Guided journaling made easy and enjoyable

I'm always making an effort to become a better version of myself - because I'm a firm believer that becoming the best possible version of myself will help me be better to those around me. If you're reading this, you are likely aligned with that philosophy as well.

Everyone has their ways of approaching this subject. Improvement can mean many different things to different people - depending on what matters most and what one's goals are - and that's okay. But there's one thing that is universally human, which I want to discuss, and that's taking time to reflect.

Again, that can look like many different things. Whether it's meditating, taking time to yourself over a cup of tea, or journaling - reflection is an important human experience. It allows us to collect our thoughts and put multiple perspectives into play in order to produce practical insight. That insight allows us to realistically set goals and make better decisions in our day to day lives.

In method, reflection is dialectical, putting multiple perspectives into play with each other in order to produce insight. Procedurally, reflection entails a looking forward to goals we might attain, as well as a casting backward to see where we have been. When we reflect, we thus project and review, often putting the projections and the reviews in dialogue with each other, working dialectically to discover what we know, what we have learned, and what we might understand.

I have personally found journaling to be the most effective method of reflection thus far (that may be different for you, but feel free to keep reading along). Since picking up my first Moleskine journal about 10 years ago, I have been jotting down countless - and often times meaningless - thoughts. I didn't think much of it at first; other than a place to codify ideas, emotions, and ways of thinking that I could come back to down the road and review, to see how far I had come.

Contrary to my initial thoughts I began to realize how meaningful journaling became to me. Not only was I able to reflect upon my past and go relive some wonderful memories, but I was able to keep my mental health in check. This was especially useful in the past year, given the obvious state of the world with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Being at home more than I was used to began to take a toll on my mental well being. I'm sure we all experienced this to a certain extent - but I typically liked to think of myself as someone who can tough it out through most kinds of difficult experiences, whether those are physical or mental... but this past year put that to the test.

Although my mind was in a bit of a scramble, I began to come up with ways to cope with all that was going on. Exercise, meditation, and making the effort to reach out to friends + loved ones were crucial ways of doing so throughout the past year - but I honestly began to process things better by reflecting through journaling.

When I came across Michael's Do you Mind? guided journal late last year, I knew I had to give it a try. Being a big believer in free journaling, I wanted to take a chance on guided journaling (kind of like guided meditation when you think about it) and see how that experience would be like. I had heard great things about the journal from a good friend, so I knew I couldn't go wrong with taking a chance on it.

I loved it.

The journal aims to help people navigate both the good and bad times with equal poise by cultivating reflection and delight. The consistent thoughtful and beautiful reminders within the journal helped me create room for honesty, introspection, and joy - all while taking time for myself to step back from whatever it was I was doing. It was a form of self-care that was enjoyable and easy, due to my existing enjoyment of journaling - as well as the pleasant art works embedded in the guided journal.

If you've been looking for something to try that can potentially help you work through some clutter in the back of your mind, I would suggest giving this humble experience a try. It's a low commitment activity that you can revisit whenever you feel like it - and I'm sure you'll appreciate it once you get through the first few pages!

As usual, thank you for reading. Take care and much love!

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