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An Invaluable Helper:

If you are coaching yourself toward greater health and happiness, one of the most effective tools that you can use is journal writing. It can help you clarify your goals and the blockages in your current life journey. Your mind can be a wonderful ally in the process of growth and change. Although you cannot see your thoughts, they have powerful effects on your progress, sometimes helping and other times hindering you. I  encourage you to choose with care the foods that you eat and the thoughts that you choose to think. Your thoughts do not choose you! You choose your thoughts. In order to cultivate healthier thinking patterns, you need to become aware of your habitual thinking patterns. We all have mental tape loops that run continuously in the subconscious mind. Once you become aware of your habitual thoughts and feelings, you can begin to replace the negative, self defeating thoughts with more positive, life affirming thoughts. Journal writing, together with tapping/EFT, visualization, relaxing/breathing and meditation are powerful ways of quietening the chatterbox mind and cultivating healthier ways of thinking and feeling.

Emotional Detox:

If you find yourself  stressed, depressed, anxious and unhappy, you have to find what caused that negative state of mind and change it. These techniques facilitate that change. Unexpressed or unacknowledged feelings are almost always at the root of painful emotional blocks. Journal writing is a simple powerful tool for gaining self understanding and facilitating emotional change and detoxification. Tune into your day or an aspect of your life and check on whether you are carrying any negative charge or feelings about it. Do you feel like a loser in any department of your life? If so, you can write about it plus use EFT on the issue until it no longer bugs you. Journal writing is a method of removing sabotage patterns that enhances your well being and prevents the build up of toxic emotions. For me it has become a form of meditation and  processing that has resulted in significant changes in my body, mind, emotions and spirit. Studies have shown that people who journal  regularly enhance the functioning of their immune systems and are less prone to illness. Even if you are not feeling emotionally stuck, journal writing is a wonderful tool for accessing your inner wisdom and remaining on course to manifesting everyday miracles.

How to Journal:

There is no right or wrong way to keep a journal. Find what works for you. Most people find that a personal diary dedicated to journal writing is ideal. It should be for your eyes only and kept with you as you move about. This allows you to record insights and issues as they come up.

It doesn’t matter what you write, how you write or what your spelling and punctuation is like. Basically you are expressing yourself and what is real for you at that time. Try not to judge what you write. If you notice self criticism and self judgement come up, write about it. Tame your inner critic. Leave it behind you on the page. Do not let that critical voice wreck your future.

Write at least once a day. I use ‘on waking’  to process the last 24 hours and also express what is moving inside my mind after the nights sleep. It is also my best time to tap and hone in on my personal goals before I get going with consultations for the day. There are no strict rules for what you do and do not write about. Here are some ideas to get you started: I sit and write a couple of pages in longhand, allowing whatever thoughts are flowing through my mind to flow via my hand onto the page. I might comment on the key events of the day. I might notice how I feel about a certain issue that has come up? What thoughts, insights or new perspectives are coming up? Do not push yourself to write about important issues. Allow the free flow of thoughts and images that come up to be put down on paper. Some people may draw, doodle or paint in their journal as well. Unique insights into the inner workings of your mind will emerge as you continue. Journal writing will strengthen your connection to your inner wisdom, which will help guide you toward a more healthy, fulfilling and joyful life.

Goal Setting:

How do you want your day to go?

What sort of week do you want?

Where is this relationship going?

What would you like coaching to do for you?

Write it all down. There is nothing to lose in doing this. Visualize what you would prefer to happen and proceed to write it down. Most of my clients have found this simple process helpful in attracting what they want. It helps keep you focused on what you are moving towards. Please be patient with yourself and the process. Be happy in the present moment. That is crucial. Let go of negative feelings, no matter what goal you have undertaken. Your sanity depends on being here now and being o.k. with that.

Let’s say you want to drink 2 liters of water a day.That is a very physical goal. Create a page in your journal in which you record how much water you drink each day. Daily you objectively record how much water you drank. Let us say for example that you are making little or no progress. Continue to write down what amount of water you drank over every 24 hour period. The temptation may be to give up and say “It is impossible” or even worse you may engage in scolding self talk such as “I am a useless pathetic loser when it comes to drinking water. I will never get it right!” If you are encouraging your beloved child, you may talk to the child in a  loving and kind way especially if that is how you were motivated as a child. What happens when you scold the child? Are harsh words encouraging? Which kind of self talk works when dealing with your own inner child. Moaning, attacking, judging and condemning has the opposite effect of motivation. I have learnt this from coaching. Limitless patience and encouragement are often needed before new behavior is learnt. My policy is always observe with loving kindness and faith in our human ability to learn and grow. How long will it take for you to master drinking those 2 liters of water daily? I can’t give you that answer, but I do know that sooner or later persistence and belief in yourself will pay off. I add tapping to writing in the journal. This includes the negative picture and replaces it with a desired positive outcome. After you record that you only drank only one liter today instead of two, use the set up statement “Even though I only drank one liter of water again today, I completely love and accept myself right now and I am open to increasing this amount in the future”. Do a few rounds of tapping, so that it no longer feels like you are weak, lazy or doing something wrong. This technique has to be used extensively when I am working with various addictions. Being unkind to yourself for having an addiction just locks it in and encourages you to give up and stay hooked.

