I’ve been a writer all my life.
A writer of songs, books, short stories, poems, lists, theses, blog posts and love letters.
When I was nine years old, I decided to write a novel. I’m pretty sure I only made it about 5 chapters in, but I was a tiger behind those keys. I was verbose and chock full of wild ideas. I was ablaze with eagerness to tell my stories.
Naturally, societal conditioning kicked in soon after that, and my tenacious desire to tell my own stories was overshadowed by fear that they wouldn’t be good enough.
I began to question whether they were worth being told at all.
I regained a significant amount of confidence in my writing throughout high school and college. My tenacity for writing returned, now manifesting as essays and theses.
Even though I remained fearful of telling my own stories, I leapt at the chance to tell the stories of others.
I told stories about the LGBTQ community in Nigeria, the youth in Germany during World War II, the Biblical roots of the Middle East conflict, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s writing of The Thing Around Your Neck, the positive effects of yoga on singers, and many, many others.
My academic papers are some of my proudest achievements.
But it took me many years – all the way until the completion of my master’s degree in early 2019 – to realize that I was hiding behind narratives that were not my own.
I felt worthy and accomplished because of the praise I received in the form of grades and awards, but I hadn’t yet reached the liberation of writing the story of my own life.
I continued to shy away from true vulnerability in my writing.
Before journaling opened up the sacred world of genuine self-expression to me, I was an inconsistent journaler at best.
I journaled some as a kid. I used journaling as a coping mechanism when I dealt with extreme anxiety in elementary school. I used it as catharsis when I went through my first heartbreaks in high school.
But what I call “spiritual journaling” – the practice of journaling for self-discovery and connection to the Divine – became a non-negotiable daily ritual for me starting in July 2019 when I took The Balanced Blonde’s Waking Back Up to Your Soul course.
Rooted in the teaching that we are all eternal souls experiencing this life in this body to learn lessons that will elevate us in lives to come, this course introduced many methods of connecting to the divinity of our souls.
One of them was daily journaling.
I now consider journaling each day to be an integral part of my spiritual practice.
A journal is such a sacred, cathartic spiritual tool. I love the wide open space of a blank page. No rules, simply an invitation to process, create, feel, and connect.
Over the past six months, journaling has come to serve a few different spiritual purposes, but the overarching theme is authenticity.
My journal has given me a space to express my truest self, untethered by fear. The lessons I have learned from seeing my unhindered soul reflected back to me on the page have been transformative, healing, and elevating.
To explain the different ways journaling has heightened my spiritual life, I’ve broken my spiritual journaling practice down into four categories. Each is expansive in a unique way.
These four methods can be used separately or together in one giant freeform soul-spill (my personal favorite).
I set the intention not to dictate exactly how I’m going to use my journaling time beforehand, as I’ve found the practice to be much more beneficial when done in the flow of intuition.
The biggest gift we can give ourselves is getting out of our own way, quieting our thinking minds, and creating space for whatever wisdom wants to come through.
In other words, flow baby flow.
I believe that when we open ourselves to that space of flow, we receive exactly what we need, every time, without fail.
Four Ways I Use My Spiritual Journaling Practice
1) Journaling to know and understand myself I use my journal to write about any and all emotions, ideas, concerns, or events that are present in my mind. I start with a raw description of what I feel in that moment. I write about my experiences with no judgment – simply the intention of understanding. For example: “I’m so sad today.” From there, I freely expand on my emotions. I allow them to be felt, honored, and given a voice. For example, “I feel like I’m not doing a good enough job at work” or “I feel like I’m not applying my spirituality to daily life as well as I should.” The simple act of bringing those deep, sometimes scary truths to light usually opens the gate for a FLOOD of wisdom to come through. Just like Brené Brown teaches us – shame thrives when we stay silent. It dissipates when we give it a voice. When shame dissipates, higher emotions can come to the forefront. Sometimes the past event that triggered my current emotional state will come up. Sometimes a needed nugget of wisdom from a good friend will pop into my head. Sometimes I’ll recognize a pattern in myself that helps me see more clearly why I feel the way I do. And other times, the catharsis of writing down my daily emotions and experiences is enough to make me feel lighter and ready to shift my focus to what I nee