by Howard B. Richman
When you embark on a path towards self-healing, keeping a journal can be very helpful. It is not crucial to do this, but it often will be a great tool to help you reach your goals sooner.
Journaling can be Cathartic
One of the primary benefits of writing in a journal is that you create a systematic protocol for the release of old pains and traumas. You don’t even have to think about READING your own journal. EVER. Just the fact that you have WRITTEN it is usually enough. Of course, if you intend on sharing it, then a future step would be to read it and to edit it. As you are working on yourself, you may remember difficulties that you have had in the past. Just write them down and that is all you need to do.
The Gift of Letting Go
Sometimes the reason a persistent pain or trauma or habit stays within us is because we fear that we might forget what happened to us. So, we tend to subconsciously HOLD ON to this memory. As you know, when you hold on to old pains, fears, and negative experiences, it blocks your ability to move forward and to attract what you REALLY WANT. But when you write down your memories, suffering, humiliations, etc., you then have the GIFT OF LETTING GO. What does this mean? It means that since you no longer have to worry that you may forget the past, because you have recorded it, YOU ARE NOW FREE TO FORGET THE PAST AND TO MOVE FORWARD!!! Wow. Think about that….. Journaling is not healing in itself, but it can be a wonderful method to effectively dump off stuff, without guilt, so you don’t have keep this energy floating around within your consciousness.
Journaling is Healing
One of the lesser-known benefits of journaling is “re-integration” of the many fragmented parts of ourselves back into the whole. When we have been traumatized at any point in our life, it is normal for us to jam those experiences into little corners of our consciousness. The more fragmented we become, the less we feel that we can function effectively. The act of writing our thoughts OUT as they come up for us, can have the miraculous effect of gently re-connecting these disparate parts of our being into a unified whole.
Affirmational Aspect of Journaling
During the process of working on yourself, aside from old pains coming to the surface, you will likely have glimmers of positive feelings or awarenesses. It can be very positive for you to write down THESE as well. When you have a clarity of what is becoming positive in your life, in any regard, just by writing that down, it kind of cements it into your consciousness so you can “make it so.” This way, through writing in your journal, you have a way to MAGNETIZE the good things that you are wanting to attract into your life.
Tips on Keeping a Journal
Many people recommend that you write something in your journal every day. But in my opinion, this is not necessary. I have found that when thoughts and feelings come up for you, it is a good time to make the effort to write these down. So you may have a flood of things to write on one day, and then for the next 5 days — nothing. That is completely fine, actually.
Some people like the sensuality of writing in long hand. Some people like to type. I don’t think it really matters. If you feel that one day, you would want to organize your writings into a book, of course it will be easier if the content is already in typed/computer format.
Certain things throughout the day will trigger a reaction within you when you are working on yourself. As these reactions come up, keep them in mind, so at some point during that day, you can write it down. Don’t worry AT ALL about the “order” of these thoughts. There is no need to re-arrange the order unless you plan on writing a book or sharing your writings with someone else in the future. Or, in some cases, if you want to have your notes available just for your own reference, THEN it would also be appropriate to edit them in a logical order at some point. But normally, just the act of writing it down, IN ANY ORDER, sustains the therapeutic benefit and there is nothing else to do.
One unconventional trick on journaling that some people have good results with is to write long-hand (not at the keyboard) with your NON-DOMINANT hand. So if you are right-handed, you would write with your left hand, and vice versa. It doesn’t matter if it is messy. The benefit here is that by using the non-dominant hand, you often can more readily tune into your unfiltered subconscious mind and allow it to express what it needs to you. This process is called “stream of consciousness.” Just write WHATEVER COMES INTO YOUR MIND WITHOUT JUDGING IT. At first, it might just be gibberish for a week or a month, but with practice, you can use this technique to gain access to an inner guidance that may prove useful for your life.
About Howard B. Richman
Howard B. Richman is a pianist, composer, teacher, author and empowerment coach. One of his specialties is to offer unique solutions to the problems that have plagued you for years, that you thought no one would ever understand! Since 1975, he has taught thousands of students and many come to him for his unconventional wisdom and his ability to find the root cause of stubborn blocks. He provides creative methods to break through these blocks and to reach your goals.