Before I started writing (almost) daily myself, I gave my clients practices that included, as always in Integral Coaching Programs, journaling. I told them to reflect in writing about some questions to deepen their insights and learnings form the practices I had given them. I could see how for some, this was liberating and they starting jotting down notes on many aspects of their days while for others it was a necessary evil that they did halfheartedly if at all and felt guilty about that.
For myself, I could just not imagine how journaling should contribute in any way to my insights that seemed to come so naturally through simply thinking. In a way, writing felt like a waste of time in a very busy day. So, I would admire my writing clients and sympathize with the non-writers amongst my clients rather than checking with them what belief kept them from writing.
Being curious by nature, I started to try it myself so that I can tell my clients first-hand how writing contributes to accelerating their development. While it took some time for me to get used to reserving a few minutes for writing every day, I started feeling the benefits quite early. Writing slows down my thought, I tend to finish my thoughts rather than jumping from one to the next. This deepens my reflection and makes it richer as I seem to review aspects of my day in super-slow motion. The effect journaling has for me is like the fixing bath in old-style photography. By writing, the image gets perpetuated in my experience.
As a practice to start writing, dedicate a little notebook (or file in your mobile) to your new habit. In the evening, before you go to bed, look back into your day and write down five things that you are grateful for in this past day. Don’t edit, just write down the first five things that come to mind.
And the little extra of this practice: notice how after a week the way you look at your days shifts towards a more positive perception in general.
PS: There are still days and topics I resist journaling. And I continue to inquire what gets in the way …
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