In journaling, you can facilitate the free expression of feelings, emotions, and thoughts by letting the hand and pen move across the page – or the fingers fly across a keyboard.
The key to journaling as reflective practice is neither to censor nor to pause in an attempt to collect and organize thoughts. You are not editing--give your inner critic a furlough. Simply write. Let words flow.
If you can’t think of what to write next, keep the hand or fingers moving, simply writing something like, “I can’t think of anything else, I can’t think of anything else, I can’t think of anything else,” until the mind releases and more words flow.
This journaling is not for anyone else to read, not an expression of your craft as a writer, but simply an opportunity to let the mind open and for the contents to reveal themselves – above all, to you.
Material that ends up in your journal may be, at times, surprising, at other times boring, at other times, illuminating. It doesn’t matter. You are in touch with yourself, communicating with yourself, giving yourself the time and freedom to be just who you are as you write.
Later, it may be that some parts of your journal you might share – or you might not. It may be that weeks or years later, in re-reading, you will find gold that you can pan from the streambed gravel of your ordinary/extraordinary life.
This is a practice that, like meditation, is best cultivated on a regular basis. Then the mind and heart open more easily. But, of course, journaling can also be done on any occasion that you feel a need to be with just yourself, to help resolve an issue, or to touch and feel something more deeply.