Ep: 143 Get REAL with Yourself Using the Loving Ritual of Journaling

When you get real with someone, what does that look like?

Telling the truth.

Telling the WHOLE truth.

Being open & vulnerable with what you are going through, sharing your feelings and desires.

Listening to the other’s advice and counsel because you are reaching out for some help.

If a good friend was getting real with you, you probably see yourself being a good listener.

Trying to understand exactly what they’re saying, how they’re feeling and discovering what they need.

You’ll probably add words of encouragement, trying anything that you can to help them feel better and to feel like they can do whatever it is that they are wanting to do.

People who care about each other, recognize when the other is hurting.

People who care about each other, allow them into their story and want to know their story too.

People who care about each other, take care of what each other needs.

People who care about each other, want to see each other succeed and are willing to help them get there.

That’s what REAL connection looks like.

That’s what we all need.

Human beings need each other.

Dependence on each other was a necessity for our survival in more primitive times.

Human infants are dependent on someone else longer than any other species.

Human connection lowers anxiety and depression, helps us to regulate our emotions, leads to higher self-esteem and empathy and actually improves our immunity.

Connection with others is not only a nice thing, but also a necessary thing and no matter how much independence we gain, the fact remains that we are wired for connection.  It is at the core of being human.

All of this is true.

We need others to feel connection in this world.

We all have the basic needs of feeling loveable, that we belong, that we’re capable and that we are safe.


We live in a society of very disconnected people.

Even those we love the most are busy and unavailable much of the time.

That’s why a connection to SELF is important too.

Finding connection within your SELF can provide someone that loves you, sees you for who you truly are and what you’re striving to become, knows your strengths and weaknesses and accepts you exactly as you are IF you have created that kind of relationship with yourself.

That’s why today, I’m sharing a very valuable tool to take care of your needs.  To connect to YOU.  To get REAL with yourself.

Today, I am going to teach you the valuable tool of Getting REAL with Yourself:

And I will teach you to do this using the loving ritual of Journaling.

I believe that Journaling is the most important self-care technique available to us.

It’s totally free which makes it accessible to everyone.

All you need is a piece of paper and a pen or pencil.

I have been journaling for somewhere close to 15 years now.

I journal daily but that’s not how I started.

I tried to do it a few times each week back then for about 15 minutes each time.

Now I usually journal 6 days a week for about 45 minutes each day.

It’s been a slow progression but it’s something that absolutely strengthens my mental and emotional health.

When I certified as a coach with Dr. Matt Townsend, I learned one of his tools he uses with couples.  It’s called Get REAL.

I recognized right away that this was a tool that I could apply in my journaling and began teaching it to my clients and students as soon as I could.

I want to share this tool with you today and hope that it helps you to create a deeper connection with yourself so that you can become the person you can get REAL with anytime you need it.

Today, I will be teaching you how to get REAL with yourself in your journal.

The first question I get asked when I teaching Get REAL in your journal is, how do I know when to do it?  So, I figured I’d start with that.

You’ll know it’s time to get REAL with yourself in your journal when your Vital Signs begin to change.

Vital signs are your emotions, how much you feel understood, and the amount of trust you feel.

When your vital signs get unstable, if your negative emotions are going up, your understanding is going down and trust is leaving, it’s time to get REAL.

Get REAL is a process that leads to true understanding and connection by getting past the stuff that gets in the way of what we really want to say and getting to the real, or the deeper issues.  All the stuff that immediately gets in the way of connection we’ll call the smoke.  The deeper issues are called the fire, and that’s where the things that need to be taken care of live.

-There is a quicker path to finding a resolution where connection can take place than trying to address, or fix, all the smoke.  The smoke is just clouding up the real issues.

-This is the best way to get to the heart of any issue. 

-AND, It’s a system of safe communication.

Remember, when emotions become unstable, turn negative, and go up, our understanding and trust go down.

Like I said, this tool of communication can be used with another person too. 

Today we’re using it to create a better connection with ourselves, and we’re going to do it in our journal.

There are 4 steps in Get REAL:

The first step of Get REAL is to RECOGNIZE THE EMOTION.

-Name the emotion as close as you can.

