Expressive Journaling is the brainchild of Dr. James Pennebaker of the University of Texas, Austin. This differs from other types of journaling because it focuses on Emotions and Feelings rather than detailing events, thoughts, or reactions to circumstances.
Pennebaker’s writing prescription is simple:
Write your deepest feelings about an emotional event in your life for 15-20 minutes a day for four consecutive days.
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.
While the Wellness Wheel and the Spiritual Compass provide excellent journaling prompts, there are several other Spiritual Journaling techniques I have found useful. Some of these methods have a specific Christian focus (this week’s post), while others are a bit more generic (next week’s topic). Hopefully these ideas will help you in your journaling practice.
I was first introduced to the Spiritual Compass while taking Linda Bendorf’s class at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival.
As indicated on the handout above, each direction represents a different region of your life: Continue reading
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.
You can find many adaptations of the wellness wheel online, but this is one I created to represent my interpretation of wholeness.
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.
The first rule of journaling is… There is no one right way to journal. So let go of the need to do it right and just do it.
The second rule is… Ignore the inner critic. Forget all the spelling, grammar, and punctuation rules your high school English teacher drilled in class (and I can say this… I was a high school English teacher) and simply write. Let go of your definition of “good” writing and just write. It’s ALL good!
For those who would like a bit more guidance, however, I will attempt to offer a few methods to help you get started. Try several different ones and then adapt them to suit your personal needs. As long as you are writing – no matter how much, how often, or what method – that’s all that matters. Continue reading
Journaling is not a one size fits all.
As we have already noted, there are a variety of notebooks and pens or online programs to use, depending on personal preference.
In addition, there are a variety of journaling methods. While this list is by no means exhaustive, hopefully it will give you a few ideas of how to begin a journaling practice.