Keeping notes in a journal has been a vital way to integrate psychedelic experiences into our everyday lives. It has also proven to be an effective way to realign our lives amidst all the chaos brought about by the digital world. 

With everything happening online nowadays, the best way to start a new chapter in life may be to put the phone down, pick up a pen, and start journaling for a happier and healthier tomorrow.

Wakeful Travel is a start-up that is a few thousand dollars away from reaching its Kickstarter fundraising goal to create the first group of psychedelic integration and travel journals with guided prompts to help thoughts and feelings flow from the mind to a page.

“When I first started working with plant medicine, I stared at a blank notebook for so long,” founder Jenalle Dion told Psychedelic Spotlight. “Because I wanted something to prompt me and ask me questions. And I think that the questions are really what help you tune into that wisdom that you already have within you.”

Journaling is not just for psychedelic explorers.

Dion believes this is an effective way to unplug the current day-to-day technology to reconnect with yourself.

“We are constantly on our phones. We are addicted as a society,” Dion mentions. “We’re on our phones to work, we’re on our phones to socialize, we’re on our phones to do our banking, and to date. Screen time is all of the time, and we’re overwhelmed by notifications.”

The hit Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma has brought to light this very concern. The documentary highlighted Silicon Valley insiders raising concern about the harmful effects social media has on our society. It has also brought into light the many questionable tactics employed by the biggest corporations to trap users into these social platforms while influencing and manipulating their behavior.

A study made by the Addiction Center showed that almost 5-10% of the entire American population fit the benchmark for social media addiction. This addiction has been defined as “being overly concerned about social media, driven by an uncontrollable urge to log on to or use social media, and devoting so much time and effort to social media that it impairs other important life areas.”

The Impact of Social Media

Even though video-based platforms such as Tiktok, Snapchat, and Twitch are now dominating the whole space that Facebook and Twitter once ruled, social media is still the 21st-century version of journaling, whether typed or recorded on a video. However, this model is not perfect – your thoughts and feelings will be judged, and it may cost you more than your followers.

In the 15 years since Twitter’s inception in 2006, we’ve collectively witnessed countless relationships, reputations, and careers burn to the ground due to carelessly shared thoughts and feelings on the platform. This reactionary domino effect has been dubbed “cancel culture,” It has become a rallying cry for pundits, politicians, and celebrities who believe they are unfairly held accountable for simply expressing ideas that others do not agree with.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution may prohibit congress from enacting laws restricting the freedom of speech of its citizens and the press. Still, it does not shield individuals from the personal judgment of others. And because communication is faster than ever, those judgmental opinions spread faster and furiously than ever before. Although public outrage is not new, the channels through which we express it are. And they’re all at our disposal, round the clock tempting us to interact. 

This may be the best time to go old school with your deepest thoughts and write them down in a safe place to be read only by you. After all, venting can be very healthy and beneficial in dealing with difficult situations. 

“Honestly, I started journaling when my parents divorced,” Dion says. “That’s how I would process my emotions.”

You can debate all you want on the internet, but you’ll never find that peace of mind you would need to get through conflict. Real work for personal growth is done internally. Dion joined an ayahuasca ceremony with the intent to heal some of her childhood wounds. There she discovered the capacity journaling has to empower that internal work.

“Things just started pouring out of me, and the emotions were being released differently. It was like I didn’t need to suffer in my body, and I could process these things on paper,” she explained. “As I continued to write, the heaviness started to lift, and then I started getting downloads of my childhood, and my family, where I could forgive, and where I could let go of anger.”

That was a “pivotal moment” in her healing journey, she says. “Journaling is a medicine in itself, and pairing it with ayahuasca, or whatever medicine you choose, was very powerful for me. Because when we use these tools, we go on a deeper integration journey. We make it a commitment to ourselves to actually change, instead of ‘rushing our healing,’ trying to sit in a ceremony every single weekend, without taking the space to really reflect and go inward.”

How Journaling Changes Your View

Journaling has also altered her link with social media and has mentioned that if she did not have a business, she would no longer be on it.

“It’s almost like once I started doing the internal work, I didn’t need to be so loud externally on those platforms,” she explains. “There’s a lot of preaching going on on the internet, and now, for me, it’s easy to see who is really looking at their shadow side and devoting themselves to being of service and who might not be.”

Dion also points out that anything we place on social media is not fully under our ownership. So given that these platforms store enormous amounts of data, there would be instances that the platform would lag and even seize up. She recalled losing a treasured inventory of beautifully edited photos and those she will never return. So with journaling, there is no big risk of losing everything.

“I mean, I guess you can forget your journal somewhere,” she explains. “But there’s a page at the beginning of the Wakeful Travel Journals where you can write down all your information. You can have an address there in case the journal gets lost, and I also encourage people to take photos of the journal often so that you have a backup.”