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  • MJOY


Ornate nibbed fountain pen on hand written page

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest.


For Mind, Body & Spirit

That’s the way journaling seems to me. Like being a time traveler.

I’ve kept my old journals. No, I don’t have boxes of them because in the past I’ve been a bit sporadic with the practice - but I have a few collected over the years and when I move house or have a clear out, I sometimes uncover them, and hours can be lost to journal discovery or as I like to call it – Time traveling – sitting in the present reading about the past and that version of Me’s dreams of a future I’m now in.

As much as I love to spend happy hours reminiscing on times gone by, there is much more to Journaling than I ever realised - or there can be. The art of writing down your thoughts or your days activities or your plans can be a strategy and this strategy. has helped brilliant, powerful and wise people become better at what they do.

Oscar Wilde, Susan Sontag, W.H. Auden, Queen Victoria, John Quincy Adams, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Virginia Woolf, Joan Didion, John Steinbeck, Sylvia Plath, Shawn Green, Mary Chestnut, Brian Koppelman, Anaïs Nin, Franz Kafka, Martina Navratilova, and Ben Franklin. All journalers—just to name a few. It was, for them and so many others, as Foucault said, a “weapon for spiritual combat.” A way to practice their principles, be creative and purge the mind of agitation. It was part of who they were. It made them who they were.

Whether you’re brand new to the concept of journaling or, like me, you’ve journaled in the past and fallen out of practice, this is the place to be inspired, to learn and to grow your understanding of the benefits of journaling. There are Articles to inspire, information to motivate and some beautiful and creative Journals to buy.

You’ll learn not only how to journal, but also the about the benefits of journaling, famous journalers that made a difference in our lives, the best journals to use, and more.


So - what is the best way to start journaling?

Is there an ideal time of day? How long should it take? How many pages?

Forget all that. Who cares? How you journal is much less important than why you are doing it: To get something off your chest. To have quiet time with your thoughts. To clarify those thoughts. To separate the harmful from the insightful. To prepare for the day ahead and review the day that passed. There’s no right way or wrong way. The point is just to do it.

Journaling is not your performance for history.

It’s your reflections. It’s you, working through problems.

It’s you, figuring things out and clearing your head.

When you reflect you can think about why… why you feel the way you do why you do the things you do – why you want the things you want and when you tap into your “why” and fully align with your true desires, you can begin to feel some passion and excitement - and that's fuel for manifesting!

A few of the Benefits

Creative Benefits:

• Flush out new ideas

• Dream even bigger

• Tap into your intuition

• Improve self-expression

• Find clarity

• Shift energy

• Track and achieve goals

• Solve problems faster

Spiritual Benefits:

• Connect with your Higher-Self, your Source

• Have more gratitude

• Create ritual

• Tune in with your thoughts, feelings, and desires.

• Be more aware/in control of your emotions

• Be happier

• Get clear on who you are and what you want out of life

• Connect with yourself on a deeper level

• Raise your vibrational frequency

• Get out of your head and connect to your heart

Personal Benefits:

• Build self-confidence

• Work through fears, doubts, and worries

• Heal faster

• Release stress

• Reflect on your life choices

• Identify patterns

• Create a record of what was

• Generate a world of possibilities

• Clear out the clutter of a busy mind

What exactly do I write about?

Write about the maddingly frustrating people you encountered today. The comment, the tweet, the news headline that made you furious. Go deeper, write about the wounds you still carry from childhood. The person who didn’t treat you right. The terrible experience. The parent who was just a little too busy or a little too critical or a little too tied up dealing with their own issues to be what we needed. The sources of anxiety or worry, the frustrations that routinely pop up at the worst times, the reasons you have trouble staying in relationships, whatever problem you are dealing with—take them to your journal. You’ll be shocked by how good you feel after.

“For someone like me, it is a very strange habit to write in a diary. Not only that I have never written before, but it strikes me that later neither I, nor anyone else, will care for the outpouring of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl.”

