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The Power of Journaling

Five reasons why journaling is a spiritual power-move

Oh, the delight in opening the cover of a fresh new journal! The smell of the paper, the thrill of the first touch of the pen tip, the movement of thoughts taking form, the sublime possibility of empty pages aching to be filled…Yes, it’s no secret that I hold journaling as one of my most loved and powerful spiritual activities. It is, in fact, an integral aspect of all my courses and mentoring work.

For those who are new to the art of journaling, the idea of meditating and writing what bubbles up from the deep mind can seem a little foreign. Many of us hardly put pen to paper these days as touchscreens, keyboards, voice and video have overtaken our communication styles. Also, the pace of our lives can exclude time for deeper contemplation and self-inquiry. This is why the art of journaling is so powerful.  

There is something highly evocative to the entire system when we make time to dialogue with our spirit, to find our deep truth and to allow it to stream from heart, through mind, through hand, to page. A flow is created which washes over the critical mind and its judgements and reservations and allows a true, revealing and transmuting experience to take place.

Here are five reasons why journaling for self-enquiry is so healing and powerful.

1. Journaling turns the subjective to objective

We experience all of life through a subjective lens. Everything we experience, all relationships, events, even how we see ourselves, is filtered through an interpretive lens, unique to each of us. This lens is formed through beliefs, perspectives and paradigms that are part of our subconscious operating systems. It is formed from childhood via the familial culture in which we grew up, our life experiences, the influence of significant others and memories of events. 

Meditation creates the inner space to observe this lens, to clean it up, to see life, ourselves, and experiences as they truly are, and to then choose how we respond to them. So rather than being governed by an unseen operating system, we consciously choose our lens and moreover, our response to life. However, navigating our subjective terrain through our subjective lens requires tools to make the subjective, objective, so we can truly see it and work with it. This is the power of journaling. 

Journaling brings up the insights gained through introspective processes out onto the page, in front of us, creating a means to examine them.

2. Journaling is a safe ground for vulnerability

One of the essential paradigm shifts in spiritual expansion and healing, is a shift from the sense that life is ‘happening to us’ to life is ‘happening for us and is issuing from us’. In other words, for us to take full responsibility for our life experiences and how we engage with them. For many of us, this can take some work. If we have well-laid thought and behavioural tracks of blame, defence, attack, victimhood or withdrawal, that essential move into complete vulnerability and honesty requires safe ground in which to work.

Journaling is an excellent process to make that shift. The act of carving time with the self, the private safety of the pages, making the space for journaling sacred with silence, candles and scents, and the use of well-crafted prompts for self-enquiry into the areas you are exploring, allows a gentle move into deep honesty and vulnerability with the self. It can be hugely healing and generate profound release.

3. Journaling cultivates self-witnessing and acknowledgment

Another essential shift for spiritual expansion and healing is the move from reacting to our life experiences to responding to them. Meditation enables a shift from reactive to responsive living and this shift has an enormously healing effect on our physical bodies, our emotional state, our mental wellbeing and our field of life, including relationships with self and others, creative expression and alignment with purpose. With physiological and psychological reactive responses calmed, an inner space opens to allow a greater witnessing mode to establish.

With journaling, we are then able to identify and track the events and situations that trigger high emotion responses and we are better able to see objectively, what edges we are holding that trip the trigger. With compassionate acknowledgment, we can reframe these edges and through journaling, start to rewrite new scripts for our lives. 

4. Journaling is a Manifestation Ritual in its own right

 Everything we experience starts with a thought form, everything. Sometimes those thought-forms are unconscious, created through fears or certain beliefs about lack or inevitability, and charged with reactive emotion. Yet, we have the capacity to consciously generate our experiences through creating and positively charging thought-forms with the certainty that is born when Will, Desire, and Intent are aligned. This is where a personal practice of journaling takes on a whole new dimension.

The creative journaling of possibilities, in enough detail to invoke an emotional vibration of excitement and a felt sense of those possibilities, is highly magical. It’s a way to generate strongly charged thought forms that start to influence our experienced reality. This beautiful form of journaling draws our awareness from looping doubt or disappointment and opens up worlds of potential. Journaling the stories of our desired realities is a form of spellcasting. Have you ever wondered about the origin of the verb ‘to spell’? 

Journaling records our spiritual journey

Finally, the fifth of so many more wonderful reasons why journaling is a spiritual power move, is quite simple, but also very useful. Journaling naturally records our spiritual journey. Retrospect is an incredible gift. When we have generated a wholesale shift in our reality, our memories fade of the paradigms we have expanded from. Yet to have a record of our spiritual approach, our old triggers, our new scripts, our dreams from the past, which are now a lived reality, we hone our spiritual skills and confidence. Our journey reveals just how far we have come, what is possible, how powerful we really are as creators of our lives. This discovery and realisation are perhaps the greatest gifts we can give ourselves, all from the humble pages of our spirit journal.

