There don’t have to be any rules for journaling. It’s exciting to be open and creative – to find your own style and express yourself. But following some general tips may dramatically increase your results. Here’s a simple 4-step process: Sync, Think, Ink and Link.
SYNC – Bring together (synchronize!) supportive elements to set the stage for your journaling. If possible, choose a quiet place during your prime thinking time. You may want to have soft music playing and possibly some incense, oils or candles to scent the air. A selection of coloured pens will stimulate more of the right brain. Get your journaling book ready. Write the date and the topic (your intention) for your journaling session. It’s powerful to create a ritual with strong general intentions before each journaling session. Your ritual may be as simple as lighting a candle and taking 3 deep breaths to relax and centre you. As you breathe, exhale longer than you inhale. And as you exhale, know that you are going to obtain excellent results from your journaling. The more you respect and honour your journaling practice, the more you invite your deep inner knowing to participate.
THINK – To draw information from our unconscious minds, we require three things: a need, repetition and authority. So emphatically ask your subconscious a question or state your request, and do this three times. Be really clear about what you want to achieve. Remember: clarity is power. You want to imprint the question or request deeply in your subconscious, for this is the source of your best answers and insights.
INK – Now start writing. Write a bit faster than normal. This helps us get out of our habitual patterns in writing. We asked the subconscious mind for answers, and writing faster allows more of the mind to speak out. Your writing does not have to look or sound perfect. Typos and spelling and grammatical errors are okay. Do not stop writing! If you feel at a loss for words, just make something up. Listen more deeply and write whatever is on your mind, even if you think it is irrelevant to the topic. Do not censor. No filtering. The key is to keep writing. If you get really stuck, write out the question or request over and over again until new thoughts surface. Just keep writing. Tell your truth as quickly as you can. Get the sense that you are even writing before you are thinking. Allow awareness to awaken. As you become more experienced at journaling, you’ll become more aware of how you hear or sense your information. As you do this, you will turn up the intuitive voice that has all of your answers.
LINK – This is one of the most powerful steps, yet very few who journal ever use it. When you have finished writing, read over your material. Look for shifts in writing style or content, spelling errors that may be Freudian slips, symbols and sentence structure shifts. These may shed a new perspective on your experience. Intentionally step back and look at the bigger picture. You’ll see other perspectives and gain new insights. You may even want to circle words or phrases or highlight them. To conclude, write down a maximum of 3 sentences on whatever comes to your mind after reading what you’ve written. This final entry may record new insights. It may be a summary of your journaling. Or it may be just a few points or action items. Simply write whatever is important to you or whatever comes to your mind. If you got some great insights or results, make an entry in the index of your journal book so you can easily find it in the future.
If your goal is to stimulate your creativity, here are some suggestions for getting your right brain involved:
- relax before and during your journaling session
- use colour
- involve your physical senses
- use motion
- work with graphics
- include music
- experiment with aromas
- spend time in nature
The more relaxed and open you are in your journaling session, the more the energy and ideas will flow. Enjoy!
About the Author: John Robson
John Robson has devoted much of his life to exploring how to bring more love, awareness, meaning and purpose to life, and self discovery. Read more: A Journaling Process