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The power of the Pen- Journaling

Updated: Feb 9

Why Journal?


I get this question often in my coaching program.  There are a lot of reasons I give, but the best one is, it is a processing tool that is therapeutic.  If you write from a heart that is honest, you have the opportunity to benefit from the process of thinking and putting those thoughts into words on a paper. The amazing thing about writing is that it opens you up where you can begin to experience the situation again or in a new light as you write your perspective about it.


Writing can help you in so many ways. Dr. Laura King, a researcher at Southern Methodist University confirmed that writing through traumatic life experiences is a powerful strategy for getting through difficult times and learning from them. When you write about a situation it opens up your mind to experience it differently and come to different conclusions.


How do I Journal?


When I was 13, I received a journal for my birthday and I was excited to write in it.  I sat down, put the date at the top of the page and wrote one sentence of what I had done that day.  I proceeded to come back to the journal once a week and write out facts.  It wasn't until I was in high school that I began writing out feelings and experiences in my journal.  In ninth grade I remember going as a Leader In Training to a camp for the summer and I didn't want to forget one thing about my awesome experience there. That summer I wrote multiple times in a week to remember names and fun experiences. 

My journey with journaling has been a roller coaster experience. It depended on the season of life that I was in whether I was consistent or not. Today my kids are older and life has settled down to a rhythm and I have found that journaling is a beautiful opportunity for me to sit with my thoughts every morning.


The key to journaling is to record all the moments and thoughts and experiences when you have the "aha" moment.  The words you write become insight, coaching, and healing. 


What if I don't write well?


Don't worry about it!  Just get started.  Get something on paper.  It is kind of like turning on a facet that hasn't been used in a  while.  When you first turn it on , the water may spurt and bubble or look a little rusty.  But if you let it flow a little while, eventually the water will become clear.  Your writing is the same way.  Let it come out rusty.  If you allow it to keep flowing the good stuff will make it's way to the surface.  Make a decision to not judge yourself too harshly.  Your journal is only for your eyes.


How often should I write?


I don't like the word, "should". I will not tell you how often you should write, but I will tell you this, write often.  Daily if you can.  But if not, do not pressure yourself and certainly do not beat yourself up for writing less.  If you only get to do it once a week, that is fine. Just do it consistently.  You do not have to write a novel. You might just write a paragraph or two some days, while at other times you write three pages.  It depends on what is on your mind.  Just get in the habit.  The more you do it the more it comes a part of your lifestyle. It will be worth it.


Let's put it in ACTION


Grab your journal and let's start writing.  Here are some writing prompts that I want you to use.  You can use them every day.

  1. What is the best thing that happened today?

  2. What is really holding me back?

  3. What am I afraid of?

  4. How do I want someone's life to be better when they cross my path?

  5. What if I fail at this?

  6. What if I am not good enough?

  7. What if I don't know enough?

  8. What if my worst fears come true?  How would I handle it?

  9. What is my top priority in life right now?

  10. What am I avoiding?

I am super excited to hear about your journaling activity. Go ahead and make comments below on where journaling is hard for you? What are the benefits you get from it? and Why should another reader start journaling?

This will help me to know what areas we can talk about and walk together.

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