By Dianne Witte
Several months ago I had the opportunity to do some soul journaling. I found it to be a profound experience and want to share it and encourage you to try it.
Before this experience, there were several introductory sessions. I’ll outline those later, but first, here is “my story.”
In class, we were instructed to “pick a time in your life when something memorable happened,” and write your story. What follows is the first thing that came to mind.
My maternal grandparents used to visit once a year, in the spring. They would stay a week or so, but it was far too long for me. It was a time I dreaded because it meant that Grandpa would ask me to go for a ride with him and I “knew” it meant he would put his smelly body close to mine and breathe heavily and feel my budding breasts with his fat hands. I was about ten at the time and felt powerless to say or do anything, even though I knew, deep down, it was wrong and I did not like it. I would try to think of excuses not to take the daily ride, but they just didn’t seem to work. We would drive around and he would reach across the front seat to fondle me. He would say, “don’t tell anyone” and “this is our secret.” I didn’t know what to do.
Finally, one day, we arrived home, after our “ride” and Grandpa was again “making his moves.” I jumped out of the car and could hear Mom and Grandma talking in the kitchen above the garage. I contemplated running upstairs to tell them what was happening. I told Grandpa I was going to tell. He was frantic, and pleaded with me not to. He said he would never do it again, so I decided not to tell, if he kept his promise.
As an adult, I actually thought I had resolved this situation in my mind and was surprised to find myself writing about this. But, as I wrote, talking to my soul, I heard perspectives other than the one I had, that he was just a “dirty old man.”
As I continued to write, my soul responded saying, perhaps something “got into” Grandpa. Perhaps that feeling compelled him to act that way. Perhaps he felt guilty and ashamed every time he did it, but didn’t know how to overcome the impulse. Perhaps he was very sorry and just couldn’t tell me, he was so ashamed. Another idea came from soul. What if this was a result of karma? What if, in another lifetime, I had perpetrated the same or similar act on someone else?
My soul also reminded me that I had taken back my power, when I told him I would tell. I was stronger for the experience and it never happened again. I felt forgiveness and a wonderful release and peace, thanks to this experience with soul journaling. If you’re interested in trying, there are several important steps to take before you begin.
First, you might want to get a background in why soul journaling is beneficial from a scientific perspective. I have learned a lot about how our body chemistry is actually affected by your thoughts and how, when you actually write things down, addressing your higher consciousness, you can experience a biochemical reaction that allows change and growth. Some of this is explained in Bill Moyer’s PBS series, “Healing and the Mind” and Candace Pert’s book, “Molecules of Emotion.”
Armed with this understanding, the next step is to discover the name of your soul. This is very important. Our soul, or “higher self,” is our best guide in life. It only makes sense to connect with it, since it’s always with you and loves you unconditionally. To discover your soul name, simply write down the question, relax and go within. Think of names you would rather have had when you were a child or a nickname you like. Settle on what feels best for you. After you have a name, just jump in and ask a question. You might start with addressing your soul by name, then asking, in writing, “what am I learning about listening – from you?” Then write what your soul tells you. Don’t just think your soul’s response, write it. This is a very important distinction. Think of another question using the same pattern-write the question and response. You might try…..”How do I know it’s you answering and not my imagination?” or “Give me insight into what is holding me back in my spiritual growth.” Then think of your own.
Now you’re on a roll. After some time getting to know the “voice” of your soul, you are ready to graduate, to establish a ritual for the times you spend communicating with it. Like you would a friend, greet it, focus intention and breathe deeply to signal your body this is the special time. Find a bit of something interesting to read. That will stimulate thoughts that lift your spirit. Review earlier entries in your “soul journal” for ideas on what you want to explore. Record the date and time in your journal and begin writing. Tell your higher self your story. What’s on your mind today? Write fast and ignore writing rules. No judgments, your soul loves you, anything goes. Then make this a daily habit.
There are four guidelines to continue with the process:
1. Show up – like….do it, everyday!
2. Open up – be willing to risk revealing yourself
3. Listen up – hear the voice of your soul
4. Follow up – thoughtfully consider what you’ve written even if it feels foolish of contrived.
Good luck, I hope you find it as rewarding as I have.