Workaholism : Stepping Away From My Desk, The Spiritual Way

Is workaholism a real problem? Why does it happen in the first place? And how can we overcome our addiction to work? Here’s my story, tips & insight.

It’s ironic that when I worked in the corporate, I was NOT a workaholic. I was proud of myself, for maintaining a strong work-life balance. It wasn’t until I became passionate about something, that my passion became an obsession. And that obsession became workaholism.

I remember that one year, back in the summer (of sixty nine?), I was walking with my friend, along the peripheral of her apartments. Giving her, Deepti, a healthy dose of right and wrong. As good friends should, eh?

friends, chit chat, conversation, car pulled over, relax, vacation, long drive, coffee

Her entire focus throughout the day, was work. It was beginning to effect her physical and mental health. And it made no sense to me because there was much, MUCH more to life.

Then how was it, that 3 years later, I was in the same boat, unable to see anything beyond my work, my blog?

The next irony was that the very thing that I preached about being wary of, spiritual vices, became a hidden one for me too. I became addicted to writing about Spirituality, finding countless ways to bring the truth to readers.

But when did it all begin? And, why?

And more importantly, how can you and I outgrow our workaholism tendencies? Let’s address this together.

How Workaholism Grows

One theory is that wherever you put your attention, your energy begins to harness in that direction.

Seems true when I reflect on it. Because as soon as I start writing, my thoughts jump from one idea to the next. I end up saving draft after draft, of what I’ll share at ‘some point’.

The more I take Julia Cameron’s advice to “show up and just write“, the more my mind runs. It has become a machine of countless creative ideas!

ideas, workaholism, write, notes, post its, brainstorm, brain dump

It took me a while (and then another while) to realize that I only have a dedicated reserve of energy every single day. And I was beginning to spend it all on one chakra alone – my sacral.

As the ideas churned out, I felt satiated with the satisfaction of being able to do what I love.

But now, I noticed how little time I had for friends. Or family. Or to make a phone call to my husband without still being on the laptop, half-distracted, doing something.

I felt guilty about it. But not guilty enough to stop.

Those were my defining moments. Workaholism was the choice I was making.

Is Workaholism Even A Real Problem?

When all the energy and time is consumed in one task, there’s little room for anything else. That’s the obvious statement. But think about this.

When we stay in that same zone day after day, month after month, our energy stops moving to the other spaces of our existence.

Our neurons begin to rewire themselves. They get retrained to do something that only serves the space they’re confined to.

So, scarily enough, even if we do make time for friends, family and leisure, our mind still makes it all about work.

You might think that isn’t the case for you – but read these examples.

If you’re a housewife, you’re no longer able to sit and talk when somebody comes over. Because you’re either making your loved ones the next snack with their coffee, or you’re cleaning the aftermath.

As a businessman, you look at even the most irrelevant interactions as a “great sales pitch”. Or as an inspiration, maybe some lesson, that you can take back to work tomorrow.

workaholism, men working together, friends, coffee table

Or if you work in an IT job, then every argument reminds you of the karmic battle with your boss. And you either classify your relationships as “this relationship is like the one with my boss”, or that “this one is thankfully so different”.

If you’re a social media influencer, artist or writer, you start seeing everything as inspiration for your next post.

Guilty? I know. Me too. But the guilt isn’t enough to make us choose otherwise.

We’ve been in that zone for so long that we find nothing seriously wrong with it. Our trade-offs can’t be that bad, can they? And that’s when we know that workaholism is a real problem.

Everything becomes transactional, or is pushed to adjust itself around work.

So, we forget how to love without checking our phone.
We forget how to eat without talking to someone on the other line.

We forget to be where we are, because we bring our ‘zone’ with us, wherever we go.

What Now?

It’s not a quick fix. I’ve been aware of my tendencies since over a year, and I’m still working on it. Just like every other karmic impression, this vasana too is tough to overcome.

But there must be a way. And I’m trying to find it. So far, this is what I could come up with based on what has made workaholism a little less predominant in my life.

#1 – The Essentialism Approach

When I first read case studies from CEOs and highly successful businessman that talked about how relieved they were to do less, it felt counterintuitive.

