Image by Terry Bain via FlickrBy Mari McCarthy
As the year draws to a close, the days shorten, and the season encourages rest and reflection, we often use this time to make plans for the next year.
This may include New Year's Resolutions as well as goals and timelines for accomplishments we hope to achieve.
Your journal is an excellent place to plan and dream, as well as to set resolutions and keep track of how well you're adhering to them. Sometimes, however, we hardly know where to begin in this process.
If your life is seemingly on hold, waiting for some unknown thing, waiting for something to happen, maybe it's time to launch a personal vision quest. There are many individual reasons for journaling, but they all have a common thread: they help you get to know yourself better.
Deep inside you lies your destiny, the root of your unique gifts to the world. Life often and easily distances us from any knowledge of these treasures. Journaling is a key tool for re-locating and re-connecting to the person you naturally are.
How is this process accessed through journaling?
1. Your journal is where you can regularly and freely express yourself. There are few places in most people's lives where they can do this. When you get in the habit of this kind of free self-expression, you open up to aspects of your being that have long been hidden. You find that epiphanies and connections abound.
2. When you journal, you create a magical bond between hand, mind, and heart. The act of writing serves as a catalyst, bringing surprising revelations as, with practice, the flow between these aspects of your self strengthens.
3. Journaling often includes the practice of writing from prompts, which are intentionally provocative statements or challenges designed to awaken and draw out your deepest knowings.
As you look towards a new year, the idea of digging deeper into the phenomenon that is You and seeking ways you can live more meaningfully, more happily, may be very attractive. If you devote just a few weeks to the process, you'll probably come up with a long list of exciting discoveries. For example:
1. By journaling, you nurture your inner self, creating the support you need to make positive changes in your thoughts and feelings.
2. With your journal as a constantly available 'coach,' you're empowered to take more risks.
3. Journaling has an uncanny way of calming anxiety, helping us to overcome fears, to forgive, and to create.
4. The inner critic, so powerful in our everyday lives, is called on the carpet in your journal, examined under a bright light, and taught to stay in its place instead of dominating your life.
5. In your journal, you can freely examine your dreams and subconscious desires; and these are likely to reveal your gifts and opportunities with immense clarity, once you start paying attention to them.
Journal writing is how you can come to see yourself in a new light. On the strength of this shiny new vision, you can approach the future with eager confidence.
By Mari L. McCarthy - The Journaling Therapy Specialist, founder of Journaling for the Health of It. Mari offers counseling and encouragement as well as hundreds of prompts through her many online journaling resources as well as private consultations. Please visit http://www.createwritenow.com/. One of Mari's many books is Who Are You? How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life, which is available at http://www.createwritenow.com/journal-therapy-store/.
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