I almost didn’t write this post. Here’s what happened. I started writing about forgiveness (forgiving 101 was to be the title of this note) and then as I was writing so much anger welled up in me that I decided I’m not ready to write about forgiveness because ‘I’ have a lot of forgiving to do. Then, since I had so much anger I thought I should write a note – Anger 101. But guess what you end up writing when you are angry- trash! Anger channels your basest, most revolting, negative-times-three emotions. The reason I am sharing all this is to make it known to all who have been following my posts that I am far from perfect. I am still learning and growing everyday and I do try to live up to a certain standard. I succeed sometimes and I fail sometimes.
And since writing brought me to this realization I decided to write about journaling. I used to keep a daily journal when I was in school. Then I started one when I got married and stopped because I used to write everytime I was upset and reading that stuff later made me cringe! Then I started writing only the inspiring stuff and now I have a journal full of stuff I’ve read, heard or seen over the past decade and it’s just awesome. It’s like a pick-me-up.
So if you have never done this before, start by buying a journal. Decide how often you want to pen your thoughts. If you live a very active, hectic life, peppered with a lot of stress, I suggest you write everyday. Place the journal on your night stand and write for 5 minutes before you go to bed. Don’t force it, just write whatever comes to your mind. It should be relaxing. Let it all out. You can write about something good that happened in your day (gratitude journal). Or something bad that happened in your day. Can be very cathartic. But once you are done venting on paper, remember to write how you wished it had happened. Say you mucked up a presentation at work, imagine the opposite. Like you had done such a great job that the boss came and shook hands with you and commended your work and then write about it. So that way you shift your energy and focus on something good before you tuck in for the night.
Sometimes you can use a journal to write affirmations. Positive statements about things that you want to change in your life. Again, doing this before bed time is good. Instead of affirmations you could communicate with God in a journal. Have all your prayers, all your thank you notes to God in one place. Some people are not good with saying prayers or their prayers are limited to religious texts. I think it really helps to write or say your own prayers too. It is a powerful exercise and that way you have a closer relationship with God.
There is one other way you can journal too and I do this. Some of you might think it’s weird but I feel compelled to write this because many of us have to deal with the death of a loved one in our lifetime. And although this sounds spooky, it really helps to write to them. I had a lot of things that went unsaid between my grandma and me before she passed away. I felt a lot of guilt. I wished I had spent more time with her. I wished I had told her how much she meant to me and how much I admired her. And many a day I spent crying and feeling utter loss. Almost like I was orphaned. Then I got a message on television from John Edward, the medium who can channel departed souls. He was asking people to write to their loved ones.
So I wrote to my grandma once and it felt good, although I was crying throughout the process. Then I wrote everytime I missed her. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Festivals. And slowly the guilt and pain disappeared and was replaced with gratitude. I highly recommend it if you have lost someone very close and feel like you can’t move on, miss their guidance in your life, or simply couldn’t say everything you wanted to say to them before they shed their mortal shells.
You can also write letters to people you need to forgive and whom you cannot confront now. But please don’t post the letter. The reason you are writing now is because the person has not asked for forgiveness. Is blissfully unaware that you are still hurting after 365 days. And also because they don’t think they have done anything wrong! More on this in forgiving 101 (if it ever gets published!)
So here is where I am…I think writing once a week is kind of tricky after what happened this weekend. So I’m going to write every day starting today…so I have more clarity when I’m writing something I’m going to share with all of you. When will you start and what will you write in your journal?