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Life's Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Practice
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Life's Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Practice

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  389 ratings  ·  34 reviews
In this classic book you will discover the intimate journey of personal and spiritual development that is possible through the practice of journal writing. In Life’s Companion, acclaimed author Christina Baldwin offers readers guidance and inspiration to this powerful way of expanding our inner horizons and opening our minds and spirits to a deeper relationship with the wo ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published December 1st 1990 by Bantam (first published January 1st 1990)
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Tenisha I have both copies and I havent compared them 100% word for word, but from the pages I have looked over in the first couple chapters the content was e…moreI have both copies and I havent compared them 100% word for word, but from the pages I have looked over in the first couple chapters the content was exactly the same. I *think* the cover was changed (with the tagline about spirituality removed) to make it appeal to a wider audience. (less)

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Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I own this book and read it circa 1998. Beautifully written and inspiring little meditations on writing from a personal, spiritually authentic perception. On a list to re-read and journal along with it again when I get the chance to see where I'm at on the journey. ...more
May 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
I have always been a dedicated--well, compulsive--journal keeper, so I thought this book would be a natural for me. It was. In fact, I was so impressed by this collection of suggestions, quotations, sacred meditations, etc., in the library copy I checked out, that I had to run out and buy my own copy of the book, and send one to my daughter as well.
This is more than just a guide to finding more personal spirituality through regular personal journal entries. It is a guided quest for self-discov
Jun 25, 2014 rated it liked it
I skimmed over this book more than I read it page to page, but I will surely come back to it every once in a while in the future.
The layout is very original - on the right you have the ongoing text and on the left there are quotes, examples of journal entries and questions you can ask yourself in your own journal. Some might find this confusing, but I found it very enjoyable. Some of the chapters were great and of use to me - for example the chapter on "Finding your people" and "The guidance of
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays
Author Christina Baldwin says in her introduction that “The spiritual journey is what the soul is up to while we attend to daily living.” In this fast-paced McWorld, daily living tends to take precedence over spiritual reflection. In fact, it almost seems a guilty pleasure to read a quiet, thoughtful book about how to get in touch with one’s spiritual life; to peel down the layers and really ponder choices, goals, and fantasies. But this is exactly what this book does in an elegant, thoughtful w ...more
By far the best journalling book I have encountered, with meaningful prompts that go beyond the typical domains of journal-writing from thoughts/feelings/emotions/behaviours to explore the connected self, both inner and outer connectedness. Also interspersed are inspirational quotes and short narratives, making it impossible not to want to explore the spiritual self.
Sep 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is the type of book that makes me rub my hands together in anticipation. The format of experiential exercises and quotes on one side and a textual discussion on the other throughout the book is inviting. There is a juxtaposition of theory in the discussion and expression opportunity in the activities that I find an engaging way to learn. The mandala art throughout the book made me choose an unlined book so that I could make my own drawings.

The author's sharing of her intra-personal developm
Rena Jane
Nov 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book for anyone who enjoys journaling, and/or is at a point in their life where they want to do some introspective thinking, planning or exploration. Something I think we all should do from time to time.

The format was a little daunting at first with ideas for journaling and poems and aphorisms on each verso page, and continuing of the book on the verso. Still, I would highly recommend it to anyone wishing to take a little journey into themselves, and looking for a tool to ai
Apr 10, 2011 added it
Shelves: memoir-writing
I have reviewed this book as a reference for my thesis. I would highly recommend using the book to accomplish a sacred spiritual journey. This book is not so much to the shaping of a memoir but for the use of keeping a journal and discovering meaning in one's own writing. I am looking forward to putting into practice many of the suggestions in this text. ...more
Josephine Ensign
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
An excellent and still relevant guide to journal writing. I especially love how she set up the book with the right-hand pages being a continuous narrative, and the left-hand pages being a series of exercises, questions, and writing techniques. I liked this (academic library) book so much I bought the 'actual' book to keep in my home library. ...more
Sep 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I really like this book, if you need help getting started or unstuck in writing a journal, art journal or blog, this book could be most helpful. If you have a story to be told and don't know how to get it onto paper, this book just might help you get it there. ...more
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review
All journal writers will find something about this book to love. New journal writers will appreciate the prompts to help them write their thoughts and motivations. I carried this one around with me for a couple of months.
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020
This was a great book. I had no idea it was going to be exactly what I was looking for. I have been trying to recapture the “flame” of journal writing - and writing in general - and in the struggle. I was so struggling that I was thinking about 1) how to recultivate my love relationship and 2) that others meed the same guidebook.

