The Wellness Series : Journaling for beginners

17 April 2014

Anyone who has been reading this blog a while knows that journaling is something that's really close to my heart. In fact, it's become one of the most important parts in my life. A place where I don't have to be anything other than exactly who I am in all my beautiful messy glory. A place where I can retreat, re-centre and imagine. A place that is 100% completely mine.
It's not the words that I write on the page that make my practice of journaling powerful, it's the intention behind them that has the most impact. Every time I pick up my pen I'm choosing to get to know myself better. I'm choosing honesty and bravery over fear. I'm choosing myself.
Since I started writing about wellness and self-care I've had a lot of emails and comments asking about my journaling process and today I'm gonna share with you a few techniques and prompts that will help you delve into this awesome world of journaling!

If you're new to journaling start with creating lists of all the things that you are grateful for. Reflect on your day and take just five minutes to open up to the beauty in your life. Look at all the areas of your life, the big stuff, the small stuff, the simple stuff.
Express genuine gratitude.
Even if your day, your week, your year has sucked ass, dig deep and find something to appreciate. Be grateful for the air you breathe, for the bed you sleep in, for the body that supports your life. There is always something. Dig deep. Muster it up.
In the words of Danielle.... "When you specify what you’re grateful for it becomes more real and sensual. And from that sincere feeling you will become more emotive — and what you emote, you attract."

Take a few minutes to reflect on the day ahead, or the day just gone and simply observe what comes up for you. More often than not I will use these questions to support me through my feelings:
  • What would I like to create for myself today? (this one works best in the morning obviously!)
  • What is my emotional home at the moment? What am I feeling right now?
  • Where is my focus right now? (and what can I do to shift it? if needed)
  • What has lit me up today?
  • What do I need?
  • What am I not being honest about in my life?
Sometimes I find it nice to put on some of my favourite music and answer these questions straight up. I don't umm and ahh. I just answer the damn questions. The thing that I came up against when I first started journaling is the notion that there are right and wrong answers.
It took me a while to get out of this censoring habit but when I did, my god, it was liberating.
I call bullshit on right and wrong in journaling. It's your space. Declare freedom.

Sometimes I get a little stuck and when that happens I head straight for my 'Unravelling the year ahead' workbook by Susannah Conway (link here) and re-do parts of it. There are a lot of inspiring and reflective questions nestled in the workbook that instantly get my brain fired up again.
If you haven't done the workbook before I highly recommend it. It doesn't have to be done at the beginning of the year for it to have impact. This type of introspection and laser focus work can create impact at any point. (Read my musings on the workbook here)

If I find that my mind is on 'monkey brain' mode then I grab my journal or a few sheets of blank paper and write a stream of consciousness for 3 pages.
I just put my pen to the page and write even if I have to start with "blah blah blah"....the words and feelings always come eventually. Let those a-ha moments and nuggets of insight present themselves organically. No structure, no boundaries. Just let go.
This practice is called 'Morning pages' (a link with some more info is here) and even though it is usually done first thing I find it useful to do at any time of the day. On my lunch. Before bed. Clearing space any time of the day is always a good practice in my opinion!
And lastly... have fun with it!


  1. This is so lovely and helpful! I love the idea of journalling but after a few days I start to talk myself out of it and I start to feel a little silly! This guide is so useful though and helps to give journalling a purpose! Thank you

    Rachel | AMomentInTime.


  2. Lovely tips!! I might give this a go x

  3. Great tips! I am trying to get back into journalling! Which can be hard to start up again! It should be a habit!


Go on... stalk me a little..