It’s hard to find silence these days because information is EVERYWHERE! I’m grateful I can get answers in just a few clicks. On the other hand, the overwhelm of external noise makes it harder to see and hear myself.
For me, journaling is the gateway to my voice within. I cultivate a relationship with the blank page because I want to know who I really am. I want to distinguish between inspired thoughts and ideas shaped by the influences surrounding me.
Journaling is the key that unlocks the doors within so that I can enter and explore my inner labyrinth.
The words I bring back vary.
Often they’re messy! At times they’re inspired.
But they always spark something — clarity, closure, creativity, certainty, curiosity — it all shows up.
So I keep going back inside to ask new questions, try new angles, and invite new insight. Here’s an overview of one of the techniques I like to explore.
What’s present now?
Sometimes the simplest of questions can reveal the most profound and potent insights. I like the “What’s present now?” technique because it cuts through the shoulds and expectations and helps you tap into what’s real.
Here’s how to do it:
- Centre yourself: Feel your feet (or sitting bones) on the ground and bring awareness to your body and being.
- Breathe with intention: Notice your breathing and consciously deepen and slow it.
- Relax: Let everything drop away, bringing your focus to this specific moment in time.
- Feel the potency: Notice who you are in this particular time, in this very moment.
- Ask yourself: “What’s present NOW?” and then write.
Be unedited. Uncensored. Unleashed. Unrestricted.
Follow the threads of thought and feeling.
Know that where you start isn’t where you’ll end up.
And see what shows up 🙂
3 Reasons why I like this practice.
1. It’s an excellent mental space clearer
You can pour your mind into your journal when you explore and express what’s present. Recent research by a team of psychologists at Queen’s University in Canada found the average human thinks around 6,200 thoughts a day. That sounds like a lot, but chances are a chunk of those thoughts are repetitive or low-level (e.g., what are we having for dinner today!!).
Journaled thoughts don’t always sound smart or intelligent! They can often be ranty, vent-y, boring, or monotonous! The art of articulating what’s filling your mind acknowledges it. I believe when something’s seen, it can let go — and that creates space.
Emptying your mind through journaling helps to free up bandwidth. As top-of-mind thoughts are ‘dumped’, space appears for going deeper or going somewhere new. Be aware that journaling can take unexpected twists and turns. One minute you’re writing something monotonous, and the next, you’re exploring a new idea or surfacing an imaginative insight.
You can hear new tones or even new voices too.
2. It ACKNOWLEDGES what’s there.
Sometimes we deny, resist, edit or push off what’s present in the moment because it feels:
Or doesn’t reflect the reality we want to experience. We invite more honesty and authenticity into our lives when we explore what’s truly present.
We can invite more clarity too. You notice the overlooked feelings and ignored energies when you acknowledge what’s there. Focusing your awareness on the moment helps to highlight and illuminate what’s ‘real.’
In this way, we move beyond the story.
We create an opening to explore and acknowledge our personal truth beyond assumptions & expectations. Our perceptions, beliefs, and expectations can sometimes taint what’s present. We can see what we want to see (or what we’ve always seen) rather than what’s actually there to see.
Writing about what’s present in the moment allows us to see beyond our habitual perceptions. We can see our ‘reality’ through fresh, curious eyes.
As an experience, this can feel like taking off a blindfold or adjusting the frequency on the radio, so there’s no more distorting feedback.
I’ve found that new doors open when you acknowledge your reality. You might feel inspired (or even compelled) to take action. You might experience an emotional release, too, as you give authentic space to your feelings. You might also gain new insights, ideas, and observations, as your perception shifts and evolves.
Every journaling experience is different – because there is always something different to explore.
3. It invites curiosity.
When you write about what’s present, you invite curiosity into your experience.
Curiosity is an activating, enquiring energy because it wants to know WHY, WHAT, HOW, etc. (Like a small child who’s never satisfied; curiosity is insatiably probing, interested, and inquisitive because it wants to understand its world).
Curiosity asks that you’re open-minded and also willing to be wrong – because it knows that through journaling, you might find something new that shifts your current story of reality.
Interestingly, this open-mindedness goes against our instincts! A group of Northeastern University network scientists discovered that 93% of human behaviour is predictable. Fact is, we like what we know because it feels safe to be certain.
Inviting curiosity can help us see the present through fresh eyes.
In turn, we can experience personal GROWTH or an EVOLUTION in our understanding. When we see or experience something new that can’t be denied, we can shift to a new level of awareness.
We’re also empowered to tap into the energy of the NOW – the only fragment of time that’s real (because the past is memories and the future is a visualisation).
Have you noticed that you often know what to do about a situation when it shows up?
We’re empowered by the now.
And disempowered when we worry about what might happen – because until a feared moment arises, we don’t know for sure how we can respond.
In this way, acknowledging what’s present can give way to new solutions or approaches.
What’s present for you NOW?
When you ask yourself what’s present, you get to write from a place of presence and in-the-now experience – not the mind alone.
You can uncover something completely unexpected through this practice.
It’s a powerful way to shake things up and access more ideas, insights, and observations.
Try it for yourself — and let me know how you get on.
Want more journaling tools and techniques to inspire your inner work?
If so, check out the Intentional Journaling Toolkit.