-When you choose the closest description of the emotion you are feeling, you can begin to understand it better.

I have a chart that you can download to give you lots of emotion words to choose from.  You can get that at hunkeedori.com/EmotionsList  There’s a link to it in the show notes.

-When you recognize an emotion, you show that you have acknowledged the emotion and that creates connection.  We all want to feel understood, right.  That includes understanding ourselves.

-Choose your words carefully and chose ones that don’t show judgement (like ‘hyper’ or ‘out of control’)

-State the emotion, either to yourself or by writing it down.

This is when JOURNALING starts.

When you go through this process, writing it down can actually help you to move through it better.

When we try to think our way through things like this, we usually get stuck in rumination, which is running the same thought over and over in our heads without coming to any conclusion.

Usually, it builds the emotion instead of addressing it so it can calm down.

I teach women the free flow of thoughts type of journaling.

This is different than keeping a journal, which is recording events etc.

When you free flow journal, you just let whatever is in your thoughts, spill out onto the paper.

I don’t even worry about proper punctuation or capital letters or hyphenating words in the right place, (don’t tell my 5th grade teacher!) that just slows you down.  Just let it all come out.

It may not feel natural at first, but it will the more you do it.

Start by setting a timer for 10-15 minutes and see what comes out onto the pages.

For our purposes here in using Get REAL and step one, which is Recognizing the Emotion, I’d suggest starting by writing down how you’re feeling and try to narrow it down to the exact emotion you are feeling, or as close as you can.  There may be more than one and that’s ok too. 

Journaling can really help you to do this. 

Writing down one emotion may allow you to see that it’s not what you’re really feeling. 

Keep trying different emotions until you come to the one that feels right, or as close as you can.

Use the emotions list I made for you to help you with this.

When you’ve recognized the emotion, state it.  Write it down.

For example:

I feel disrespected.

I am feeling so discouraged right now.

I feel so angry!

This actually moves you out of a fight/flight response because it allows you to feel safe. 

You have been acknowledged for what you are feeling. 

A little of the smoke begins to clear automatically, just by being acknowledged for what you are feeling.  Isn’t that cool!


You begin to invite more understanding at this point when you take time to learn more about why you are feeling what you are feeling.  Try to invite yourself to share more about it.

Such as:

I can tell that you feel upset. 

Fill me in. 

Tell me more.

This is the conversation that will be going on in your journal, just like you’d share with someone else.

As you begin journaling, you’ll notice that it usually starts by sharing the surface stuff, or the smoke.

As you listen to what you are explaining in your journal and making sure you are explaining it in a way that feels true to you, you can start to discover what is at the heart of the matter.  This helps you get down to the fire. 

Don’t rush this part!

You get to let it all out and there’s no one there to judge you.  Don’t judge yourself either!  Don’t judge the thoughts that are coming and stop them from being written.

This is between you and you!  If stuff comes out that you don’t want anyone else to know, get rid of it.  Shred it.  Burn it.  Whatever.  Just let it all out.

I like using a very cheap notebook for my journal because:

#1: I’m not afraid of using up all the pages in one of my “good” notebooks and…

#2: because I can throw it away, shred it, burn it, if I want to keep everything in there private. 

That’s how good journaling works.  You let out all of the things that you’d probably never say out loud to anyone, and if you did, you’d probably feel a little regret. 

Your journal is a safe place to say what you want to say, explore what you wrote and decide if it’s what you really feel.

One you’ve word vomited all over the pages of your journal, and really explored the story, it’s time for the next step.


Now it’s time to evaluate what it is that you really need in this situation.

Journaling can bring up lots of emotions.

It can bring up lots of negativity that normally gets held in and builds up pressure until you finally blow up!  That’s why letting it all out in this safe way is so powerful. 

But don’t leave it there.

Now is the time when you get to take care of YOU.

YOU get to see where your needs are and how you can attend to what you truly need.

When you attend to something or to someone you:

pay attention to, focus on, and are present.

This is what CONNECTION looks like.

This is how you connect to your SELF!

Attending to your needs simply means focusing on the things that are most important to you, and the things you are really feeling emotional about.

This is not the smoke. 

This is the deep stuff. 

The fire.

