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Journaling has as many purposes and forms as there are Journalers. It is sometimes used as a form of therapy, a program to enhance creativity, a discipline to support a writing practice, a method of spiritual devotion, a crucible for positive grief work, a means for monitoring and nurturing personal growth, or a record of self-liberation and empowerment.

Journaling is a daily reflective practice in which Journalers examine, explore, summarize and interpret their own inner lives. Journalers record more than events and facts; they construct, design and imagine the meanings of: feelings and thoughts, dreams and fantasies, relationships and connections, possibilities and alternatives.

For many, Journaling orients oneself positively to the coming day, or celebrates the moments of beauty and joy in the day just past. For others, Journaling helps transform the agony and pain of being human into hope and creativity. For still others, a journal celebrates the richness of a life lived as well and fully as possible.

Journalers do not worry about grammar, punctuation, spelling, mechanics or structure. Journals are not English assignments to be carefully crafted and "graded." Journalers seek mindfulness, insight, integrity and inner truth by writing it down. No topic is off limits, and they are completely private, even, if requested, to one's own personal deity.

Journaling is a low-overhead, low-maintenance and low-tech practice. Although some Journalers keep their journals on computers, most use an old-fashioned notebook and pen.

Gabriele Rico describes the benefits, saying that Journaling "opens the wilderness of feelings for exploration, and the emerging patterns in your writing lead to gradual insights, occasional life-changing epiphanies, but mostly a wary grace."

Also see Journal Therapy in Psychotherapy

Source: Wayne Gilbert, MAR, Aurora CO.

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