Fear and Worry:

If you tend to feel fear and worry a lot, it is helpful to write down your worries and fears in your journal. Tap while writing. This serves two purposes. Firstly you discharge the power of the inner voices that may be tormenting you. If they seem immense, write until you feel a shift. They can do you no harm on paper. Secondly you can answer them on paper via dialog. Talk back to the fears! Use EFT to enhance this process. You may find that there are totally different issues underlying your initial fears. Just follow through with these techniques. Be a detective and follow the clues. Often you end up dealing with anger, self doubt and hurt underlying many different issues. While doing this detoxification process, you may find that you have created enough space for inspiration to come through. Deep breathing and meditation invite your own insights to appear, so combine the techniques. The final resolution may be some action that you need to undertake or some lessons that need to be learnt. Artists and writers break through into new levels of creativity doing this kind of work. Unleash your own creative genius to outsmart your worries.

Gratitude Journal:

There are many books written on the subject of gratitude. Do you take for granted the roof over your head, the food in your tummy, the clothes that protect you, the new day, your fellow human and animal companions? There are literally millions of things to be grateful for. We are all so busy, that we rarely stop, think and become truly thankful for our world, our bodies and our lives. Can you see, talk, walk, hear, smell etc. Unfortunately we only become thankful for everyday functions when our bodies fail us. We tend to appreciate our physical capacities when they fail to function in the manner that we are accustomed to. Because we are all so addicted to rushing around on autopilot, we rarely stop and appreciate the many blessings we all have.We may complain about our cars, but they are very helpful to have. What about sunshine? Go to a country where there is much less sunshine than South Africa has and you soon miss all the wonderful sunshine that we take for granted here. I normally write up my journal in the mornings and do gratitude writing in the evenings. Finish off your day with a gratitude session. Start your day with gratitude. It  is wise to give thanks for our lives all the time. You tend to appreciate those everyday blessings that happen when you celebrate them soon after  they occur. Gratitude focuses our attention on what is present and correct in our world What is complete, what has arrived, what  has happened is more motivating than what is wrong, or missing from our lives. So when we do coaching let us keep the magic of appreciation going while we push the envelope of manifesting new things. I would like to mention two books by Dr John Demartini on this subject. One is called The Gratitude Effect and the other is called Count your Blessings. They are well worth reading. Gratitude makes us more attractive to the energies that make up our lives. Try and be ten times more grateful than needy. It is very effective.

Insight and Inspiration:

Are you feeling stuck or blocked by a certain issue or area of your life? .Breathe deeply several times and write the issue down in your journal. Perhaps tap on the issue and let it go. Relax, meditate and ask for insight and inspiration regarding the problem. Breathe consciously so that you are balanced and in the state of letting go and receiving. Allow an answer to reveal itself to you. This is a way of being very creative and receptive.

If you are moving towards a goal, there are two ways of recording your progress. Earlier I used the example of trying to drink at least two liters of water daily. One approach may be to look at what you drank and how close you came to your goal. A problem could arise in your mind. If you note your self talk telling you that you are not good enough yet, that may discourage you. If you celebrate and rejoice in what you have achieved, then there is no chance of discouraging yourself. So even if you only drank 500 ml of water, give yourself  a pat on the back that you did some water drinking because 500 ml is better than 250 ml. That is a positive contrast and finish with encouragement for example ” Tomorrow I will drink 500 ml or more. I am so excited to see how I do tomorrow. I am truly on my way to drinking two liters of water a day”. You are on a journey of never ending progress. That is inspiring. Looking at what you do not have and have yet to achieve must be done carefully and occasionally only. I will look at what I have not done when I catch myself pretending that it does not matter or that I have got to the goal when I have hardly started or when I am procrastinating or putting the job off.  Focus on inspiration instead of perspiration or premature standards of perfection.



Happy journal writing !