This is where Self-Compassion is really powerful.

Show up for yourself like you would when listening to a good friend.

Would you judge what your friend was sharing with you?

Would you cut her off before she finished her thought?

Would you tell her that she’s ridiculous for feeling this way?

Attend to your SELF in the same, self-compassionate way.

When you show up with compassion, energy comes to know what to do with the situation.

You begin to show up for yourself as a loving, trusted friend would.

This is a beautiful experience when you allow it to happen.

This is how I’ve gotten to know myself better.

I see all of my feelings, most of which I wouldn’t share with many people, and then help myself to feel loved, safe, and understood.  I answer her in kind and compassionate ways.  I help her to see that she belongs here.  She is not crazy for feeling what she does.  I can see all sides of the story because I am right in there with her. 

This may sound like a bunch of mumbo jumbo, but it’s anything but.

This really works.

Once you give it a good try, and that doesn’t mean one try every few months, but a really solid try, daily, you’ll see how it really does all the things I’m telling you it does.

Attend to this friend and help her see where she may not be seeing it correctly or where she doesn’t really believe what she thought she did and also, where she chooses what she wants to believe now.


The compassion you gave yourself will help you to finish off strong with this final step.

Find the things in what you have explored that you can agree with, accept, acknowledge, admit, apologize for, appreciate or affirm.

Begin LIFTING your SELF with all of those ‘A’ words.

Agree: Find the things you do agree with and focus on those

Accept: You may have a different point of view than others do.  Choose to accept that if that’s what you decided to do when you explored your story.

Acknowledge: Your right to share & your desire to understand.

Admit: That you don’t or didn’t understand or that you may have been wrong.

Apologize: When you have offended someone, and that includes apologizing to yourself when you haven’t treated yourself as you deserve to be treated.

Appreciate: Express sincere appreciation that you dared to share information with yourself that wasn’t comfortable.

Affirm: Listen for your needs and feed with positive comments and actions.

Aspire: to strengthen your relationship with yourself rather than trying to be right.

Don’t LOWER the conversation by blaming, comparing, complaining, criticizing, ignoring the hard things, judging, or justifying.

You can do all of this in your journaling.

Take the time you need.

Make time to go through the whole process.

I have come to learn that Journaling is my #1 self-care practice. Nothing takes care of me more than this except for my spiritual practice.

I journal first thing every morning because I believe my mind is open and not overwhelmed with the busyness of the day.  I’ve tried different times during the past 15 years, and you’ll find the time that works best for you too.

Any time you feel your Vital Signs get unstable, sit down with your journal and Get REAL.

If you can’t do it right then, decide on a time that you will be able to do it and keep that commitment to yourself.

One last thing:

Even if you don’t get the steps 100% right, getting the spirit of it right can also do a lot of good with your connection with yourself.

Spirit of inviting, understanding, compassion, and building take place within each of the steps I shared with you today.

Invite yourself to share your emotions.

Use Understanding as you share your story.

As you Attend to your needs, have the spirit of compassion with you.

And when you begin to lift, create a spirit of building to feel the possibility of change.

If the spirit of each of these steps is engaged, it will help you to take the next step.

Teaching people to journal is at the core of my coaching method and I would love to help you too.  If you struggle with rumination, judging yourself, and being your own worst enemy, I believe journaling can help you to change that.  I’d love to help you with this.  Register for a free 15-minute session with me and I’ll help you get started.  Go to hunkeedori.com/minimentor to choose a time that works best for you.

Until next week, thanks for joining me here today and remember:

I see you.  I understand how hard you’re trying, and I’d like to help however I can.Have a wonderful day and I’ll see you back here next week

Sign up for a Free 15-minute to work with me: https://hunkeedori.com/MiniMentor

Emotions List: https://hunkeedori.com/EmotionsList

Register for the 4 Tips to Improve Any Relationship Workshop: https://hunkeedori.com/4Tips

Tip Tuesday Video Link: https://youtu.be/S0I_BMQhcKE

Camp Connection Mini-Course: https://hunkeedori.com/camp

Join the Keeping it Together Community: www.hunkeedori.com/community

Ep: 143 Get REAL with Yourself Using the Loving Ritual of Journaling
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