How are your holidays going so far? At this time of year, the culture calls us outward, but our circadian rhythms draw us inward.
When I notice I’m getting pulled off center, I turn towards my truth through mindful self-reflection.
You don’t have to formally journal to practice self-reflection. I’ve had profound insight through closing my eyes and restfully listening to a recording of reflective questions, letting them wash over me and filter beneath my conscious mind. Other avenues I love are drawing, chatting with a friend, and becoming so still and quiet that my inner voice arises spontaneously in Dhyana, or meditation.If fear arises, I know I’m onto something. Let’s not turn away from fear, but make it more manageable. In parenting, we call it getting “buy-in.” I get scared when I think of committing to a daily journaling practice, because sometimes my life gets complicated and then I feel guilty that I didn’t do it. So, I let my intuition guide when and how it happens.
3 Benefits of Journaling for Mindfulness:
- Inner Dialogue: Asking questions of your inner voice allows you to get to know yourself better. As you befriend your true self, acceptance and understanding will follow. We may be surprised by what our inner wisdom has to tell us! Journaling is an outlet for our intuition to flow through. We can ask questions and gain insight from the answers.
- Quiet Stillness: Journaling is a meditative, relatively still activity we do on our own. It is not about taking in information from outside sources, but listening to the quiet voice that may go ignored amidst the noise of modern life. If seated meditation isn’t your thing, try journaling as another path to mindful calm.
- Release Troubles: This may seem heavy, but the heaviness is already there, pulling you down. Journaling about my worries and traumas has helped me overcome them. There is something about seeing them on the page that makes them less overwhelming. After writing about something upsetting, it may feel less scary to you, too.
Journaling for mindfulness is entirely about the therapeutic process rather than the product.
If you see it as a relationship with a wise part of yourself, and focus on that, you will have less concern over the outcome of your writing. Allow wisdom, mistakes, humor, even stagnant muck to move through you. Get it all out, let it flow. Julie Hage has you covered for a lifetime of prompts. Some people like to wake up to the same consistent question each morning. You can ask yourself something like:
“What do I need to be my wholehearted self today?”
If you want a creative way to access mindfulness, give journaling a try.
If you'd like to gather with likeminded people to do a little self-reflection and some cozy restorative yoga,
join our New Year's Day Yoga & Journaling workshop.
Relax together with your tea or coffee, blankets and pajamas. Invite in the new year with clarity, ease and peace.
Kate Lynch (she/her): Parent of an amazing atypical kid, inclusive yoga and mindfulness coach, and author. Her little neurodiverse family lives in a magical land called Brooklyn.
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