I’m in Kansas City. I just finished journaling for the day, and this has inspired my final blog entry on “Present Living” in this series on progressive mindfulness practices (see earlier posts here).
Journaling has been popular for ages. Sometimes it’s called “keeping a diary.” Some call it it by other names, such as a daily log or reflection.
Many successful people have noted that journaling is a regular part of their regimen. The comedian Sarah Silverman observes, “My comedy notebooks are filled with random journal entries. It’s all the same. I can look back on old joke notebooks, and know exactly what was going on in my life.”
Companies make lots of money producing journals of all colors and designs. My local Barnes & Noble has dozens to choose from, all created with the intention of motivating people to jot down their observations, questions, drawings, or whatever else they feel like putting onto the pages. Some people, like me, keep an electronic journal on a tool like Evernote or the notes applications available for most smart phones. Because Evernote syncs on all of my devices, my journal is always with me and I never lose the pen!
There’s no hard or fast rule on how one is supposed to journal; but when it comes to journaling as a mindfulness practice, I think there’s some helpful steps to consider in order to keep our attention from wandering while we’re writing or typing stuff.
Here some examples, which tie into practicing written reflection on some of the mindfulness practices I’ve discussed in this overall blog series:
* Journal reflections that complete sentences such as, “Right now, I’m feeling…”; “Right now, I intend to…”; “Right now, I’m disappointed because…”; “Right now, I’m grateful for…”
* Journal specific chakra observations, such as, “Right now, in my heart, I’m feeling…”
* Journal observations of any form of beauty you notice right before you, jotting down as many details as possible as well as what emotions the beauty stirs within you.
Do you journal on a regular basis? If so, flip back through some of your entries. What evidence of “Present Living” do you find? Based on what you’ve written, can you tell if you were “fully there” and engaged when you were writing? How might your next journal entry look and feel a little differently?
If journaling hasn’t been a regular activity for you, consider the benefits you might obtain through it. How can it help you laser in on what’s going on in your life right now? How can it teach you more about your habits, hopes, fears, and aspirations?
Growing Your Strengths
I’m a Nashville-based writer, talent strategist, and certified executive coach. On this website, I primarily write stories featuring a diverse group of professionals whose examples of applying mindfulness, learning agility, and storytelling will help you love your career and enhance your quality of life.
These characters face familiar pain points: nonstop change, accelerating economic and technological disruption, and the collective “noise” that grows louder each day. The impact, for these professionals and for many of us, has been confusion, distraction, and stress.
Until, however, each of these individuals chooses to do something new: practicing mindfulness, learning agility, and storytelling habits, and growing them into strengths…strengths that respond to change rather than just react.
Strengths that you can develop as well.
Don’t settle for the confusion, distraction, and stress. You’re stronger than that, and capable of much more.
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