Many articles are coming out now about the benefits of keeping a daily journal.
Some are scientific, some are new age, some are creatives-driven, and
are written by reporters who were assigned the article.
I’ve been journaling daily for 47 years…
I’m not saying I never missed a day… I’m not compulsive —
but, the more you do the more it becomes second nature
the more you feel the benefits and you begin to yearn for your journal…
like talking to a best friend but sometimes a bit better.
Journaling can save your life.
I believe this. Absolutely.
You know what it is like when you are angry, broke up with some arsehole, got the blues? Have a problem and have exhausted discussion of it with every single friend you know (“shuddup already”), or maybe cannot talk to anyone about it?
The discussion cycles through your head day and night, relentlessly.
Zennies call it monkeymind, for it surely behaves like a monkey, ya-ya-yahing,
the same tape usually, going nowhere positive, just a rerun of events, chattering endlessly.
“WHY did he leave me?”
“What did I do to deserve this or that?”
“How can I fix this or that?”
“I hate her I hate her I hate her.”
Most of these events or situations don’t have answers or resolution.
Even if they do you won’t get to it by running over the same territory daily like a truck.
They are often incomprehensible.
Especially when you are a self-reflecting person who owns their mistakes
and so reviews the bumps in life — conscious people are going to be more bothered
by the insanities of interactions with others that make no sense.
Your mind wants to see what you did… What they did…
If there were clues this might happen…
Because usually there is no “answer”, it just repeats and repeats the same musings.
You are STUCK.
Writing it down exhausts the energy… trust me.
I went through a terrible time with my former husband, I filled a journal with anger.
What I learned was that after writing “I hate him” several times after an argument
my mind said, “GOT IT! You hate him… enough! You got anything else in there?”
Seriously. I just reviewed a bunch of old journals and tossed a few of these,
because they were pretty boring (I save most journals).
I saved a couple sample pages, a slice to remember,
but really, those journals were to save my sanity in a moment where
I could not understand why he was apparently trying to hurt me.
“I wouldn’t do THAT, if I felt THAT WAY I’d leave.”
On and on I went — I could not wrap my mind around his behavior.
I had to exhaust the anger and confusion every so often just so I could move on
and be more productive in untangling my marriage issues, or even to work!
I think our minds want acknowledgment, that we are listening.
Especially in hard, confusing, hopeless times.
I believe that this can come in the form of painting or making melody —
if you are a creative —
but also, that energy can be exhausted (acknowledged) by committing
both the stupid shit and the brilliant insights into your journal.
When you take pen to paper, you are engaging every one of your modalities:
you are physically engaging your body in the issue;
you are certainly engaging verbal/auditory patterning;
and finally, visual types can see what they’ve written.
Engaging all the modalities let’s your mind feel thoroughly heard.
I believe it will save many of us from spiraling into depression.
I have experience with that, so I knows this stuff!
See Daily Journal, 2, tomorrow!
“Memory is more indelible than ink.”
Anita Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
“I think not….”
Me… why I journal!
©D. Katie Powell.
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I teach architectural sketching,
art journaling (art+writing), creativity, watercolors.
That annoying loud-mouth editor/critic in your head? GONE! How great would that be?