Get Out of Your Own Way!
How to overcome self-sabotaging
beliefs and habits
at home and in the workplace.
Dial A Guru series 2
Heal Your Life and Thrive!
Don’t just survive;
learn to thrive by healing your
personal, professional and business life.
Dial A Guru series 3
Journaling is a record of your thoughts, occurrences, experiences, observations, questions, inspirations, and other things. A journal is not a record of events. A diary is your record of events. A journal is something that you should have with you at all times. Yes you can have more than one journal. Your ‘normal’ journal that you will have at home and one that you can carry with you.
Your journal is the place where you will capture your inner most secrets. It is something that is personal and should be private. Why do I say ‘should’ be private? You may select to share your inner most secrets with someone – your coach, your best friend, your significant other. If you select to share your journal with someone else, it’s important to make sure that the someone else has YOUR best interests at heart and is not thinking about themselves only.
There are a huge number of reasons for journaling. Working with your journal in the way that I would – on a spiritual level – means that you will be capturing your thoughts exactly as you hear them, whether they make sense or not. When you do this you release these thoughts from your unconscious mind and this gives your unconscious mind the opportunity to continue to work on the things that you want in your life. It is important that you capture your thoughts exactly as you hear them; don’t try to analyse them; don’t rationalise them; don’t think about them – just write them down!
What do you capture in your journal? In reality – everything and anything! There are some simple guidelines which include … your own thoughts … the thoughts you hear other people say … your ideas … their ideas … feelings … what you are seeing … what you are hearing … what you can smell … the colours around you … your own emotions … all elements of what you observe, what you experience, any feedback (directly or indirectly) that you receive … quotes … negative comments or thoughts … fears … concerns … goals … dreams … inspirations … role models … habits … thought patterns …
Remember this journal is YOURS! It is the place in which you will share your inner most secrets.
Considering that you are capturing everything and anything in your journal, structuring it maybe important.
In webinars that I have run, I talk about how you use the information that you capture later and it’s important to remember that how you capture it as well as what you capture can provide you with the answers you are looking for.
I’m always asked if someone uses their journal successfully, do they still need a coach or a mentor? The answer is YES!
A journal is a great place in which to capture everything, but it is not the non-judgemental, non-directional, motivating person that a coach or mentor is who will ask the right question at the right time to really the right, but maybe, hidden answer.
Well talk about the different types of journals in a moment, but one thing to remember is that how you use your journal and how you capture the information you want to share in it; is personal to you. There is no wrong way in which you can use your journal.
So how do you capture your information? There are two main ways in which you should use your journal to capture everything – the first is to capture things during the day as they happen. Sometimes this isn’t easy as you may not be able to capture everything at that moment, but if you capture the essence of what you wanted, you’ll be able to add to it later by taking yourself back to the event and capturing more information.
Every time you use your journal just capture what you want to capture. Do not try and interpret what you have written down.
It’s important whenever you are writing in your journal that you capture exactly what you hear, see, think, smell, taste, touch, … and that you do not interpret it, stop to analyse it, try to explain it, work out a rationalisation for it, or even spend time thinking about it.
The second way to use your journal is to use a more in-depth journaling process which I’ve developed.
Step One and this applies to all journaling and not just to this process, is to select something that APPEALS to you! In all my research about journaling, I’ve found that some people will select a standard black covered ring bound lined book; where others select lined paper book with a beautiful picture on the front; or a non-lined paper book; or a book with multiple coloured pages; or a book with tabs for divisions; and the choices go on.
When you are selecting your journal it is important that you select a journal that will work for you! This is where you will capture your inner most secrets, your inner most dreams, fears, concerns, goals, etc. No-one else will read this journal. Often you will have read that a journal has to be a book; but it doesn’t. I use a Filofax. You have to really understand what works for you. This has to be a method of capturing your inner-most thoughts in something that truly inspires you. The reason I use a Filofax is that I love writing in them – I can use both different coloured paper and pens. When I’m out and about if I can’t carry my Filofax I can carry Filofax paper in a range of colours and my favourite pens.
Remember your journal is a ‘book’ that you should carry with you everywhere you go. You should be able to get it out and capture anything as you are thinking it, hearing it, feeling it, observing it, or experiencing it.
Take your time and select the journal that works for you. Whatever journal you select to use, it must be one that APPEALS to you. Something that you know you will pick up and write in.
Step two is identifying when and how long. Although you can write in your journal at any time the most advantageous way of working with it is to find somewhere quiet; where there are no disruptions, no interruptions, no phones, no-one wanting to talk to you; which will give you the ideal environment to capture exactly what is ‘on your mind’. In finding the right environment, you will also need to allocate yourself time to follow this process.
Step three is Time! Time must be thought of in two different ways – one is ‘how much time do you to follow through this whole process?’ and the other side is ‘when is the best time in your day for you to do this?’
Allowing your own inner-most thoughts to come through means that you have to allocate yourself time. Scary! Yes! … but if YOU want YOUR FUTURE, you need to allocate yourself some time. Change means you will be changing how you spend every minute of every day of your life; and this is your first challenge – finding time every day for yourself.
How much time? That will partially depend upon the meditation that you choose and we’ll talk about meditation in a moment. There are a number of mediations that take over an hour, with an equal number that can take as little time as five minutes. You do not have to do the same meditation every day. Whichever mediation you chose; you will need to add at least 30 minutes (½ hour) to the end of the meditation time.
