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67: What to Journal About When You Don’t Know Where to Start

Journaling can be a really beautiful tool on your path towards self-ownership and empowerment. However, it can be a little intimidating if you don’t know where to start. In this week’s episode of Breathe In, Breathe Out, I discuss how to journal and what to journal about for those who are new to the practice. 


Think meditation is hard. Do me a favor, take a slow, deep breath in, and now breathe out. Congratulations, you just meditated. Hi, I’m Krystal Jacosky, and this is Breathe In. Breathe out a weekly mindfulness and meditation podcast for anyone ready to own their own shit and find a little peaceful while doing it.  

Krystal Jakosky:   Welcome back to Breathe In, Breathe Out. I’m Krystal Jacosky and I’m really excited to share this week’s episode with you. I first met Kevin Pinnell when I was a guest on his podcast, which is Award A Better Life. It was such a delightful experience. We had so many things in common that I really wanted to bring him on my podcast so that we could talk about the indigenous people. Kevin began his journey with the indigenous people of North America in the early nineties. He met Ken two feathers early on in that journey, and Ken Two Feathers became more than Kevin’s teacher. They had a wonderful friendship. And 10 years into that friendship, Kevin wrote the book, Two Feathers, Spiritual Seed Planter as Kevin Laughing Hawk, which addressed two feathers life and Native American spirituality. There is so much more to his experience and his life. This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. We’re going to talk about some of the keynotes of Kevin’s experience. I really hope that you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed having him on my podcast. Hello, and welcome back to Breathe In, Breathe Out. I’m Krystal Jakosky, your host, and I am so excited to have Kevin on our show today. Kevin Cannell, welcome.  

Kevin Pennell:    Thank you. Great to be here. This is awesome. I’ve switched roles for a change. I’m not a host. I’m actually a guest. 

Krystal Jakosky:    Oh, isn’t that fun? When you get to switch it up a little bit. Kevin and I have actually been recording right now because whenever we have the opportunity to chat, Kevin and I go off on so many different tangents and so many different realms, and it’s because we are both interested in so many different things. We are always looking for something new to learn or something new to teach, which means that we have a plethora of things that we can talk about and go down rabbit hole after rabbit hole after rabbit hole. So we’re going to make an effort to keep this a little shorter, meaning not four hours long, because we could talk for hours.

Kevin Pennell:    We’re going to try to focus.  

Krystal Jakosky:    We’re going to give it the college try, you know, the good college. Not the one where you smoke pot for the first four years and then decide to do college. We’re going to actually try to focus. Welcome to my world today. Kevin, tell us a little bit about yourself, who you are and what brought you to my podcast studio.  

Kevin Pennell:    Oh my goodness. Well, if you got about two or three hours, hang in there. It’s just actually been about a year ago that I decided, I’m going to try doing a podcast because for 35 years off and on, I was in broadcast journalism and radio. So I just have a lot of fun with it. And I published a book, worked on a couple of other books, and did some magazine articles. I love to write, but for whatever reason, the publisher just wasn’t impressed. Okay, this is great, but you’re not going to publish it. It’s good stuff, but we’re not going to publish it. And I’m going, Yeah, fine, whatever. And I realized part of writing is you have to be able to accept a little two letter word called no.  

Oh, that’s standard procedure. And I just, in one of those moments, I said, you know, I did broadcast journalism and I did human interest stories for years. I really enjoy doing that, just listening and talking with people about their lives. And literally, I think it was like 3:30 or 4:30 in the morning. That tends to be what I call my spirit time. Some of the most significant little truths that I’ve ever had. The title for the book that I wrote came to me in the middle of the night. And when I wrote that book, I wrote it from five o’clock in the morning until 6:30 every day until I got done with it. But that’s my spirit time. This time it came through as you need to do a podcast called Toward a Better Life.  

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Think meditation is hard? Do me a favor, take a slow deep breath in and now breathe out. Congratulations, you just meditated. Hi, I’m Krystal Jakosky, and this is Breathe In, Breathe Out: a Weekly Mindfulness and Meditation podcast for anyone ready to own their own shit and find a little peace while doing it.

Welcome back to Breathe In, Breathe Out. I’m Krystal Jakosky and I have a confession for you this week. I’m not great at journaling. I mean, I didn’t use to be great at journaling and now I’m okay at journaling and yeah, I don’t even call it journaling. I call it musing and I call it musing because quite frankly, the word journaling terrifies me. It makes me wanna run the other way. And ain’t nobody got time for that. I am not going to journal because of my own personal experiences in life. 

We all have those experiences that make us kind of shy away from different words or phrases or descriptions and whatnot. And so mine, my grandmother kept a journal almost every day of her life. And we were taught that we were supposed to journal for posterity. And so I had a lofty thing that I had to live up to, you know, a grandma every day. And then I had this weight pushed down on me that my posterity was gonna read it, which meant that somebody was gonna read everything that I wrote, which –  that in and of itself was terrifying. And then it was, well, what are those people really gonna wanna listen to or talk, read about? What do I have to say that is going to be of any kind of importance in a hundred years? And really honestly, I don’t think there’s much that people are gonna be, you know, at the time I’m a teenager that doesn’t, so it was really hard for me and I would journal for a week or two and I’d be really good and I’d be so proud of myself because I would journal every single day. And then I would go two years and not write a single word. And then I would journal for a couple of days again. 

So I’ve had this on-again, off-again, relationship with journaling. And I will tell you that I found journaling was a huge gift and a healing process for me in my teenage years because I was going through a lot of stressful, difficult things we all are when we’re in our teenage years. That’s just the way it is. We have a lot of hormonal changes and life changes and friendships and everything is just huge. And I found as a teenager, that journaling really helped me process the challenges that I was going through. It really helped me get all of those emotions and all that upset and frustration out of my heart and onto those pages. And for a while, I actually journaled as though I was writing to an old friend, it felt so much better to write having somebody like a pen pal. My journal was my pen pal, and I would, I was pretty raw and uncensored <laugh> in my journal, but then somebody found it and somebody read it.  

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Breathe In, Breathe Out is a weekly mindfulness and meditation podcast hosted by yours truly, Krystal Jakosky. Each week, we’ll release a brand new lesson or meditation focused on helping you navigate your life by giving YOU the tools to become your own healer.

Breathe In, Breathe Out is available now – wherever you get your podcasts.