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I am Totally Zen Tadeya from Andromeda Yoga Atelier. Every Thursday I am going to answer a real-time question we all might be struggling with considering yoga, mental health, and well-being. The vlog is specially dedicated to people who are:

  • Tired
  • Tired of being tired and
  • Tired of explaining how tired they are to everyone else.

You can substitute the word tired with exhausted, feeling blue, stuck, busy… Whatever pops in your head. USE THAT!

A couple of weeks ago my friend Carmen asked me what type of journaling I do for inner work and trauma healing. Thank you Carmen for today‘s vlog inspiration.

The title of today’s vlog is:

Why does journaling suck?

So I’ve had more than one nervous breakdown during creative writing. Writing my Master’s Thesis, which was as much creative as it was academic, looked a lot like me sobbing for 30 minutes and then obsessively writing for five hours straight. That phase of my life really made me resent writing and even free journaling altogether.

Here are my three reasons why:

  • I can’t write,
  • I don’t know what to write,
  • and I don’t have the time to write.

1. I can’t write

Well, I have good news for you! You don’t have to be Shakespeare to start a journal. If you are the new Shakespeare, however, stop watching this video and create some magic pronto! You are going to be famous in about 500 years! For the rest of us mortals, just writing down visualizations or our current feelings, repeating affirmations, or keeping a daily gratitude journal is more than enough. Journaling is a powerful tool for self-exploration and self-examination. Myself, I love Louise Hay and her positive affirmations. I choose two of her affirmations for each day and I write them 22 times. Why 22? Because the notebook page ends there. No deep philosophy there behind the number. The most important lesson is that positive should always outweigh the negative. Remember the best way to change the world is to start with yourself.

2. I don’t know what to write

We have already touched upon this question. If you are journaling about your current feelings, try to focus on converting the negative beliefs into positive ones as well. For example, transform the sentence “I am so anxious.” into “I am calm.” and write that 22 times. For a gratitude journal, just think of 3 things you are grateful for and write them down each day. If you would like to change your life, visualize yourself doing the things that bring you and others love or joy, and then write that down. There are many other great ideas on what to write in a journal out there. There are also many great workbooks out there with a premade structure to follow. Find one that resonates with yourself and just do you.

3. I don’t have the time

How long the journal is it’s really entirely up to you. It can be three words, one sentence, one page, or who the hell cares. It’s your goddamn journal and you can do whatever you want with it. If you are not entirely sold on journaling yet, consider this. When you’re writing, your mind is single-focused and resembles a state of meditation that enables you to see everything much more clearly. As opposed to just thinking about feelings, questions, or struggles, writing them down slows down the mind and rumination by giving them a physical space outside of your mind to manifest. Ever heard of pouring your sorrows onto a piece of paper? Just think about how much time you are going to save by giving your mind a break from constantly worrying about everything. Worrying is just unproductive work that makes you feel like you’re doing something but you‘re really not „doing“ the actual work. Writing is, therefore, a process, a productive kind of contemplation as you see the results right in front of you. Much like yoga!

To conclude, journaling is a great way to bring out the best in you and to define your positive thinking patterns. Just consider what would happen if you bring those beliefs to your mat. You might just experience a little spark of magic!

With that thought I bow the head to the heart; may the wisdom of the body and the wisdom of the mind unite together to support our collective healing and evolution.

With love & joy continue on to the rest of your day!

Totally Zen Tadeya