Online Journaling

Online journaling? Wow, another old tool goes digital. I have journaled on occasion over the course of my life, with very profound results.

My dream journal and my reverie journal, which was a semi-up to date record of my daydreams, have been powerful tools for transformation for me over the years.

In fact, there have been dreams from 20 years or so ago, which still impact me when I remember them today.

One occured when I staffed my first New Warrior Adventure Weekend, in 1990, and reminds me of the power of that initiatory experience, another happened several years later, when the Warrior archetype taught me about itself, and another happened when the Magician archetype came to me.

I have learned, I hope, to maintain daily contact with those images so that I can be reminded of them, and to allow them to continue to develop in my soul.

I have recommended journaling to many folks as a way to learn about the internal struggles they are facing.

That is described well be Steve Pavlina below.

"Journaling is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to accelerate your personal development. By getting your thoughts out of your head and putting them down in writing, you gain insights you’d otherwise never see.

Beyond sequential thinking

While your brain is technically capable of processing a great deal of input simultaneously, your conscious thoughts play out in a certain sequence. One thought triggers the next, which triggers the next, and so on. Sometimes these sequences have a few branches, but they’re still subject to linear time, and at any given moment, you’re following one of those branches. These thought sequences have a beginning, a middle, and an end, and it’s nearly impossible to see the big picture overhead view of a sequence while you’re stuck in playback mode.

This is where journaling can provide huge advantages. Journaling allows you to break free of sequential thinking and examine your thoughts from a bird’s-eye view. When you record your sequential thoughts in a tangible medium, you can then go back and review those thoughts from a third-person perspective. While you’re recording the thoughts, you’re in first-person mode. But when you’re reading them, you can remain dissociated instead of associated. This dissociative view, when combined with what you’ve already learned from the associative view, will bring you much closer to seeing the truth of your situation.

While many people use journaling to record a personal diary of their thoughts and experiences, the power of journaling goes way beyond verbal photography.

Here are 3 other powerful benefits of journaling:

* Solve tricky problems. Some problems are very difficult to solve when you’re stuck in an associative, first-person viewpoint. Only when you record the situation and then re-examine it from a third-person perspective does the solution become clear. Sometimes the solution is so obvious that you’re shocked you didn’t see it sooner.

* Gain clarity. A great time to turn to your journal is when you’re just not clear about what to do. Should you quit your job to start your own business? Should you marry your current romantic partner? Are you on the right track financially? It’s amazing how much clearer things become when you explore them in writing.

* Verify your progress. It’s wonderful to go back and re-read journal entries from years ago and see how much real progress has been made. When you’re frustrated that your life doesn’t seem to be working out as you’d like, go back and read something you wrote five years ago — it will totally change your perspective. This helps you in the present moment too by reminding you that you are in fact growing and changing, even when it feels like you’re standing still."

Steve Pavlina

I am always amazed at the clarity and detail with which Steve Pavlina writes.

His work is based on his own experiences, because he uses the tools he is talking about.

I have been a fan of the Ira Progroff journaling intensive and my journals were just process notes, stream of consciousness kind of writing which helped me diminish strong feelings, usually anger and sadness.

That kind of writing was actually very helpful for me in terms of understanding split off and hurt memories from my childhood.

And that was an important part of my recovery work in the early days of my sobriety.

Today though, I am exploring a tool that is recommended by Steve Pavlina, an online journal called "The Journal", which is a complete online journaling resource.

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