— Anne Frank

Start Small

Your journaling doesn’t need to produce Nobel Prize-worthy prose. You don’t need to commit to a life practice right now. Start with one line—about how you are feeling, something you did yesterday, something you are excited about, someone you are thinking about. Start by doing it for one week. Start by writing a few things you are grateful for. Start with a sentence about the mindset you are going to attack the day with, about something interesting you learned yesterday about your plans for the day. Whatever it is, start ridiculously small. You’ll know when you’re ready to build on it and write in more depth.

Stop wasting your time tweeting and chattering and texting and snapchatting. Or at least steal some of that time to start producing your own notebooks. Create something for the future, for your future self or maybe for generations to come.


• Don’t worry about spelling and punctuation - just write!

• Use pen and paper - let your heart speak to you.

• Try some free writing and see where it takes you.

• Create a ritual - light a candle, incense, find a place that you like to write.

• Journal in the morning when it's quiet and you're in the perfect state since the energy of the day has yet to set in.

• Journal before bed and let everything go into the journal.

• Start with a meditation or prayer to get you cantered and connected.

• Relax into journaling - let it lead you.

• Use a pen that you really love writing with. I love a fountain pen

• Think of journaling as a form of meditation.

• Keep your journal where you can see it - get used to picking it up and jotting things down.

• Have a small journal in your purse for any thoughts or ideas that pop up.

• Journal for success - it helps you drill down on what you want and access Universal energies too!

• Enjoy it - there are no rules -sketch, doodle - do whatever makes it fun!

I find that most of my patients intuitively know that handwriting their thoughts in a journal is more effective than composing them on a laptop. - Maud Purcell

Find your way

Get yourself a new Journal and get excited about it. The ones below are all great journals – for different styles of writing. The one I use is the refillable leather Journal. It’s versatile with extras like zip pockets to keep things safe:

Leather bound journal - holds removable field notebooks

Great for travelling and for keeping separate Journal categories. Just replace each notebook (lined, blank, grid, dot) as you fill it and keep the leather cover for a lifetime.

one line Journal

Each page of the journal includes an entry for five successive years, allowing users to revisit previous thoughts on a specific day of the year over the span of five years, and reflect on change and progress.

Artists way Journal

A revolutionary program for personal renewal, The Artist's Way will help get you back on track, rediscover your passions, and take the steps you need to change your life.


Michelle Obamas inspirations for journaling

Based on Michelle Obama’s bestselling memoir, this gorgeous journal features an intimate and inspiring introduction by the former First Lady and more than 150 inspiring questions and quotes to help you discover—and rediscover—your story.

Clear Journey grid Journal

A notebook based on science. A habit journal with 168 dot grid notebook pages, 12 habit trackers, and 12 one-line-per-day journal templates.

Five Minute Journal

Ticks all the boxes for beginners. Five minutes in the morning of answering a few prompts, and then five minutes in the evening doing the same - it’s an easy way to begin a habit that will grow.

KonMari journal to focus a scattered mind

BuJo , as the loyal practitioners call it, has become known as the “KonMari" for your racing thoughts.” The method was created by Brooklyn-based digital product designer and art director Ryder Carroll, who, after being diagnosed with ADD, committed years to figuring out a way to organize and sort information conducive to the workings of his scattered mind.

Zippered journal for travelling

Keep everything in one place. Zippered covers are great to for everyday and especially handy when you're travelling



Phone with journaling app - note paper and pen

These are the best Journal Apps - personally I prefer a good pen and paper…..

Journey – Google Play

Dayone – App Store and Google Play

Penzu – Diary hosting website

Dairo - App Store and Google Play

Historical Journalers

Marcus Aurelius seems to have done his journaling first thing in the morning. From what we can gather, he would jot down notes about what he was likely to face in the day ahead. He talked about how frustrating people might be and how to forgive them, he talked about the temptations he would experience and how to resist them, he humbled himself by remembering how small we are in the grand scheme of things, and journaled on not letting the immense power he could wield that day corrupt him.

Who knows what kind of emperor, what kind of man, Marcus would have been without that preparation? Instead of letting racing thoughts run unchecked or leaving half-baked assumptions unquestioned, he forced himself to write and examine them. Putting his own thinking down on paper let him see it from a distance. It gave him objectivity that is so often missing when anxiety and fears and frustrations flood our minds. It let him enter his day and the important work calm and centered.

