How Journaling Can Change Your Life for the Better
There were so many lessons learned during the LMDES Getaway in Javea, Spain in December, which is why we'll be taking time to unpack and dive into each one with the time and detail it deserves.
The first lesson that I want to begin to explore is journaling.
I self-identify as a writer. I write when I feel inspried, and even when I don't. Some times, I write for money. I write to break down my thoughts and questions. I write as a form of social critique. I write to show love and to share inspiration. Even with all of the writing I have done, and still do, for some reason journaling has always been the most difficult.
There are many misconceptions regarding journaling. I very wrongly assumed that spending my time with "Dear Diary, " was not only trivial but egocentric. I am a writer. I discuss pressing matters like race, politics, and the prison-industrial complex.
Prolific author Steven Covey once proclaimed: “Keeping a personal journal a daily in-depth analysis and evaluation of your experiences is a high-leverage activity that increases self-awareness and enhances all the endowments and the synergy among them.” — Stephen R.Covey
I stand corrected. Getting to know myself. Debating with myself. Grappling with my own insecurities, doubts, anxiety and dreams is just as--if not more-- challenging as writing for others.
What have I learned from journaling?
It's healthy to check in with yourself, ask yourself the hard questions, and do you know what's also okay? Not having the answers right away.
It can be as long or as short of a session as you want it to be. Journaling doesn't mean writing long, prosaic and drab poems to yourself.
You don't just have to talk about yourself. You can talk about others, your dreams, the world, and explore possibilities. Now, that said, don't turn journaling into an exercise in burn-booking, but you can change the focus according to what feels most natural and comfortable.
Putting things on paper makes them feel real.
Writing will help you take your thoughts from one place (your brain) and move them to a seemingly more manageable and tangible place (the paper).
It's a wonderful, non-intrusive way (see Facebook memories) to see how you've changed and grown. You can muse over who you were in the past and the happenings of that period in your life. Who were you then? Who are you now?
It's easier to count your wins because you can see what it was that you were struggling with, and what it took to overcome the situation (read: receipts). You can look back on what you manifested in 2016, and look around the present to see that it has in fact comeinto fruition, that you did make it out alive and unscathed, and that your words mean things.
Words mean things
According to Thai Ngyuen:
Journaling often includes your dreams and ambitions, yet the idea that scribbled words can help achieve goals is understandably fanciful. But consider building a house without a blueprint. That makes more sense.
Writing goals signals to your brain “this is important.” Your reticular activating system (RAS) then flags relevant opportunities and tools to achieve that goal. More detailed goals provide a psychological blueprint, and increases the likelihood of achieving them.
What you say affects your reality.
Group journaling was such a transformative experience. Imagine, 20 women writing down their wishes and future plans into (dope and cute) notebooks in one room. They're away from all distractions, worries and completely out of their comfort zones. That right there is big magic. That's how we create ripples that turn into waves that eventually, change the world.
I'm thankful for the LMDES Getaway for not only literally providing me with the means to journal (seriously, guys, check out how cute these notebooks are) but also for the gentle reminder that words mean things.
I'll say it again:
What you say and write will manifest.
It will shape or re-shape your reality and how you think which in turn will change how you act. When given the choice, always speak your truth. Speak positivity. Speak even when you're scared, hurt or angry. Speak. Write. Share with yourself. That's the nucleus of all change and radical revolution.
Words mean things. Say what you mean.
Danni, Community + Content Director at Las Morenas de España, is a twenty-something, Chicago native currently residing in Madrid. Lover of language, words, and travel, she's managed to combine all of her passions through her work. In her free time, you can find her exploring the winding streets of Madrid, hunting down good flight deals, planning her next adventure and writing & researching for LMDES. Danni loves spicy food, natural hair, music and of course, her wonderful husband. If you need to find her, she’s the girl with huge hair and her face buried in her Kindle.