More about Journalling
The importance of maintaining a spiritual journal and guidance regarding entries has been given in previous writings and on our website. The guidance was intended to give ideas as to the approach to journaling for those new to the idea. That guidance still applies.
However, for those dedicated to continuing with journal keeping in order to monitor spiritual progress, this article is intended to assist the reader to take a more in depth approach to monitoring progress.
We have all incarnated to evolve spiritually and it is necessary to awaken our true sense of being as connected to the Divine and our oneness with all life. A journal enables us to keep a log of our progress and is a way of monitoring our interactions with others.
The key to progress is self monitoring and self questioning. The old saying, ‘know thyself’, is the only way to make positive changes. This involves going within, considering how we act and react and identifying what we did well and what requires change. Changes come from within and if we don’t know what is going on within ourselves we stagnate. It is vital to identify our strengths and weaknesses and to understand what effort is required to achieve goals.
All of us are on a journey back to God/Creator/the Source of all life. Progress requires commitment and dedication which will lead to peace and fulfillment. Living life at a material level involves being absorbed in the glamour and illusion of this existence, ignoring what is true and eternal. At a material level we see ourselves as separate from God and from each other whereas by taking a spiritual approach we understand all life is one and if we hurt others we hurt ourselves.
A journal is vital to keep track as to how much of a positive approach we are taking to tests and trials and how much we are using them to assist our development. Everything happens for a reason and instead of becoming angry or upset when beset with difficulties it is important to be grateful for the learning we gain from all situations and encounters with others. View those as opportunities for growth and give thanks for them.
Keeping a daily log is not a quick fix and entails much soul searching. Progress and spiritual awakening are our responsibility. Commitment will lead to steady progress if we examine ourselves daily.
The following is for those who are ready to take a more in depth approach to journaling as it involves going beyond the facts, identifying what led to each situation and learning from the effects.
It is important to accept we can’t commit everything to memory, hoping to recall facts when needed. The answer is to maintain a spiritual journal which logs progress of self discovery and is always available to go back to and review. It is not a diary which generally only contains facts and not thoughts and emotions.
Consideration has to be given as to how we record our thoughts and experiences. With so much technology available there is the option of using a computer for journaling which has some advantages. Mistakes can be altered. Editing is easy and facilities allow for creativity. The downside is it requires an electrical power source, and may not be private if others are using the same computer.
A physical journal is portable and can be kept in a safe place. There is flexibility regarding size and design. The downside is alterations can look untidy and writing has to be legible. The choice is ours but I feel a physical journal is more personal than using a computer. However, as writing is usually much slower than typing this can have an important advantage. According to the Laboratory Imaging at the University of Southern California, on average 48.6 thoughts pass through the brain every minute and thus more benefit is gained by the slower method of writing.
The following quote by Maud Purcell, a psychotherapist and journaling expert gives a helpful explanation regarding the benefit of writing in a journal.
‘Writing accesses the left hemisphere of the brain, which is analytical and rational. While the left brain is occupied your right brain is free to do what it does best, i.e. create, intuit and feel. In its way, writing removes mental blocks and allows us to use more of our brain power to better understand ourselves and the world around us.’
This is excellent guidance as the left brain considers facts, but the right brain being intuitive sees and understands the spiritual picture. Insights are gained which otherwise may have been lost.
On a personal note I have found from experience that carrying a small notebook at all times is an excellent addition to a journal. It is amazing how thoughts, feelings and insights can suddenly enter the mind. These can be noted at the time and referred to when journaling later. It may be impossible to recall the details later if not written down at the time. Many of the mottoes in our books Words of Wisdom and More Words of Wisdom were written in a notebook in various locations such as trains, buses, and cafes and writing them at the time ensured they were not forgotten.
Preparing to Journal.
Time needs to be allocated once a day and is best done at the same time to help it become a habit. Evening time can be helpful as the day’s events are fresh on the mind. It is vital to commit to this and not allow anything to get in the way except for emergencies. Do your best not to miss out this activity as regularity is important. Review your journal weekly or monthly, and note what you have achieved, and what requires further attention.
Find a quiet, comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed. Set your intention regarding this activity and take your consciousness to a higher level. This is an opportunity to connect with your soul/higher self which is always available to guide you. Before completing each daily entry be sure to note the date for future reference.
Starting the Day in the right Way
How our day begins has an impact on how it unfolds. Being in a rush does not create a calm mind. Rising early enough in the day is crucial. This allows time for meditation and affirmations to start the day in the right frame of mind. Connecting to your soul takes thoughts away from the pressures of daily life. This approach reminds us we are the offspring of the creator and have the same qualities of love and will within us to be accessed and put to work for the good of all involved.
The following suggestions are helpful, but do come up with you own.
(a) The Soul Mantra given to Alice Bailey by Djwahl Kuhl is widely available on the internet and reminds us of our true identity and spiritual qualities.
(b) Our Morning Affirmation is available on our website. Affirmations allow positive suggestions to go into the subconscious mind. It is helpful to read this affirmation again in the evening before updating your journal to consider if what was affirmed in the morning was followed during the day.
(c) Our Evening Affirmation is also on our website and is recommended for reading at the end of the day’s activities and before journaling if this is the time when updating. Do refer to both these affirmations when reviewing your journal as this will assist in bringing to mind how events went.
