exercise:
Give Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages” a try!
I think you may find this quick morning routine helpful to clarify and process your feelings. Personally, I love writing whatever is on my mind, knowing that I will be the only person to ever see it. It creates a inner expansion that feels amazing!
Now, many of you know that I am interested in millennials, and those who are inspiring this big demographic to positive action. This generation has had access to information about holistic health and empowerment from a young age, unlike the generations before them. So today I’m talking to a very enlightened millennial, Katie Dalebout, who has a blog and a podcast called Wellness Wonderland. She also has a new book called Let It Out, all about her self-discovery through journaling. Listen in as we talk about how she came to journaling as a way to heal herself, the right and wrong ways to journal (hint: there are no wrong ways), and how journaling helped her find her worth.
You can Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher or TuneIn
“With my journal I was able to be that vulnerable, and eventually was able to be that vulnerable with other people, but through that was able to get to know myself.” – Katie Dalebout
- How to start a blog
- Why she was inspired by podcasts
- The value of journaling
- How journaling can help you
- The two voices that you have when you journal
“Journaling is one of the few things that I really have to be 100% with myself for, I have to be 100% present.” – Katie Dalebout
- What are the right and wrong ways to journal
- How journaling helped her find her worth
- What is orthorexia
- Why she goes on walks
“Sometimes you have to put that mirror up in your face and actually look at your stuff, which can be uncomfortable. ” – Katie Dalebout
- Get a copy of Katie’s book Let It Out: A Journey Through Journaling
- Be sure to check out Katie’s blog and podcast!
- Read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
- Try Katie’s journaling practice!
- Connect with Katie:
“I want to get back closer to the dreams I had when I was fifteen.” – Katie Dalebout
*Featured image courtesy of Meagan