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Elegant discipline & rainstorms

By January 18, 2015May 13th, 2015legal writing, zen / spirituality

Why is it useful to keep a journal of your daily reflections?

There is an elegant discipline involved in capturing your daily perspectives on life.

When you write your thoughts every day you’ll begin to see new things.

Your perspectives will start to move in slow motion.

And you’ll notice things you don’t ordinarily pay attention to.

We tend to rush through life like we’re in a rainstorm without an umbrella.

We’re always scrambling to find refuge.

Of course, this is silly, because there is no refuge from life.

Starting the daily habit of writing in a journal is like saying “well, okay I’ll get wet, and it will feel weird not to rush through the rain, but maybe I’ll see something interesting.”

Maybe you’ll catch an insight by the tail.

When you write in your journal, you’ll always feel a little apprehensive.

Maybe you’ll feel frivolous.

Just keep doing it, even though at first all you feel is cold rain.

Keep putting your thoughts down.

Don’t censor, just write.

In a week or so you’ll catch something on paper that will surprise the hell out of you.

You’ll stop and think “wow, that is such an elegant little truth. How did I not notice that before?”

You’ll marvel at what comes out of your mind once you give it a time, a place, and a way to reveal itself.

You will discover that you are much more than the conscious part that you’re most familiar with.

As you continue writing, you’ll realize there are themes to these unexpected insights.

But every day it will be hard, just as hard as the first day…

you’ll have to sit down with a blank piece of paper and start from scratch.

You will feel the rain, and have an urge to run for shelter.

Don’t run.

Stop, and consider what’s been happening.

If you look closely at what you’ve been writing for the past few months…

you’ll realize that your journal is more than a bunch of surprising insights.

You’ll discover that it’s now an umbrella.

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  • Keith says:

    Lovely! Thank you!

  • Bill Wilson says:

    What a great post. I’ve always looked at journaling as an opportunity to “mind dump,” but didn’t think of the possibilities you point out. I think it’s time to reconsider my position. 🙂

  • Roar says:


    I absolutely agree with this. Personally I have found it very necessary to journal about many things in my life, both personal and professional. Doing so digs deeper on large plans and projects, pushing me forward on things while being mindful. It gives direction and focus.

    Journaling, the non-judging activity to explore one’s own mind, has been critical to me. Before I start or continue working on projects I often journal a few thoughts, it alleviates procrastination. It is safe, easy – a jump start on what I am going to work on. If I fall off-track I can always go back to review it too. Without it I would probably be very lost.

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