Stay tuned for my new online course Discovery, which combines spiritual perspectives, simple and effective journaling exercises for self-enquiry, and eleven beautiful guided meditations to enable deep levels of self-discovery and spirited living. 

If you have any questions about the power of journaling in self-enquiry, do get in touch. You can also visit my website to explore useful content to guide you along your journey to healing and self-discovery. You can learn more about my Discovery online course, that combines perspectives, meditation instruction, guidance and introspective tools to enable a shift into mindful living.

If you enjoyed this post and would like to share it, I request that you please credit Danielle Van de Velde as the author. I do not authorise repurposing or republishing without my written permission. You may email me for the same

 

Meditation and Dreams Danielle Van de Velde

How meditation helps you access the wisdom in your dreams

How meditation helps you access the wisdom in your dreams

In my mentoring sessions over the last few months, the topic of dreams has gained new prominence. The uncertainty and ‘pressure-cooker’ atmosphere that COVID-19 has placed us all in, is certainly playing out in our dream spaces. There has been some interesting commentary from the psychologists on social media about it too. 

The collective experience of fear, uncertainty, disempowerment and insecurity, felt by many, is having the cathartic effect for individuals of raising into their personal process similar patterns that they may hold, or have held for a long time. It’s a busy time for therapists and mentors like me. 

Within our dream spaces, some shared symbols and scenes are playing out too. Snakes, dark menacing storms, tidal waves and running to catch some form of transport but never quite making it, are some of the more common ones. 

So, it was no surprise to have such a huge response to our first Deams webinar, ‘Strange Dreams’, held on the eve of the May dark moon and hosted by Willow Mattress Singapore and Expat Living Singapore. It was a delight to be the guest speaker and in many of the dreams submitted for interpretation on the night, snakes, storms and missed transport featured again. The response was so enthusiastic and curious, that we have decided to do a webinar series on all things dreamy! 

Dreaming takes many forms in our lives. We are the only creatures on the planet who have the capability to daydream and visualise three-dimensional moving images in our minds. Every night, whether we remember them or not, when our conscious mind folds-in to regenerate, we dream. While some people claim they don’t dream at all, the fact is, we all do. However, up to 60% of people don’t remember their dreams. 

Meditation and Dreams - Danielle Van de Velde

Freud deduced that nearly every dream has elements of unprocessed thoughts and emotions from the day that’s been. Both Freud and Jung produced beautiful studies on the symbolism and messaging of dreams as forms of communication, problem-solving, and pure creative genius from the subconscious mind. And some of the world’s most paradigm-shifting, progressive inventions were conceived – sometimes in their entirety, in dreams. Larry Page’s idea for Google, Tesla’s alternating current generator, Mendeleev’s periodic table, and Watson’s double helix spiral form of DNA are just a few examples. 

Within the mix too are many examples of dreams being pre-cognitive or predictive of events yet to play out in waking reality. I have certainly had my experience with these types of dreams. Research shows that many of the major events on the world stage were dreamt of by people, days and weeks prior to the events themselves. The 9/11 bombings, the sinking of the Titanic, and the Aberfan mining disaster are some of the better-known cases. Many dreams hold a ‘voltage’, a feeling of weight or greater meaning, and often, that feeling can travel with us through the waking day, long after the dream was experienced. These are the dreams I pay the most attention to.

In esoteric practice, dreams are regarded as essential forms of divination and dialogue with our expanded self, our spirit and the animated field in which we dwell. It is always so interesting to witness advanced students in my esoteric courses step boldly into this form of reliable guidance once they learn to interpret the language of spirit as it comes through in symbols, synchronicities and sensations.

In magical practice, dreams never happen in isolation. They are part of a broader pattern of energy and information that surrounds us in our mundane reality and ripples through our inner workings. Once these skills of ‘spirit-language’ and ‘pattern-picking’ are mastered, our dreams can integrate into our inner work as reliable sources of information and guidance. 

The role of meditation in dreams

Ever thought about how meditation and dreams are related? How meditation plays a part in all of this dreamy exploration? Let’s find out.

Meditation aids deep sleep and restoration of natural cycles

Dreams only occur during REM cycles of sleep, and stress disrupts our brain’s ability to reach these deeper states of sleep. The initial benefits of cultivating a regular meditation practice are a rebalancing of the natural rhythms of the central nervous system which in turn rebalances the levels of stress hormones in the blood. Regular meditation strengthens immune function, helps in the regeneration of vital organs and non-present thought looping, all of which play into the quality of our sleep. It creates greater oxygenation and detoxification of the system, particularly through a focus on the breath.  Mindful breathing and pranayama techniques are key to entering meditative states and are a staple in all my courses.  

