When I teach the In-depth Journal Method to clients I am often asked the question:
‘Do I really need to write every day?’
The answer comes in the form of another question:
‘What do you want to get out of your writing practice?’
If the reply is ‘as much as I can,’ then the answer is yes. I then move on to talking about the nature of practice, as when we explore what practice is in this context, we begin our writing with a deeper understanding of what we are creating.
What is practice?
The word ‘PRACTICE,’ implies ritual. On one level aimed at achieving mastery in a field, and on another level intended to cultivate a connection with a power greater than ourselves, for example Soul, superconscious, Self and so on. On only need look at some of the practices masters of any profession have, be it sport, meditation, fiction writing or journaling to know that these individuals take their ‘work’ seriously, and the results speak for themselves.
There are certain aspects practice of any form involves, and when it comes to reflective and journal writing, it is no different. These aspects are:
A practice requires a space and that space is sacred. In sacred spaces we have order, commitment, humility, love, passion and beauty.
Most of us live busy, chaotic lives. When we commit to meeting with ourselves and taking the time to practice our personal writing, powerful energy builds around us. It is our energy – the energy of our dedication to self, our intention and commitment. It needn’t be for hours – even ten minutes is enough to create this inner force.
In the book Outliers: The Story of Success, author Malcolm Gladwell examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success. To support his thesis, he examines how Bill Gates achieved his wealth, how the Beatles became one of the most successful musical acts in history, and many other individual journeys to success. He refers often to the 10,000 hour rule, claiming that mastery is achieved through 10 000 hours of practice.
The key, however, according to Gladwell is that the practice be focused. It must be done with intention.
In reflective and journal writing the intention is to go deeper, to understand more, to discover our true nature.
Another part to take into consideration is how we approach our practice, that is, how do we enter our space?
We do not bring our ego into our practice, for it will distract us and lead us astray. We lay aside our preconceived ideas and understand that humility is an asset for self-improvement and a requirement for wellbeing.
AS A STUDENT
We come to learn – to allow our practice to take us deeper, beyond what we think we know about ourselves and life.
AS A WARRIOR
We know when we commit to self-discovery we will face powerful opponents. They reside within us – fear, anger, grief, disbelief – all will arise as we take, as M. Scott Peck called it, ‘the road less travelled.’
Yet when we commit to this practice, not only do we grow as masters within our sacred space, we become masters in every moment of our life, as we learn to live from a place of humility, as both student and warrior.
If this resonates for you, I invite you to begin your practice.
If you would like guidance as you start, I offer a four-week online course called ‘More than a journal – an introduction to the art of journaling.’ This course takes you on a journey through specific prompts, guided visualisations, videos and facebook group support. More details can be found here: https://belindabennetts.co.uk/more-than-a-journal-online-course/
Alternatively, I teach The In-depth Journal method one to one both online and in person. More details can be found here: https://belindabennetts.co.uk/personal-development-courses/