I've been spending my mornings with a new friend. Most every morning recently I've been having my coffee with a friend who let's me do all the talking, without judgment or interruption. I've been able to share my worries about my children, my new career, my relationships. Together we've explored my evolving faith. It's like starting my morning with my analyst.
This morning meeting has been with my journal. Writing in my journal is completely different from other types of writing, primarily because of the lack of an audience. I spent the last few years writing for a living, writing advertorials and editing general interest articles. While that was interesting and sometimes challenging, it wasn't personally relieving. No brain dump involved - in fact it added to by brain clutter.
And I have kept a few blogs, which is a great tool, useful for communicating and sharing, maintaining and finding friends. But the public nature of the blog limits the topics. Some information isn't mine to share. Some feelings I don't want the world to know about.
Last weekend we had the first in our series of Journaling workshops. We shared many ideas for inspiring and expanding our practice. We talked about how journaling let's us explore the darker sides of our selves. Our discomfort with our anger, our anxieties, our depression or laziness makes us want to pretend those don't exist. Ignore them and they'll go away. But in journaling you get to explore those and embrace them as part of who you are. It is both our darkness and our light that makes us who we are.
If you've never tried journaling before, consider getting yourself a notebook and writing in it - every day if you can. Don't go overboard. Limit yourself to 2 or 3 pages a day. You'll be amazed at the relief you create for yourself. Getting those thoughts out of your head creates space for creativity and growth.