We live in a fast-paced and accumulation-driven society.
Our calendars are full, we go from one meeting to the next during the day and from one activity to the next in the evenings. We wear our busyness with a badge though, always ensuring the one who asks us how we are doing that we are, well… busy. Busyness isn’t inherently bad, but reflection on life becomes difficult which can in turn cause us to lose a healthy perspective on what is genuinely important.
In addition to our crammed schedules, we are addicted to accumulating. We love to shop for ________ (fill in the blank: shoes, houses, cars, electronics). We gather these things simply because they give us a passing pleasure to own them. We accumulate friends on social media. We want to acquire more knowledge from the internet. And we want more space on our phones to save that next perfect selfie. Humans may be progressing, but we are still gatherers.
So what does it mean to have zero margin in our calendars and constantly be in pursuit of the next item in our collection? It means we have no time to reflect on the true joys of life.
Here’s one antidote: Journaling. This spiritual discipline requires us to turn inward to examine the health and thoughts of our souls, and then express them outwardly on a blank page. It can be a daunting task, but over time and with practice can become an amazing way to track your life.
The journal functions as a conversation partner for your soul without the fear of judgment. Your journal will never shame you, although through careful listening to what you say in your journal you may discover healthier ways of experiencing life.
There is no wrong way to journal. But there are three best practices I would share with you here:
- Be consistent in where you journal. It doesn’t matter if you buy a notebook with the sole purpose for journaling or if you create a new Google folder for journal entries, as long as you consistently journal in that space. This basic consistency will help you the next two practices…
- Be consistent in your journaling schedule. You can journal once a day or once a month. But, how ever often you decide to reflect and write about your life do it with regularity. This will help your conversation with yourself continue and will help the third practice be even more meaningful.
- Review your journal periodically. One of the greatest joys of journaling is the ability to go back in time with yourself to remember life’s highlights, re-experience your greatest emotions, and identify your own behavioral patterns that might help or hinder living abundant life. By revisiting your journal you will be able to see growth in yourself and look for ways to continue in that growth.
Journaling is a way of being alert to life that will hopefully help you overcome busyness and accumulation tendencies to unlock the true greatness of life.