Journaling for spiritual growth and creativity – where to start?
Journaling can be a very rewarding and centering part of the spiritual journey, but where to start and how to do it to get the best results for you?
I have been journaling on and off for many years now, from my first journal at 13 where I mainly wrote about my looks, boys and which hairstyle to have, right up to the present where I use stacked journals for inspiration and creativity.
Perhaps you have journaled for a while and are looking to change things up, or are new to journaling and want to make the most of it. Maybe you are starting a creative project and want to get the ideas out of your head and onto paper.
I hope you’ll find something useful here.
Journaling – the ooh factor
I have always joked that I have a pen fetish, and I do.
I love pens that glide, pens that feel good in the hand and that create clearly defined lines. And I do NOT like pens that create too skinny a line, not for writing, anyway.
Plus, when I write during Akashic Records Readings, the pens must be purple, they make me happy and remind me of Akashic energy.
Soft covers are great (the Moleskine journals are popular for just that reason), leather covers are really nice too and a tab or other device that keeps the journal closed is really useful.
With some kind of tab on your journal, you can keep scraps of paper and other inspirational bits and pieces tucked into your journal as well.
I’m also keen on shiny also. Shiny writing, shiny graphics, sparkly pictures, bling is nice too if you like that sort of thing and it makes you happy.
To me, something shiny or simple a nice classic softcover speaks of the value of the journaling process.
After all, you are investing time and energy into your writing and journaling, and a nice cover gives the message that you value your own work right from the start.
Using separate journals for specific purposes
Sticking to perceived journaling rules can make the journaling person a dull girl or boy.
I discovered this after trying to use one journal for different processes and ended up frustrated when I wanted to review certain journaling activities and had to keep flipping back and forth within the same journal.
Also, stacked or separate journals are great for your brain, you may find that if you are using journals for creative or reflective input, you start to think differently about your ideas if you write about them from different perspectives in different journals.
There’s also the possibility that you’ll see links and connections that you didn’t see before if you have stacked or concurrent journals as part of your creative process.
Here are some examples of journals I am currently keeping
- Personal journal, for writing down anything I want to process emotionally
- A gratitude journal
- A daily business journal (I like the Best Self Journal – see here for more)
- An ideas journal
- A mind-mapping journal
- A journal for an oracle card project I am working on
- A journal for progress notes related to an online course I am studying.
To color, or not to color?
As I said previously, I have a pen fetish. For me, when journaling or creating, I find different colored pens to be more of a distraction than a help.
Don’t rule color out though, dependent on the focus and intention of work, and especially if it’s an artistic project, color and medium may be crucial to how you feel about the finished project.
I like using different symbols and shapes, which are very meaningful to me.
A couple of years ago I did one of Brene Brown’s courses, and really enjoyed the use of gouache and the inclusion of photos and drawings within the journaling process.
Why journal for spiritual growth and creativity when you can type?
Creating journal entries with a pen and on paper is better for you – science says so. While it’s easy to think that producing lots of words is a good thing, it may not be the best way to really feel into your journaling for spiritual growth.
If you are also writing creatively, new research by Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer demonstrates that handwriting encourages cognitive processing and retention of material.
The brain works very differently when a person is writing by hand, as compared to when they are typing on a laptop.
Mueller and Oppenheimer’s research showed that writing with a pen requires a person to think much more deeply about the essence of the information they are putting down on paper than when they are typing the information out.
Of course, if you are writing a book or a paper then typing is a lot faster. Notice, though, how much better the creative process goes when we can also print out a copy and mark it up for editing purposes.
Below are some journals which I hope will give you ideas, and a bit of that ooh factor
Let me know how you like to create with the written hand, and what works best for you.
Journaling is a powerfully introspective activity which can also be considered somewhat of a meditation in of itself.