My journal is a grammar & spelling police free zone.
Do not worry about your spelling, grammar, handwriting or punctuation being perfect. Your journal writing is not going to be assessed. Just let loose and let the words run free without the fear of the grammar or perfectionist police pulling you over and ruining your flow.
In your journal write a letter (you will never send) to someone you have unresolved issues with. Who you are upset with, feel anger towards or to someone who has left you feeling ‘off centre’ after something they have said or done. You can even write the letter to yourself about a regret you are holding onto. Explain how you are feeling and get it all out. If you are ready, at the end of the letter I encourage you to try and write:
‘I forgive you, I’m sorry, thank you, I love you‘.
If it feels difficult, know it is not for their benefit but for your own. This is from the Hawaiian practice of forgiveness know as Ho’oponopono, created to help release you from holding onto negative emotions about a situation. Therefore allowing you to move forward.
Yesterday I found this motivating article by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits about the benefits of keeping a daily writing practice. As a once reluctant journal writer myself all of Leo’s points really do ring true, especially now that I have (finally) created a daily writing habit for myself. Enjoy.
Why You Should Write Daily
By Leo Babauta
One of the most instrumental changes in my life has been writing every single day. For many years I was a writer who didn’t write that regularly. It was always on the back of my mind to write, but I didn’t find the time. Then I started this blog in January 2007 [zenhabits.net], and have written pretty much every day since then. It was life-changing.
A good way to push yourself past the fear of the blank page is to read journaling prompts as if they are questions being asked of you by a journalist or TV talk show presenter. It turns your journal writing into more of a conversation and also prevents you from using brief one-word answers; after all you wouldn’t give Oprah Winfrey a one-word answer would you? It also helps you write more because it feels like someone is actually listening to your words.
Give your journal a name to address it by or you could pretend you are writing to a friend, a family member, a historical figure, a fictional character, a celebrity or business personality you admire or even to your higher-self or higher being of your choice. Anyone or anything that helps you open up.
Another way to ensure you gain the most possible benefit from your practice is to aim to fill an entire page in your journal per prompt. This will prevent you giving short answers and increase the likelihood of the prompt sparking an idea or memory. It also creates a much more interesting keepsake.