Trusting the world with my words has certainly been a leap of faith. Even though I continue to receive positive feedback from blogging, I still find myself worrying about the receptivity of my audience. When I need to get something off my chest and I am not yet courageous enough to blog about it, I journal. Journaling is a recommendation that I make to almost every client I consult with; it is the safest and most private way to express our inner most experience.

Emotional blockages can interrupt personal progress toward achieving our potential. Those blockages include embedded thought patterns, ingrained behavioral routines, and feelings that have been repeated so many times they are automatic. The similarities in all of these are the repetition, which makes them very difficult to change.

It almost goes without saying that the best way to challenge patterns is to process them with another person who can provide an alternative perspective and reality testing. Unfortunately, there are many situations where we may not be prepared to share our issues publically. Depending on the concern, we may not even recognize it as a blockage to our success. Other times we just aren't ready to share with another person our deepest cognitive, emotional, and behavioral patterns.

In those situations, when we are troubled, we still need to have an opportunity to express ourselves; journaling can be very effective when we are not ready to share. Expression through writing can help us to sort through our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors so they seem less confusing and overwhelming. Catharsis can be therapeutic in that it can prepare us to share with another person. Getting some difficulties off our chest can grease the wheels and help us define our concerns.

Everyone's journaling practice looks different. Some like to journal electronically, others prefer pen and paper. Some of us like to make journaling a routine practice and set a schedule, others like to write when we reach our stress threshold. Some of my clients find it helpful to journal and then share their experience by reading from their journal. Some of us start our entries with the date, some write "Dear Journal....," still others use extra space to create artistic expression in their journal.

The product doesn't matter nearly as much as the process. When in doubt just put something down and then review later. Even though it will be your experience without another's perspective, journaling can still produce emotional progression. The vast majority of clients and myself included, find journaling to be stabilizing and productive. Give it a try and see which challenges this powerful tool can assist you through.