I keep a journal. I’ve done so ever since I started traveling. Instead of writing letters to my mother, I recorded everything in a journal and showed it to her afterwards. Later, I used a journal during difficult periods, to ‘get things off my chest’. And after a while, I started recording things I didn’t want to forget.
My first serious journaling started when I discovered The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Daily ‘morning pages’ became part of my routine. Journaling became a way of unlocking creativity. At the moment, I’m following a Dutch course on journaling. I’m learning to use my journal more and more as a way of listening to my inner voice.
By doing this in combination with the Voice Dialogue method, I have developed the following little practice. It’s a great way to help yourself work out difficult dilemma’s.
Sit down with a pen and paper and take the time to write out a dialogue between two facets of yourself. Two voices: One is the confused or lost child in you, the one experiencing the problem or question. The other is the nurturing parent in you, the one who may not have all the answers but can listen with love and acceptance.
Write spontaneously, without thinking beforehand what you want to say. Let your heart speak, so that the dialogue evolves by itself. Keep switching between the two roles, feel your way into each of the voices. If you can write from a position of not-knowing, just letting the words come out, you will find surprising thoughts and insights emerging.
Give this time. At first, it will feel a bit awkward. Just keep on writing. If you start growing tired, let the two voices agree to continue another time. When you stop, read the dialogue aloud to yourself and feel how the words affect you. Repeat this practice until you find yourself looking at the problem or question from a different perspective.
Do you have a way of listening to your inner voice?