In my Florida yard the first iris just appeared, and the intoxicating scent of citrus blossoms fill the air. Spring is on the way. It’s time for you, too, to blossom!
Consider some dynamic classes and telechats to help you deepen, enrich, and add new textures to your journal writing.
In a forum that I belong to this question was asked: Is journal writing naturally intuitive, or do we sometimes need guides? See my answer in the article below, Journal Writing Guidance?
And there’s also an article about How to Search for Journal Entries on LifeJournal Online.
Write your story.Change your life.Happy journaling!
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by Ruth Folit
When people first encounter the interactive features of LifeJournal (such as Prompts, Wisdom files, and Journaling Techniques) or, perhaps when they consider joining the International Association for Journal Writing, they may ask themselves the following question:
Should I write in my journal using my own intuition only OR, might I sometimes invite guidance, suggestions, or some outside influence?
This question deserves attention because journaling is recognized as a way to get in touch with your intuition. When journaling, if you listen carefully, you may hear the whisper of your intuitive voice which may not be often heard above the din of everyday life. In that case, if the essence of journaling is about trusting your intuition, and the process helps you get in touch with your intuition–then, it may seem like that’s your answer: Write and stay connected to your intuitive nature, and don’t look for outside guidance.
And sometimes journaling is that easy. But sometimes it’s not.
Most of us have had the irritating experience that even though we’re writing, we’re not moving into new terrain where we’re discovering depth and insight. Instead we’re thrashing around in our own stew, unsure how to make our way. Perhaps we’re charging around in circles slogging through the same territory, digging deeper and deeper ruts. Sometimes we’re stuck and not writing because we feel so frustrated, fearful, or unsure of how to begin.
In those cases reaching out for a guiding hand is a good idea, as it lifts you out of your own narrow mindset that can keep you enmired. It brings you new ideas about the process of journal writing that otherwise might take a while for you to discover, if ever.
Additionally, there is now a growing body of research—in the fields of social psychology and neuroscience in particular—that helps us be more productive in our journal writing. Overcoming inner resistance to writing, expressing gratitude, shifting perspective, using different writing styles, are all areas where the research findings, when applied, add richness, texture, and insights to our journaling.
Most people don’t keep up with the latest research, but we at LifeJournal and IAJW do, constantly reading the new studies and at times corresponding with the scientists. There’s lots of new information that helps make your journal writing consistent, productive and forward moving.
Some of us subscribe to the philosophy that we’ll do what feels right, we’ll behave in a way what we unconsciously learned from family and friends, and we’ll ultimately sleepwalk through our lives, not choosing consciously how to act. But most journal writers are different. We often opt to make choices based upon reflection.
But you can even broaden your scope further and make decisions based on reflection AND also based upon relevant education and research. I encourage you to go even one step further by taking a class or listening to telechats and learn not only what works best within the research, but also apply that information to your own journaling, and then decide what works best for you.
One of the strongest benefits of using LifeJournal Online compared to writing in a paper journal is that you can search your journal for writings which have a common topic or set of topics.
Click the Search button in the LifeJournal Online toolbar to open the Search section. Select which search criteria you want to use (Journal Notebook, Word in Entry Title, Date, Topics, and/or Daily Pulse) and click the Search button.
The results of the search will appear in the right side of the Journal Explorer, which will open automatically below the Search section.
Select multiple criteria to find sets of entries with common threads. When you perform searches you can learn from your life.
Here are some examples:
(1) Do you want to get the big picture of your relationship with your father?
Within the Search dialog select all of your writing areas in the Journal Notebook column—all the Notebooks (such as Daily, Dream, Life History), Daily Pulse Notes, and Handwritten. Select the full date range, and select the topic “Father,” “Dad,” or “Joe,” however you may have him listed in the Topic List. Then click the Search button.
In the Journal Explorer you’ll see journal entries and Daily Pulse Notes listed that meet your criteria. You may want to select them all and open them. You’ll be able to read dreams where your dad was a character, to read stories when you were five years old that you remembered and which included your father, as well as to re-read entries with conversations you had with him last week. Finding and reading these juxtaposed entries will certainly shed new light on both your father and on you.
(2) Trying to learn what factors help you maintain good health?
Within the Search dialog select all of your writing areas—Notebooks, Daily Pulse Notes and Handwritten. Select the full date range. In the Daily Pulse column, enter “7” in the Min area and “10” in the Max area of the Health scale. Click the Search button and all entries and Pulse Notes which meet the criteria will appear in the Journal Explorer. Read those entries and you’ll find out about who you are when you are healthy.
(3) Writing a report or a book? Keeping track of a project? Making a gift for your child’s birthday?
Create notebooks and topics that you can use to quickly pull out the information you’ll need for a particular book chapter or character in the book. Perform a search of just the notebook(s) or topic(s) or date(s) that are relevant. In seconds you’ll have all the information you need listed within the Journal Explorer.
“Surely there is a time to submit to guidance and a time to take one’s own way at all hazards.”–Thomas Huxley
“The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order the continuous thread of revelation.” –Eudora Welty
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