Spiritual journaling is a personal, intimate way to connect with God on a regular basis. Some choose to journal daily, while others are content with journaling on a weekly or monthly basis. There are many types of journals, but only spiritual journaling can give you the opportunity to grow on a spiritual basis and see God’s hand on your life.
- Daily log/free flow journaling – Whatever comes to mind, you write it down. If distracting thoughts come to you while writing, write them down as you continue your thought journey. At times, it is the distracting thoughts that you really need to write about, but you don’t know this until you continue your journaling.
- Lists – Usually, when doing this kind of journaling, you just write whatever word/phrase comes to mind as you think of it. If you are repeating word/phrases, then these are the ones you can free flow journal about the next day. As you free flow journal about the reoccurring thoughts, you will be able to release the tension or stress around these thoughts. Most likely, it is these things in your life that you need to address or deal with before you can move onto something else or of importance.
- Clusters – This is similar to lists except it is more like a flow chart model of thinking. You start with the first word of thought, then draw lines to connecting words of thought related to the first circle as they come to you. Eventually, you come to the real topics to write about as you keep connecting your thoughts. You can pick three of these words to focus on in a free flow session jointly or individually. See the diagram below.
- Click on diagram to enlarge.
- Dialogue – In this type of journaling, you write as if you are having a conversation with a person of interest whether in conflict or solving a problem of some kind. Of course, it is only one-sided, but while writing, your thoughts will generate the other person’s voice or train of thought via your memory of recent conversations.
- Unsent Letters – Write letters to those you are having conflict with or are in your past. Maybe you are holding onto feelings of pain, anger, or abuse of some kind. You may not want to confront this person in real life, but writing it out helps you heal in some way. This is also a way to release feelings of regret or grief for a loved one. The key is that you never send it in any way. Some write them and then destroy them immediately, so they are never seen by anyone as being seen may cause more anguish in someone else.
- Letters to God – Write a log of conversations with God on a regular basis. Your entries can be in a conversation/dialogue style or as a prayer. Some people choose to have a separate journal just for prayers. With how busy our lives are today, it is hard to find personal time with God or to pray in a private way hidden from other’s eyes or ears.
- Bible Verses/Favorite Hymns or Phrases – Write your favorite scripture verses, lines from a hymn you enjoy, or phrases/quotes that have some meaning to you in a certain way. After recording a verse or two, journal about how it makes you feel, why it is important to you.
- Your life story – Sometimes you can’t go forward until you deal with the past or you see how far you have come. Though it may be painful when things happen, it can help you heal to revisit the past in a private manner. You can pick a particular event, time period, or memory to analyze. Maybe you have a bad memory from grade school or something in your childhood happened that traumatized you till this day. If you are a parent, or educator, you can make a journal of the key moments of your life to teach or reach the next generation. What legacy do you want to leave? Maybe you don’t like where you life is leading and you want to make a change. Journal about where you would like to make a change and how. Set some goals and write them down, so you have a place to refer back to them.
The key is that whatever style is that you continue with it. Only when journaling is done on a regular basis is it effective. Some choose to journal and then refer back to what they have journaled six months prior or maybe a year ago to see how far they have come or where they have yet to go. However you choose to journal, make an effort to commit to doing it, so you can see a change in your life in a spiritual way. Your journal is your place to be you, even when the world can be cruel, criticizing or demeaning. Who are you? Who do you want to be? When was the last time you were real with God or spoke to Him? Our tomorrows are not promised. Now is the time to figure out who you are, what your spiritual gifts are and how you can impact the world.
Feel free to leave me a reply if you need help in any way doing any of the above or you would like to communicate about your efforts. I am also available to teach individual or small group instruction relating to spiritual journaling. Leave your contact information in a reply of your interest.