Here are my top 5 reasons WHY I'M THE LAST PERSON YOU WANT TELLING YOU HOW TO JOURNAL & WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO ME ANYWAYS:
#1 Reason: I don't find journaling on a daily basis difficult.
Just because you can speak English doesn't mean you should be teaching English as a Second Language. Just because I've been journaling since age 6 doesn't mean I necessarily know how to teach someone who hasn't journaled ever. However, I CAN tell you how I feel when I journal, how I let myself go, how I treat this as a sacred time with myself and my spirit. I can't give you step by step rules on how journaling will work for you because first of all I don't believe in rules. I CAN guide you in how to close your eyes, let your feelings and mind wander, and let your hand go.
#2 Reason: I don't need motivation or incentives to journal. I just do.
I hear lot of women say they get bored, or they are told to journal by their therapist, their yoga teacher, whoever, but they just can't get themselves to do it. I get it. I never like doing things other people tell me to do. It feels like another chore, like when you were a kid and you had to do whatever adults around you told you to do. No fun. We're all adults now. You actually can do whatever you want to do. You can write one word, one sentence, scribble, paint, draw, write fantasies, nonsense, whatever you damn feel like. Just do. That's the most important thing.
#3: I can't relate to your problems.
You might be thinking how is she going to help me if she never feels how I feel? But sometimes that's a good thing. You can get an outsider's perspective, which is oftentimes much more objective. Sure, maybe I don't totally get it when you say you feel censored when you try to journal. Or maybe you censor yourself. Or you're such a perfectionist you freeze. It really doesn't matter what the specific reason is. I may not have felt that, but I do know what it's like to not feel like you can be yourself, in your own skin --- it's the worst feeling in the world. I've felt that many times: as a child in an abusive home, as a child in a new country, as an Asian in white suburbs. Different place, similar feeling.
And guess what --- that's not something I or anyone else, can teach you. That's something you already have within yourself to grow, little by little, moment by moment, through practice and practice and more practice. It's about taking time, making time.
#4 Reason: I don't like telling people what to do.
It seems these days everyone wants to be told what to do. There are DIY videos out there for everything. Sure, I understand being handy in your house is one thing-- like how to make a lampshade or something. But DIY on journaling? I don't want to give you a 5 bullet step-by-step guide to journaling. Coloring book --- OK. Chocolate banana bread recipe? Fine. But I absolutely insist on NOT telling you how to journal. That's like telling you what you should be when you grow up. You get to decide that for yourself. No one else can or should tell you.
#5 Reason: I might not tell you how to journal but I will listen to you as you figure it out.
Listening is a lost art form these days, like the art of letter writing. I've been fortunate enough to have been studying it for the last 21 years. And I know this much: You learn more from talking and figuring things out on your own --- with a good listener nearby -- than having someone else tell you how it should be done.
You can't journal like me, nor would I want you to, nor probably ultimately do you. In your own time, you will create your own way of journaling. And that is what I'm here to help you figure out.
* * * * * * * * * *
The reason I wrote this post was not to brag or to make you feel bad or to sound insensitive. That's the last thing I want. I did want to make you see that wherever you feel stuck doesn't really matter in the end. It doesn't matter if you've journaled 30 years or 0. It doesn't matter if you 'think' you are a bad writer. It doesn't matter even if it feels difficult or easy.
Journaling is an art. Not a science.
Some days it feels good and others it feels like crap. Likely it's not the journaling, but how you felt already. Journaling just brings things up to the light. And that's a good thing.
Here's to you, your journey, and more light.