TRANSFORMATIONAL JOURNAL: YOUR PATH TO METAMORPHOSIS
A transformational journal is a means of discovering your authentic self. Through thoughtful, reflective writing you can come to understand the self you are and the self you want to be. In other words, it enables you to become, in the popular term, your best self. Creating a transformational journal leads to genuine healing of body, mind and spirit.
A transformational journal is used when searching for meaning in your life. Writing a transformational journal is a process through which to explore experiences, both past and present. It is much tougher than a gratitude journal because you are confronting long buried experiences and deep emotions that you may not have been able to face, but the pay-off is life changing.
Transformation is a process of positive change. If we think of the analogy of the caterpillar becoming a butterfly we can easily see the physical transformation take place. It is not so easy to understand human transformation, a much more complex process involving not only physical but emotional and spiritual change as well. Through out life we are constantly undergoing transformation. We are not the same person today that we were twenty years ago, nor in fact, even yesterday.
What brings about transformation is experience. Too often we feel powerless to control the ups and downs that life brings. We imagine that if this or that didn’t happen or if we had this or that, we could lead a more meaningful life. What we often fail to understand is that we can take control over who we become by what we do with our experiences. For example, one person may be hit with a life-altering accident and become bitter with the “why me” attitude. Another, Rick Hansen or Terry Fox, for example, can accept this change in life and become a remarkable inspiration to millions of people. Again we may not have the gifts of a Rick Hansen but we do have purpose and we can be a better person by the way we deal with experience.
The transformational journal can be a powerful resource to help you make significant change in your life. We are never too old to change and a transformational journal will restore hope and help us find meaning as we age.
As with a gratitude journal, begin your transformational journal with a bound book in which to write a free flow of ideas. These unscripted and unedited entries free your subconscious mind to open up the path to transformation. Don’t worry about how you write, just write! I suggest that if you haven’t kept a journal before, you begin with a gratitude journal. My blog Journal 101 will get your started.
In addition to a bound journal, in time, you may also want to have a binder for computer- generated pages. These entries will be a deeper exploration of the big ideas that emerge from your free flow journal. They represent the experiences and emotions that are at the heart of your transformational process. As you go deeper into these insights, your writing and rewriting will enable you to understand the meaning of the experience and you will gain clarity on how this has affected who you are.
Using a computer to journal gives a level of freedom to your writing that a bound book does not. You are using a computer not to produce an edited copy that others can read, but rather to facilitate the writing process. By that, I mean, that the writing itself will bring increased new insights and clarity. Professional writers learn this very early on!
To be successful, you must cultivate the habit of journaling by making an entry every day. This may be as basic as a list or perhaps reflections on a relevant quote. As you find what works for you, your journaling will become more flexible. You may go for a few days, weeks, or even months without writing and then sit down and write up a storm. Remember, though, the more you write, the more you are supporting your transformational process.
There have been times when I have gone for long periods of time unable to put pen to paper. It is as if I am mentally paralyzed. Sometimes a thought insists itself on my mind and I jot down a few lines as I go about other things. No matter what system you find works for you, the act of putting your feelings and reflections on paper takes the sting out of them and frees you to make sense of what’s happened.
What you write in your transformational journal is totally up to you and you may be surprised at the direction it takes. Inner needs will exert themselves on your conscious mind and you will be forced to face some long buried hurts and anxieties. A friend recently told me that although she set out to focus on being grateful she found her entries became increasingly about why she had such negative feelings about herself. Where did this thinking come from? When did it start? How has it affected her life?
Making your inner world a physical reality through written language enables you to identify what you need to change and how to bring this change if you are to create your best self. Not everyone will make use of a transformational journal. It requires real commitment to changing your life and facing things you may have long been running from. Even if you believe that you can’t write, remember that we are essentially creative beings and once we open ourselves to the power of creativity, nothing can hold us back.
To find prompts to help you in your transformation, simply hover over the photo below. These ideas are not intended to replace your own intuition but to offer suggestions.
Thank you for joining me on this odyssey of aging, wellness and purpose. Just remember, if things are to change in your life, keeping a journal is a powerful tool.