And yet, isn’t that what we’re ultimately aiming for in our spiritual journey too? Less doing, more being?
To stop chasing the external, and to go within?
To uncover our true nature through self-reflection?

Ofcourse, as long as we are alive, we cannot stop action (karma) altogether. But it’s becoming apparent to me through my own problem, that workaholism is just one of many ways in which our karma is becoming futile.
workaholism, shocked, surprised, working hard, laptop

What is essentialism? It’s a specialization for what our modern generation calls minimalism. It’s about doing less. And how can you put essentialism into practice? Here are my tips:

  • Have a fixed set of tasks for the day. And DON’T add more to your list before you tick everything off first.
  • Use a planner or journal to monitor and maintain your progress. When we are able to visually see how much work we’ve done, we feel contentment and appreciation for how far we’ve come. Versus chasing more.
  • Reprioritize your tasks to always do what’s the most essential first. If something isn’t important enough, find a way to get it off your plate. That’s where the term essentialism comes from.
  • Spend less time making it perfect, and focus on getting the task done. In other words, strive for quick wins by breaking down each task in many small tasks.
And most importantly, have a planned day off. Make it a habit to unplug, and to NOT always be in the zone!

This not only makes you more effective (because now, you only work 6 days a week), you’re able to refresh and reprioritize your tasks better.

I’ve adopted the concepts of essentialism from the author Greg McKeown, from his work Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.


#2 – The Mind-Body-Spirit Approach

I recently talked about the 5 metaphysical layers of our body, and it holds relevance in today’s post.

When we are work-oriented, we are using our physical or gross body, and mental plane or a part of the subtle body, to achieve outcome.

man at work, stress free, work life balance

Now, I’m not saying renounce work altogether. But in what ways can you nourish the workspace by nourishing your other layers?

  • For instance, if you practice mindful breathing (pranamaya kosha) everyday, you won’t feel so anxious and worked up when work got stressful.
  • If you create a small Meditation ritual (vijnanamaya kosha) before work, you’ll have the chance to quiet down and receive more wisdom from within. Versus hitting your head for solutions. You’ll even be able to trust your instincts more and get yourself out of tricky situations faster.
  • And if you work with awareness of your 3 gunas (rajas, tamas, satvik), you can change the actions which were of ill-intent to produce action of higher karma.

The purpose is to identify blocks in every layer, every kosha. And then to target those spaces through a simple spiritual practice. See if you’re able to identify your blocks and find a few practices worth incorporating in your life?

Ofcourse, as a workaholic, it can seem difficult to make time for anything else. You might wonder how you’ll bring more on your plate.

Well, remember point #1? If you practice essentialism the right way, you will actually have a lot more time. And many things you can do, that aren’t about work.


#3 – Redirecting Your Energy Into Other Spaces Of Life

While briefly talking about the reality of workaholism, I hinted at energy being restricted in my sacral chakra.

For other people, your reason to work could be different.

You might get a sense of accomplishment and want to consistently chase that feeling (solar plexus). Or you might be money-oriented (root chakra) and be seeking affluence.

No reason is better or worse. They’re all bad, because they’re all in excess.

workaholism, workaholic, achievement, success, goal-oriented

So my third suggestion is another application of the Chakra System in daily life. Here are some tips you can follow, to push your energy into other spaces of life.

  • Identify what chakra gets fueled the most when you’re working. It could be one single Chakra, like some of the examples I listed above. Or you may notice a combination of these and others.
  • See what Chakras need your attention, and how you can balance them outside the space of work. This series is a good starting point for tips.
  • While at work, be aware of the energetic “high” you’re experiencing and investigate deeper as to why you always seek this high. How? Try journaling or meditation.

Investigate your life through the energy centers of your energy body, and you will find that most of your blocks will automatically free away. Consequently, freeing you and empowering you to live a more balanced life.


Concluding Thoughts

Workaholism is one form of escapism that so many of us are dealing with. Using the solutions above, I’m hoping you can conclude with me that,

  • One, we need to be mindful of what we work on each day,
  • Two, we need to challenge our need to work so much by investigating deeper through our subtle body’s blocks,
  • And three, we need to redirect our energy to flow across every dimension of life, without letting it revolve around the very thing we’re taking a break from. Work!

You might also enjoy reading 5 Tips to Achieve Work-Life Balance.

