Health and wellness are important parts of my life. It's something I feel really passionate about in myself and others. I take time to invest in myself in this way often. Journaling has played a part of my health and wellness routine for a long time. Growing up I didn't keep a diary exactly but I journaled my way through life. It was a ritual. It was therapy. It was a release. Writing daily began around the time I was 15 (a moody teen) and since then I have written pretty consistently. As a teen I would write at the end of the day. I would light candles in my room, put music on and let the catharsis begin (a little dramatic I know). I journaled my way through the every day trials of being a teenager: boyfriends, heartbreak, friendships/relationships, figuring out what I wanted to do with my life etc. etc. etc. It provided clarity, made me feel better about whatever I was going through, and allowed me to cut right to the heart of the matter. My journal became my therapist, my confidant, and the foundation of my character. I'm not a very sentimental person. You won't find old letters or pictures or reminders of old relationships in storage, but, I do have one box in storage that contains most of my journals from throughout my life. OCCASIONALLY I go back and look at my journal entries from years ago on the same date that I'm checking it out on to see how far I've come and how much I've (hopefully) grown. But honestly it's rare. It's rare because once I write something out I've released it. I've already lived it, and there's no need (and often no desire) to re-experience those same feelings and emotions. So, journaling continues to be something I practice regularly. In the last 5/6 years I have been in therapy and that has in some ways replaced my need to write things out quite as often. But there are still times when I need to settle something for myself, get clarity, release something I'm struggling with and journaling is the best way for me to do that. It always lifts the weight of decisions, or struggle in relationships, and gives me clarity about how to proceed, which direction to take, and truly puts things into perspective. It's such a simple act that everyone has access to and it can prove to be a very life changing, therapeutic practice. If you don't have a regular journaling practice here are some simple ways to start.
- Find a journal that suites your style and reflects who you are. For me this requires a journal without lined pages. I feel as though it allows me to be more creative with what I'm including in my journal and allows me to write without restriction. Being intentional is important in a journaling practice and starting with beautiful writing tools is a great way to start. Here are some beautiful journal options: this one, this one, or this one .
- Make a date/carve out time in your schedule. For me this means taking my journal to a coffee shop, setting up a space in our home, or getting to yoga class a little early and taking my journal with me. Lighting candles, playing music, being in a clean and organized space affects my ability to concentrate and be focused on what I'm thinking and feeling to translate that into words on a page. Make journaling a sacred ritual.
- If writing is not something you feel confident to sit down and start on your own, or without direction/prompts you find writing daunting, consider a creative writing workshop. A workshop will provide direction and exercises that lead to feeling more empowered to write/journal and tap into memories/feelings/what's going inside. One of my long time friends Alexa (who happens to have her masters in creative writing) is hosting a writing workshop series here in Calgary called Whitespace Writers. Starting Oct.28/16 Alexa will be hosting a 5 week Finding Your Voice Workshop Friday afternoons from 1-3pm. If you sign up from today until Oct. 27th use promo code FLEUR at checkout to recieve 5% off the 5 week course.