Contemplative Journaling: Clear thinking in 10 minutes.

April 16, 2019

Good morning, divine lights. This morning, in the time it took me to brew some tea, I mapped out my goals for the coming year. Not bad for someone on low caffeine.

How did I do it, before I’d even had my matcha? I took ten minutes for Contemplative Journaling. This isn’t difficult, and it doesn’t take much time. The only thing you need to do is engage in the art of contemplation.

Contemplation means easing into deeper thought. With some undistracted space, we can see our days, and even the bigger picture of our lives, from a distance. We can consider what we’re doing; how we feel about it; changes we’d like to make. Maybe things that have been holding us back can be seen clearly, and intuition tells us how to deal with them.

Now, our days are so full of all the things we have to do, and with social media and other screen stuff, contemplation doesn’t happen while you’re having tea or taking a train ride. But we can easily recapture the art of contemplation, and with it, the agency to steer our lives in the direction we’d like them to go in, instead of feeling like life is “happening” to us.

How? Try this Contemplative Journaling exercise.

Set aside ten minutes—phone silent and away from you—and sit down with a notebook. Writing by hand is better than typing for this exercise. Allow yourself to breathe and look out the window for a moment or two.

Then start writing down your goals. What do you want to accomplish this year? What stands in the way, and what are some alternate routes around those obstacles? Feel free to write in incomplete sentences, word chunks, messy writing. This is an intuition-led practice.

At the end of ten minutes, you may have some answers, or at least some leads. You can do this every day, but if you’re really pressed for time, at least do it once a week. You’ll also find yourself creating other pockets of time to contemplate. As you do, you’ll feel more like your life is your own.

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