Last week I offered several different journaling methods with a Christian focus. This week I will offer a few spiritual journaling practices that are not religious specific.
- Gratitude Journal. This idea has been around a long time, but it wasn’t until last spring that I tried it myself. I was at a low point in life and thought it might help lift my spirits. I decided for the month of April I would find five blessings each day. In addition, I chose not to repeat unless I had a separate reason for including it again. After only a few days I noticed a positive change in attitude. I discovered by taking the focus off my problems, I felt hopeful rather than discouraged. I could see possibilities rather than dead ends. This has now become a life-long practice.
- Best and Worst. A slight variation of the gratitude journal. In reviewing the day, document the BEST part of the day, and then the WORST part. This is a great idea for those of us who tend to have a more
pessimisticrealistic view of life. This allows us space to acknowledge the negative, but also to balance that perspective by finding the good as well.
- Morning and Evening. This is fairly self-explanatory. The morning entry could include an overview of the day and any feelings associated with those upcoming events, or a prayer asking for Divine direction. The evening entry could serve as a review of the day’s activities, or an opportunity to give thanks for your daily purpose. I find it interesting how often my morning anxiety proves senseless…
- Pick a Theme. For those who participate in the Word of the Year practice, this could easily be incorporated into a journaling routine. For example, my word for 2016 is FUN, and I could spend time each day (or week) documenting how I added fun to my life. If this seems a bit too confining, you could select a theme for the month (for example, Spring or Rebirth for March)… or pick a different word a week. I think journaling Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues would work well for this exercise.
- Sentence-a-Day. I recently began a five-year diary that incorporates this idea. In essence, each dated page of the diary is divided into five sections – enough space to write one-or-two sentences for each year. It’s interesting to see at a glance how much life has changed (or remained the same) over the course of time.
- Topic du Jour. Similar to the sentence-a-day concept except on a thematic note. In a notebook, number the pages 1-31. At the top of each page, write the subject title (you will need to select thirty-one different topics in advance). Then on that particular day of the month, write a short entry. It is interesting to see how the seasons and time of year affect our perspectives.
Hopefully you will find a couple of these ideas helpful to add to your a journaling routine.
Next week we will transition from Spiritual Journaling to Expressive Writing. I hope you will join me.