I give it four stars, not because it’s not worth rereading, in fact I am sure I will reread parts of it as time goes by. I can give it only four stars because I will pro
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have been doing "morning pages" daily since I read Julia Cameron's book: "The Artist's Way". I wanted to inspire the "creative" part of me. This book helped me to expand on this idea with guidance and journal prompts and real examples from anonymous journal writers' pages, Ms. Baldwin leads her readers to "experience" journal writing. I don't feel like a journal writer (or any kind of writer). I don't really like to re-read my pages so I only save them for a short time. However, I do find that ...more
Joanne Mcleod
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book has been a real part of my transformation during this very history making time of the global pandemic. Christina Baldwin’s words have spoken to not only my mind, but also my heart and soul. I now fully see the power and influence of stories and the written word. I wish to use that power, and put the hope for a better world for all, into action through my writings. Writing with the power and transformation ability of a pandemic. The hope of not ever returning to the old ‘normal’, but wo ...more
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-books
I loved this book—tremendous resource. I did NOT like the formatting, which is why I took off a star. Having to read the primary text on the right hand pages only and the supporting text/prompts/examples on the left hand side, felt like it was going to break my brain and took a LOT of getting used to. Once I developed a system for reading it in that odd formatting, it was okay, but if it hadn’t been such a compelling and interesting book I would have abandoned it after the first two chapters wit ...more
Dec 03, 2008 marked it as abandoned
Shelves: 2009
This is, primarily, a book for someone who does not have a journal practice. for those who already write in a journal or diary on a regular basis, some of the exercises and suggestions for carving out time to write are unnecessary.

There are sections discussing topics, which are interesting and helpful.

One of the difficulties I had in reading this book is that the book has two different books going at the same time. One narrative is on the right pages and the other is on the left. I started readi
This book had a lot to say that I was ready to hear and some things that just didn’t resonate. I’m fine with that. :) I original picked this up maybe 20 years ago because of the lovely cover by Susan Seddon Boulet, and because I had a vague idea of regularly journaling. I’m still not much of a journal writer - I have a bullet journal instead. I enjoyed the layout which had text on the right hand pages and exercises and quotations on the left hand pages. It was hard at first to switch back and fo ...more
Mar 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: creative-writing
This book is an example that sometimes you are not ready to read a book. I started reading this book 16 years ago when I was in my early twenties. I struggled with it and finally gave up for over a decade. A few years ago I picked it up again for a second attempt, still could not finish it. But today I did and it resonated with me for the first time. Now I'm ready to pick out a personal journal and follow the journaling practices in the book. The book has a lot of new age elements but even a rat ...more
M. Jane Colette
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
OK, here’s the thing. I hate journaling. I am not spiritual. I am all wet from this book. So… like, I think you should read it. It clearly entered my life at just the right time. So... read this book. Grab a pen, notebook and start to journal.

I'm giving it four stars instead of five because of formatting: the book is designed so that the right pages are the continuing narrative and the left pages are exercises / meditations etc -- and I can see why that seemed a good idea... but it's not, it mak
Karen Okamoto
Aug 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: july
Christina Baldwin has written journals since she was 12 years old. During her journal writing she learned to reach deeply within herself, as well as extending herself outward in journeys that helped her develop herself more completely spiritually and emotionally and in numerous other ways as well.
The book also gives excerpts from other journals as well; famous people, and ordinary individuals, ....each with a story to tell, and emotions and feelings to explore.

Very thought provoking.
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: journaling
This book is the best book I've read on spiritual journeying. The divided page format worked well for me as I would read all the right-side chapter story pages first, and then go back and read the left page exercises and quotes. Christina Baldwin is a leader in the journaling for yourself category and this book is clearly one of the standards. I bought this book first in the nineties and have gone back and reread chapters over and over. ...more
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book to get one back on track re: journal writing. I have read this book at least four times, probably more like six and each time I find something new to learn and do. This is an excellent book for those who want to improve their awareness of their spiritual journey, the one that parallels the physical journeying we are doing everyday of our lives.
Melissa Miller
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It does take some getting used to, as it is arranged with notes/journal entries/prompts on the left and the text on the right. I highly recommend this book, if you keep a journal or want to expand your journal keeping to include spirituality.
Moyne Crossroads
Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: beginning journalers, personal coaches, psychotherapists
I highly recommend this book to those new to the process of journaling. I read the 1990 version, and at the risk of sounding overly dramatic, this book helped re-orient myself in the world. The exercises, combined with Baldwin's purposeful guidance, make for a rich and rewarding experience. ...more
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love the innovative approach to the volume--and was just what I needed right (write?!) now; & she's a resource person right in my own back yard. So lucky to have happened upon this one randomly...
Will refer back to it often, I think. Thank you, Christina!
Debbie Hoskins
This is still on my favorite, wonderful books bookshelf. I was doing a SARK review and it came to mind. Unlike SARK, this is not "dated." I would highly recommend this if you are into creativity as a Spiritual Quest, like the title says. ...more
Aug 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
just when i thought i knew all there was to journal about! fresh ideas, honoring insights and yummy questions to stimulate anyone's journaling practice. ...more
This is an awesome book. I am on a new spiritual journey and this book helps me put my experience down in words and helps me watch myself grow
Nov 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
I haven't done any of the journaling exercises yet, but this was a really interesting and thoughtful read. ...more
Aug 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Definitely a writting tool for thinking outside the box and gaining spiritual maturity and enlightenment.
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