When I first got involved in the world of coaching, I read an excellent book entitled ‘Write it down, Make it Happen’ by Henrietta Anne Klauser. The book talks about the power of capturing on paper what you want in life and subscribes to the belief that by writing things down, the commitment is greater and therefore the outcome more likely.
The book had a very strong effect on me and many of the case histories used still make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It was this book that led me to keeping a journal and as a result I have now ‘written it down and made it happen’ on a number of occasions, as have many of my clients. It is a powerful process.
I manifested my husband of 31 years this year; the very successful birth of my daughter and our house in France through this process. I really should use it more often.
If this is something that interests you, read on.
The first step is to get your journal, and I suggest that you find a special book, one you like the feel of and one you will enjoy writing in. While you are at it, find a pen you like too. I find it best to have a book that I can carry around as I often want to write when I have stopped for a coffee, am sitting in the sun or sometimes when I am travelling.
The things that often put people off at this point are lack of time (how often does that excuse come up?) and the feeling that ‘I can’t write’.
Let me deal with both of those – keeping a journal does not necessarily mean writing pages every day. Do what you can and if this means a sentence or two here and there and then a paragraph at the end of the day, great. Some days I write one paragraph and others I can fill a page or two, some days I do not write at all and that is fine too. You can write in whatever way you want. If bullet points work in places use them. Remember, this is your journal.
You may find that initially planning to set aside some time every week will be enough to get you started but once you get into the habit, you will probably find that setting aside time to write is no longer a problem.
You can try ‘Morning Pages’ beloved of the wonderful Julia Cameron in her book ‘The Artist’s Way’. I highly recommend this although be warned it can take a little while to get into. It is definitely worth cultivating this process though.
With regard to the issue of not being able to write, the journal is for your eyes only, so the writing does not have to be perfect. You can score things out, you can use it to brainstorm ideas, you can use bullet points, as I mentioned above. Some people draw, others add cut-out images – whatever suits you. The most important thing is just to write.
You can journal anywhere. I have a few favourite places I find inspiring so I will take my journal and go there and my journal is often in my rucksack or handbag so it’s always there.
So, what should you write about?
Initially just get into the way of writing. Cheryl Richardson, author and coach, suggests picking a subject like the ’10 things I am most grateful for’ or ‘my most secret desire is’. Julia Cameron also has her ideas, I often give prompts to my clients.
Try writing about how you are feeling; what is good in your life, what is not so good, issues that are of interest or importance. Or in my own case, as I mentioned above, use it to create what you want. Bring all your senses to this sort of task and perhaps start and then return to it at a later date. In many of my programmes, especially the online ones, we set up a private Facebook group for the length of the programme. This allows what happens in a session to develop further and there can be a great deal of thought, challenges and creating captured in the writing of posts. It is very powerful.
Just let your thoughts and ideas flow onto paper. In the long term, write about the things that are bothering you and you will find that exploring issues on paper does bring clarity.
I often ask clients to write down where they would like to see themselves in a year’s time. By writing this down, you can go back and revisit it, you can amend and add to it, therefore, expanding the picture and the record is there to measure achievement. My recommendation is to re-read writing like this regularly so that those dreams and aspirations become part of you. Your journal becomes a great record of your life, it lets you see how you have grown and developed and become the person you want to be.
For me ‘writing it down’ makes it happen but is one important part in finding out who you really are. So many of us are spending so much time knowing others, helping others that we have no time to know ourselves. We live happier lives when we know who we are, what we desire, where we are going.
Journalling features in many of my programmes and my UK and Camino Retreats build in more journalling and ‘me’ time, as for me that is a very important part of transformation. If you are interested in any of these for 2021 and 2022, we have some wait lists for you to express your interest. You can email the team here.