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. This means that at no added cost to you, every purchase you make through these links brings a small commission to my blog. This helps support my work. Thank you for your consideration!

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My Therapy Stories (#5): Hypnotherapy & Past Life Regression

Hypnotherapy and past life regression are fascinating subjects. Alongside studying the works from Dr Brian, Dave Elman and the likes, here’s my experience.

I was instantly fascinated by Dr. Brian Weiss’ books about past lives. So in November 2017, I scheduled a session for my own Past Life Regression. Along with sharing what I experienced, I’ll also be answering some of the major questions asked on the subject.

What happens during Past Life Regression?

I was asked to read Many Lives, Many Masters before coming for the session, just so that I’d know what I could expect. Having already been acquainted with Dr Brian’s works, I prepared myself in other ways.

I was additionally asked to be well-rested, listen to some guided meditations and come on a light stomach. Why? Let me explain by going into the science of past life regression. This will also be fundamental in helping you learn how to do past life regression, incase you’re interested.

Hypnotherapy is the underlying tool used to review past lives, by working with the subconscious mind.

A person is regressed back into a certain period of their life, using steps that I’ll discuss shortly. The end-to-end process takes up a lot of mental energy! And if unrested or on a heavy stomach, it can make you tire easily. In some cases, you could even dose off.

Hypnotherapy is not exclusive to past life regression though.

When hypnotherapy is used to access the Akashic Records, or past life memories, we call it past life regression therapy. However, the same technique can also be used for inner child healing, overcoming addiction or getting closure from a traumatic experience from the past.

Is hypnosis dangerous?

Hypnosis is NOTHING like the dramatic TV shows where a person is influenced and taken captive. You must understand that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.

Hypnotist, Sleep, Trance, Hypnosis, Memory, Subconscious, Hypnotherapy, Past Life Regression

This means that when you’re hypnotized, it simply means you’ve been given a suggestion by another person, and you have willingly taken action on it.

For example, in your day-to-day life, if someone says, “come, have a seat” and you go sit down, you’ve accepted their suggestion.

On the contrary if someone said, “let’s go eat chicken wings” and you’re a vegetarian, you will reject the suggestion.

When you undergo a hypnotherapy session, the only difference is that you’re given several layers of suggestions in order to achieve deeper stages of relaxation.

This helps you experience your past memories, without the unnecessary inquisitiveness or resistance of the conscious mind.

You may first be asked to count back from 50 to 1, while staring at a wall. Then, you might be asked to close your eyes and visualise a pleasant situation, like walking around a garden. Eventually, you’ll be asked to travel back in time to a specific memory, which is the part called regression.

Eye, Shining, See, Watch, Light, Red, Memory, Subconscious, Hypnotherapy, Past Life Regression

This process is a rather artificial means to tire your conscious mind that operates in beta waves. Thus allowing you to experience the subconscious thoughts by moving towards alpha waves. The different brain wavelengths and their purpose can further be understood through this source.

If you’ve listened to a guided meditation before, you’ll realise that the process is the same. Because guided meditation too is a form of hypnotherapy.

There’s nothing more dramatic or fanciful to it!

So, no, it is NOT dangerous. Even under hypnosis, you are fully aware of sounds around you, you can talk and you will remember everything that happened. You are just more relaxed while experiencing your subconscious thoughts.

Which is why, you’ll even find self-hypnosis videos on YouTube. Many people claim to have experienced healing through it too. It hasn’t worked for me though, for various reasons.

“Isn’t it scary?”

No, it’s just different.

Fantasy, Girl, Sleep, Mask, Mystical, Fear, Scary, Memories Past Life, Subconscious Mind

When you recall an old memory, does it scare you? Probably not. A few incidents might create anxiety for the future, or stir other emotions like anger, insecurity or sorrow. But then logic will kick in, and you’ll be able to self-soothe by self-affirming thoughts like,

  • – you’re HERE now and you’ve overcome everything;
  • – the past is gone, and there’s a new hope for what lies ahead;
  • – the past doesn’t have to control you or enslave you;
  • – you’ll continue to overcome your obstacles beautifully in the future;
  • so on, and so forth.
This is the purpose of hypnotherapy. To revisit the exact moment in the past which influenced your behaviour to be a certain way.

