You unearth your patterns by reflecting on observations you record.
If you don’t write things down your only record is memory; rightly regarded as an unreliable source of truth.
Keeping a journal is one way of creating a reliable written record for reflection.
Journals and journaling.
A journal can be a simple notebook or a purpose designed journal.
In a journal, you can create a record of the events that make up your daily life. You can record your reflections on those events, or on the greater questions of life that you’ll ask when seeking meaning. If you meditate, you can record your insights. You can use your journal to problem solve or to record your dreams. If you like doodling, a journal is as good a place as any to store your doodles.
In today’s digital age, keeping a hand written journal is one way of incorporating a practice that gives you both a break from your devices and a pause from your hectic schedule. It’s a practice that encourages introspection, and allows you to read the story of your life in your own words.
A journal is a place where you can safely reinvent yourself and design the life you want to lead, while you’re developing the courage to change your behaviours or beliefs. Like a caterpillar that goes into its chrysalis to work on its transformation into a butterfly, you can go into your journal to complete the work required to fuel your own transformation.
As a long-time journal keeper, I recommend the practice.
I’ve designed a couple of journals you can buy on Amazon to make a start or continue your practice.
Peter Mulraney is a creative writer from Australia. He is the author of the Inspector West crime series, the Living Alone series of self-help books for men, and Sharing the Journey: Reflections of a Reluctant Mystic. He has also published colouring books and journals under the Sharing the Journey banner.