Making journaling come alive


The reality is that all our lives are full of journaling moments but because a large percentage of us not intentionally journaling, we miss and soon forget these moments. In the Old Testament, the Israelites had a unique way of journaling as the land they travelled became their living canvas. After every major event, they used a pile of stones as a visual memorial. In most cases, each stone represented one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

When the first democratically elected president of South Africa, Mr Nelson Mandela, visited Robin Island as a free man with other fellow prisoners, he picked up a stone in front of the stone quarry and placed it down and other fellow prisoners followed suit. So today, visitors to the island are able to see this pile of stones that silently speaks about the history of fellow political prisoners.


Journaling helps captivate those life-defining moments that one experiences on a regular basis. I find that each day is full of moments that need to be recorded, lest we forget how crucial and life-changing these experiences were in our decisions. It also helps in streamlining our thought processes as we are forced to write them down. I have found journaling to be a free stress reliever as it draws me to a quiet spot to think more critically. There are brilliant tools to enable us to celebrate major milestones in our lives.


I have found that writing in a book has been helpful to me and I have hundreds of books that I have filled with various thoughts. Our modern-day gadgets are brilliant places to journal as they provide us with applications to capture some of our thoughts. Other people prefer using powerful images or photographs that tell their story and one has to visit the Apartheid Museum to see the story of South Africa. Other people are known to record their journals by speaking into a voice recorder and filing them on their computer.


There are a number of things that one can incorporate into journaling to make it more exciting depending on the person’s tastes. Here is a number of ideas that could be easily be used:

1. Songs
Lyrics of a good song that speaks to the situation can be used.

2. Poetry
The flowery language of poetry captures things in a powerful manner

Specific pictures or images can also be incorporated as pictures speak louder than words

4. Inspiring quotes
There are millions of quotes that speak into different circumstances and one can add this to one’s journal.

Make this a year where you capture your journaling moments.

Tony Nzanzah
SU General Director

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