Posted: September 6, 2014
Your journal can become comforting, like a good friend.
Candess M. Campbell – 12 Weeks to Self-Healing: Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine
Many of us love to journal. The notebook that keeps our sacred thoughts becomes an extension of us. It becomes full of memories similar to the photos that we have stored for years.
Many of my clients had shared that they were resistant to journaling. Although I suspected it was because they were afraid of the inner journey, it was not that at all. It was because in the past, someone had found and read the journal.
Whether this betrayal was from a parent, sibling, friend or spouse, it was devastating. One client shared that her brother found her journal and read it and teased her. Another said that when she was a child her mom found her journal and was angry at what she had written. She then was punished for her writings.
Having journaled most of my life and having 30 years of my life chronicled in my journals, I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without that written inner journey.
What I suggest is to purchase a canvas 3 ring binder and use a small lock. You can then use a spiral notebook or 3 holed paper and store your writings in this locked binder. You can also buy a locked journal, but most often they are small and you don’t have the room to write messy and large which happens often in a journal process.
Another option would be to buy a locked box. Either of these choices can be stored in a closet or under your bed when you are done.
You can also journal on your computer and store your entries in an anonymous file or add a password to your file. I journal both ways and I find both to be profoundly helpful!
We are in the back-to-school season, so this is a great time to store up on journals, binders, and fast writing pens.
Yesterday I shared with you about Sentence Stems. Here are a few other ways you can begin to use your journal.
These are taken from 12 Weeks to Self-Healing: Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine.
Dear God/Goddess letter – Write a letter to God or Goddess stating everything you need to say. Write as if you are having a private meeting with Him or Her—because you are!
Gratitude list – This is one of my favorites. Write down ten things that fill you with gratitude, and eventually work up to a list of twenty. If I find myself in a grumpy mood, I do this daily. It’s difficult to be angry or negative after doing so, because this activity seems to lift the heart. Completing this exercise weekly is a great goal to improve your mood.
Anger letter – In having journaled for over thirty years, I believe that venting can be quite helpful. When I started going through my journals to pull out the information I wanted to save, I definitely had to sort through the angry letters. Letting this energy go on a piece of paper is much better than turning it inward toward yourself and creating depression or pain—or turning it outward toward a loved one or innocent friend and creating trouble in your relationships.
In future blogs I will share other ways to use your journal. Please feel free to share your own experiences and ideas!
Posted: September 5, 2014
“What we all want, really, is to be loved. That craving drives our worst behavior.”
Creating a blog can motivate the success of any goal. Sharing my experience losing weight, eating healthy and exercising has been monumental in my success. The feedback I am receiving, private and public, tells me the the blog is helping you too!
In addition to blogging there is also journaling, but they are very different experiences. With blogging, although I am writing to motivate myself, I have an audience. Being public gives me pause not to share some private thoughts and behaviors. In my journal, I have the freedom to say it all.
When journaling, I write anything and often what comes out comes from a place other than my conscious mind. You will see this in my August 8th journal post “Journaled my Breakthrough.”
When you journal another part of yourself shows up and can be empowering. Maybe it is a nurturing voice that encourages you so that you stay on track. It could be a harsh voice that keeps you in line, and you listen.
Journaling prior to eating something or to motivate you to get moving can be powerful! For instance, let’s say you want to have a cup of ice cream (my fav!) Well, if you are like me, it is unlikely a cup of ice cream would be it. Once I start with ice cream, it seduces me to the bottom of the carton. Full disclosure – I would never buy a size larger than a pint and usually I buy the single serving sizes, times two.
So instead of eating ice cream – or in my case going to the store to by ice cream (never have it around) you might want to journal.
I have developed a journal process for you to use in my 12 Weeks Toolbox.
Find a journal and fast writing pen and set the timer for 10 minutes. Keep writing and don’t stop even if you have to write, I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to say over and over until you break through. Eventually, you can work up to 20 minutes.
Use these sentence stems to get your journal process started. Each one can be a 10 – 20 minute timed writing.
What I love about myself is . . .
I am really hungry for . . .
What frustrates me is . . .
If I had more time . . .
Hunger and cravings can be caused by emotions that are buried. Stress is also a factor in overeating, eating when you’re not hungry and eating unhealthy foods . Often after journaling, the craving to eat or drink just dissipates.
Play around with journaling when your cravings are gnawing at you for a week and see what happens.
Candess M. Campbell, PhD is the author of 12 Weeks to Self-Healing: Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine. Her upcoming book on Sentence Stems will be published soon!
Posted: August 21, 2014
“A sad feeling can last a few minutes, and then you return to joy once you feel the pure feeling and let it go. Much as you would flex a muscle and let it go, you can feel the feeling and just let it go.”
– Candess M. Campbell – 12 Weeks to Self-Healing: Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine
I sat with a client recently who’s working on developing a practice of journaling in order to deepen her relationship with herself. She laughs when she is saying something painful and tends to be disconnected from her feelings. She seems to be incongruent. I’ve given her some sentence stems to use. Sentence stems are beginnings of sentences to use to begin a free-writing session. I create these sentence stems specific to the issues that have been buried. This particular client uses alcohol, shopping, and staying busy as a way of not getting connected to herself; not becoming self-aware.
I’ve journaled over 30 years of my life and it has been an incredible experience of growth, insight, creativity and humor. You would be surprised at what surfaces in a 20-minute timed writing.
In the process of working with a Sentence Stem, you set the timer for 20 minutes, or 10 if 20 seems to long to start with. You use a fast writing pen and keep writing. Whatever comes to your mind you write, even if you have several lines of “I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to say.” Generally, you will start by being chatty, then go into resistance, “I don’t know what to say” or “I don’t like this,” and then you deepen into the underlying issue. You may notice that you touch on something and then change to writing your grocery list, but at least you know where to return to access the underlying issue or feelings.
Often when we overeat or over drink, or eat at the wrong time, we are covering up feelings. If not feelings directly, we may be over-consuming to manage the stress from all the activity we do to bury the feelings.
In my book 12 Weeks to Self-Healing: Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine, I write a whole chapter entitled Feel your Feelings.
Today, before you make a choice to eat or drink something you know is not healthy, give yourself 20 minutes to journal first. Notice how you feel afterwards and see if it changes your need for the food or drink.
Here are a few sentence stems to start with.
If I listened to my body, I would . . .
What I desire most in my life is . . .
If I were fit/healthy, I would . . .