In a well-lived life, challenges are inevitable. With adventure comes difficulties that must be processed in pursuit of evolution. Practices like journaling are some of the most therapeutic ways to find clarity and catharsis. So, this month, we’re exploring writing as a tool for self-exploration. As Margaret Atwood said, “A word after a word after a word is power.”
Our co-founder, Robyn Berkley, recalls the importance of keeping a diary as a kid and how that process, of putting pen to paper, to be an essential and always accessible act of self-care.
“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” — Anne Frank
Growing up, the words “Dear Diary” triggered a kind of emotional outpouring in so many of us. We’d open up our precious diaries, many with mini locks and keys, and find comfort in writing down all of our wildest thoughts and dreams—no matter how embarrassing or raw—in a place that felt private and safe.
After adolescence, most of us dropped that ritual with its bubble letters and hearts, as helpful as it had been in processing feelings, changes and experiences. But, thankfully, as adults, we’re free to pick it up again, only this time we call it “journaling.”
Once treated as child’s play, today, journaling has become one of the most popular tools in dealing with overwhelming emotions, stress and anxiety, a way of understanding self and managing mental health. Journaling helps us prioritize, problem solve, manifest and face fears, calling growth into our lives.
The act of writing is very different than speaking or thinking in terms of the way we process our experience. Putting pen to paper crystalizes ideas, creating clarity and intention. Journaling every day is also a proactive way to add ritual into our lives and ultimately helps us cope with day-to-day life in a tangible way.
Although it can be hard to get started, once in the groove, it’s the most practical way to resolve issues, internally and externally. Keeping a journal helps you create order when you feel you are in the midst of chaos and helps soothe your mind. It creates a natural structure.
Life can be a struggle. There are always difficult patches, even amidst the beauty. And finding simple and accessible ways to help ease distress is always key. The power of opening up can be cathartic and, in the long-term, can evoke a greater sense of meaning, balance and connection to yourself.
Have I convinced you to get started or to re-start this self-care habit that only serves your greater good? If I haven’t, maybe our Live The Process features for this month will, as we speak to experts and examine the process of healing, evolving and changing through writing.
It just takes a bit of inner-motivation to get started yourself, so sometimes it’s best to begin the process with a go-to guide like The Artist’s Way and a ritual like morning pages. Then you’re on your way.
Just remember: you need to look for answers within yourself. It’s the only place you’ll find them. So start purging and begin to reap the incredible benefits.