Many times, the reason will seem so silly and unnecessary that as a consequence a person can experience major breakthroughs. Like immediately quitting smoking, no longer needing to binge-eat or no longer feeling so insecure about key relationships.

Such was my case. Here are some interesting findings from my own past life regression stories.

How Past Life Regression Healed My Fear of Black Cats

As I regressed into my third lifetime, I saw a woman in her late twenties being tortured and raped by a group of men. She was left to die in the jungle, stripped naked, sans resources to return.

She made her way into a cave, where she shivered through the night. When she opened her eyes, there were a couple of giant, black leopards ready to attack. This was how she finally died in that lifetime.

Leopard, Black, Attention, Face, Elegant, Memory

My healer worked with me to release the trauma of assault as well as the wildlife attack. Ever since then, I actually love cats! And rape? The fear reduced significantly.

Are Past Life Regression Experiences Real?

There have been countless validated cases, where exact details were mapped to lesser-known family history. The works of Dr Ian Stevenson and Jim B Tucker focused precisely on validating such claims, by children.

There is compelling evidence in Dr Brian’s books too, especially Only Love Is Real where two people narrated the same past lives with each other, without even knowing about each other. It was magical to read!

Love, Relationship, Ice, Fire, Feelings, Soulmates, Reunion, Past Life Regression, Eternal
Personally, whatever I saw did not have concrete geographical information or detailed timelines. I still consider a past life regression experience logically powerful because:
  • When you revisit a subconscious fear and retrain your brain to look at it differently, you alter your conscious behavior too. This is precisely what we want to achieve,
  • Our brain uses the knowledge and dictionary we have created from our experience, so what you see is the closest possibility of what happened. Good enough to help you understand the significance, at the least,
  • Irrational and unexplained fears are explained through the story you see. In the moment it feels so real that it can shift your point of view. Thus lifelong fears can be transmuted in a short span within a few hours of hypnosis,
  • Even if it’s a figment of your imagination, or confabulated, the fact that your subconscious is conducive to healing can be a breakthrough in itself for people who otherwise struggle to make lasting changes in their life consciously.

For me, it didn’t matter whether what I saw was factually correct. But it did help me see aspects of myself that I wasn’t aware of, atleast not consciously. One such example being intense anger and anguish.

How Reviewing A Past Life Helped Me Mourn A Child I Didn’t Have

I wasn’t even married at that point, let alone a mother. But regressing back into time, I saw a woman badly starved and beaten by her drunk husband. She held a baby, her baby. Their baby; force-fed alcohol by that man. As her child passed away, she grieved intensely. And so did I. I could deeply feel her pain, and anger.

People, Parent, Adult, Hands, Child, Memory

Now to put things into perspective, I’m not easily emotionally swayed. It takes a lot to make me cry, but this vision felt so personal, so real, it really felt like my loss.

And the kind of anger I felt in that moment was nothing I’ve seen before. My healer worked diligently to help release the emotions that were uncovered in that lifetime.

I was stunned when I recognised that baby in the past was a friend from college in my present. The next day, out of curiosity and upon my healer’s recommendation, I asked that friend if he had “stomach issues”. He mentioned that he did, but they got over in college. Which was when WE had met.

“Mother healed baby”, said my healer as I conveyed my findings.

Heart-touching, eh? 🙂

How do you recognise other people?

You might have an instant knowing (feeling), you might recognise their characteristics (visual), or in introspection a name might come to you (auditory). It’s my theory that perhaps the psychic sense which is strongest in you will be utilized during this process.

Fantasy, Beach, Children, Jellyfish, Past, Dream, Subconscious Mind

Past life regression in itself is like seeing a dream. Except it’s not illogical, and you can remember it long after you wake up.

But just like a dream, you can experience the past life by being a passive viewer, active participant or somewhere in between. You will see places, people and important events in ways that are unique to you.

I’ve had the privilege to see a significant past life in one of my dreams, which I’ve talked about in a post analysing the spiritual meanings of dreams.

Why is it good or bad to get a past life review?

