Spiritual Journaling

Spiritual Journaling PUMA Class 2013 Bob Shank


Spiritual Journaling. PUMA Class 2013. Bob Shank. Tonight ’ s Agenda. Session 1. What is a Spiritual Journal? Why Keep a Spiritual Journal? Getting Started!. What is a Spiritual Journal?. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of Spiritual Journaling

Page 1: Spiritual Journaling

Spiritual Journaling

PUMA Class2013

Bob Shank

Page 2: Spiritual Journaling

Tonight’s Agenda

1. What is a Spiritual Journal?

2. Why Keep a Spiritual Journal?

3. Getting Started!

Session 1

Page 3: Spiritual Journaling
Page 4: Spiritual Journaling
Page 5: Spiritual Journaling
Page 6: Spiritual Journaling
Page 7: Spiritual Journaling

What is a Spiritual Journal?

“A spiritual journal is a book in which you keep a personal record of events in your life, of your different relationships, of your response to things, of your feelings about things—of your search to find out who you are and what the meaning of your life might be. It is a book in which you carry out the greatest of life’s adventures—the discovery of yourself.”

-Henry Cargas & Rojer RadleyKeeping a Spiritual Journal

Page 8: Spiritual Journaling

What is a Spiritual Journal?

“A journal or diary (the terms are used interchangeably) is a day-book—a place to record daily happenings. But it is far more than that. A journal is also a tool for self-discovery, an aid to concentration, a mirror for the soul, a place to generate and capture ideas, a safety valve for the emotions, a training ground for the writer, and a good friend and confidant.”

-Ronald KlugHow to Keep a Spiritual Journal

Page 9: Spiritual Journaling

Why Keep a Spiritual Journal?1. Growth in Self-Understanding

“Keeping a spiritual journal can provide the time and the structure for exploring our lives—our thoughts, our feelings, our dreams, our relationships with others and with our God, our gifts, our beliefs. It can increase our awareness of God’s leading and action in our lives.”

Page 10: Spiritual Journaling

Why Keep a Spiritual Journal?2. An Aid to the Devotional Life

“A journal has the added merit of focusing and concentrating our thinking. Writing out our concerns helps to clarify things and keep us honest… Insights that are hazy figures on the horizon sometimes become crystal clear when committed to a journal. Vacillating indecision can be turned into marching orders.”

-Richard FosterThe Celebration of Discipline

Page 11: Spiritual Journaling

Why Keep a Spiritual Journal?3. Guidance and Decision-Making

“When we’re faced with a decision, we can weigh the alternatives in our journal before making the decision. Then, because we have a record of the whole process, we can later recall why we decided as we did. This may help us find strength to carry out our resolve.”

Page 12: Spiritual Journaling

Why Keep a Spiritual Journal?4. Making Sense and Order of Life

“I find that after a hectic day or a week loaded with events and people and problems, I gain a great sense of peace by sitting down with my journal in the presence of God and sorting out my life and regaining my perspective. It’s like walking into a messy room… and slowly picking things up and putting them into their right places again. Then the room ‘feels good,’ and I can go on living there.”

Page 13: Spiritual Journaling

Why Keep a Spiritual Journal?5. Releasing Emotions & Gaining Perspective

“A journal can help us handle our emotions. First of all, we can diffuse emotions by expressing them in writing. Bottling up emotions, especially negative ones like anger or depression, only makes them worse.”

“If a journal helps reduce negative emotions, it can reinforce positive ones. As we write about our joys and our achievements and our pleasures, we strengthen and reinforce them.”

Page 14: Spiritual Journaling

Why Keep a Spiritual Journal?6. Greater Awareness of Daily Life

“How do we keep in the forefront of our minds the simple fact that we live in an indescribably wonderful world? It’s not easy. Routine dulls the eye and ear. Repetition and familiarity fog the capacity for astonishment. Even so, moments come to all of us when everything suddenly seems fresh and new and marvelous. This gift of awareness makes possible some of our happiest hours.”

