The Gift of Journaling

In Create

I have discovered the gift of journaling.
In “The artist way” author Julia Cameron calls it “brain drain”.
An opportunity to not just pour out your heart,
but also all those thoughts getting in the way of your life.

Here is a quick short list of why journaling enriches your life:

  1. It is a time capsule of your now, capturing the things you do, the people you see and events that make up your life.
  2. Helps you process all the crazy voices in your head. You can start to understand them and decipher between the ones you want to keep and the ones you need to show the front door.
  3. It helps you dream and organize and understand your purpose here on earth.
  4. It is a place to put all the bad stuff you would never say out loud.
  5. It gives you permission to feel the things you are feeling and think the things you are thinking.
  6. It is safe. We all need a safe place outside of judgement or scorn to be fully and truthfully ourselves.
  7. It helps you become a better writer and hopefully in turn, a better reader.
  8. It gives you purpose and you find your embrace your day differently.
  9. It is a form of very affordable therapy.
  10. You gain a healthy self awareness.

journaldani

I recently got my son into the art of journaling. He is a nine year old who feels deeply, whether it be joy or frustration, you will see it pour off him in waves. He is entering a stage of life where his body and his friends and goals and beliefs will be challenged and changing. Knowing he won’t always want to come to his dad or me to talk about his thoughts and secrets, I wanted to set him up in a habit that would help him through his formative years of doubts and questions.

Being an avid journaler I knew I wanted him to take this journey. I wanted to give him a safe place to pour his secret thoughts and the feelings he is ashamed of or worried about. A place to put his secret desires and hopes and feelings. I wanted him to discover that sometimes when we put pen to paper, the words we couldn’t find before start pouring out. I wanted to show him another safe place to unwrap his heart as he navigates what this thing called life is all about.

Plus, it helps with his spelling, literacy, and storytelling. Supposedly, becoming a better writer also makes you a better reader.

He wasn’t sure how to start, so we checked out, this helpful tool with lots of journaling prompts. http://www.dailyteachingtools.com/journal-writing-prompts.html

I want to emphasize that there is no right or wrong way to write in a journal. It is whatever he wants to write about. I feel journaling is important for my own personal growth, but even more than that is the responsibility as a parent to make sure my children are equipped to deal with life. I think this is a valuable life skill to help my children process what is going on inside and around them.

My morning ritual now involves journaling alongside my son as he learns the craft of pouring his heart on paper. Finding his voice and creating a safe place for all those scary secret thoughts that we never outgrow but never found a place for. Or each of us writes alone when the other one sleeps in. You know, because we like sleep.

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