When you write in your journal, you are keeping a date with your Self. I’m giving “self” a big S because I’m talking about something bigger than the everyday mind, so often prone to distraction, or mixed-up agendas, so driven by routines and other people’s requirements.
I can’t really explain to you just how important a journal will be in your life until you have kept one for at least five years. But whether you have been writing a journal since childhood, or are just getting ready to start one today, I can offer you six everyday games to play with it that offer endless fun and self-therapy and creative release.
1. Write Your Way Through
Whatever ails you of bugs you or blocks you, write about it. Getting it out is immediate therapy. If you keep your journal strictly private (which is essential, by the way) what you put down in these pages can be your everyday confessional, with the cleansing and release that can bring. It’s funny how when you start by recording your woes, something else comes into play that brings you up instead of down and can actually restore your sense of humor.
When you see and state things as they are, you already begin to change them. Keep your hand moving, and you may manifest the power to re-name and re-vision symptoms, challenges and difficult situations in the direction of resolution and healing.
2. Catch Your Dreams
Every time you remember a dream, record it. Date your entry and give the dream a title. By giving a name to a dream, you are recognizing that there’s a story to be told, and you are now in process of becoming a storyteller. Also jot down your feelings around the dream; your first feelings on waking are the best guidance on what it is telling you.
3. Make a Book of Clues
The world is speaking to us through coincidence and chance encounters and symbolic pop-ups, giving us clues to the hidden logic of events. Once we start paying attention, we’ll find that synchronicity is a fabulous source of navigational guidance. Write down in your journal anything unusual or unexpected that you notice during the day. Suggestion: note in your journal, what appears on the first vanity plate you spot each day..
4. Collect Pick-Me-Up Lines
No, I did not say “pick-up lines”! One of the things I treasure in my own journals, and in those of famous dead people that I read, is the collection of interesting and inspiring quotes that grows once we get into the habit of jotting down one-liners that catch our attention. Something you read, something that came up in conversation, something you overheard in the street.
5. Make Your Own Dictionary of Symbols
Tracking how symbols feature and evolve in your dreams and your experience of the world around you will give you your own encyclopedia of symbols, far superior to all those dream dictionaries, because the snake or the train in your dream is yours not theirs. The images that arise in our dreams and in the play of coincidence in waking life often seem to link us to the realm of the archetypes, to universal symbols that seem to repeat again and again in the collective mind of humanity. At the same time, the images that arise spontaneously in dreaming are individual, our personal gifts, and we don’t want to assign the meaning of our dreams or our lives to any external authority.
6. Write until you’re a writer
Sit down with your journal every day and keep your hand moving, and before you think about it, you’ll find you have become a writer. Whether the world knows that, or whether you choose to share your writing with the world is secondary. You are writing for your Self, and without fear of the consequences. You are giving your writing muscles a workout, and you’ll find that tones up your whole system.
Adapted from Active Dreaming: Journeying Beyond Self-Limitation to a Life of Wild Freedom by Robert Moss. Published by New World Library.