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The Joy of Journalling

I was delighted when I met with Maria from Waywords journal at a recent business forum, and I especially loved the name of her company!  Personally, I have always prided myself on being “wayward” in that I have always sought to carve out my own path in life. l have journaled for well over 25 years daily -practically without fail. It is as much part of my routine in the morning as brushing my teeth. So the idea of Waywords for wayward really appealed to me!

As a psychotherapist, mother, author and entrepreneur, I have always found journaling to be a huge part of how I navigated my life and dealt with challenges on the way. 

When I travelled in my 20’s and stayed in youth hostels, I enjoyed nothing more than sitting in the common area in the evening and writing in my journal. It kept me company and allowed me to tell my stories and thoughts on the day I just had-it was such an easy companion. Journalling also helped me get grounded and catch up with myself as I travelled, saw different places and met different people.

After my children were born, I was able to find myself again when I journaled. Childbirth is obviously a huge experience to the process, irrespective of how the birth was and again, it was so helpful for me to take the time and write about my thoughts and feelings. The journals now have become an amazing record of my experiences of being a new mother and all the thoughts and feelings and worries I had at the time. My daughters are now grown up, but it was so interesting to look back at how I was back then and how I used them to help me figure out my decisions around child care and work, around the many views of how to parent them, feed them and nourish them. Journalling helped me find myself again in the deluge of unwanted views and advice at the time.

As someone who has always been interested in what’s next in both my work life and personal life, I have found journaling so helpful.

My own style is to write free flow every morning, I write three pages at least every morning, and this is just a free flow of thoughts, ideas and feelings. Through the process,  I listen to myself get clarity and inspiration as I jot down the ideas, frustrations, aspirations and whatever else comes into my head. It’s a release for me, a place to offload, and then I get clarity!

 I don’t ever re-read, but then if something useful comes up, I make a note in another diary or somewhere else.

My spiritual mentor Hema Vyas strongly recommends we dispose of these journals when we have finished as mostly what has been written is actually thoughts and ideas we want to let go and move on from. She actually recommends we burn them to ensure that we really allow ourselves to move on and past what we have written.

There are, of course, other ways to use journals, and a frequently used one is that of expressing gratitude on a daily basis. Some people have a daily wellness practice of jotting down 3 or 5 things they are appreciative of, and research shows that this can really improve our wellbeing -this, of course, makes intuitive sense.

Recently I have started to use a journal to give thanks for the things that haven’t happened -it’s a bit like my magic spell book as I am just intending these things. the energy has actually been.  (I will keep you posted if it works !)

I have also found journaling as a way to keep me writing, it’s a daily practice in the same way that pianists practice their scales every day or runners run every day. It’s great to keep writing if you want to write!

As a psychotherapist, I have found it a useful tool to support clients through particularly difficult periods in their life. However, I am aware its not for everyone, and some people do not feel comfortable writing and don’t see it as their medium of communication. I get this and don’t believe that it is something we impose on ourselves as something that’s good for us. Some people may d better going for a run or getting into the mountains.

But do give it a go, it’s been one of the blessings in my life and a practice I have been very grateful to have in my life. My journal has been my faithful companion no matter where I am in the world, physically, psychologically and emotionally.

I currently run groups for people who are feeling a little stuck or restless in their lives and want support in taking their courageous next step. More information at monicahaughey. ie

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