The Subconscious Mind
The subconscious mind absorbs and stores information much of which fails to serve our spiritual progress. It does not discriminate between what is helpful and what isn’t so it is important to monitor our thoughts and feelings. Negative thoughts can lead to inappropriate responses which affect our reactions with others.
Much negativity is stored in this mind due to comments from people in the past such as well meaning parents and teachers. For example, we may have been told we did not have certain skills and abilities which later turned out to be untrue. It is our responsibility as adults to ensure positive thoughts are absorbed into the subconscious mind. Affirming what is positive along with spiritual truths and the use of visualizations will assist in adopting helpful positive responses in difficult situations.
(d) The Power of Thought
Everything is energy including our thoughts. Thoughts affect our feelings and actions and thus create our reality. Even unspoken thoughts have power. As we learn to monitor our thoughts negative ones can be changed to positive, loving ones leading to positive outcomes. Keeping thoughts at a higher level makes all the difference.
Take time during the day to consider what thoughts are on your mind and be prepared to change them if need be for a better spiritual approach to situations and encounters with others. This is not easy but is the key to progress. Reading spiritual texts and having like minded friends can make a positive contribution not just to thoughts but to words and actions.
(e) Spiritual Laws
These laws are our road map back to our oneness with our creator. Many of our articles and workshops focus on spiritual laws which are eternal and cannot be broken. We can ignore them but the negativity we create will eventually teach us that we need to return to our spiritual path. It is our responsibility to put them into practice. This isn’t easy but doing our best to live by them brings benefit to others as well as to ourselves. This is where monitoring our progress by journal keeping is beneficial.
Our book, Living the Spiritual Laws for Health and Abundance contains guidance on 36 Spiritual Laws along with helpful questions to assist in putting the laws into practice.
For those not acquainted with spiritual laws it is helpful to concentrate on a few laws such as oneness, unconditional love, cause and effect, forgiveness and gratitude as this will bring much benefit. When the Law of Oneness is understood all the other laws are easier to live by as we understand our unity with the Creator and with each other.
Applying the Laws to Journaling
Entries in the journal need to focus on what went well and what changes need to be adopted.
Below are some suggestions as to questions you may wish to consider with regard to a few of the laws.
(a) Law of Oneness
(1) Did I treat others as one with myself and with the Creator? Note if you responded in a unloving or judgmental manner. Consider how the situation could have been different by showing unconditional love and acceptance. Remember we can change ourselves but we cannot change others. We can accept and love them even if we disapprove of what they say or do. This is their freewill and it is not for us to interfere.
(b) Cause and Effect
This is the law of karma and it reminds us that what we give out will return to us
Ask yourself if there was anything that occurred during the day which lent itself to positive or negative karma and note this. If you acted in a negative manner consider how the situation could have been different by showing love and acceptance. We do not have to approve of how others behave but we can love them.
As we acknowledge our own God given power we can stay balanced in all situations.
Ask yourself if you need to forgive others and also if you need to forgive yourself. We all say and do things we regret at times and need forgiveness. We cannot change others but we can forgive them.
This law reminds us to be grateful for everything even for tests and trials. These are opportunities to grow spiritually. These are the means that are designed to bring us back to our spiritual pathway.
Be grateful for all that you have and remember enemies can be our greatest teachers as they provide opportunities for us to put into practice spiritual laws which benefit all involved.
Journal: Not just for the here and now
Your journal is not just about progressing spiritually in this lifetime. It is contributing to your evolution in many more future lifetimes. We all reincarnate to learn lessons we have still not mastered. Karma created in past lives will bring lessons in a future incarnation.
First of all we need to reach self realization. This is when we know our true identity is spiritual and look to our soul for guidance. Finally, we attain God Realisation when communication is with the true source of our being and we fully acknowledge our oneness with God. Each lifetime is an opportunity to evolve and fully learn lessons. If we do not learn, the opportunity is lost and we need to wait for a further incarnation. No matter what life brings be grateful for the growth that can be achieved.
It can be helpful to identify a Life Plan and put this on the first page of you journal. This can be reviewed regularly and can be broken down into small achievable steps. It serves as a reminder of what you wish to achieve in this lifetime. It may be for example to achieve self realization, to identify your life purpose or to assist others on their spiritual journey.
A brief word about the Law of Purpose. We all have incarnated with a unique talent/skill to enable us to evolve. It is helpful to identify this and use it to be of service to others. We serve God by serving others. Our workshop Making Changes focuses on identifying our purpose and it is also available by email.
Remember the subconscious mind may contain negative information about your abilities so do check you are not living your life according to what others have told you.
Key points for your journal
1. Be honest with your entries
2. Start the day with a spiritual activity
3. Subconscious mind: keep thoughts positive and use affirmations
4. Thoughts create reality
5. Spiritual Laws are the key to change
6. Gratitude: give thanks for everything and note lessons learned
7. Review regularly
8. Remember small consistent steps are best. Acknowledge your progress.
9. Law of Purpose: Ask yourself ‘how can I serve’?
We hope the guidance suggested will assist your spiritual evolution. Even amid setbacks keep in mind the old saying ‘keep on keeping on’ as this is the way forward. Never compare yourself with others as we are all at different levels on our spiritual journey. The further advanced can assist us and it is our duty to assist those following behind us.
There is much helpful information and articles on our website (article No5 is relative to this article). We’d love to hear from you so please email us with any comments/questions on this article.
Submit Your Own Article