While the benefits outweigh the flaws, here are some things to be mindful of during subconscious work:

Unless you heal the memory after seeing it, it may not be useful having seen it. For example, when I saw the black cats, I didn’t know what to do because I was scared. A professional hypnotist needs to help you navigate such incidents. My healer suggested I turn the black cats into beautiful, vibrant butterflies and let them carry my body into the Light.

NOTE: This isn’t about denying something happened, but to creatively help you reconnect with the bigger picture.

Therefore, on most occasions, you will not be able to see a past life yourself, unless you’re capable enough of dealing with it.
  • It can seem exciting to revisit the Akashic Records and retrieve your soul’s journey. But becoming overly obsessed with the past is one of many spiritual vices. Trust me, I’ve been there! So please remember that though past life regression is useful to understand some of our behaviors, we don’t always need to know WHY something happened for us to change who we are NOW.
Man, Assembly, Portrait, Resolution
  • It is expensive. I don’t know why. But in general, all healers charge a fortune for past life regression. I don’t discredit their work, and I’m all for balancing the karmic debt in whatever way one deems fit. But I’d say that if you can understand the process and go for a few sessions just to get the idea, you should focus on learning how to regress yourself.

    It’s really not that difficult. Dave Elman, the pioneer in Hypnotherapy has explained in great lengths about all this. Unfortunately his book is difficult to purchase anymore. But looping back to where we started, Dr Brian has a fantastic collection of resources for self-hypnosis, layered into his books.

All that being said, let’s talk about the benefits of a past life review with a few more stories.

How Seeing My Best Friend From A Past Life Healed My Trust Issues

This story had both of us laughing. We were in fits when I slowly mumbled through my phone, “you were my wife in a past life”. Ironically, when we were roommates, I would always call her biwi (hindi for wife).

In the first past life I had regressed into, I saw that I was a secret agent, on a mission in Russia where I was finally captured and tortured to death. My best friend, the wife at the time had left me, unwilling to stand by my side in my life-threatening decisions.

Binoculars, Birdwatching, Spy Glass, Memories,

It was her leaving then that had placed a subconscious message in my heart that she might leave me again. It was this thought that challenged our friendship. Even though we were best friends, I had a tough time trusting she would stay that way.

Sure enough, this silly but sweet story brought us closer. I’m married to my husband now, but it was cute to see how our roles keep switching in lifetimes. And even our genders!

Not just that, past life regression showed me why I had an inclination towards Russian history and thriller stories, and why I’d conveniently switch to a faux Russian ‘accent’ in casual conversations.

Would you like to hear more? Okay, one more!

How I Finally Stopped Being Scared of Diving

In my first session, I regressed a total of five lifetimes. They were all tragic in their own ways. But brought me great insight about the trauma I was carrying subconsciouly.

One recurring pattern I saw was about drowning. Two of the lifetimes came to an end because I drowned at the deep-side of a river and pool. It had to do with swimming and losing control.

Life Buoy, Digital, Graphics, Water, Diving, Safety, Life guard, Drown

Growing up, I used to learn swimming at the YMCA. But every time I was led to the 10-feet diving board, I would panic. My body would freeze, and I would become a fetus in mid-air. I ended up scraping my wrists very badly, twice.

When I finally learned the why, my inner child took a deep sigh of relief too. She wasn’t scared without reason, was she? 🙂

Concluding Thoughts

I could go on and on about my regression stories, and the messages I gained from them. But my objective is to help you understand the beauty and empowerment that comes with all this.

If you have any other questions for me, please drop them in the comments below. I will edit this post to include them, in due course of time!

And with that, I also happen to be wrapping up my series called My Therapy Stories. Next month, I’m bringing in a different segment. I hope you’ll enjoy it just as much! 🙂

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Past Life Regression

7 Effective Journaling Ideas for Self-Healing

How different journaling types can help you heal, how to journal effectively, how long it takes, 7 journaling ideas, and numerous other writing prompts!

My first attempt at journaling was awkward. Back in 2012, my journal entries looked plain jane, because I never knew what to say. And the cliche “dear diary” was amusing because I didn’t believe in the idea of talking to an inanimate object.

I share this to reassure you how peculiar such one-on-ones with ourselves, can be at first! Nevertheless, the 2012 version of me persevered long enough. And now, most of my solutions come from ‘writing it out’. And yours’ can too.

