5 Benefits of Journaling: Clarity

5 benefits of journaling: clarity

***This is Part 3 of a a 5 part series on the benefits of journaling.

Clarity through contemplation and curiosity brings creativity and contentment. Say that fast 5 times. A tongue twister but true. We begin with questions and end up with clarity. What is it I’m curious about and want to explore? What am I not content with to leave alone? And how does that discontent lead to contentment or creativity? We’ll explore that in this post.

Journaling gives us the mirror we need to see the stores we tell ourselves and the ways we deceive ourselves. When combined with sensing into our physical intuitive experience, we no longer get to trick ourselves. My big one – the story I told myself for years – was about timelines. For years, I’d set self-imposed deadlines which I generally pulled out of thin air. And when I didn’t meet the timeline, I’d get overwhelmed and frustrated when things seemed to take so much longer or it felt like there was never enough time to do a thing right.

The faulty thinking was shown to me over and over in my journals until I saw the pattern. As I would write about my frustration, my body would start to respond, to ping in acknowledgment or tighten in resistance. The two combined gave me access to my own truth.

Journaling allows us space to feel into our truth versus someone else’s truth. People tell us what they feel is their truth and it’s good to hear about it, but that doesn’t mean it’s our truth or story. It also doesn’t mean it isn’t helpful to hear. By pondering their stories versus our own, we get closer and closer to what is meaningful while weeding out the b.s. we tell ourselves. How many times have I related a story from someone in my journal only to find myself comparing my experience with theirs? The gift has come in the clarifying moments when I burned through the foggy place of my confusion. I can see it better when it is on the page instead of just in my head. For instance, I learend other people setting timelines for themselves worked for them but not for me.

So, there’s that – seeing the lies we tell ourselves and the truths. And our responses to them. How do we react when we see our own bullshit?

Journaling gives us clarity. Clarity gives us immense creative freedom by helping us find, develop, or intuit the framework we need to work within to do our best work. Many of the artists I know create powerful work with a construct, a set of creative rules or a prompt from outside. When I tell my students “Write about a red wagon and a gallon jug of water” they create stories on the spot, stories from their experiences and imagination. Each is its own unique exploration.

Journaling for clarity comes out of the questions we ask ourselves. That curious nature we have – even when we are afraid if we put a spotlight on something we’ll see what we don’t want to. So, journaling for clarity involves vulnerability and bravery to be with whatever comes out on the page. But it is the safest place to do that – it’s just you and your pen, your body wisdom, your heart space, and experiencing these together in a quiet safe place. Aside from the deep wisdom about deep life questions, there is clarity around things like timing, daily stuff.

Enjoy your endless stream of lightbulb moments between you and the page. That alone is the biggest reason to journal. I can’t imagine how long it would take me to sort things out if I didn’t write through the questions.

Check back on Thursday for Part 4 of the Top 5 Benefits of Journaling series.

If you’re interested and ready to take your creative life to the next level, I can’t wait to share with you my upcoming new book “Writing for Creative Awakening.” It contains 6 intensive writing and journaling methods to bring you greater clarity, creative energy, and connection. Crack open your creative life and do the great work you are here to do. More on this soon.

Until next time,