2 Aug 2011

Creative Journaling - a change to more Positivity

By Iris von Brandstatter -

3 benefits of creative journaling

Solve tricky problems.
Some problems are very difficult to solve when you’re stuck in an associative, first-person viewpoint. Only when you record the situation and then re-examine it from a third-person perspective does the solution become clear.

Gain clarity.
Not clear about what to do. Should you quit your job to start your own business? Should you marry your current romantic partner? It’s amazing how much clearer things become when you explore them in writing.

Healing problem areas.
Much can be said for the healing benefit of creative journaling. It combines the more emotional with the tactile to get things ‘unstuck’ - and you have the opportunity to rid yourself of the frustration, pain in a very visual way which generally helps with the ‘letting go’ process.

While your brain is technically capable of processing a great deal of input simultaneously, your conscious thoughts play out in a certain sequence. One thought triggers the next, which triggers the next, and so on.
Sometimes these sequences have a few branches, but they’re still subject to linear time, and at any given moment, you’re following one of those branches.

These thought sequences have a beginning, a middle, and an end, and it’s nearly impossible to see the big picture overhead view of a sequence while you’re stuck in playback mode. This is where journaling can provide huge advantages. Journaling allows you to break free of sequential thinking and examine your thoughts from a bird’s-eye view. When you record your sequential thoughts in a tangible medium, you can then go back and review those thoughts from a third- person perspective.

While you’re recording the thoughts, you’re in first-person mode. But when you’re reading them, you can remain dissociated instead of associated. This dissociative view, when combined with what you’ve already learned from the associative view, will bring you much closer to seeing the truth of your situation.

What to consider on this new creative adventure
How Often, How Long and When
You don't have to do journaling every day. However, the more you do, the more you'll benefit. It's up to you. Late evening is a good time, just before retiring. Some people prefer journaling early in the morning before they start their day. Block out at least fifteen minutes in any one session. Some activities take longer. The great thing about a journal is that you can use it practically anywhere. It's cheap and it's great therapy when you've got problems to resolve and it's a lot of fun. Also you can recycle a lot of old magazines this way!

It's best to have a quiet place where you can be alone with yourself and concentrate on journaling. Find a place that is free from loud noises, distractions and interruptions. Many people find that they have a favorite chair or desk or even a spot in nature where they like doing their Creative Journaling. Find the place that feels best for you a place that's safe, quiet and conducive to taking little journeys inside.

Structure and Spontaneity
It's a good idea to put the date on the first page of each journal entry. This way you can go back and review where you've been during your little trips into "inner space." You're likely
to see changes and growth. Sometimes you might uncover old patterns that you wish to change or new ones that you want to cultivate. Express yourself as openly as possible. Don't edit or revise what you write or craft or draw. Just let it all hang out. The important thing is to be as honest and spontaneous as possible. Remember, no one is grading you or evaluating your work. There is no right way or wrong way to keep a journal. Find the way that works FOR YOU. After all, it's YOUR journal, it's your life.

Honesty and Privacy
In order to be really honest with yourself it is important that you keep your journal private. This is a from of self-therapy and just as therapy is held confidential, so is journal work. If you're worried about what people will think about your feelings, thoughts, drawings and musings, you'll never be able to be really honest with yourself. Without total honesty, the Creative Journal will not yield the best results.

Selective Sharing
There are times when you may want to share an insight, a feeling a dream or some drawings with someone else. Be selective about who you share these special pieces with. Be sure the
person is safe, won't criticise you and is supportive of you and your journal work. Sometimes you may want to share with a counselor, best friend or spouse or even your kids. Whatever you do, avoid sharing with people who put you down, think journal- keeping is a waste of time or want to tell you how to think and feel or how to live your life. How you create your life is up to you. Don't let others talk you out of being and expressing who you really are in whatever form.

There is no right or wrong way to do Creative Journaling. Only YOUR way. Relax, express what's inside and get to know the real you. If you encounter self-doubt or blocks, put these down and breath in deeply whilst you are focusing on them. There are exercises specifically for dealing with it which will be covered in the workshops. You do not need any experience, training or special talent in writing or art to do these creative journal activities. All you need is the willingness to explore yourself, experiment with new media of expression and most of all ...