Whether you already enjoy journaling and just want some new ideas, or would like a more closer look at how journaling can help you, here are the 7 methods I practice and recommend.

NOTE : two of the techniques, #4 and #7 are developed by yours truly. So if you try them out, you let me know your experience! 🙂

#1 – GRATITUDE WRITING

Why you should do it : more joyous living, acceptance towards reality, retraining your mind from pessimism to a more optimistic mindset

Time it takes : 2-5 minutes, your choice

Recommended frequency : everyday or atleast whenever you can remember to, as an ongoing practice

Best Time of Day : Night/evenings

How To Do Gratitude Writing Effectively

Pretty straightforward, so this makes a great journaling practice for beginners. I consider this a journaling practice for the lazy ones, like me, because you can do it snuggled in bed!

Gratitude journaling in bed

So, at the end of every day, unwind, get into your pyjamas, and take out time to write down 5 or more things that you’re grateful for. If you can’t think of much, don’t forget the basics such as good food or clean drinking water. Eventually however, you’ll be able to recognise the more finer miracles of life.

A great tip is to keep the journal next to your bed so you can remember to use it!

P.S. If you’d like some gratitude writing prompts, you can download 30 of them from the spiritual newsletter resources. This is exclusive for members only, so sign-up and grab your copy. It’s free! 🙂

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My Experience with Gratitude Writing

I started back in 2013, inspired by Lindy Tsang, who would end her day with Gratitude pages. Ofcourse, I was never that consistent, but I started seeing results immediately.

Even as life is busier and I’m juggling a lot more than my college self, I still try to write gratitude at least once a week. Over the years, this simple practice has helped me see each day for the good that comes from it, not just the bad.

Related : 8 Unique Ways to Be More Grateful Everyday


#2 – FUTURE SELF & REPARENTING

Why you should do it : retraining the brain to change your deep-seeded behaviours, setting intentions for the future-you that you want to create

Time it takes : upto 15 minutes

Recommended frequency : everyday, at least for a few months

Best time of day : mornings

How to do Future-Self Writing Effectively

Future-Self journal comprises of a list of 7 quick questions to help you reflect on the habit you’re trying to change. I’d recommend checking out Dr. Nicole Lepera’s website, The Holistic Psychologist. She’s the one who created this method.

future self journaling

She provides a free downloadable template and an elaborate description on her blog with examples! She is also the creator of Reparenting Journaling, which is a compliment to Future-Self but can be done on its own too.

My Experience with Future-Self Journaling

I was quite influenced by this Instagram famous psychologist, and became acquainted to her work in the summer of 2019.

Through the Future Self Journaling Practice, the first issue that I started working on was abandonment. As I progressed, I realized how different day-to-day actions and behaviours reflected my abandonment wounds. Another area that I was able to transform, was to start living more joyously and less seriously.

A few months down the line when she shared her reparenting guide, I added that to my morning routine and it really gave a boost to my inner child work.


#3 – MORNING PAGES

Why you should do it : great way to vent mindless thoughts; become more creative and free; discover inner blocks and learn to be honest with ourselves; finding solutions to problems through automatic writing;

Time it takes : 20 minutes or less, your wish

Recommended frequency : everyday, continued practice

Best time of day : morning if you want to vent and clear your head so that you can focus on your tasks; but evening works great too if you want to purge your emotions from the day and not take them to bed.

How to write Morning Pages Effectively

This technique is recommended by Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist’s Way.

The modern way to practice the pages is to use a digital diary. As in, if you’re too lazy or out-of-touch with the habit of writing by hand, keep a Word document on your laptop to spill your thoughts.

Digital morning pages

Whatever your choice of format, the intention is to be able to write our thoughts everyday, for about 3 pages (or less, your choice) without holding ourselves back.

Also, two rules apply – don’t go back and read it, and do NOT let anyone else read it either. You are doing this activity so that you can let these thoughts out of your mind, and process them into healthier thoughts.

At times, you may find yourself expressing gratitude to the things that have happened to you, or in contrast, start thinking about an old fight with a childhood friend that you never got closure on.

You may even start digging into your hidden desires and ambitions. Every and any thought is fine – you just have to persist through 3 pages to make sure your mind is cleared out largely.

