Keeping a journal is good for you right? Isn’t that what most people tell you? Well, it turns out, if you are not careful, it actually could be not soo good after all. This is something I found out the hard way.
Recently…like numerous times over the last several weeks, I have had conversations with clients, friends and family about keeping a journal. It has happened so much, that I had a FaceBook Live in a coaching group, have sent out an email to my newsletter list about it and now this blog post.
What is the big deal about keeping a journal?
Well, a journal can be a really great thing for some people. As a matter of fact, I currently keep 5 different journals. I have what I call a G.I.R.L. journal that I keep for Gratitude, Intentions, Reflections and Loving Kindness. This journal is positive and uplifting and I use it first thing in the mornings to set the tone for my day. I have a journal that I keep all my business stuff in like ideas for blog posts, memes, daily social media posts, freebies, programs, tips, and notes from by biz coach. I have general journal that I keep everyday stuff in like grocery lists and to do lists and random thoughts and stuff. Kinda sorta like the bullet journal so many people have now days…except I don’t get all creative like others do and I don’t do the symbols and things. Just a place to keep all my random stuff that goes on during the day. I LOVE looking at the pages folks make in them, but I would get super obsessive about it if I started doing all the doodling and drawing and whatnot and end up tearing up and throwing pages away since I am a gosh awful artist. I have a workout journal where I keep all my workouts in and I also have a journal that is not really a journal because it a spiral notebook that has blank pages in it and will never have anything but blank pages in it.
It is still a journal of some sort because it is where I write all my negative stuff or yucky things I need to let go or get rid of.
Back in my younger years the only time I ever wrote in a journal or diary was when something was wrong or I was angry and could not or would not confront the person I was angry at. I used a notebook to write down when someone did something bad to me and I was angry or frustrated. I was all up in that victim mindset and was always placing blame on others, while never owning up to my part in the story because of course, I was never at fault *sarcastic snort*
This kind of journal helped me to wallow in my self pity and keep me in a crappy place…or put me back in it when I would remember it all over again when I got out the book to write something else or would just see the damn book. Not real therapeutic. Just keeping all that shit in when what keeping a journal is supposed to do is help you in instances like this is to reflect on a situation, so that you process it, take some positive action and get on with your life instead of dwell on it.
Now, here is the thing. I still think it is very therapeutic to get all those negative feelings out of myself with writing, but, I no longer keep all this stuff around me. When I do , my subconscious still knows that stuff is there, which means I have not really let it go and will not be able to heal from it as long as I keep it around.
It is my belief that when I have these negative types of letters, journal entries or brain dumps, that I need to get rid of them and to physically let them go in order to give my minds the suggestion that I need to let it go as well. I like to do this with fire. When I need to get some nasty stuff out, I grab that spiral notebook and scribble all in in it and then when I am done, I go outside and do a little burning ritual.
Fire is a great purifier and the physical action of lighting all those feelings up and burning them and letting the ashes fly away is completely freeing to me. Now, I will be honest, sometimes it takes more than one time if it is something super big, but so far, it has always worked.
I imagine cutting the papers up or shredding them could probably do the same thing, but I like the fire thing. I like making sure all those negative vibes are gone for good.
I would also be remiss if I did not tell you…in case you did not already know, that slinging some iron, running, or just a great sweat session in general is also a GREAT way to get ugly and nasty feelings and general yuckiness out of you. So if you are hesitant to write down your feelings, go work them out. Literally.
Do you have a favorite way to get rid of your gross and nasty and ugly and mean thoughts? Do you journal and burn it, tear it up or do you keep it? Does it help? I’m curious. Or do you prefer another way of getting rid of that stuff? Let me know in the comments.
Oh, and just an FYI The Caliber Fashion Notebooks that come in a 4 pack at CVS are great. They are small enough to fit in most purses and are lined. I also like the Greenroom 3- pack Geo Notebooks from Target. They are bigger than the Caliber ones, but you can write more in them.