“People who keep journals, have life twice.” Jessamyn West
Throughout this series, we’ve looked at ways that literacy can enhance your self-care. Reading regularly, sharing your thoughts with another, listening with your heart can all nurture your spirit and reduce anxiety. In this last post of the series, I’ll share what I’ve come to see as the most powerful way to use literacy in the interest of self-care. For me, that is writing in general and more specifically, incorporating journaling into my routine.
If I posed the question, “What do you do on a regular basis that has significantly changed your life, what would you answer? Many years ago, I began journaling almost everyday. Most people I know would scoff at the idea, never exploring the power of this practice. But all people I know would benefit from using writing as a tool to explore their thinking, clear their heads, cleanse their minds, encourage their creativity, purge their conflicts and both literally and figuratively save their lives.
Journaling is no more than thinking on paper. Its power is in its simplicity. Grab an ordinary copybook, try out a variety of pens until you discover one that feels just right, put a date at the top of the page and let it rip. Move that pen and pour out your heart.. Detail the feelings rolling around inside you, ask the questions that keep you awake at night, describe the scene outside your window, the conflict at work or the trip you long to take and watch the magic unfold.
Without being rigid, be routine. Ideally, you will find a time each day to give yourself the gift of journaling. Capture seed ideas and run with them. Journaling is a journey that will enable you to uncover your authentic self. Approached with an open mind, a writing routine will become a mission of discovery and I guarantee you will emerge with more empathy, clarity and compassion, not only for others, but for yourself. Years of journaling have been medicine for my soul, ultimately saving my life on many levels. Pick up your pen and let it save yours.
During April of 2020, I wrote a three-part series about journaling on this blog. Check it out if you are interested in more specific information and about to begin and continue a journaling routine.
Hopefully, this series has given you are few new ideas about how literacy skills can boost your serenity and self-care. I’d love to hear your suggestions or feedback. Take care…really!