The Sacred Journey journal has to be my favorite journal I have ever attempted to follow. I discovered it a few years ago and was sad when it sold out before I could get my 2012 copy. It has a lot of features I enjoy, but that isn’t really why I thought I would bring it up in this week’s blog post. The title of the journal made me realize part of why this journal suits me so well, and that has to do with the intention that has gone into its creation and the intention that I bring to its use:
Anais Nin once wrote that “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” This is certainly true of those who keep a journal. One might even argue that we do much more than that, since we relive the events yet again as we read what we wrote. At least, I know I do. I don’t just write my thoughts and step away, never to look at the page again. I often go back and reflect on the insights I had gained then, or those I gain now from the distance of time.
I know that I get a lot more juice from my living when I journal. When I write down my reactions to the days events, I get one layer of flavor. When I come back a month, a year, or even a decade later and reread the words, I often am able to see how much I have grown from that time. This new me would often interpret those events quite differently than the me who lived them.
I believe this insight into my personal growth is a great gift. To honor this gift, I try to incorporate time into every day to jot down even just a few words about my thoughts, impressions and emotions. I have taken to creating ritual around it, allowing the writing itself to become sacred activity, the time set aside for it to become sacred time, the place I write to become sacred space. When I meditate prior to writing, the words seem even deeper and more meaningful, so I have taken to doing that, too.
Writing with sacred intention can become very much like a mini-retreat from the world. It can give you back the ease of your breathing. It can calm the mind, and scratch that creative itch. I think that, if we allow it, we can connect to that rich place of divine stillness. I think of it as the place where the words end and the stillness goes to the very core of the soul. When I write from that place, it feels like it is not me that writes. I don’t think of the words themselves, but simply listen to the magical music that has no sound and let my fingers write or type as they will. When I am successful at staying in that place, I look back at what was written and I can clearly tell that it goes well beyond any shallow thoughts I might have shared, because I see a depth and insight that makes me want to reread what I feel the Goddess has shared with me. It is very spiritual for me. I go to this very deep place when I am able to write this way.
I don’t know if journal writing is as effective across all the learning styles (I am AKV – auditory, kinesthetic and visual), and I suspect that each one could benefit, if differently, from the process. I also believe that it is the intention of creating sacredness around the habit that gives it the depth I crave. If you have never tried this ritual intention in your writing before, I suggest you give it a try. If you can’t do daily, try weekly, but do try creating intention, ritual and sacredness with it and feel free to let me know if this is something that works for you. I would love to hear!
For those interested in purchasing or looking at the above-pictured journal in more detail, please follow THIS LINK.
As an aside, and for those who feel they need help getting started with this whole journaling idea, I would recommend the book Spiritual Journaling, by J Tallard Johnson. It was originally written for teens, but I can tell you from experience that the book is really for anyone who wants to develop a truly productive habit of journal keeping.