My Experience with Morning Pages

I started in June 2019. The pages give me a newer sense of clarity to problems that I originally suppressed. But for me the biggest win, is that writing morning pages consistently for a few months helped me clear my writer’s block.

The blog started in 2018 and only had 4 or 5 posts. I closed 2019 with 43 blog posts. And at any given point of time, I’m ready with several weeks of content written in advance.

I can’t recommend this technique enough, especially if you’re a struggling writer!


#4 – UNSENT LOVE LETTERS

Why you should do it : healing your relationships by getting closure, letting go of resentment, working towards forgiveness and so forth

Time it takes : atleast 10-15 minutes

Recommended frequency : whenever you feel angry, resentful or bitter about somebody (including yourself), sometimes you might want to continue for a few days regularly writing towards one specific person

How to write unsent love letters effectively

When you reflect on some of the past arguments you’ve had with important people in your life, you may often feel like the problem wasn’t even worth fighting about. So many times, it’s just a difference of opinion. But in that moment, things got heated up anyway.

love letters, creative, emotions, hearts, pink, journaling, bullet journaling, craft, DIY

What if you could write a letter to yourself, on behalf of this important person? What would they say to you? Here’s an example.

“I know I hurt you when I said/did x-y-z. But my intention wasn’t as such. I only wanted to express my truth. I did this because at the time, it felt necessary and right for me.

I’m truly very sorry that you were effected so much by what happened between us. I wish well for you and want you to know that from one soul to another, I love you.”

Do you know how difficult it is to put ourselves in somebody else’s shoes when we’re mad at them?

I know, I know. You have your reasons. But forgiveness and compassion isn’t even necessary around people that don’t hurt us in the first place.

And we need to learn how to forgive people even if we don’t get an apology.

We need to learn how to forgive through the people that affect us the deepest. That’s where true healing lies for ourselves. So really, this has nothing to do about them. It’s about giving yourself the closure and peace of mind you deserve.

Once you’re done writing that latter, store it away for a day. And come back and read it again the next day, as though they really wrote it to you. Then check-in with yourself, how do you feel?

The objective isn’t to fix the relationship, but as a consequence if that happens, that’s great!

My experience with writing unsent love letters

Writing a letter to myself on someone’s behalf helps me hold space for both of our perspectives and feelings without judgement. And it encourages me to close the loop by forgiving and moving back into a space of loving kindness.


#5 – Inner Child Healing

Why you should do it : for self-awareness, strengthening your relationship with yourself, and deepening self-love

Time it takes : 10-15 minutes

Recommended frequency : a couple times a week, or as often as you feel inclined to connect with your inner child

How to do Inner Child Journaling Effectively

There are a variety of journaling methods and the one technique I believe works well when you’re just starting off, is to sit with one of your childhood pictures. Even better if you have personal belongings still stored, like favorite clothes, old games or that cute blanket from when you were 5.

As you spend a couple minutes getting into the energy of that memory, it becomes easier to talk to the younger version.

inner child, baby clothes, cute baby items, inner child healing, therapy, journaling for inner child

Ideally, you should try inner child journaling, as through you are still a child. Ask simple questions, and try answering them with simplicity.

I’ve been working closely with several adults to help them reconnect with their inner child. Over the span of a week filled with delicate exercises, you can start building that relationship too. You can read more about this digital workshop here.

My Experience with Inner Child Journaling

Very quickly, inner child healing became integral in my Spiritual growth. I had started with Past Life Regression and having understood the essence of self-hypnosis, I gradually uncovered many current life subconscious wounds.

Whether it was overcoming guilt for my health, or coming to terms with my abandonment issues, journaling helped me transform my relationship with myself.


#6 – Shadow Self Journaling

Why you should do it : to reevaluate your unconscious behaviors and patterns and admit difficult but critical truths about yourself, a complimenting modality to ‘light’ work.

Time it takes : actual journalling time can be a few minutes, but the introspection can run quite deep and stretch over days to come!

Recommended Frequency : once a week when you’re getting started, use in compliment to other lighter journaling techniques like gratitude writing

How to do Shadow Self Journaling Effectively

This introspection is recommended for people with a reasonable sense of self-esteem and the ability to critically self-evaluate without letting it bring themselves down. At a certain point in your healing, you will start feeling ready for this.

