June 6, 2021
I’m often asked how I use my Spiritual Disciplines Journal.
In the video and written description below, I’ll fill you in on how I personally combine spiritually strengthening strategies such as meditation, breathwork, visualization, tapping, prayer, gratitude, service, self-examination, and purpose into my morning and evening journaling practice.
Instructions For Using Your Spiritual Disciplines Journal
- Download the free Insight Timer app. Set the timer for a 7-minute meditation (I use Angel Choir as background music of choice) and then also set a timer to chime at the beginning of the meditation, then the first 2-minute mark, the second 2-minute mark, and the third 2-minute mark.
- Begin to breathe with a 6 count in and a 6 count out, long, slow, and deep breath, and preferably through the nose.
- Read the verse at the top of your page in the Spiritual Disciplines Journal, then start the timer. For the first 2 minutes, meditate upon that verse. What does it mean to you? Ask God for clarity. Tell Him “I am here.” Open your eyes and read the verse again if you’d like. These first 2 minutes are for you to connect to that truth, connect to yourself, and connect to God.
- When the bell chimes at the 2-minute mark, begin to dwell upon what you are grateful for that day. Visualize someone or something you are grateful for and bring it to life in your mind’s eye. See it. Feel it. Sense it. Breathe the gratefulness into your heart’s center (a technique called “quick coherence”). When you’re ready, write down what it is you are grateful for in your journal, and if you finish before the bell chimes, close your eyes and return back to dwelling on the gratefulness.
- When the bell chimes at the 4-minute mark, begin to think about who you can pray for, help, or serve on that day. Ask God to bring someone to mind if you can’t think of anyone. Write the name of that person in your journal, then close your eyes and begin to plan how you can go out of your way to serve them, help them, or even simply pray for them. In that very moment, begin to send that person positive emotions and pray for them, though you’ll continue to do so throughout the rest of the day as well.
- When the bell chimes at the 6-minute mark, raise your hand to your chest and begin to tap over your heart, ten, fifteen, or twenty times. This is a process of setting an “anchor” for the feeling of peace you are experiencing as you approach the end of your 7-minute meditation. Anytime you are stressed later in the day, you can return to that same feeling of peace instantly, without a 7-minute meditation, by simply tapping in that same location. As you are tapping, listen to God, continue to pray, continue to breathe long, deep, and slow, and enjoy the feeling of peace, love, and joy.
- At the very end of my own meditation, right at the 7-minute mark after I’ve finished my tapping, I like to finish with The Lord’s Prayer.
- You will not really need the Insight Timer app for evening journaling and meditation, but you can use it if you would like.
- I simply close my eyes, and begin a 4:8 breathwork pattern, which is slightly more calming than the 6 in/6 out breath from the morning, and involves a 4 count in and an 8 count out, preferably through the nose.
- As you breathe, for anywhere from 3 to 6 minutes, begin to visualize your day. During this time, I recommend you replay your entire day in your mind like a movie, watching yourself in the third person and identifying what you have done well, what you could have done better, and where you felt most self-actualized and connected to your purpose statement. Watching the character of yourself in your mind, in the third person, ask yourself what you aren’t rooting for the character to do, or wishing they’d done differently, or where they failed and learned. Ask yourself what you are proud of that character doing and how you really see them acting their best. Finally, ask yourself where that person seemed most “in the flow” and doing exactly what seems to be the very reason they are in the movie in the first place. As you play the movie in your mind, stop when necessary and write down in the journal what you have done well, what you could have done better, and when or where you lived your life’s purpose.
- I like to finish with a prayer of gratefulness and a request to God for a refreshing night of sleep and an impactful day on the morrow, then I smile, open my eyes, finish and tuck away my journal for the following morning!
How about you?
What does your own morning or evening meditation or journaling practice look like? I’d love to hear your tips, thoughts, comments, questions, and feedback below. And if you’d like a Spiritual Disciplines Journal for yourself, you can get one here.