My amazing friend and soul sister Erica James is a gifted licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in self-care. She’s got some awesome insight on the habit of journaling that I asked her to share with the Back to Complete community. There’s even a way for you to jump in start cultivating your practice. Read on to learn more!
I created the 10 – Day Journal Journey for numerous reasons. I find journaling to be extremely healing, cathartic, and confronting at times. Having the ability to get my deepest thoughts down on paper has helped me get through many emotional, spiritual, and mental challenges.
Sometimes, I find difficulty expressing myself through speaking. With the use of the written word, I can formulate and organize my ideas without the urgency and emotions that can get in the way and confuse things when I speak about matters of the heart.
Journaling, however, can also be a mirror for me which shows me where there is more work to be done. That part has been uncomfortable for me, so this journey will be a way for me to put in the reps and practice facing those fears that may come up. Being completely honest and transparent with myself through journaling can be frightening but I find that the greatest growth comes from discomfort.
Journaling has also been an amazing tool for me to use to set goals and plan a course of action. I find that when I write down my huge goals, they don’t seem as lofty or overwhelming and I believe that when things are written down, the words are always working. It’s like sending a message to the universe, which is always working in your favor. I’ve read old journal entries and found that many of the things I have written down have come to fruition. That’s the power of the pen.
Another reason for the journal journey is self-care. I am a huge proponent of self-care. As a marriage and family therapist, my job is to give energy, care, and love to others all the time. If I do not take time to give that same energy, love, and care back to myself, I will be depleted and will not have anything else to give.
Self-care means making sure your cup is so full and abundant that you can give to others from the overflow. Journaling is a way to keep your cup full. Through journaling, I am allowed to have time to myself and really sit with my thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Everything around me is drowned out and I have the opportunity for introspection and reflection. Checking in with myself, my thoughts, feelings, and emotions is how I stay grounded and tremendously adds to my self-care.
My hopes for those who join the journal journey is that they can start a journaling habit that they may not have had before and continue it well after the journey ends. Or be inspired to pick up the old dusty journal that has been ignored for a while and start writing again.
Introspection can be confronting and I think it is important for people to have someone they feel comfortable with talking to in case challenging thoughts or feelings come up during their journey. This person can be a trusted friend, family member, life partner, or therapist. We all have a story to tell, tell yours.
Love and balance,
Erica James, LMFT
Click the image below to sign up for the Journey…for FREE!