Ludwig van Beethoven was rarely seen without his notebook, not even when out to drinks with friends. One of his biographers, Wilhelm Von Lenz, wrote in 1855, “When Beethoven was enjoying a beer, he might suddenly pull out his notebook and write something in it. ‘Something just occurred to me,’ he would say, sticking it back into his pocket. The ideas that he tossed off separately, with only a few lines and points and without barlines, are hieroglyphics that no one can decipher. Thus in these tiny notebooks he concealed a treasure of ideas.”

When Charles Darwin began keeping his “little diary” at the age of 29, he filled the pages with everything he could remember from his life, until eventually, he was up to date and shifted his journaling to daily notable events.

Thomas Edison made it his objective to record the most mundane events and details of his day. “Went into a drug store and bought some alleged candy, asked the gilded youth with the usual vacuous expression, if he had any nitric peroxide, he gave a wild stare of incomprehensibility,” Edison wrote on July 19, 1885.

Mark Twain had a section in his journals for dirty jokes.

Thomas Jefferson’s morning journaling routine began taking weather measurements, such as temperature, wind speed, and precipitation. Beethoven liked to sometimes use his journal to write what he wish he would have said in a prior conversation. Hemingway brought his journal everywhere, recording expenses and, more bizarrely, tracking his wife’s menstrual cycles. Ben Franklin used his journal to chart his progress with his personally constructed improvement program of living his thirteen virtues. Leonardo da Vinci’s habit was to write little fables to himself. Susan Sontag typically journaled lists—movies seen, books read or to read, places to eat and drink, cities she hoped to visit, notable artists, words and phrases she liked. And as Virginia Woolfs husband observed in the introduction to Woolf’s collected journals, A Writer’s Diary, she used her journal for “practicing or trying out the art of writing.”

On June 12, 1942, Anne Frank made her first entry to her famous, existentially essential diary, “I hope you’ll be a great source of comfort and support.” Twenty-four days after that first entry, Anne and her Jewish family were forced into hiding, in the cramped attic annex over her father’s warehouse in Amsterdam. It’s where they would spend the next two years. According to Anne Frank’s father, Otto, Anne didn’t write in her journal every day. She wrote when she was upset or dealing with a problem. She wrote when she was confused. She wrote in that journal as a form of therapy, so as not to unload her troubled thoughts on the family and compatriots with whom she shared such unenviable conditions. One of her best and most insightful lines must have come on a particularly difficult day. “Paper,” she said, “has more patience than people.”

Henry David Thoreau—like his friend, mentor, and fellow journaler, Ralph Waldo Emerson—used the word “poet” more generally than we’ve come to use and think of the word. He believed we are all poets. We are all trying to discover the truth of our experience. We are all pining to articulate what we believe and feel. And there is no better medium to discover ourselves, he believed, than in a journal. Proof of that belief is the 2-million-word journal that he kept starting at the age of 20 in 1837 until six months before he died in 1862.

When Mark Twain was 21, a teacher told him, “My boy, you must get a little memorandum-book; and every time I tell you a thing, put it down right away.” This, Twain writes in Life On The Mississippi, was a “revelation to me; for my memory was never loaded with anything but blank cartridges.” He’d go on to fill somewhere around 50 notebooks, filled with witty thoughts and potent observations on the human condition that heavily influenced his writing.

“People look for retreats for themselves in the country, by the coast, or in the hills,” Marcus Aurelius journaled. “There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind…So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.” There is perhaps no one in documented history who followed those words more religiously than Anaïs Nin. She was a prolific writer, but her most-cherished artworks are her journals. Nin began her first journal in 1914 at the age of eleven and kept journaling until her death 63 years later in 1977. In the end, she sixteen volumes of Nin’s journals were published.

Anaïs Nin - “I believe I could never exhaust the supply of material lying within me. The deeper I plunge, the more I discover. There is no bottom to my heart and no limit to the acrobatic feats of my imagination.”

Oscar Wilde said “I keep a diary in order to enter the wonderful secrets of my life. If I didn't write them down, I should probably forget all about them.'


Let this year be the year you start Time Travelling


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