A Meaningful Journaling Practice

I gave my friend a journal to say “thank you” for hosting my baby shower. She held up the journal, pleased and excited: “It’s beautiful!” she said. “I’ve always wanted to journal, but…I don’t know what to write!”

This is a common dilemma. You buy a journal with the best of intentions, yet it collects dust on your nightstand, because you don’t know how to fill its pages.

Journaling has played a huge role in my spiritual practice. I view my journaling as a time to reconnect with my soul. Instead of “Dear Diary, today I had avocado on Ezekiel toast for breakfast” type entries, my time with my journal is quiet, peaceful, and full of beautiful self-discovery. Journaling has allowed me to grow and heal in ways I never thought possible.

Here are 7 steps to help you cultivate a meaningful journaling practice:

tiny-devotions-mala-beads1. Consider Why You Want to Journal
I’m betting it isn’t just to list all the things you did or ate that day. Ask yourself why you want to take the time to record your thoughts and emotions. Personally, placing my inner dialogue on a page clears my mental clutter; I feel cleansed. Ask yourself: do you want to explore your emotions around a certain issue or person? Expand your self-awareness? Elevate your self-love? Then go for it!

2. Treat Yourself to a Beautiful Journal
Splurge if need be. You will be sharing your innermost thoughts and desires with this journal, so purchase one that speaks to you aesthetically. Love pink? Go bright. Or find one with a quote on it that inspires you.

3. Journaling as a Form of Prayer
Think about journaling as a way to communicate with the Universe. What do you want and why? What barriers stand in your way of achieving your dreams? Sharing with your journal is sharing with the Universe; you are putting your desires and dreams out there. Ask for what you wish to receive, then trust that the Universe has heard you and supports your ultimate happiness.

4. Ask Questions, Request Guidancetiny-devotions-mala-beads
Use this time to explore uncertainties or fears that hold you back. Don’t be afraid to dig deep; this is a safe place for you to expand your self-comprehension. When I am confused or upset, I seek guidance: I write “Universe, I am confused about (insert issue/problem/person). Guide me to know how to handle this with love and peace”.

5. Release Your Problems and Fears to Your Journal
When I am feeling stressed, worried or fearful, I feel immediate relief when I put pen to paper and release my concerns to my journal. It feels as though I can relax, because I have put my problems and a request for guidance out there into the great unknown; I can go about my day with a renewed sense of peace.

6. Express Gratitude and Celebrate You!
The Universe is listening when you journal, so don’t forget to give thanks! At the end of each entry, try listing 10 things you are grateful for in your life. Keep them original, and I promise you will be amazed how much abundance you already possess.  Also, don’t forget to use your journal to celebrate your successes! Each entry should contain some self-love!

7. Journal. Meditate. Repeat.
Whether you journal in the morning, afternoon or evening, try a short mediation afterwards. In prayer (aka journaling) we ask for guidance and in meditation we receive it. So take the time to receive the peace, love and answers you have been seeking through your writing.

Journaling is a habit, and the more you do it, the more you will want to do it. My day does not feel complete until I have shared with my journal; she is like a loving, wise, boho-buddy who is always there to listen. Some days I feel I have nothing to write about, then my pen hits the page and BAM! I am scribbling about something I didn’t even realize I needed to explore.

Give journaling a chance. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Alyson is a writer, communications professional, spiritual explorer and excited Mom-to-be. You can follow her journey here.

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