Regular meditation establishes a mindful state of awareness 

With regular meditation, we carve a space between our interface with what we are experiencing and our state of awareness. In other words, we become better able to witness the activity within our mental, emotional and astral fields. This mindful state also enhances our ability to remember our dreams upon waking. Through establishing a mindful state, we settle much more easily into the role of ‘the witness’ to our lives and move from a reactive interface to a responsive one. This ‘witness’ mode also translates to our dreaming. 

Meditation helps us navigate our subjective reality

While the physical and psychological benefits of regular meditation are well known and proven, the ultimate benefit of the practice, aside from feeling better, is to start living consciously.

Dreams don’t happen in isolation. They add layers of meaning to our experience of self and life. In all of my courses, whether they be the introductory courses to meditation and inner practice, or the more advanced studies of intuitive healing and conscious creation, I strongly suggest that students get into the habit of meditative journaling, which includes capturing dreams. Why? Because we experience everything, even our dreams through our subjective lens. That lens is formed through beliefs, fears and paradigms about self and life that we subscribe to. Our lens develops through familial, social and spiritual cultures, our education and past events that have shaped how we feel about ourselves and the world. Regular meditation helps us create the mental, emotional and energetic space to observe those inner patterns. Likewise, meditative journaling helps us track our reactions, triggers, and patterns so we can objectively ‘see’ their meaning and what they are telling us. Keeping a journal of our dreams also enhances our ability to recall them generally and to identify recurring dream signals. Also, to keep track of when they appear in relation to what we are experiencing in our lives and inner enquiries. 

Meditation helps us enter states of hypnagogic hallucination at will 

Our dreams play out within our ‘imaginal realm’, that space in the mind that links the conscious critical mind and the deeper aspects of our subconscious. Our modern culture tends to devalue the imagination considerably. Growing up, I’m sure we have all been counselled with words like “oh, you’re just imagining it” or “stop daydreaming and get back to your studies”. Many children have the experience of imaginary friends when very little, which is often discounted as they can’t be seen by others and eventually this capacity in the child is closed down. 

However in magical practice, the imagination is an esteemed and essential ‘space’ within the psyche. It is through the imaginal realm that we both receive guidance from spirit and generate thought-forms. This in turn, when supported by the direction of vital life force, tilts the field of potentiality into possibility and then probability. In other words, our imaginal realm is the space of conception for experiences that we consciously (and unconsciously) create. 

Hypnagogic hallucination is an interesting process whereby the practitioner enters deep states of relaxation, usually via breathwork and energy practices, and opens the imaginal realm to allow images and impressions to rise up. With practice, these images can then be used as gateways for deeper explorations.

Shamanic journeying works explicitly with this function. Through stimuli like drumming, rattles, ecstatic postures, and breathwork, the practitioner, armed with a clear intent for the journey, can enter a state of hypnagogic hallucination.

In journeying there is a clear ‘switch point’ where the imaginal realm conjured for the journey, starts to run on its own accord and the practitioner then settles into a shifted state of witnessing what is being demonstrated to them in response to their intent. To access these incredible and exciting practices, a basic meditation capability is required, which is why I ensure this is in place with anyone seeking my more advanced courses.

Meditation and Dreams - Danielle Van de Velde

Certain meditations like Yoga Nidra, also known as the ‘psychic sleep’ and Creative Visualisation, for example, induce divine states of calm, present inner awareness, where we can explore this sacred space of the psyche and sharpen our abilities to navigate it. These abilities, which anyone can cultivate, are also key to accessing the even more mysterious and cool world of Lucid Dreaming, an experience where within the dream itself, you are aware that you are dreaming. Yoga Nidra, Visualisation and Pranayama practices are some of the beautiful meditations covered in my online Introduction to Meditation course, now open.

The next free Dream Webinar hosted by Willow Mattress Singapore and Expat Living Singapore is on the evening of June 18th where I will be diving into the world of Lucid or Conscious Dreaming. You may register for the Lucid Dreaming webinar and follow my Instagram and Facebook channels for updates. 

If you wish to know more about meditation and dreams, or explore privately, a particularly charged or recurring dream, and how it may be informing your process, do get in touch or book a one-on-one session.

You can also visit our website to explore courses and useful content to guide you along your journey to healing, self-discovery and mindful living. 


If you enjoyed this post and would like to share it, we request you to please credit Danielle Van de Velde as the author. We do not authorise repurposing or republishing without written permission from Danielle. You may email her for the same.

Heart Light

4-Week Online Course. The course content will be delivered via a combination of video guidance, course reminder notes and sets of guided meditation recordings…