My Junk Journal saved me. Hand on my heart, that’s no exaggeration!
This simple daily practice set me on the path to heal from past programming and shonky self-beliefs, and shift from inner chaos to calm courage.
I used to hate mornings. Because all my worries and fears would flood in first thing, and I’d step into my day with discomfort and trepidation.
But once I started journaling my junk every morning, the darkness lifted. The clouds cleared. And I began to sort through my thoughts – and see them for what they truly are. Just thoughts, not facts. Just a loop of old gunk, not my Truth.
So lovelies, a Junk Journal can set you up for incredible success in all areas of your life and business.
Why write down your worries?
Something I’ve observed a lot in the self-help world is we love to jump ahead to the lovely practices and rituals that FEEL good while we do them (hello, bath with flower petals and a glass of champers!)
But after, we often still feel anxious or uncertain or just a bit blah.
And sometimes they actually create MORE overwhelm, when self-care becomes yet another thing on our to-do list.
It’s not because self-care and feeling good aren’t valuable or even essential (they are) – it’s just that we need to flip the script and start with clearing the crap and clutter from our mind, so we can create a clearer, calmer and more confident mindset to take us into our day and beyond.
It’s a little like decluttering your home. You could start organising things into pretty boxes, but the true transformation and long-lasting change comes when you remove things from the space that you no longer want or need (or as Marie Kondo would say, the things that don’t spark joy!) and THEN once you have a clean slate, start putting things in order.
A Junk Journal also allows you to be totally truthful, authentic, real and raw with yourself.
To be vulnerable on the page, so you can show up in the world as your truest, highest self.
In my work coaching women with anxiety, the biggest shifts happen when we observe our thoughts and feelings (like anxiety or fear or doubt or anger or shame or blame or disappointment…), acknowledge them when they arise, and then start to pull them apart, play with them, question them.
If we avoid our feelings, or pretend we’re perfect and blissfully happy 24/7, we set ourselves up for incredible inner turmoil, discomfort.
And we end up manifesting the feelings we were trying to avoid! Yes, pushing away unwanted emotions only amplifies them.
So writing in your Junk Journal is an ESSENTIAL daily practice to release resistance to anxiety, unleash your unconscious worries and wobbles, and cleanse your mind so you start your day ready to rock!
It’s a safe space to get all your worried thoughts, overwhelm, doubt and frustrations out of your head and onto the page. This stops the endless loop of whirring worries in your mind, and allows your unconscious to sort through them. There they are on the page. Will you deal with them? Or let them go?
How to start your junk journal
Buy yourself a new notebook.
It’s really important to have a separate Junk Journal. If you have a notebook for planning or dreaming or setting intention or affirmations, we don’t want to muddy it with our morning gunk.
So, start with a fresh journal.
When you first start this practice, you might find the pages fill with what you consider silly thoughts. Things like, “is the car loan payment due? Why is my boyfriend so lazy? I need to stop eating cake!”
That’s awesome! These are the kinds of thoughts that swirl around your mind – and this is your chance to release them.
Let it ALL out. Unfiltered. No judgement. No critique or even reflection. Simply let it spew forth.
When I first started this practice a few years ago, my pages were so angsty! But over time, like with meditation, the clouds cleared. My mind became sharper.
There were fewer annoyances and niggles ending up on the page, and I noticed a shift.
I was tapping into something deeper…something higher outside of me. I began writing heart-felt messages of love and encouragement.
I pondered and probed the mysteries of the universe, of life and death and everything in between. My scrawls softened, my writing became more fluid and flowery.
On my trickiest days – usually in the ‘winter’ of my cycle when PMS symptoms like depression and irritation arise – or perhaps when I have some big bold action to take, or a potentially stressful schedule, I turn to my Junk Journal and ask for guidance. I might scribble with exhaustion, “Please lift me from this darkness. Help me see where to go next.” Often the answer I hear back is “nothing. Just be.” Or I’ll hear another gem or glimmer guide me forwards.
Don’t worry if you start this practice and wrestle with it. Or even loathe it – and send a few curses my way! It’s OK, I can handle it. And hey, any reaction is a great reaction! Write about it in your journal.
I promise the resistance will lift, and your mind will soften as you invite it to open up and reveal its deepest despair, its darkest desires, its boldest wishes.
Then simply write. Aim to fill 3 pages, as it takes some time for your subconscious mind to speak up. Write and write and write. Don’t edit. Don’t read back over it. Just get all your junk down onto the page.
Creating a journaling ritual
I love settling in with a big mug of hot coffee to write in my journal. Surrounded by pillows and blankets with the sun rising outside the window, it’s a sacred time and space to explore my mind and clear the haze for the day.
You might like to create a ritual of your own.
I used to journal before sitting down to meditate. But I realised I prefer to wake up coffee as I journal, and THEN meditate on what comes up (yep, even with coffee coursing through my veins!)
I also often play soft meditation or manifestation music while I journal. You can find some great tracks on YouTube.
It’s totally up to you how and when you do your Junk Journal. All that matters is it becomes a ritual. And if you skip a day or three or twenty, return to it. Without judgement. Just return to your ritual, and journal how that feels.
Remember, this isn’t intended to be perfect prose.
Make it messy, allow your mind to just go wild writing, let your thoughts freely unfold, and know that NO ONE will ever see it.
So are you up to the challenge? I’d love you to start a Junk Journal and let us know how you go in the Calm Courage Club on Facebook!