Pen to paper is power. It is the all-powerful creative Feminine force that transforms the elusive energy of thoughts into something distinctly material. Something we can come back to later, we can publish, or from which we can generate new thoughts.
Something that gives life. Yet, it is also the Masculine energy of action. The literal mechanics of pencils and pens – or quills if you’re fancy – cleverly act as a penetrative force that breathes new life onto blank paper. Even the word “pen” suggests its masculine meaning.
Writing is a Union of the two. We can even think of it as Yoga in this sense. Shiva and Shakti dance together in harmony to draw an idea from the void and turn it into a new reality. Like a child, writing can become anything! A song, a novel, a manifesto to change the world.
Yet, before you change the world, writing also has the power to change your world.
A conscious writing practice – journaling – can take many different forms. Journaling is a deeply personal practice of writing the thoughts, feelings, dreams, and intentions that build your life.
We may write with the intention to:
❖ Work through messy emotions
❖ Amplify our joy
❖ Clarify our visions
❖ Express our breakthroughs
❖ Manifest our desires
But the essence of journaling remains the same – to actively inspire your life.
Let’s explore how Shadow, Gratitude, and Dream, journaling practices (or a combination of all three) may add to your Sacred Ritual and Mind-Body Wellness.
Holistic Health Benefits
Many animals express themselves through sound and language. But only humans express ourselves through the written word.
We’ve been doing it since 3400 BC (if not long before). The poet Enheduanna – a High Priestess of the Love goddess Inanna and the Moon god Nanna of Ancient Sumer – is the first known writer in human history.
But you don’t have to be a goddess poet to have a meaningful journaling practice. And despite its recent modern appeal, journaling isn’t just some new-age self-help trend. It’s a simple, timeless health practice. Yes, health!
This is where the magic lies. According to a 2018 Cambridge study, “Writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events has been found to result in improvements in both physical and psychological health, in non-clinical and clinical populations.”
Remarkably, at the end of the four-month-long study, participants who wrote for 15 minutes a day reported fewer visits to the doctor and fewer sick days.
A journal entry a day keeps the doctor away! It improves mental health, immune function, and even trauma recovery.
But health is not merely the absence of disease. It’s a state of overall mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. And journaling has maximum potency for enhancing wellbeing.
To invite well-being, we must create space for it.
Sometimes this requires a deep, honest look at ourselves. This can often be painful, and even unbearable.
We can allow the dense thoughts of fear, shame, regret, or insecurity to roam like loose tigers in our heads. We can numb them with addictive substances. Or we might try to bypass them and reach for the “good.”
None of these are authentic or healing.
With consciousness, writing them out can be a huge release.
I got nervous when a dear coach/friend suggested I try this. “But won’t giving these thoughts that much attention materialise them into existence?”
“No,” she smiled. “Well, only if you want them to. But if you write with the intention to release, then you open up pathways for complete authenticity and self-acceptance.”
Oh! So not only does it get them out of our heads, but it allows us to see them with love and compassion.
To create a sacred container in which to Shadow Journal…
1. Light a candle to call forth the light of your Divine Protectors
*We’ve crafted the Journey Intention Candle just for this purpose
2. Place your hand on your heart, take a deep breath
3. Set an intention to be present and authentic
4. Write out whatever fears, resentments, stories, attachments, or emotions are triggering pain or discomfort
*In this step, be aware of writing “I feel…” rather than “I am…” since the purpose
is to detach from the emotion, rather than further identify with it.
5. Let it be messy, let it be raw
6. When you are complete, rip the pages out of the journal
7. With a bowl or plate handy, burn the pages to release their content into the flame *Please be careful of any fire hazards
8. Mindfully offer the ashes back to Mother Earth or a body of water. The Earth knows how to recycle them.
*Don’t keep them in your home or just discard them in the trash
9. Return to your journal to record how you feel now
So, how do you feel?
❖ Can you see how much you’re growing?
❖ Can you love the shadows that make you human?
❖ What is the lesson here?
❖ Can you make space for something new?
Share your breakthrough. Give yourself credit where it's due!
If you don’t feel one right away, that’s ok. Come back to this practice as needed.
With all of this new space you’ve created, your eyes might open to all of the blessings around you!
They can be simple ~
❖ clean water
❖ working Wifi
❖ a call from a good friend
They can be profound ~
❖ success in your career
❖ a positive breakthrough in your way of thinking
❖ falling in love with yourself!
Each gratitude is profound in its own way. And writing them down amplifies joy and abundance. It opens the heart.
It’s like writing a love letter to Source that declares, “I’m thrilled with all the blessings that you give me, and I’m open to receiving more!”
You don’t even have to ask for more! Just notice what already exists around you. And the door for more automatically opens.
There are a number of ways to keep a gratitude journal.
1. Set a timer on your phone and write rapid-fire gratitudes that pop up
2. Write down 3 conscious gratitudes and why you’re grateful for them
“I’m grateful for all of the plans that didn’t work out because they led me to where I need to be.”
“I’m grateful for all of the plans that did work out because they showed me that my visions are in alignment with my values.”
“I’m grateful to have no plans at all because I can just open up to receive fun surprises!”
In whatever way suits your style, make it a daily practice and a sacred ritual.
We’ve hand-crafted this beautiful green linen and gold-embossed Gratitude Journal, complete with supporting instructions and 360 blank pages.
For more inspiration, check out our Gratitude for New Day post.
In a way, Gratitude Journaling is Dream Journaling. The difference is that gratitudes are dreams that have already come true. They create the space for more dreams to come true. And it can be wildly helpful to get specific about what these dreams are!
My dear friend Shania met the man of her dreams a year ago. She gleefully tells the story of dancing at a festival and receiving an inner call to go write down a prayer. She ignored it at first, but as the voice grew louder, she finally gave in. Alone in her tent, she wrote down her prayer for her sacred masculine partner. She listed all of his qualities, saw him in her mind’s eye, kissed the paper, and then released it to the wind. Three hours later, she met Jacob! The rest is herstory…
This is the power of dream journaling. Sounds like a myth, right?
But Shania’s story, as well as many of my own and others, are backed by science.
In 2020, Dr. Gail Matthews from the Dominican University of California found that people who write down their goals have a higher chance of accomplishing them when compared to those that don’t.
~ Goals, dreams, thoughts, inspirations, big ideas ~
Whatever you call them, writing them down activates visualisation, accountability, and follow-through. In essence, the magic of creation!
For an extra special dose of magic, our Thoughts, Inspirations, Big Ideas Journal is an intentional space for you to offer your dreams to the Universe.
Trinity Infinity Journaling Practice
Dream Journaling is a deeply personal practice that works when it suits your style.
Maybe you work better with a bit of chaos, in which a stream-of-consciousness style resonates with you!
Maybe doodling is your best tool.
If you’re like me, you might benefit from a bit of structure. In which case we recommend making lists of…
1. Desires - dreams, big ideas, or curiosities that we’d like to manifest
2. Intentions - the action that we commit to taking to get us there
3. Breakthroughs - an attitude or gratitude for the aspect of the dream which has already manifested
Let’s try it together…
1. I ask for complete SATISFACTION in body, mind, and spirit.
2. My intention is to nourish my body with wholesome food, meditate for 20 minutes, and channel Love in all of my interactions – with myself and others.
3. My breakthrough is that I trust that I’m worthy of this.
Writing is a radical act of freedom. The right to write is to say whatever you want.
Without judgment. With complete authenticity. With total Union of the heart and hand.
If you love our journaling practices or you have one of your own, we’d love to hear! Share with us here!