What have I learned from a decade of teaching journal writing?
I have taught my original journalling techniques to many cohorts of adult learners. Here’s some of what I have discovered.
My journalling teaching grows organically from the living practice of my own journal writing, which has been enormously powerful in my own life. Everything I have taught I have first experienced for myself. I began my new approach to journalling when I found the “traditional” method of randomly discussing my life and feelings was not doing anything for me. Like everyone else, I first came to journalling thinking that it is simply a matter of narrating life events, diarising, or venting emotions. In fact, I actively discourage students from doing any of this because it actively re-iterates and reinforces old attitudes that we are seeking to change and move on from. Journalling can bring you so much more benefit than this! These ideas are explored in my book but in the courses, we go further than it may be possible to travel on your own, because we all need a bit of clear reflection in order to get beyond our blind spots.
Much of my approach to journalling is grounded in a shamanistic understanding – that I will define here as having our own direct relationship and communications with earth and spirit, and realising just how supported we can be if we allow it. Though this understanding I have brought together timeless principles in a unified form – the power of focus, mindfulness, intention, clarity, creative dialogue, gentle self acceptance, and self expression. This combination is also informed by my long and deep training and practice as a psychotherapist and Group Analyst, and a preference not for borrowed coaching techniques, nor a high price tag, but a reliance on what actually works. I simply invite students and clients to try things out for themselves, with guidance, encouragement, support and the opportunity to share if they wish. The results speak for themselves, with students who feel excited and empowered, reconnected with themselves and with nature.
This approach to journalling is the definition of self empowerment. You do all the work yourself, but you are part of a supported field. It is simple but has a dynamic effect. It is education in the true sense of leading you upwards to an expanded, uplifted and more multidimensional sense of yourself.
So in essence, what I have learned?
Just how simple it is to make astonishing changes in your life if you are willing to focus your attention. Guided journalling makes this as easy as possible. Our choice to focus on positive and uplifting things gives us an amazing superpower.
Journalling can be used as a simple but effective method for mind training. We do not have many readily available techniques for training ourselves where and how to focus. Every aspect of modern life takes us away from focus and clearly defining what we want and what are our intentions in any situation.
Journalling is a primary resource in learning to feel good more consistently. We focus on developing and enhancing the essential spiritual qualities that raise us up – such as acceptance, enthusiasm, gratitude, appreciation, courage, a sense of humour, a sense of wonder. The curriculum includes many activities, such as guided visualisations which lead to writing, fresh takes on popular journalling techniques such as life writing, bullet journalling or morning pages; excavating the underlying beliefs, values and assumptions in your life and choosing which ones you want to keep; and lots of creativity in writing
Through guided and structured journalling in the right atmosphere, it’s easier than you might think to enter a state of flow and write your own original material that is stunning in its power, beauty and authenticity. Once you have experienced this, and read over your work later, you will be amazed at what you can do. Many students have used this to enhance or kick off their creative, academic and book writing, while others have used it in a multiplicity of different ways in daily life to become more confident and grounded. It has been wonderful to see the joy and sparkle this brings to everyone who gets involved.
If you want to experience the unique Journalling for Success learning community for yourself, it is easy to join our next intake, currently this is October 2022; and if it is right for you, we will give you a warm welcome. Courses are held on Zoom, on Wednesday evenings UK time. Contact me via the Contact Form for an initial chat or email exchange.