Journaling practice: Ask Questions

Asking questions is a good place to start any relationship. But how often do you stop to ask some really important questions to yourself? And then taking time to really answer them, no bull shit allowed?

Get your life in shape with journaling, start by asking questions - a blog post by iHanna

The questions, as well as the answers, are often easier to find than you might think…

I often feel lost, confused and with no clue where I am going in my life, in one or several areas. At times I feel as I am at zero again, and don’t have any answers at all. Do you ever feel like that? That’s when it is time to journal. Time to check in with myself, on paper.

All you need to do is brainstorm out the questions you have in your head, and scribble them down as quick as they appear on a piece of paper. All you really need is your journal and a pen, and some breathing time. Then you start with the first question that pops into your head.

For example, you might ask: Why am I feeling so stressed/confused/angry/worried? What do I really want to do in this or that area of my life? and so on. A bit later, or the next day, when you revisit these random questions you have search your brain for the answers. And you have to take time to write down your response to them. If you’re blanking, then wait a bit. Some kind of answer will come, I promise. Something will emerge, if only: this question is irrelevant for me today. Or: This is a silly question, I’ve know the answer to this since I was 7! OMG, what was I thinking? Then write it out, so you will remember next time.

You might find that you’ve been asking the wrong questions. The reason you don’t know how to start a specific project might be due to the fact you rather start something completely different. The reason you think that you don’t know what you want might be that fear is stopping you from even thinking about what you really want. The question prompt might force your answer to the surface.

Even if the answer is not to your liking, I suggest that you write it down anyway. If it feels like that is the truth to you, most of the time it is the truth.

Intuition is a strong thing, when we listen to it. Stress, anxiety and fear are the best ways to forget that. I think that most people who are into journaling knows that writing is a great way to get clarity. Buy you have to start with the questions, and the answers will only come if you dare listen to your them… But who else should you listen to, really?

Only you can make good (or bad) decisions in your life.

Only you know how you should move forward.

Only you know what you want, need and should pursue.

I haven’t been journaling (or blogging, painting or doing embroidery) as much as I want to these past months, which makes me keep way too much inside my own head. Gah, I need head space!

When I do take the time so write down the questions that keep spinning in my head, often in my journal, I find that the answers are already there, ready to go inside my brain. The amount of questions might be what has me confused, the stress that I feel or the overwhelm of big life decisions. Sometimes I confuse other people’s expectations with my own beliefs. This all block out clarity and stops me in my track. I start doubting my intuition and the worry run in circles. Then it really is difficult to know where to start, what to do, and what projects are really important – to me (not to everyone else). But the trick of writing down questions, and answering them myself, often help. That is why I wanted to recommend you to try it to, if you need guidance and don’t have a personal life coach standing by to help you out.

Listening in and asking guiding questions is the working method of most coaches, psychologist and mentors anyway, so it’s a good start for all of us to just start asking!

I am asking myself a lot of questions lately: about my art, about my style and about what I enjoy the most – but more on that in another post. For now all you need is to ponder is the most important question of them all… It’s one that I personally often come back to:

When should I start? or simply: When is the best time to start?

Often the best answer to when, is: right now. So this is where I am starting. Writing, my word of the year, will be my guide if not for the year, but for the three last month of this year.

What do you need to ask questions about?

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5 Responses to Journaling practice: Ask Questions

  1. Ellen says:

    It has been a rough few months and the rain for the last few days, has had me waterlogged in more ways than one. Thank you for this post. It is what I needed today to try and clear my head. I liked how you mentioned that having too many questions in your head can make you even more anxious. I definitely need to get them out of my head and onto the paper. I may not get an answer to all of the questions, but at least my head will have fewer questions banging around inside of it.

    • iHanna says:

      I have used this method for a long time, though I sometimes forget how beneficial it is to journal and need to remind myself too. Writing it out helps me a lot, privately and on this blog. So glad this post was helpful to you Ellen, though of course the only answers you can get is those that has to come from you. If you’re asking who the next president will be you won’t get as much clarity.

  2. Amy Maricle says:

    hi iHannah

    This is great advice about learning to “talk” and listen better to ourselves more honestly.

    I will pass it on!

    Cheers

    Amy

  3. pam says:

    Such good advice and such a simple thing to do – good to be reminded. I have gotten a lot of help from doing “morning pages” from the Artist’s Way. It sorts out my head like a filing system, allows me to throw away or recycle or reorganize what is going on in there. Thank you for the reminder Hannah and the beautiful way you have shared what is going on with you- I hope you manage to follow your own advice and that you find the answers or the questions that you are looking for!

    • Amy Maricle says:

      Pam: I too love morning pages! I do them periodically to help me clear out. Sometimes I find I need nighttime pages to clear myself out for sleep too.

      Cheers,
      Amy

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