A new journal! It is a beautiful little notebook with colorful flowers on the cover. She brought this to me on the bed this morning just as I had published the previous post about journal writing. How cool is that?! : )
The benefits of journal writing are many. The ways to use journal vary. Here are some ideas.
The Recording Journal: This kind of journal is where you chronicle your daily life. I kept this kind of “dear diary” journal most of my life (starting at about age 10). It is really interesting to look back on some of these journals you wrote as a younger version of yourself. You may find that some things don’t change much and you are still anguishing over the same issues you did as a teenager (finding the right mate, your weight, etc.) You may also see all of the growth that life experience has given you. That is most satisfying. You may find patterns from your life that can give you some kind of insight for your present life. I look back on many of my journals and just feel thankful for the rich life I have had thus far.
The Travel Journal: This is a kind of recording journal but warrants a special book of its own. There is something truly expansive and wondrous about adventure and visiting new places. Your senses come to life as you take in these new experiences. You are taking photos most likely with your camera- so why not record your experiences in writing as well? It will be a wonderful souvenir of your journeys years from now.
The Gratitude Journal: We mention this kind of journal quite a bit here at The Warm Milk Journal. What we appreciate appreciates. It is hard to stay in a negative state of mind if we are focused on the many things we are blessed with in our life. On a daily basis write down things you are thankful for. I started doing this many years ago on my own and also with the guidance of Sarah Ban Breathnach’s The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude (which is never too far from my bedside) . Giving thanks is a wonderful habit and practice to get into.
The Worry Journal: This is another kind journal that comes up a bit here at The Warm Milk Journal. Many of us are losing sleep at night because our minds just won’t shut off the worries. The idea here is to give our minds a place and time to get all the worries out. List the worries. Then perhaps next to each worry write down a solution for it. This can then get us out of that hopeless feeling state. If our minds go back to worrying, gently remind ourselves that we had our “worry time” for now. We can also remind ourselves in this journal that 99% of what we worry about doesn’t happen. We can also play out the “worst case scenario”: if what we are worrying about really happened, then what? Write it out. Would it really be as bad as our fearful minds have imagined it? On the top of each page of our worry journals we can write: This Too Shall Pass . Whatever is going on in our lives (good or bad) will pass. Life is dynamic. Is does not stand still. That idea alone has given me much comfort.
The Ideas Journal: You never know when you are going to get inspired and have a terrific idea. It is always a good idea to have a little notebook at hand to write down your ideas. I am using some notebooks I have kept to develop some business ideas. Some of these ideas are quite good and they would have been lost if I had not jotted them down.
The Spiritual Journal: inspirational quotes, affirmations etc. I believe that journal writing helps us connect to our higher power. I often feel the closest to God when I take some quiet alone time with my journal and write. I sometimes write to God or the universe and ask for guidance. Our intuition and inner voice really comes out with this practice.
The Creative Journal: poetry, doodling, stories, anything fun, wacky. No censoring here. Just let your creative and playful spirit come out. This is a really fun kind of journalling experience. To get inspired, check out any of Sark’s books.
The Dream Journal: This can be fun. Have a journal by your bedside and when you first wake up, write down any dreams that you remember. Our dream world is pretty fascinating. Many common recurring dreams that we have have been interpreted and it is interesting. There are may books on dreams. One good one I currently have is the second edition of The Dream Encyclopedia by James R Lewis and Evelyn Dorothy Oliver.
I am at a point in my life (I am 43 years old) where I just don’t feel like I have the time to mess with things, people, or circumstances that are not working for me.
What is working for you? What is not? This is a great journal writing activity.
- What is important to me?
- What is in my life or happening in my life that lines up with my most important values?
These are the things we need to appreciate, thank God and the universe for, and focus on. What we appreciate appreciates! What we focus on grows.
We can then ask ourselves this question for our journal writing:
- What is in our lives that is not serving our greater good? (this can be people, things, places, circumstances)
- What is toxic?
- What is holding us back?
- What is not supporting us?
Once we have identified these negative influences in our lives we can choose to let them go. Write these things down on a separate page in your journal. Then tear it out and burn it in your fireplace. Have a nice letting go ceremony and be done with them already.
Then go back to the page where you wrote about what is working in your life. Ahhh..the stuff that is truly deserving of your time, energy, and attention. Look at that. Focus on those good things , appreciate them and they will be what dominate your life experience. Pretty nice, huh?
Debra : )
Thank you, Warm Milk Journal readers. This blog is a work in progress and I hope that it is helping or inspiring you in some way.
Other things in my life I feel thankful for this evening:
- I am thankful for my wonderful supportive, loving, and sexy partner
- I am thankful to have a meaningful job where I have the opportunity to positively effect the lives of 46 second graders 180 days of the year
- I am thankful for my children who are good at challenging me and humbling me and teaching me what it means to love
- I am thankful for my parents who continue to love me and enjoy their lives to the the fullest
- I am thankful for my cat Mew who is adorable and is a constant loving peaceful precious presence in my life.
Now it is your turn (time to get out your journals):
I am thankful for:
Here are 15 journal writing prompts for you to try today or tonight:
- If you were a color, what would you be and why?
- If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
- Where in the world would you like to live if money were no object?
- What would be on the top of your administration’s agenda if you were the President?
- Describe an ideal day for you.
- What is something nobody knows about you?
- If you were to deliver a graduation speech to this year’s graduating high school or college seniors, what would you tell them?
- Finish this thought: Spring is a perfect time to….
- What is one word that means peace to you?
- When do you feel the most safe?
- When do you feel the most alive?
- When do you feel the most excited?
- Describe a stressful time in your life when you reacted in a calm and controlled way?(In other words, handled things well?)
- What are some things you like to do when nobody is looking?
- What is your favorite book right now? Why? What are you enjoying about it?
You have many reasons to be happy. What are you thankful for in your life right now? Write them down in your journal. Come up with as many things as you can. Think about them throughout your day or as you drift off to sleep tonight.
Here are some prompts for your journal writing time:
- What is a fear you have always had? How would it feel to just be free of it?
- What did you used to want to do when you were in third grade?
- What are you thankful for this very moment?
- Go to a bookshelf in your home. Close your eyes. Pick out a book and randomly open it. Write down something about that page. Reflect.
- When was the last time you laughed? What caused you to laugh? How did it feel to laugh?
As you are lying in bed tonight, think about (or if writing in your journal write about):
- one way that you made a positive difference in someone’s life today
- A smile that you gave or a smile that you received
- a delicious meal you ate today
- a hug or kiss that you gave or received from someone you love
- your pet’s unconditional love and acceptance of you
- one thing that you achieved today
- something that made you laugh
- unexpected income coming into your life
- how you have a roof over your head
- something you are excited about in your life right now
- a happy memory
- The Warm Milk Journal Has moved !
- Expect The Unexpected
- Eating That Elephant One Little Bite At A Time
- Finding Our Voice: Speaking Up For Ourselves
- “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. Breathe”- Japanese Saying
- Feeling Overwhelmed On Our “Low” Days
- “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety”-Psalm 4:8
- Setting Ourselves A Deadline: A simple tip for de-stressing and getting better sleep
- The Mew Way:To Nap or Not To Nap? Mew says: “nap!”
- Guess what my daughter just gave me for Mother’s Day?
- Journal Writing: the benefits of keeping different kinds of journals
- Looking Forward To A Good Night Sleep Tonight
- Benefits of Journal Writing
- creative writing
- Heartwarming Stories
- journal writing
- Physical Exercises
- The Mew Way
- The Warm Milk Journal
- Tips to help insomnia