-Arthur Gordon

Page 15: Spiritual Journaling

Why Keep a Spiritual Journal?7. Self-Expression and Creativity

“I once read the statement: ‘Impression without expression leads to depression.’ The opposite of this is: ‘Impression with expression leads to joy.’ Journal-writing is one form of creativity, and it can be a relaxing, joyful experience. It provides a non-threatening environment, free of criticism, in which to exercise creativity.”

Page 16: Spiritual Journaling

Why Keep a Spiritual Journal?8. Clarifying Beliefs

“To be confident Christians we need to be clear about what we believe. This is not easy these days.”“By clarifying our beliefs in a journal, we can ‘take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ’ (2 Cor. 10:5)”“As we bring our beliefs into focus we will have greater courage and ability to witness to the hope we have in Christ.”

Page 17: Spiritual Journaling

Why Keep a Spiritual Journal?9. Setting Goals & Managing Your Time

“You can use your journal to keep your goals before you, to clarify them, and to move toward reaching them.”

“You can also use your journal to evaluate your present use of time and to organize your time more efficiently in order to make steady progress toward your goals.”

Page 18: Spiritual Journaling

Why Keep a Spiritual Journal?10. Working Through Problems

“In a journal we can ‘talk out’ a problem, gain perspective on it, and sooner or later find a God-pleasing solution.”

“And even if we do not find the answer to our problem through journal-writing, it can help us gain enough clarity so that if we do decide to talk with a friend or counselor, we will be in better shape to do so.”

Page 19: Spiritual Journaling

Getting Started!Nuts & Bolts

• What kind of notebook?• What size?• Other options

Page 20: Spiritual Journaling

Getting Started!Finding Time to Write

• Not “having time” is the most common excuse for not keeping a spiritual journal

• Start small – try just 15 minutes at first• Aim for a daily entry or every-other day• Write in your journal whenever you can!

Page 21: Spiritual Journaling

Getting Started!When to Write

• Are you more of a morning person or a night owl?

• Consider family and work responsibilities• Find some time that works for you!

Page 22: Spiritual Journaling

Getting Started!Conditions for Writing

• Find a quiet spot where you can write regularly

• Music can create a mood for writing• Develop a habit of writing in your journal• Experiment – try various places to find the

one that is comfortable for you!

Page 23: Spiritual Journaling

Getting Started!How Much to Write

• Write as much as you need to or want to• Some days have more going on and,

therefore, more to write about• Setting a time limit can help some

Page 24: Spiritual Journaling

Getting Started!Getting Started

• It is normal to feel awkward at this at first• “Who am I to be keeping a journal?”

• The best way to start is to just start writing!• “The thoughts may not be very profound,

but they are your thoughts. The words may not be very eloquent, but they are your words.”

Page 25: Spiritual Journaling

Getting Started!Getting Started

• “A student once asked a college professor, ‘How can I get started studying when I don’t feel like it?’ The professor answered, ‘Go through the motions, and you’ll get the emotions.’ I find the same for writing. Take up your pen and start writing, whether you feel like it or not, and the words will come.”

Page 26: Spiritual Journaling

Getting Started!Exercise in Flow-Writing

• In flow-writing you stop judging what you write and just let the words flow

• The only rule is that you must write steadily, nonstop, for say ten minutes.

• If you get temporarily stuck, describe the room you’re in, or repeat a word or a sentence, or write, ‘I can’t think of anything to say,’ or ‘This is a stupid exercise!’ Anything. Just keep writing, and don’t look back or change what you’ve written. Write!

Page 27: Spiritual Journaling

Getting Started!Your Personal Contract

• “To begin your journal, you may want to write a statement of why you want to write a spiritual journal.”

• For example:• “I’m starting this journal because I want to

grow spiritually. My goal is to understand myself better and to clarify what I believe. I think a journal will help by providing a framework for reflection & a place to record my thoughts & experiences”

Page 28: Spiritual Journaling

Getting Started!Your Personal Contract

• “Then underneath the statement you might want to write a contract with yourself:• “Therefore, I contract with myself, and

before God, to spend at least fifteen minutes a day writing in my journal.”

• Then begin writing your “Daily Record” of what happened to you today. (“This is what I consider the heart of the journal.”)

Page 29: Spiritual Journaling