Journal Writing as a Spiritual Practice
One spiritual practice that has changed my life (and is wonderful for manifestation) is writing in a journal. When most people think of journal writing, they place it in the "hobbies" category, like scrap-booking, or knitting, however, a daily practice of recording what you are grateful for, setting intentions, and actually writing out a prayer, can be incredibly powerful. It activates your heart chakra, requires focus, and creates a tangible artifact of that which you are seeking to a)appreciate b)shift or c)allow. Writing in your journal opens up doorways to miracles. At least it has for me. It brings me clarity, peace, and it's one of the ways I connect to the divine.
What I write tends to fall into the following categories:
- automatic writing
- intention setting
- gratitude lists
I define automatic writing as the act of connecting with one's inner-being (higher-self/holy spirit/whatever term you feel comfortable) and letting whatever comes through flow. Usually, before automatic writing, I will sit in stillness for a few moments, ask my inner-being to flow through me, or simply place my hand on my heart and breathe deeply. Then, I begin to write. I might pose a question, such as: How can I allow for more creativity in my life? and see what fills the page, or, more likely, I will give myself a series of prompts... what sort of prompts, you ask? Simple ones...ones that call forth possibility, such as:
- I am tuning to..
- I am allowing...
- I am receiving...
- My soul is calling me to...
- My inner-being knows...
- I am opening up to possibilities of...
Another form of automatic writing that I enjoy is connecting with my inner-being (ten years from now) and writing a letter to my present self. My inner-being is usually gentle and loving with me, reminding me to be brave, and calling me to step into being what I imagine as the best version of myself. For example, my inner-being calls me to be less of a perfectionist, tells me that there's nothing I need to do to deserve love, and tells me to take more risks and say what I believe, unapologetic-ally, even if I have the fear of being labeled the "new age kook". Another form of (what I believe to be) automatic writing is penning a love letter to yourself, reminding yourself of all of your positive attributes and accomplishments. If you find that you are not manifesting love in your life (if others are not treating you well), or if you are engaging in negative self-talk throughout the day, I would highly encourage listing positive things about yourself at least once a day. If you think you need a romantic partner to complete you, I would encourage writing out this least at least twice a day.
At the start of every month, I like to set intentions. When setting intentions, I like to keep them simple, and I aim to set intentions that are not so outlandish that I don't believe I can accomplish them. I like to ask myself: What would I do if I were brave? How could I step out of my comfort zone? Sometimes, it could be something as simple as attending a meetup or inviting a friend over for dinner (as an empathic introvert, I tend to choose solitude over union, so inviting someone over can, often, feel like an act of bravery). I don't believe in setting a million intentions, and I like to include some fun in my intention setting, such as considering how I can include play more in my life.... visiting a few new thrift shops might be a fun idea, or purchasing a cookbook and trying out three new recipes. Often, my intention is to be gentle with myself; this includes a lot of rest, positive self-talk, and sitting with my fears (which tend to come in the form of stomach pain or pulling away from people who express love).
Rampaging is a term from Abraham Hicks, and it refers to listing (in writing or speaking) that which you appreciate and puts you in a positive mood, or as she calls it, "the vortex". When rampaging, I like to pick a topic that excites me and write every positive aspect about it that I can. I find that my sweet students (sixth and seventh graders) put me in the vortex, as well as my friends or current romantic interest. Write out all of the reasons you love your cousin, or dog, or husband, and you will, certainly, feel closer to God. Focus on what's good, and more of it will come. Want to manifest? Rampage. About anything.
This is similar to rampaging, but rather than focusing on one topic, you list anything that comes to your mind. The first thing I write in my journal every day is an answer to the prompt: I deeply and profoundly appreciate...
I like to write out my prayers to God. I feel a deep connection to the universe when I express my love and appreciation in a letter. I ask for guidance. I speak of my trust and surrender, and I remind myself that my first priority, and the only real relationship that matters is my relationship to my source. If you want to increase your intuition, psychic ability, or connection to the divine, invest some time in writing out your prayers. If you want to express your love of the universe, the mountains, and the sky, write out your prayers. If you're not sure you believe in God at all, write out your prayers. If you communicate with God, God will communicate in return.
I will include in the category of prayer something I often do in my journals, which is to ask I WONDER questions, which the brilliant Gay Hendricks, author of "The Great Leap" coined. I wonder questions open up possibilities in your consciousness.
- I wonder how I can be of service today?
- I wonder how I can let go of concept of self in ways beyond my wildest imagination?
- I wonder how I can be brave and embrace change in ways beyond my wildest imagination?
Ask and ye shall receive. Ask God (the universe) for guidance, and it will come, be it in the form of a book, a "random" website you are linked to, or an intuitive thought, but it will come. Ask. And if you don't hear an answer, ask again.
All of these types of journal writing will provide a space for you to connect with your spirit, to manifest, and to enter into a relationship with the universe in a way that will shift your awareness of the presence of love in such a way that it will astound you.