For thousands of years the greatest thinkers in the world have known that the answers are not found out there in the world but inside of ourselves.
I was about 13 years old when I started journaling and asked myself the questions, “What is the meaning of life?” and “Why am I here?”. By diligently putting the pen to paper year after year, I have found my own answers. I consider myself a truthseeker, an explorer of life.
When I get into the flow on the page, there comes a moment when the rational mind subsides and a deeper mind emerges, a voice filled with wisdom and beauty and a love for life.
Exploring life on the page has brought me so much joy, from grabbing a precious notebook and a trusted pen, to sitting down and making time to express myself on the page, to watching the words pour out of me, almost in a trance, feeling deeply connected to the moment and all that exists.
Using a notebook of high quality plays a big part in that, there’s a very sensual experience in using smooth high-quality paper, a nicely bound notebook that smells intoxicating (like an Epica leather journal), and a pen that glides effortlessly over the page.
Over the last few years, I started to share my passion for journaling on YouTube, doing reviews of journals that I’ve enjoyed using, as well as posting photos on Instagram, sharing moments of me using my journals on my trips.
How I journal
This is my current journaling routine:
In the morning I do a meditation and after that I usually grab my journal while still in bed and do my morning pages. If you haven’t heard of morning pages, I highly recommend ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron. It’s essentially a morning brain dump and its sole purpose is to fill three handwritten pages (I aim for at least one) without any attachment to the outcome. It helps to get my thoughts on paper so I don’t carry them around with me and ruminate all day. Also, it’s a good way to check in with myself to see how I’m feeling.
After that I look at my planner and do a gratitude page inspired by the ‘Five Minute Journal’. Here are the prompts and questions I answer every day:1. Today I am grateful for
2. What would make today great
3. Daily Affirmations
And then in the evening:1. Amazing things that happened today
2. What did I learn today?
Of course, I miss a day here and there, but I definitely notice a beneficial difference in my life when sticking to this routine.
I also like to record moments that evoke deep emotions within me: beautiful vistas and special moments with loved ones, moments when I feel connected to something greater. I guess they are what you could call a spiritual experience.
Aside from that I also will take some notes for work, brainstorm ideas and create To Do lists.
Benefits of Journaling
Journaling has added so much value to my life. Here are the greatest benefits that I’ve encountered over the years:
Life can be confusing at times. I have a tendency to ruminate and get lost in events and the emotions that result from them. Putting my thoughts on paper helps me bring some distance between me and what’s going on in life. It helps me to gain a higher perspective because it enables me to shift into an observer mode instead of getting caught up in the drama of life.
Ease of AnxietyWith each gain in clarity, journaling simultaneously helps with easing anxiety. As mentioned before, it helps to detach from the emotions that resulted from certain stressful experiences in life. The best way to do this is to just vent onto the page, to put down all the troubling thoughts and fears without any censorship. Simply doing this is will bring some emotional relief. Then later I go back and read over what I wrote with an observer’s perspective, like I’m reading someone else’s writing. By then, usually the first ideas on how to solve my problem will bubble up. If not, I will simply ask myself empowering questions like, “How does this serve me?”, “What’s a completely different way to look at this?”, “What could be the best possible outcome?”, “How can I resolve this most easily?” etc. Doing this puts me in a much more empowered state of mind where I can take positive action.
Being in the Moment
Living in a fast-paced society filled with information overload, it’s so easy to just get caught up in life, living on autopilot, being absent minded most of the day. Grabbing my journal and deliberately sitting down to record and describe my environment helps to put me back into the moment. I love writing about a breathtaking sunset, watching the waves crash ashore, feeling the warm sand tickle my feet, a seagull screeching in the distance. It makes me feel alive and connected to something greater.
Achieving my Goals and Dreams
Writing down my goals and dreams has helped me manifest some pretty incredible things. From moving half across the world to live in the city I love, to doing work that I truly enjoy, to incredible trips and beautiful moments. I would often imagine my dreams and write about them as if I were already living all these things, describing them in detail in the present moment and later, sometimes magically, the things I wanted would actually come true.
For me one of the greatest gifts in life has been my love for pen and paper.
KD aka JournalJoy is a writer, traveler and life coach. She lives in California. It has been our privilege and a distinct pleasure to meet KD. I am always thrilled when she reviews one of our journals because I know she will help her viewers explore the quality and details like no-one else can. If you are interested in seeing some of her favorite journals and how she uses them, check out her Youtube channel – JournalJoy as well as on Instagram.
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Thank you for this article as well. I printed it out so I could highlight key points and I will be keeping it folded in my journal to serve as a gentle reminder.