There are many definitions of the practice of journaling. Here’s my personal favorite:
“A journal is a series of written passages that document the personal events, thoughts, feelings, memories and perceptions in one’s journey through life leading to wholeness.”
The act of documenting the memories, events, feelings and perceptions in our journey through life is, in and of itself, a valuable activity. It helps us remember and re-experience our good times and make sense of our challenges and difficulties.
However when we take a few moments to reflect upon what we’ve written, we deepen our writing experience and reach that state of wholeness more quickly. Here’s an easy process to follow next time you write:
- Write for 5-15 minutes on a personal event, memory, feeling, or perception. Set a timer if you need to.
- Spend the next 5-7 minutes rereading and reflecting upon what you’ve written.
- Ask questions such as “What did I notice?” “How has this event / emotion / memory changed me?” “What surprised me?” or “What might I have done differently?” Write down your reflections.
- Write down your answers to these questions and/or make a one or two paragraph summary of what you learned from the questions.