Sacred Journaling

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” ― Anaïs Nin

Writing in the first page of a journal has always been magical for me. It’s because the journal is full of possibilities. The pages are all blank, awaiting to be filled with dreams, goals, plans, and daydreams. Life has a fresh start. I can decide what the theme will be, what characters I plan to place in them, and what quotes I will choose to outline the interior pages.

I’ve journaled for over thirty years in some capacity, some years more than others. As I wrote in the last pages of my old journal last night, I was mindful of reflecting on how I ended this body of work. This particular one sustained me over a span of three months, visited several countries, and served me well. What were the last thoughts I had before starting new? Although I am simply documenting these internal emotions, I could choose the last lines to write.

What I chose to write about was these words I uttered to a client earlier that day: “the solution lies in your creativity.”

It’s been said that we are the creators and writers of our own stories. Instead of viewing ourselves as passive victims, where life is happening to us we can opt to be the premiere storyteller. We can be our own knight in shining armour.

Generally when I write in my journals, I give myself creative freedom. There is no censorship. But those first and last lines of a journal are sacred. It’s the beginning and the ending of the stories that captivate and stick with you.

New beginnings aren’t just meant for January 1st, the day after a fast, or the morning of a birthday…we have the potential and possibility to frequently create life anew.

Here are some lessons I’ve manifested over the years on how to keep a journal:

1. Invest in a journal that is beautiful. You deserve a quality journal that’s not going to disintegrate quickly due to its cheap nature. Your journal is a reflection of you. This has been a recent shift for me, and I frequently have people note the beauty of the journals. People will comment on how they are almost too beautiful to write in. But if our bodies are the sacred vessels of our souls, aren’t the journals the sacred vessels of our thoughts ?

2. Choose your journal wisely. Along with the piece of advice above, I notice that the style of my journal reflects the theme of what the contents may be. For example I noticed when a journal was filled with boats, this was the time I dated a sailor. Another time my journal had a sun with people holding hands around it, and this is when I was linked in with “fire tribe” in Hawaii. This was a community of fun people who got together frequently to poi spin or hula hoop with fire. It’s interesting to see the possibilities journals can bring, almost like vision boards.

3. Integrate quotes or inspirational lyrics throughout your journal to keep the theme present.

4. A journal is all encompassing. Verbally express your anger and sadness in here. The journal won’t talk back, but be sure it’s not only filled with these “negative” emotions. Know it’s also available for capturing your nighttime dreams you want to remember or potential goals. It can be a place we store our daily gratitude or somewhere to explore the beautiful moments of a wonderful day.

5. Keep writing in it! Be consistent. A journal, like plants, are not beneficial if they are not tended to.

We all utilize journals differently, so I will not mandate that all journals must possess the same contents. Simply keep these components in your awareness.

“Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind. “-Natalie Goldberg

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