Questioner: Alana, I imagine that some people will say at this point, "Well you know, really I'm not much of a writer when I think of journaling." Others might start out writing daily and get stuck and not know how to proceed. So, what are some good ways to get started?
Alana: The first suggestion I have is to purchase or make a journel, then give it a name. Then open to the first page, and enter some of the notes from the previous exploration. After that, just begin to doodle! A person can scribble and draw little pictures of stick people if they wish! They can draw smiley faces or dragons. They can draw sunshine and flowers. My suggestions may sound silly, but the intent is to get energy moving onto the paper. The intention is to begin creating movement. Once that happens then unconscious flow will begin. Perhaps, creating a few sentences on whatever topic comes to mind will also start the energy flowing.
Here are some examples:
- The sky is blue today.
- It is raining outside.
- I need to go to the store and buy groceries.
- I want to go dancing
- I miss my late night phone calls from ...
Begin by beginning! Through the motion of beginning, a person will land upon something that is important to them. Then they can move into a journey by asking themselves some questions, too. Please do not judge what flows into the mind or comes onto the paper. In other words, this is not about critiquing what is written and perfecting the writing and words. Writing in your journal is not meant to be for anyone else's eyes, nor is it meant to be perfect. You are creating an on going experience, just as you get up from you chair and you walk to get a drink of water. It is an experience where you put one step in front of the other just as you walk to the facet and achieve a drink of water. You are putting one thought in front of the other. You are creating a train of thoughts which after a period of time will create momentum and invite experiences to come into your life.
Essentially, your journaling becomes a living expression or extension of you. It is an on going process and the personal attention is an action of being in love with one's self. You can even write a love letter to yourself. This is a delightful way to begin your daily journal writing. Compose a sweet love letter to yourself that is an example of one you would like to receive. What a great way to know more about yourself. The point is to begin as you turn toward self-love.
You know, often people think that practicing self-love is being selfish. They think that if they practice self-love that they are taking away from another. Really, it is the other way around. If you do not practice self-love, then you do not know enough about yourself to contribute yourself fully to another. You are being selfish if you do not practice self-love. You are not taking time away from another. The few seconds it takes to love ourselves, certainly can never hurt another for their is enough love in the world for everyone, every minute and every second of the day.
Questioner: Do you think it helps to have a specific time to do your writing?
Alana: Morning time is splendid. Because people have varied schedules and different temperaments the time for journal writing will vary by person. What is most important is to make the time, even if only a few minutes a day, or every other day. Create devotion to this action, as it will become like breathing. If you are breathing you will want to continue to write.
Questioner: Alana, what do you think of the technique that suggests that you just start writing and keep writing until you've completed about three pages?
Alana: Yes, free flow writing. This may lead you to your heart. The first page can feel a bit confusing. Sometimes it is like dumping thoughts. As you practice writing unconscious flow it creates an opportunity to work through frustrations. By the time you reach the third page you will have more inner awareness coming forth in the words, your higher nature will be communicating, too. So, Alana loves this writing technique, as it is most beneficial.