About Using a Personal Journal

        Some people have never tried journaling, and are scornful or indifferent to it. Others feel that periodically expressing their inner world is an essential way to "get to know me better" and raise their awareness. Others say "I don't know what to write about," or fearing "someone might read it" (and cause some catastrophe. Experimenting with a journal (or "lab notebook," "progress notes," or "travel log") seems to lower anxieties and increase motivation.

        Premises - (a) Many U.S. adults seem to come from significantly low-nurturance childhoods, causing them significant psychological wounds. (b) Such survivors can choose to reduce their wounds over time, with patience, focus, increasing self-awareness, and qualified help.

        My teacher said "the great benefit of a journal is that you can say any-thing you want to it - and it will never disagree, talk back, preach, criticize, or change the subject." Some people sketch in their logs, write poetry, describe dreams, and/or express forbidden thoughts or fantasies. Many of my therapy clients reported that journaling helps them objectively record the dialogs, fights, and complaints (thought streams) among their personality subselves. This can help to harmonize them under the wise guidance of your resident true Self. Option: get undistracted, centered, and quiet, and think "I'm going to start journaling today." Then note the thoughts and feelings that occur within you on paper, like an unbiased news reporter or scientist.

        In her helpful book (about recovery) the Artist's Way, Julia Cameron suggests writing three personal pages a day for three weeks. She says most of her thousands of (often skeptical, over-busy) students report valuable awarenesses, insights, and learnings from doing this. Try it!