A great way to get into shadow self journaling, is to use prompts to provoke yourself into shadow work. I thoroughly enjoyed Jo Rowyn’s Instagram story prompts for several weeks, and later found her free download beneficial too. It set things into motion for me.

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Best practices for shadow work include

  • setting realistic expectations with yourself,
  • reminding yourself that nobody is perfect and that everyone has a shadow self.
  • be there by your own side to continually forgive yourself and say, “now that I know better, I’ll do better”.

It’s vital that this modality uplifts you, not put you down. And that’s only possible when you work on other areas of healing and build yourself up first.

If you’d like some more shadow journaling prompts, you can download them from the spiritual newsletter resources. This is exclusive for members only, so sign-up and grab your copy! 🙂

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My Experience with Shadow Work

My cheeks always flush when I’m confronted by my own shortcomings. The shadow self tends to hide, to play blame-games and when you corner the shadow, it can almost feel embarrassing.

But the truth is, only when you put light on the shadow, is when it stop being a shadow and can be transmuted. Shadow work has now become a deeper part of my journey, and I continue to peel off layers, like an onion!

Read More : Everything You Need to Know About Shadow Work


#7 – AWARENESS JOURNALING

Why you should do it : more present moment awareness, more joyous living, more conscious living and better sleep.

Time it takes : 10-20 minutes (depending on your dedication)

Recommended frequency : everyday, for a month or two, or until it becomes an ingrained habit to reflect and release your daily thoughts

How to do Awareness Journaling Effectively

I created this method because I wanted to heal myself one day at a time without carrying it forward anymore. I no longer wanted to sleep angry.

journaling for self-awareness, healing, inner work, growth, personal development, self-care, spiritual writing

At the end of your day, once again, in your pyjamas and snuggled up in bed, start reflecting on the following questions.

  • What significant events happened today that were out of the ordinary?
  • How did each event make me feel?
  • For negative events – how can I release the emotion so it doesn’t carry on to tomorrow?
  • What are any other thoughts, behaviors or patterns from the past that arise from today’s events, that I can now feel and heal?

There will atleast be 3 things that sparked happiness or some kind of emotional response in you. Allow yourself to replay it in your head, but this time evaluating it from your heart.

Is Awareness Journaling Effective?

I keep this last, because it’s like a sum of all the fore-mentioned techniques, and then some. I believe this is where some of the deepest sense of inner healing can happen, when you start working on a daily basis to clear the mental gunk.

Why does it work?

Well, when we sleep, a part of our sleep cycle called REM, Rapid Eye Movement helps us process the events of our day. We often wake up with strange dreams – most of the times, this is our mind stacking up the information from the past days.

As a side note, I do believe that dreams can reveal many wise secrets of the subconscious and super-conscious, but that’s a conversation for another time.

Anyway, as I was saying! It takes several days to fully integrate events into our system, that too only IF we get proper 8 hours of sleep. Otherwise, events may not even fully register into our memory! Nervous? I know. Personally, I don’t get enough sleep either.

Girl, Sleep, Female, Woman, Young

Plus, we are so checked-out all the time, we are rarely in the present moment. Infact, sometimes, notice how people say “I’ll sleep on it”?

It’s as if we know, that we aren’t able to process our thoughts properly in wake-state, and thus we leave it to the subconscious to handle after we’ve put the conscious to sleep.

I believe that there’s a way to reduce the aforementioned gap between what happens in life and how long we take to actually process it, to a large extent, by just being able to spend a couple minutes consciously processing our life.

You might not be very ‘in the moment’ around the clock, but you can still sum up your day’s events, by being tuned in, at the end of every day, with the simple act of writing the highlights of your emotions, in a journal.

Concluding Thoughts

I recommend trying all the techniques and really experimenting in this area of self-healing before deciding whether or not you pursuing journaling as a regular healing modality.

No healing is linear, neither is it instantly gratifying. So, sincerely try one technique for atleast a week, and see how it makes you feel.

If you feel the motivation to keep going on day 8, you’ll know it’s worth pursuing. But before the 8th day? Just plug away and put in the work, without judgement or opinion!

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7 Journaling Ideas for Self-Healing with 30 Journaling Prompts