Step four is your Environment. It is important that you find an environment where you can sit comfortably and quietly without interruption.
- No phones.
- No mobiles.
- No emails.
- No internet.
- No family.
- No pets.
- No interruptions.
The assumption is that your meditation environment should be at home; but my own experience has shown that sometimes you can meditate somewhere outside your own home with less distractions. I have in the past found a quiet beach with only the waves for company – an incredible place to meditate for me! So look at your environment. If you choose not to meditate at home, remember that although taking your mobile with you is sensible, that it must be either on silent or switched off! You need a place where you will not be distracted or interrupted.
You do not have to use the same environment every time but it is beneficial if you can find the one place that you know works for you and one in which you are comfortable.
Meditation has been practiced for centuries and come in many forms. It is simply a practice that trains the mind either to realise some benefit or as an end in itself. You can select to meditate to promote relaxation, clear your mind, build internal energy, build your own life force, ease health issues, reduce anxiety, remove depression, develop compassion, develop patience, develop generosity, forgiveness, addressing and/or resolving a mental response to various events or experiences, or even sustain a single-point of concentration.
The word meditation has different meanings in different contexts and can be done in many ways. Some meditations are done sitting down, some in an active way, some in lying down, some in yoga positions. In some meditations you may use objects like prayer beads or candles. Meditations may involve repeating a mantra or focusing on a specific thing or closing your eyes. Meditations maybe long or they may be short periods of time.
Whichever meditation you select to use, you will clear your mind, calm your body, release your spirit, and direct awareness until pure internal awareness is achieved (which has been described as ‘being awake inside without being aware of anything except awareness itself’. In other words, as you meditation you will give yourself the opportunity to go within, to stop listening to those thousands of conscious and un-conscious thoughts, and let your intuition talk to you.
When working with your journal, as you go into this meditation think about the goal or goals you want to achieve; the change or changes that you want to make in your life; think about a question you have about how to take the next step; or anything that you want answer or resolution to. Whatever you choose to think about, just think about one question or topic at a time.
Now let the meditation start.
Sitting quietly and just capturing your thoughts has a number of benefits – through your meditation your conscious mind calmed down, which in turn calmed your unconscious mind, which in turn calmed your body – the biggest benefit is that your unconscious mind now has the space it needs release its answers to you and then to continue working on your problems, requests, dreams, and/or goals.
As you come out of your meditation, this period of quiet intuitive reflection, pick up your journal and when you open your journal, some say that you should open up to a new page; whereas others say that you can carry on from your last thought. However you decide to capture your thoughts in your journal; write the date at the top.
It is often these thoughts that your unconscious mind is trying to get your conscious mind to listen to and to hear. Sometimes these will be answers to questions, they maybe more questions, they maybe unrelated to anything you are consciously thinking about. Other times they maybe observations and experiences and this is truly a chance to capture what you saw or experienced. Maybe it will be learnings and achievements and this is giving you a chance to capture exactly what you learnt and what you felt.
Working with your journal on a spiritual level means that you will be capturing your thoughts exactly as you hear them, whether they make sense or not. As you write them down you release them from your unconscious mind. This gives your unconscious mind, together with the Universe, the opportunity to continue to work on the things that you want in your life.
It is important that you capture your thoughts exactly as you hear them; don’t try to analyse them, or to interpret them, or to rationalise them, or to explain them, or to think about them – just write them down! Now!
This may take you 5 minutes and it may take you 30 minutes, but do not hurry this part of the process.
This is where you will find your answers.
This is where you will find the next steps.
If as you these thoughts are going through your mind, something you have written down before no longer seems right or feels right, find it and cross it off. It is important to do this as you are consciously giving your unconscious mind themessage that you’ve got what it is telling you.
Benefits of Journaling
- you capture everything that is or may be of importance to you.
- you release some of those thousands of thoughts that are running through your mind
- you create space to give your conscious mind time to think something through
- you give your unconscious mind time and the opportunity to move onto the step, next question, next concern, next fear, …
- your body relaxes
- you remove the stress from your mind and from your body
- you find that you are calmer
- you can deal with things more easily
- if you were holding a negative emotion you’ll find that it has now gone
- live feels more balanced
- and a whole host of other benefits.
Reviewing your Journal
This is where you will find the most benefit to using your journal. The way in which this journaling process works is that your intuition gives you the answers you’ve been looking for and you unconscious mind wants to you know that you’ve captured the information.
When the time is right and only you will know when this is, you will be able to come back and review what you’ve written. You will read what you’ve written through the journal process or what you’ve captured during the day as it happened.
The only guidance I’ve got for you here is that when you read what your thoughts were, they will either resonate with you or they won’t. If what you wrote doesn’t feel right, or doesn’t resonate, CROSS it out!
This is a period of conscious reflection.
If what you wrote now makes perfect sense and it’s something you would like to progress, capture it. You may select to capture it in the details of a goal you are working towards, or on your actions list, or in a summary at the end of the period you are reviewing in your journal. Wherever you select to capture this, please be sure to capture it somewhere you will use it.
© 2014-2016 Barbara J. Cormack
The Nyasa Partnership Limited