Spiritual Journaling

Whether you keep a separate spiritual journal or just want to add your spiritual postings in your regular journal, you will want to read this.

Personal journaling supports our development and growth. But spiritual journaling goes deeper. Spiritual writing is a reflection of our soul. Like personal journaling it too is a tool for self-discovery, aids concentration, is a safety valve for emotions, a training ground for improving thought to paper processing, and builds self-esteem and confidence.

Spiritual growth is not just about religion, it concerns all life -- time, goals, relationships, work, politics, and our inner life. Spiritual journaling is a process where the part of us that connects with God, or our higher power, expresses itself. It is a process of where selfishness can be transformed into caring, rebellion into obedience, and despair into hope. It is with this connection that personal development occurs.

Journaling is just one discipline to a greater path of grace. Prayer and fasting are the other two. This discipline is a response to grace not an alternative. It is also an adventure in joyful freedom.

Have you ever been listening to your pastor or priest and you zone out briefly, hear something profound, and then suddenly snap back? It's there and then gone.

What about a time when you started crying and there wasn't a reason? The tears could have been triggered by words, a phrase, a visual from a conversation, television program or commercial, movie, or radio broadcast. Apparently, there was an emotional pull, do you remember what it was? Did you ever think of what actually trigger it?

It is my believe that these and other ways we receive subtitle messages, either from your inner spiritual self or a higher connection, are guidance. God and the universe talks to us all day long but because of our busy lives we don't listen very well or stop and take notice of what "really" just happened. Usually, we just push our way right though the message, shrug it off to being tired, dismiss it as irrelevant, or not having any time to address it.

But these do have meaning and it is important to record these, even if on a napkin, and spend some quiet time with them later in your journal. Then ask our higher power for guidance and understanding. When was the last time you did this? Maybe you have never asked. Maybe its time to renew the experience.

In order not to repeat past events we study them. But do we study our day so that we don't repeat certain experiences again? Usually not. What if you asked: "What occurred in today's events that seem out of the ordinary?" "What messages appeared that were quickly tossed that were spiritually based and could have additional meaning?"

For this very reason, not to repeat our mistakes and to improve our future that we should stop and ask. Throughout history we've been told: "An answer cannot be received, until first we ask." I know this last sentence must be a quote from somewhere but I couldn't find the source.

Do you read material that spiritually enlightens you? A great exercise is to journal before you read the material. This will allow your soul to reconnect with your mind, body, and spirit and enhance the reading.

What about journaling after or during the reading? Writing allows the meshing of thoughts -- the authors, yours, and the higher power. It is a powerful connection. It is the best way we can begin to see our path and our purpose.

Dear Higher Power letters are my favorite. I feel like I'm talking with my best friend and trusted father When was the last time you wrote to him or her?

Many people tell me they only journal when they need to dump their negative emotions. Yes, journaling can be a great use for this, however, journaling is actually so much more. If you do find that your entries are more focused on negative aspects of life, I highly suggest you change it. Since like attracts like, you are opening the opportunity to the universe to send the exact type of energy back to you. And who wants more negative energy in their life?

If you must post journal entries that are negative, let me suggest that you don't stop there. Continue writing flipping to the positive side. This maybe difficult at first but as it changes so will your attitude about life.

Normally, people who don't journal often tell me that they don't do so because it is always negative. Who wants to return to something that is negative? I surely would not.

Copyright, Catherine Franz. All rights reserved.

Catherine Franz is a life and business coach living in Northern Virginia. She has presented journaling workshops over 20 years. Catherine has authored two great books on tips and techniques of journaling. Copies available at: http://www.abundancecenter.com/Store/main.htm

In The News:

You Should Start Writing Letters  The New York Times
What Academics Misunderstand About 'Public Writing'  The Chronicle of Higher Education
Women Writing History Project  UC San Diego Health

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