After a brief hiatus (partly planned and partly unexpected)… I am ready to return to the How to Journal series. These next few weeks we will focus on Spiritual Journaling with today’s emphasis on The Wellness Wheel.
The large outer circle represents our Spiritual wellness, which by definition includes all the other significant areas of life: Emotional, Physical, Vocational, Intellectual and Social.
Of course, the graphic illustrates an ideal balance: each piece of the pie is of equal size, shape, and priority. This creates a life filled with peace, joy, and harmony.
But life is never ideal. Some days one piece looms large, crowding other areas until they are mere slivers. This, in turn, affects our mood and responses. We are no longer at peace but overwhelmed; we feel anxious, depressed, frustrated rather than joyful; harmony is replaced with resounding discord.
Many of us were taught to buck up – pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and keep on going. This is life and we must persevere. So we repress any negative feelings and keep on going, like the dutiful Energizer bunny.
But squelching our emotions, denying our feelings, and silencing our voice is not a pathway to wholeness. Instead, it leads to emptiness – and a dry well is no longer able to fulfill its purpose.
Journaling can help restore balance in a lopsided wheel.
Here are a few suggestions for regaining peace and wholeness:
- I often journal by hand when trying to regain balance. After all, it is likely the fast-paced life is responsible for my feeling out of sorts. This old-fashioned method of journaling will force my brain and my body to slow down and catch its breath.
- Review the wellness wheel and determine which area is in need of attention. Perhaps one area is taking up too much time and space in life, and you need to journal about taming its control. Or perhaps another area is non-existent, and you need to journal how that void needs to be filled.
- While initial writing may focus on the negative, be sure to open your mind to possibilities. Allow those emotions to have a voice, but don’t wallow in the mire. Once you’ve aired frustrations, begin to consider how to deal with the situation in a positive manner.
- It is at this point that I find myself praying while journaling. I pray for fresh perspective – for deeper insight – for clear direction. Many times this has resulted in an “aha” moment – an epiphany that helps me embrace the struggle and move forward toward healing.
- When I have journaled to a natural conclusion, I then review my notes and ask TWO final questions: What one thing can I do right now that will have the greatest impact on balancing the wheel?
- And… How can I make that happen?
I cannot promise journaling will offer clear direction and definitive answers. Some struggles are not quite so cut-and-dry. But I can promise over time it will calm the mind and help develop a fresh perspective.
I love this quote by Marlene Schiwy from her book, A Voice of Her Own:
The more we write, the more we remember. And the more we remember and integrate forgotten and abandoned pieces of ourselves into our present lives, the greater our self-awareness, and the more whole we become.