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Background - Influences on the Writing Journey

Honouring Your Thoughts and Feelings

Journal writing enables you to listen to yourself, to honour and open to your thoughts and feelings. Learning to love ourselves involves observing and remembering. Our being created, our unfolding story is worth writing down.

In a poem the 12th Century Sufi poet, Rumi, wrote:

This Human Being is a Guest House.
Every morning is a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness
comes as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi

In this spirit of openness, our lives can be revealed through keeping a journal. A deeper relationship with yourself unfolds, the part of you connected to the Soul of the Universe, that some call God, the Tao, Higher Self, Breathing Life of All, Radiant One, the Creator.

Keeping a journal, or diary, to increase mental health and self-reliance dates back to 10th century Japan. Geishas' wrote their reflections on life and love in "pillow books." In her diary, Anne Frank writes: "It's an odd idea for someone like me to keep a diary, because it seems... that neither I — nor, for that matter, anyone else — will be interested in the unbosomings of a thirteen year old schoolgirl."

Studies in the past year in the Journal of the American Medical Association are among the anecdotal and scientific evidence that continue to show journal writing has a potent ability to positively influence one's mental and physical health. The British Columbia Persons With Aids Society's "Living Positive Manual" lists journal writing as one of the key ways to reduce stress in life, along with meditation, massage, prayer, exercise, soaking in a bath or sauna, and hiking in nature.