My ultimate goal is to teach people to use journaling for healing. I call myself a journaling for healing coach as a way to speak it into existence. I still have a lot to learn about how take what I know and what works for me and expand it so that it can be useful for a broader audience. But there is a reason I am so passionate about journaling and I thought I would share it today.
I had a diary when I was about 5 years old. It was one of those with the puffy plastic cover, cute pink pages, and a cheap lock. I didn’t write in it much. Even back then I didn’t get much out of keeping a diary. I wrote about crushes and arguments with friends but my entries were few and far between.
A few years later, my school was participating in an Authors Meet. Everyone was given the assignment to write a story and the teachers picked a winner for each class. The winners went on to the meet. I wrote a story about a huge family of mice. A few of them ran away from home but ran into a hungry bear. They were eventually rescued by their father. I won and went on to participate in the Authors Meet and that was the true beginning of my love for writing.
I was also an avid reader from a young age and at 8 or 9 years old I read the book “Harriet the Spy”. If you have never read that book, Harriet wants to be a writer when she grows up so she writes down everything. Everything she sees and thinks are written down in her notebook. I wanted to do the same and spent a good period of time trying to write everything down but never quite succeeding.
I eventually decided to just do what I liked to do which was to write stories and poems. I wrote quite a few of both until we started to learn to write essays in school. By the time high school came around I hated writing. Essays stripped me of my creativity and energy. I didn’t write anything personal from the age of 13 to 23.
There were a lot of other things that happened in middle school and high school that I won’t get into but by the time I was 18, my self-esteem was non-existent and I was depressed. So I did what many people in that place do, I jumped from relationship to relationship all of which were abusive in one way or another. If that wasn’t bad enough, age 23 is when my quarter life crisis began. I had gone to school with the goal of becoming a lawyer and opening a firm that works with low-income families. Thank you John Grisham and “The Street Lawyer” for that. Unfortunately I realized that even though I found law fascinating, I didn’t want to make a career out of it so everything I had done up until then was for nothing, or so I thought. My life kind of imploded and my depression went from steady to downward spiraling.
I desperately needed an outlet and had an urge to write. I didn’t have any notebooks that weren’t partially used for useless classes (I’m not sure why that was important but it was), so I started a blog. It was anonymous and wasn’t meant to be seen by anyone. I would just sit down and type. Whatever crossed my mind was dumped onto my keyboard. I slowly started to get it together. Swirling incomplete thoughts that I could never quite grasp suddenly found order and clarity. I was able to address open wounds and they began to heal. I discovered how much damage I had done to myself in my attempts to avoid my problems. I had tossed away almost every aspect of myself and was basically nothing but a shell. Through journaling, I began to pick up the pieces.
After blogging for about 4 years I participated in something called NaBloPoMo and all of the journal prompts were about taking risks. This is when I realized how much healing I had experienced from journaling and that I wanted to teach other people, especially children, to journal for healing. It was also the catalyst for many other changes I started making.
Now, it’s been a couple of years since then and I’m finally in a place where I can really start working on this but I’m not sure what the next steps are. I guess some more journaling is in order.0