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 need going forward into my day. At the end of a self-exploration journaling sesh, sometimes I will ask Divine consciousness to come through and bring me a mantra or piece of wisdom to guide me through the rest of my day, which brings me to….
2) Journaling to connect with Divine guidance This was my favorite takeaway from The Balanced Blonde’s course. I learned how to channel my higher intuition, as well as my spirit guides and deceased loved ones, through journaling. I begin by calling in whatever higher wisdom I want to connect with through meditation. I get still and quiet, focusing on my breath. (Side note: It’s important to protect yourself energetically when inviting guidance in from outside. I always start by saying “Only beings of the highest light are welcome here.”) When my mind begins to soften, I will call upon the loving presence of the guide or deceased loved one I am seeking. For example, “Grandma Agnes, I invite you into this space now.” I consciously try to attune to her presence by opening my energy to her. Usually, I feel a loving warmth start to come over me. Then, I turn to my journal. Typically, I’ll start by writing down a general question like “What messages do you have for me?” Then, I get out of my own way and freely write WHATEVER comes. Sometimes I hear the words in my head and then write them down, and other times it’s a complete stream of consciousness in which my hand writes automatically. If I have specific questions, I will ask those as well. The most important thing here is to trust. TRUST that the guidance coming through is meant for you. TRUST that it’s coming from a place of your deepest intuition and that the messages are perfect for you in that moment. TRUST that you have a connection to the Divine beyond your wildest imagination. As you practice, you may start to notice words or phrases coming through that you would never say. You may even see your handwriting shift. There are no limits to the magic that can happen in the space of automatic, channeled writing if you open to it and trust baby trust!
3) Journaling to express gratitude The research on the positive effects of a daily gratitude practice is immense and growing. It is indisputable that writing down as few as five gratitudes a day (which takes less than a minute!!) can have a major impact on your mental health. Gratitude trains our minds to seek the positive and notice the abundance in our lives rather than the lack. I use the Every Day Spirit Gratitude Journal daily to jot down five to ten things that I’m grateful for. Starting my day off with this simple offering focuses my mind immediately on the positive. I mentally return to my gratitudes a few times per day, remembering the enormous blessings in my life when I start to drift into negativity.
4) Journaling to manifest the life of my dreams Finally, journaling can be a powerful tool for manifestation. The Every Day Spirit “Gratitude in Advance” practice teaches that when we give thanks for the things we desire as if they are already ours, we lean into the emotion of what it would be like to have those things. When we attune to those emotions, we draw those things to us. The Universe makes no distinction between you feeling like you have something and actually having it. I have also found it very powerful to journal freely about the life of my dreams. I envision what it looks like – and more importantly how it feels – to walk through the life of my dreams. Feeling yourself walk through life as that person – the one who has the home, the job, the confidence – that you are looking to manifest reminds you that you already are that person. That vision exists inside of you and is not separate from you.
I could truly go on and on about how deeply I believe in spiritual journaling practice, and the bottom line is that there is absolutely no “right” way to do it.
Authentically bear your soul to that beautiful blank page in front of you and I have no doubt that you will connect to yourself in a deep and beautiful way.
From my heart to yours, sweet ones. Let me know in the comments if you have a spiritual journaling practice or if you use any of the tools listed above!