Journaling, in some form or another, has been a part of my life since I was in my late teens. It was somewhat infrequent at first, and then it kicked off as a daily habit when I wrote a travel journal. From then on, for a stretch of about 5 years, I wrote in it pretty much everyday.
When I was writing a journal in those days it was always with a love/hate relationship. I could never really work out whether it was a healthy habit or not. It was a way of reasoning myself out of a bad mood sometimes. Sometimes I would stumble upon some wisdom I didn’t really know I had.
Other times it was more like a self-indulgent splurge, of moaning, whining, and rumination. I would get super emotional writing sometimes. I mean… maybe these were emotions that needed to come out, maybe it was healthy. Maybe the emotions would have come out anyway, only worse because I had bottled them up. I have no real way of knowing.
I do know that I do not want to read the journals I have stored away in my mum’s house. The bothers you had a year or more ago sound super cringy when you read them back! There are definitely some more enlightened moments splattered about through those pages, undoubtedly some cool quotes, but I don’t want to go searching through the mire to find them.
Then one day I just stopped. I no longer wanted to write in my journal, I no longer felt drawn to write in it.
For a while there was no form of journaling in my life till I decided to start an art journal. The first one took me three years to complete! I reasoned that I could still document what is going on in my life, but in a more pictorial fashion, that indulged my creativity as well. You can really see time passing through the pages, places we’ve been to and the seasons passing.
As well as the art journal I have a little notepad, on the front it says “She believed she could, so she did.” And in it I write down meaningful quotes that I come across, general musings on life, to do lists etc. In the back I write lesson plans for teaching Yoga and Yoga sequences.
More recently my need to journal has cropped up again, but in the form of a sort of brain splurge at the beginning of the day, whenever if feels necessary you just free write, whatever thoughts come into your head, it could be something you need to get off your chest, or just musings, whatever you feel called to write.
I first tried it on a day when I particularly needed a splurge. Then adding my own little touch I burnt the paper. Sometimes I keep them. Most of the time I burn them. The journal I used to keep would make me feel venerable, always there to remind you of some pain. Burning eliminates the potential to go rereading, it’s gone. And it is super symbolic, if I find myself going back to something I had burnt earlier in the day, I would remind my self that I already burnt that, I let it go.
The need to write has pretty much been a constant companion of mine. It keeps evolving over time, ready to meet and accommodate the things I am learning about myself. It helps me to grow and evolve, as well as evolving with me on this creative journey I love to call my life.
Do you have a creative therapy in your life? Let me know in the comments.