About this Journaling Series by Eric Maisel
Inspired by Contributors to The Great Book of Journaling
This series of guest blog posts on various topics related to journaling, was created for a series called “Journaling for Men” that appears on the Good Men Project blog. It is designed to help everyone, and especially men who may be unfamiliar with journaling, learn how daily journaling can help them improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It brings together ideas from two of Eric’s recent books, Redesign Your Mind, in which I describe how you can upgrade and redesign “the room that is your mind,” and our co-edited book The Great Book of Journaling, in which we gathered contributions from scores of journal experts and enthusiasts. Please enjoy this series.
We hope that you’ll begin to include journaling as part of your daily self-awareness and self-care program.
Mindfulness and journaling are natural complements and companions. In her chapter in The Great Book of Journaling, Kimberly Wulfert describes their natural connection. She explained:
Contemplative Journaling combines meditating in silence and journaling immediately thereafter for one to ten minutes.
It is non-judgmental and non-striving. There is no inquiry or intention set beyond combining them in time and space in this sequence. This is a journey between your deep inherent wisdom and living consciously.
I began a meditation practice in 2008 and began journaling many decades before that. For most of that time, I turned to journaling when I had a purpose in mind. My thinking, rational, linear left brain predominated. In meditation I let my creative, abstract, non-language, whole-picture right brain reign. I did this by focusing awareness on my physical sensations as I breathed instead of on my thoughts and words.
Over the course of a few years, I discovered that when I journaled for one to ten minutes post-meditation, the spaciousness in my mind brought unexpected insights, connections, and perspectives, both personal and beyond the known aspects of my life. I named this combination Contemplative Journaling.
Silent meditation invokes visceral imagery and heightened senses that also engage with journaling, more so than analytic and memory dominant journaling does.
The writing has an ethereal, abstract, or metaphoric quality, and sometimes takes a poetic or rhythmic form. Journaling inside this momentary mindset is a space that lets another level of awareness move onto the page. It slows the mind’s rush to conclusive interpretations. Once written, it can be absorbed over time, allowing more awareness to enter your consciousness.
There is no judgment in the writings; they meet you where you are to call you to go deeper. The content or context can be broader than your personal concerns. It might reflect books or movies known to you, current events, geo-political issues, pop culture and spiritual perspectives. The theme arising is spontaneous – serving only to awaken your consciousness, to sidestep the limits of your thinking and your life experiences.
Why combine mindfulness and journaling?
“There is no judgment in the writings; they meet you where you are to call you to go deeper. The content or context can be broader than your personal concerns. “
~Kimberly Wulfert, PHD
Are you feeling inspired or curious?
Give this simple two-step process a try. A little meditation and a little journaling. You might be surprised at the results!
Get your copy of The Great Book of Journaling: How Journal Writing Can Support a Life of Wellness, Creativity, Meaning and Purpose
Discover many different journaling techniques, prompts, and activities that can support you to enrich your life and health with journaling.
About the Authors
This blog article is inspired and informed by Kimberly Wulfert’s chapter entitled Contemplative Journaling in The Great Book of Journaling.
Kimberly Wulfert, PhD, is a California-licensed clinical psychologist with a mindfulness-based private practice, a coach for women over forty in transition, and a meditation teacher. For decades, she has incorporated journaling techniques into therapy and taught workshops, often combining journaling with meditation to spark the creative mind. When the 2020 pandemic set in, she started Journal Breeze, a creative virtual space for women to gather and make arty journals to write in. She is a contributing author in Transformational Journaling for Coaches, Therapists and Clients, A Complete Guide to the Benefits of Personal Writing, edited by Lynda Monk and Eric Maisel. To connect, she welcomes your questions through KimberlyWulfert.com and JournalBreeze.com.
Eric Maisel is the author of 50+ books. He is a retired family therapist, active creativity coach, lead editor for the Ethics International Press Critical Psychology and Critical Psychiatry series, and featured blogger for Psychology Today, where his “Rethinking Mental Health” blog has received 3,000,000+ views. You can learn more about Eric Maisel on his website.>>>
Leave A Comment