I am conflicted.
I want to journal.
I don’t want to journal.
I pick up one of my old journals and read pages that inspire me. My words are vulnerable, raw and tender. Journals are an invitation for intimate self-reflection. It’s a place to explore who we are and who we are becoming. The part of me that wants to journal is now ready to write. My hesitant part says, “Not so fast!”
I think I know why.
My old friend restlessness has returned. My reluctance to engage this disquieting feeling is in my way. Instead of exploring where it might take me, I’ve avoided writing. In fact, when I stop writing that is usually a clue that I am avoiding some feelings.
Never has it been more important to have a clear connection with our core. For when the world around us wobbles that inner connection helps us maintain balance. Sustaining steadiness is a gift to ourselves and to those around us.
There are other good reasons to journal.
If we journal three to five times a week for just fifteen minutes blood pressure improves, our immune system is strengthened, and it can generate a sense of well-being. Journaling offers something more. It lets us explore what we are feeling and experiencing. Without this we can become strangers to ourselves.
My journaling process begins by observing the world around me. I start with the senses. What am I touching, tasting, smelling, hearing and seeing—right now! What is happening in my environment: weather, creatures, time of day, season? I anchor myself clearly in the “here and now.” Then I use the practice of deep listening. What’s going on in my inner world? I am often surprised where this takes my writing.
We need time to touch the inside of our heart and explore them as we would an ancient cave filled with mystery and wonder. Yes, time to explore discomforts also. I have written more in my journal these last few days, as I worked on this blog, than I did for the previous two weeks. My restlessness is still with me. It likely has more to say. Luckily, I have more open journal pages to fill. The part of me that doesn’t want to journal is not stopping me. My eager to journal part trusts that this is a place to explore our beautiful, brilliant and broken parts.
That takes courage.
PS: If you want guidelines on journaling let me know. Send an email with subject “Journaling” to Nancy@DareMore.com. Happy to send them your way.