Have you heard of Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way?
The heart of her wildly popular system is a delicious ritual called "morning pages."
I wrote 3 pages every morning, religiously, for many years, through heartbreaks, career changes, and moving cross-country.
I backpacked through Southeast Asia filling volumes. The routine kept me tethered, and my lifestyle supported it. I'm not sure when I stopped, certainly before parenting.
I've thought about returning to it, now that I usually have 15 minutes to myself in the morning to sip my coffee in peace. Luxurious!
I still journal, just not every morning. Now I prefer to begin with a prompt, and free associate from there.
As an empath, being tuned in to others is an asset, but it comes at a cost. If you know, you know: the pull away from center can be taxing, like a bough bent too far for too long. Eventually the branch snaps. We have a choice - return to our center or lose part of ourselves.
Journaling isn't the only way to reconnect, but it is an accessible one. You don't need to write. Interpret self-reflection in your own way.
Here are some of the benefits of journaling that I discovered, which are backed up by research.
5 Benefits of Journaling for Empaths:
- Befriend Yourself: Journaling allows you to get to know yourself better. As you befriend your true self, you will discover where you end and others begin. You will grow your self-empathy.
- Be Still and Mindful: Journaling is a meditative activity that we do on our own. It is not about taking in information from outside sources, but listening to your quiet inner voice. When you put all your attention on the feelings and needs of others, that voice shuts down. If seated meditation isn’t your thing, try journaling as another path to mindfulness.
- Nourish Your Intuition: Journaling is an outlet for your intuition to flow through. Empaths are naturally intuitive, but that intuition can get buried under self-doubt, porous boundaries, and people pleasing until we stop trusting ourselves. Grow your intuition and let it blossom.
- Enter a Flow State: Journaling is about the process rather than the product. It is a conversation with a wise part of yourself. In journaling, there is no concern over the outcome of our writing. Once you allow all of the mess, wisdom, humor, even the stagnant muck to move through you onto the page, you’ll feel the flow.
- Release Your Troubles: Journaling is a therapeutic process. It may seem heavy, but the heaviness was already there, pulling you down. You were just not aware of it before. Journaling about our worries and traumas helps us 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, and you will make space for joy and ease to shine through.
Ask yourself now, where in my routine can I pause for self-reflection?
“If you have a tendency to escape your pain… when you finally slow down enough to feel all the sh*t, and move through the shock and overwhelm of it, there is a tremendous amount of relief to be found in making room for the pain, in the gentle acceptance of what is.”
Are you ready to embrace your sensitivity, unlock your emotional resilience, and rewrite your relationships?
- The 4 part gentle yoga and journaling series was made for you: Beyond People Pleasing: 3 Keys to Thriving as an Empath.
- The combination of journaling (or self-reflection) and therapeutic yoga will be a catalyst for your courage as you go beyond people pleasing to thriving as an empath.
- An on-demand series of 4 gentle yoga and journaling classes where you can shake your people pleaser and tame your emotional roller coaster.
If you're ready to embrace your sensitivity, unlock your emotional resilience, and empower your intuition, I made this for you. ESPECIALLY if you're a people pleaser with porous boundaries, you won't want to miss Beyond People Pleasing: 3 Keys to Thriving as an Empath
(A version of this article was originally posted at Atypical Kids, Mindful Parents Blog.)
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