Finding Time to Reflect with Journal Writing

journal writing

Hundreds of years ago, the Sufi Poet, Rumi, wrote: ‘You have a duty to perform… Do anything else, do any number of things, occupy your time fully, and yet, if you do not do this task, all your time will have been wasted…

And that one duty is to be the unique expression of life that is You!

And if every single waking moment is taken up by either interacting, or being entertained, or looking at a screen, then it can be hard to know what a unique expression of life that is You even means because we need to stand back and observe ourselves to know ourselves.

If you feel that life has become frantic, it is possibly because there is no time to be doing a natural part of how we learn as human beings.  To just think (not overthink, just think) about things.

If you are not finding that a space opens up naturally for refection, a space that allows you to just go


I can strongly recommend starting a practice (not a duty, or an action on your to do list, but a practice) of journal writing.

And, if you don’t know, a journal is a kind of personal development process that is completely free, and self-sufficient.  It is completely different from ‘Diary Writing’ in the style of ‘Dear Diary, I did this today’.  It is actually more like coaching yourself.

I have kept a journal since I was 14 years old,  when I read a beautiful book called `The New Diary` by Tristine Rainer.   I was inspired by the tradition of journaling from Japan, and the story of a woman in the Court in ancient Japan, who only wrote one entry every 7 years for her entire life.  I decided to write a journal entry every year at Christmas.

Sometimes it is a long entry and sometimes it is short, but it is always an opportunity to stand back and learn from the journey of the year just closing and set my intentions for the year ahead.  Intentions that are bigger than just new year resolutions to end bad habits.

So, I would like to wave a flag for a moment of quiet, a time to take a breath, and a moment that is just about you, on your journey of being a unique expression of yourself.  I usually use the Christmas break to as a Waypoint between one year and the next, to stand back and ask myself,   How are you doing on the one most important task?

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About the Author

I am a qualified Coach (ICF PCC level) with over 12 years professional experience as a Coach. I am also a Coach Trainer. I am passionate about supporting others to fulfil their potential and to turn their dreams into a reality.