5 Journaling Exercises for Uneasy Times
It's no secret that I love writing. To me, writing has a lot of potential, not only as a means of communication with the outer world, but also a way to speak and check-in with ourselves. Especially in these difficult times, there might be things going on inside of us that need to come out, but we might not know how to approach that emotional/energetical release.
Today I'd like to offer 5 journaling exercises that you can either do throughout the course of the day (I also share the suggested time for each practice) or pick & choose depending on where you are right now.
"Morning Free Flow" Journaling
Suggested time: Before breakfast
Grab your journal, pen and a timer (eg. on your phone) and write, journal, scribble for 20-30 minutes. There's only one rule: don't stop writing. Whatever needs to be expressed, express it! If you run out of stuff to write, keep writing your own name or names of your family members, until more that needs to be expressed, comes through. And maybe today you're fixed and focused on THAT one thing, then write the living thing out of THAT particular thing. Let it flow through you.
Suggested time: After breakfast
Name five things that you're grateful for and then determine how you can express your appreciation/gratitude for what you have (been given). YES, gratitude in these difficult times when you can't really go out or do much. Are you grateful for the support of your family? - Jump on a call with your grandma!
Are you grateful for your best friend? - Decided to dedicate an Instagram post to her!
Are you grateful for this planet? - Donate five dollars to an environmental NGO!
Sharing is caring, and by repeating to yourself the things in life you appreciate, value and cherish, you will enter a range of emotions of a higher frequency.
"Energy Calling" Journaling Practice
Suggested time: Before lunch
Asking yourself the questions: What do I want to invite in? What do I want to attract?
Why do I recommend doing this exercise before lunch? For people who follow the Ayurvedic meal-pattern or for those who want to "eat with the sun", lunch is often the time/the meal when we "intake" most energy. We literally put that energy into us, into our bodies, we stuff our mouths with energy.
Ask yourself what kind of energy do you want in your body (both physical and emotional). Specify for yourself what do you want to attract.
Peace and quiet?
Or maybe curiosity and activation?
Now answer for yourself, why do you need these. Do you feel unbalanced? Will these new qualities/energies help you to be of service to others?
After the exercise, check in with yourself, whether the way you approach and then eat your biggest meal of the day corresponds with the energy that you want to attract.
You say you want peace and quiet but you basically inhaled some take away the distressed delivery boy brought to you?
You say you want activation but you couldn't be bothered heating up your lunch and ended up having cold dinner leftovers?
What energy do you want to attract and how are you taking it in?
Fear-busting Journaling Exercise
Suggested time: afternoon (Vatta time of the day; 2 PM - 6 PM)
This exercise is one of my favourite New Moon practices (and for those who aren't synced into the moon calendar, we had New Moon in Aries on March 24th). The practice is very simple; you write down all the things you're afraid of, in this moment and write the worst thing that could possibly happen. Then you do a "reality check".
Why is this one potent around the time of the New Moon? Because that's when we plant seeds for new projects, which can be scary and intimidating! And by checking in with ourselves what the worst possible outcome might be, we bring ourselves back to the ground. We drop out of our heads, and the "scary bogeyman", the worst-case-scenario we have envisioned, turns out to be a silly projection in your in real life.
Fear: Texting a person that you like and suggesting a zoom coffee date.
Worst case scenario: They say no and think you're weird.
Reality check: it's OK if they say no. They have every right to do that. Nevertheless, suggesting a call is a kind and nice act, so they end up thinking you're weird, you're not the problem here. Would you even want to be around a person who can't appreciate an act of kindness and judges others?
"The screenplay writer" Journaling Exercise
Imagine you're writing a screenplay for a movie. The main character is a young person whose grandfather is very ill and soon about to leave the physical world. Your job is to write the grandfather's final words/pieces of advice to his grandchild.
It might seem abstract to you but really breathe into it. Embody it! When we are faced with an ultimatum, with an end, we tend to gain clarity. We tend to re-value & re-evaluate.
What matters in life? What would he advise his grandchild to pay attention to? What to you put energy into, and what to let go of? What would be the grandfather's piece of advice?
When you finish the grandfather's speech/letter, take a moment to appreciate and take in how much wisdom you already embody. Then, take time to reflect and check in, whether you are living by the grandfather's advice - your own advice, essentially.
On a day-to-day basis, do you see the bigger picture or are you letting petty misunderstanding influence your mood? Are you unconditionally grateful for the life you've been given or are you constantly trying to fix it like a stubborn donkey?
In times when many of us are stuck at home with limitless access to Social Media and unfiltered content, it can be tempting to just disappear in never-ending feeds, or allow some algorithm to take you down the rabbit hole. The algorithms, the feeds, the timelines are DESIGNED to keep you engaged and occupied. They want to make you addicted to them.
Taking an old-school notebook & pen and dedicating some to look inwards is the ultimate act of rebellion, and I promise you, you will feel lighter, clearer and have this strange, yet a very pleasant feeling of having accomplished something.
Writing is a key that unlocks many doors. Namaste & best of luck on your writing path!