Several weeks ago, I read a few of my high school journals & diaries to my kids.
After a tiring (but fun) musical rehearsal day, an open Saturday evening found us all a tad bored. We needed something different and new.
The NEW thing I decided, would be looking through Mom’s high school yearbooks. The kids would totally get a kick out of the adventure!
We never got to the yearbooks. The journals came first.
And the rest is history folks.
We literally laughed until we cried.
As I read snippets of thought, stories upon stories poured out. The times my sisters made me so, so, SO mad. That hard test in Biology I completely bombed. My all-girl Catholic school experiences. The violin competitions I won. What I thought at the time of myself, church friends, school friends, and family.
I felt like an archeologist digging and uncovering my past life.
“Mom, sometimes you sounded just like you do now!!” one child commented as they wiped tears from their eyes. The others nodded in agreement.
Since those days I’ve catalogued dozens of journals.
Some I lost transitioning homes — not sure who took them (or why anyone wants them), but those words never found their way back to me.
I’ve always found writing a healing tool, a way to work out kinks of heart and mind. Sometimes I write buckets; other times my soul well runs dry.
It’s no secret writing holds a therapeutic effect. Research clearly supports getting thoughts OUT of our bodies.
I encourage journaling for the sake of keeping a record. For your future self to recall the days, the thoughts, the memories. The growth, the transitions, the turns your life took.
Yes, I understand sometimes looking back is painful, perhaps not even helpful. But often in the present moment – shifting our thoughts from inside to outside is a really supportive tool.
Taking Time to Write
If you’re thinking leather journals, odd stacks of notebooks and a drawer full of pens as necessary for personal, reflective writing…
…you might just be imagining my desk! I highly encourage paper and pen, but honestly?
Use what works, such as a note-taking app on your phone or a document on your computer. The goal is capture thoughts and take time to write:
- happenings of the day (or week/month)
- a gratitude list
- remember a special time or experience
- complete a journal prompt
- rewrite someone else’s words (quotes, Scripture, etc)
- describe a current challenge
- celebrate a WIN
- write prayers or letters to God
- journal creative ideas or a bucket list
- note responses to current events
- combine writing with ART – coloring, painting, collage, photography
and SO MUCH more!
Journaling doesn’t have to be complicated, and I work to simplify the process for those struggling to get started.
Would you be interested in support for the writing process?
I sometimes get emails asking about this.
My next launch centers on helping women write their personal stories, BUT…
…I’m wondering about other community projects.
Maybe a set of days where we journal together around a topic or prompt, videos about my process and suggestions for yours — or something else? I can run with ideas, but only if readers find it helpful. Maybe it’s time to write as a community.
I would appreciate hearing YOUR thoughts! Feel free to email or message me.
Until then, maybe take out those high school yearbooks and journals for a flip-through. 😉