THE MAGIC & MESSINESS OF DAILY JOURNALING
We have a lot of thoughts – 95% of which are repetitive and not all that useful. When we get this messiness down on paper we create space for clarity and insight. This is where journaling comes in, especially when we tie it with something we love to do; Yoga!! it’s a powerful way to bring a little more depth to our experiences both on and off the yoga mat.
Just 5 mins of journaling before and after practice can have an incredible effect upon our lives … why? Because these are some of the biggest discoveries we can ever make in our lifetime!
Journaling can bridge the gap between what is happening in our heads and our hearts. It can inform us of why we do what we do, how we experience ourselves, our environment and our place within it. It can also help to foster compassion for others, especially when we approach our journaling practice with kindness for ourselves. Try not to think of it as another task, savour it… time spent getting to know the most important person in your life … YOU!!
Here are some journal prompts if you are struggling:
- Write the date, time and what you practiced.
- Write down your intention for practice if you have one… perhaps think of one if you don’t.
~ An intention can be anything you wish; something as simple as ‘I intend to be kind to myself today’ ….we all need something to aim for in life, or life will just happen to us!
~ You can also dedicate your practice to someone or something; a cause which is close to your heart. This can become an incredibly powerful force and helps to keep us going on the days when it’s a struggle, write it down…
- Spend the first 3 mins writing freestyle: Write freely, this is your own private journal and it’s all yours to be yourself in. In the beginning this could be ‘I have no idea what to write’ scribbled out 20 times before something takes hold – just simply set a timer and write for 3 mins or longer. Don’t think to much about it … just give it a go.
- Write down your energy levels before and after your practice; breath, emotions – it all counts!
- What did you practice? poses, pranayama, meditation?
- What did you enjoy and what did you find challenging?
- How did you manage your challenges?
- What did you love and why?
- Sum up your practice with one word
- How do you feel after practice? Calmer, more centred, agitated …. Wired, ready to run a marathon, sleepy, relaxed, too relaxed …
- Write three things which you are grateful for (re-read them before you go to bed at night)
Journaling is also a form of practice; a little excavation and exploration into the depths of you! It can be fun and inspirational! Over time we can read back on any changes and progress we have made. These incremental changes tend to be the most monumental and life altering, generally taking place over a lifetime. They are not always the shrill, dramatic surges we have been told to expect.
In your journal collect words, sentences, poems, paragraphs you’ve read, quotes you love … anything which strikes a cord and makes you stop for a moment. Don’t be precious about keeping it perfect and neat. Scribble, doodle, fill it up with things which fill your life up. There is nothing like pen moving across paper … its a simple magical tool which can have a profound impact on our quality of life.
Much love as always and happy journaling
Photo courtesy of: Photo by Gabrielle Henderson