On 30th July 1991, I started a spiritual journal. Previously, I’d had several stalled attempts at keeping a diary, then a friend gave me a book by Harry J Cargas, Keeping a Spiritual Journal and although I never actually finished it, it was the catalyst that set me off deep into my unknown, on journeys through deserts, up mountain tops and into the darkest of nights.
Looking back at the first few entries in that early journal, I’m quite amused at my young self. I wrote then, “I’ve decided to follow and answer the questions in the book. Sometimes I think maybe I am a bit arrogant, thinking I know everything. But still, I’m not answering all the questions. I just think some of them are unnecessary.” And that’s how blind I was to myself and probably why those early entries were so sporadic.
The fifth entry in that journal was on 14th September of that year. I wrote, “Well here I am again, after successfully running from thinking and writing about myself. Thinking of what makes me unhappy was really depressing me and I could not write anymore. Now in retrospect, I’m really sorry I took so long to begin writing again. I think I missed out on a deep insight of myself.” Even then, it would be several years until I really learnt and remembered that most valuable lesson.
Eventually, my writing and contemplation opened my eyes and broadened my vision and on those desert journeys my perspective changed. I broke free from the conditioning of my past and I was brought to a place of acceptance, empathy and purpose. My connectedness to all humanity became a truth and the realization that we are all the same became so clear. And I knew that the good I desired for myself, extended to all.
In reflecting on my journey, however, I can acknowledge that as joyful and revealing and freeing as my time with myself was, the prayer that remained consistent over the years was for someone to walk with me through it. So often I wondered if there was anyone else who felt as tortured as I did, as desolate. But the truth is, I didn’t really want to share my innermost thoughts with anyone. So, I journeyed alone and told myself it was meant to be.
Then, as my purpose became clear, my spirit reverberated with the echo, “Share the revelation” and The Interior Journey was created. I am now at a place where I can open my journals to share those innermost thoughts, allowing me to be a guide for the one who needs it. I can be the someone who is there, but not there.The one thing I missed the most on my journey.
If you are anything like me, you may have wanted to start a journal and didn’t. It sounded like a good idea until you sat down with yourself and either couldn’t figure out what to write or couldn’t face what you wrote. You then decided it doesn’t work for you. That’s okay.
If, however, you’re still seeking deeper understanding, clarity on your life’s purpose, release from depression and pain or the illusive inner peace; in other words, spiritual growth; and if you’re prepared to spend the time working for it, then I invite you to start your journal now and I’ll be there to journey with you, to a life of meaning and purpose.
- Use pen and paper I know this may seem archaic in our digital environment, but as the late Paul J. Meyer said, “Writing crystallises thought”. Just the act of sitting with a paper journal will help quiet your thoughts and if you already spend a lot of time on the computer, it becomes a break from your routine. So choose your journal carefully. Here you'll find my favourite journals - Peter Pauper Press If you decide to go the digital route however, I recommend Penzu or Journey
- Date your entries Writing the date and time on your entries allows you to see your growth from them and the silence between them.
- Schedule time Whether it’s in the morning, night or middle of the day, schedule at least half an hour of uninterrupted time. Begin by quieting your mind, with silence, mindful breathing or your own form of meditation or prayer.
- Follow your thoughts Write as your thoughts come, without editing, never mind the grammar or punctuation. This is a conversation between you and you.Allow it to flow and go wherever it leads. Don’t edit or re-write. You can tell yourself the truth.This is for your eyes only.
- Reflect Re-read what you’ve written and learn from your inner voice. You may be surprised by what you’re teaching yourself!
- Enjoy! You’re learning to love yourself!