Journaling is a Place of Refuge

I have always considered journaling as a place of refuge.  I have never heard anyone else describe journaling in this particular way until participating in Mark Matousek’s memoir writing program last week at Hollyhock.  He said this exact thing, “Journaling has always been my place of refuge.” He described how it helped him cope growing up in a dysfunctional family and how it continues to this day, many decades later, to be this place of refuge for him and more.

This got me thinking about how journaling can be a place of refuge for finding inner peace during these complex times we are living in.

First of all, what do I mean by a “place of refuge”?

I have created numerous courses and presentations on mindfulness where I introduce the concept of “place of refuge” as described by mindfulness and meditation teacher, Tara Brach. She has a whole book on this topic, it is called True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart.

“We find true refuge whenever we recognize the silent space of awareness behind all our busy doing and striving. We find refuge whenever our hearts open with tenderness and love. We find refuge whenever we connect with the innate clarity and intelligence of our true nature.”  ~ Tara Brach

3 Ways Journaling Can Be a Place of Refuge for Finding Inner Peace

1. Journaling is a place where we can unburden and get anything that is troubling or worrying us out.  

There is peace that can be found when we get what is on the inside out in a safe and cathartic way, which journaling allows for.

Try this:

Set a timer for 10 minutes and write down whatever is bothering you, causing you stress or worrying you. Without judgement and self-compassion, just write it all down.  Allow yourself to feel some relief from just getting it down and out. Then move on.

“Cry out! Don’t be stolid and silent with your pain. Lament! And let the milk of loving flow into you.” ~ RUMI

2. You can use your journal as a space for bringing to mind things the things that nourish, fuel and comfort you.

You can list these things, write about them, explore them and honour them in the pages of your journal, and hence within your self. You can welcome everything.

Try this:

Think about something that brings you a deep sense of inner peace. Write about it in as much sensory detail as possible. As your write, allow this to fill you with peace from within.

Peace is this moment without judgment.
That is all. This moment in the Heart-space
Where everything that is is welcome.
~ Dorothy Hunt

3. Be inspired from within as you journal.

I often write about my dreams, desires and goals. I also write about the present moment with awareness and reflection. This process often reveals my inner truth and this can be very calming. It gives roots to confidence and inspired action in life, allowing greater feelings of peace and purpose.

Try this:

Use this writing prompt:  Inner wise guide what do you have to offer me right now about _____ (fill in the blank about something you are wondering about in your life, or ask about a current dream or desire you have and see what your inner wise voice has to say).

All you ever longed for is
Before you in this moment
If you dare draw in a 
Breath and whisper “Yes.”
~ Danna Faulds

May journaling be your peaceful place of refuge.

Add your voice to our blog in the comments below…

Journal Prompts:

  • How can journaling be a place of refuge for you?
  • Journaling is…

Your voice and words matter!

Author: Lynda Monk, MSW, RSW, CPCC, is the Director of the She loves all things journaling.