Are You Afraid To Journal?
By Carolyn Shannon
Is your privacy extremely important to you? Do you live in or work in an environment where your boundaries are often ignored or crossed? Does the thought of someone reading your diary or journal terrify you?
One of the more humorous representations of the ramifications of this is portrayed in Everyone Loves Raymond. His Mother Marie found, broke the code and read his journal. In it she found the words, “I ehat ym mmo! (I hate my mom)”. A very emotional scene follows and we are all left wondering who was right, the person offended by their privacy being invaded or the one who was being talked about in the diary.
One of the more serious examples of the outcome of having a diary read was what happened to one of my students who was “blessed” with two alcoholic parents. She was holding it together rather well by writing in her diary until her mother found her journal and read it to her father. Grave repercussions followed and without this important tool her life at school became harder to cope with as well. She started missing class and her grades started to slip. Then she became my student where she learned a different way of journaling and her life and grades began to improve again.
As a parent we want to know what is going on with our children especially during the teen years however we realize how it felt to have our own privacy invaded when we were growing up. We all need to vent our frustrations because once we do it will generally lose the power it holds over us while we are denying or holding it in.
Do you have difficulty putting your fears, frustrations, deepest thoughts or concerns into words verbally or in writing? Does it seem like too much work to you? Now there is a perfect way for you to dump the debris you tend to pick up from others or generate with your very own thoughts, either as an alternative or complement to the traditional art of journaling. Not only is it easy and fun, it allows you to actively meditate while you gain clarity and insight in the process.
For years I have been teaching people to journal creatively in a confidential way. Was coloring therapeutic to you as a child? This technique allows anyone to color their feelings onto paper with whatever level of secrecy they desire yet gives them something concrete to look back on in order to write about each situation in the future if they wish to do so. The most amazing part of this is that what your drawing is truly about is seldom evident to others unless you enlighten them.
If you do decide to share your “heartwork” with others it can be very insightful for both the creator and the observer. In fact when working in groups the messages often relate to all participants. There’s universal consciousness at it again!
This technique has proven beneficial during any grieving process over the loss of a pet, loved one, job, during or following a divorce, or giving up an addiction. It can even help manifest a happier, healthier lifestyle. Done together as a family it can open the door to meaningful communication because it lifts us above the ego to see more clearly, helping us to look at our lives from a different view?
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