Awhile back, while browsing on Instagram, I came across an account on journaling, AllSwell Creative, and it stopped me in my scrolling tracks. I fell in love with the journals, and even though I did not have a journaling practice, I was intrigued by the idea of getting all of my MANY thoughts out onto a page. To be honest, I don’t even know how I ended up on their page, but I am very glad I did, because their journals and this new practice were so alluring, I had to dive in.
Once I had my AllSwell journal, I was honestly a little intimated. I haven’t written down my thoughts and feelings since I was a little girl with a diary (which was a Lisa Frank diary that lasted about 3 days), so what would I even say!? More than that, I think I was scared to write down all of the things in my mind and Soul. It is so easy to compartmentalize emotions and events, and think that we have mentally cleared them away, but unless we have truly assessed them and allowed them and felt them , they will be with us. I remember the first time I put my pen to the page, I froze for a second, but then told myself to just write whatever came to mind…well, HOT DAMN a lot came flooding in. Soon pages on pages were covered with my words and expressions and feelings that I had no idea (consciously at least) had been bursting to get out. There were stuck emotions I had held in from my childhood, limiting beliefs that I could look at as little sentences rather than powerful and dooming ways of being, and there were hopes and dreams and intentions. Everyday, for quite some time, I put the pen to paper, and watched the benefits and loved every second of it, but alas, like a lot of habits, I let it get away from me.
Fast forward a few months to when I was home in Boston for the first time after traveling the country and moving to Colorado. SO much had happened in such a short time, and all of those happenings had left me drained and energetically spread thin, so I scheduled an appointment with my acupuncturist. While I was there, she told me I had adrenal fatigue, and that I definitely needed to chill out. She gave me advice on everything going on, we did the acupuncture, and then I remembered there was one other thing I wanted to talk about- a skin problem I had developed just before I had left that looked like rosacea. Since my diet is pretty great and I am fairly healthy, she told me to journal as a solution. I thought “Journaling? For a skin problem?” but honestly wasn’t all that surprised. Moreover, she told me to journal in general. Not only would it help me get to the bottom of what was trying to present itself to me by flaring up my skin, but it would also help me uncover what behaviors and thoughts were making me so damn tired. “Journaling works for pretty much everything, huh?” So I got back into it.
One more fast forward, and here I am with the knowledge that my skin issue had to do with the guilt and fear I felt about moving away from home, mixed with a high sensitivity to sugar. Funny enough, I am super grateful for the my skin problems, because it might have taken me even longer to get back into journaling had I not had them, and I wouldn’t have had the insight into what I had to assimilate emotionally and remove from my diet.
Now, I journal almost every night. I would like to say every night, but I have not quite made it that far. Realistically, I journal every single night that I feel a little off or anxious, but have yet to maintain my practice even when things are well- which is just as important! Whenever my mind is racing, in the morning when I wake up or before I go to bed, I let the worlds fall out on the pages, and it is therapeutic and beautiful. It is like a mental detox. It IS a mental detox. Once you start to see every thought, every action, all of the words that usually are kept in your head on the page, you can then weed out the ones that aren’t serving you. From there, you can integrate in new thoughts and dreams and reassurance and self-love; you can change your inner world and your outer world will follow suit.
There is nothing more important in life than to have a healthy and abundant mindset, but when I started journaling, that was NOT where I was at. I have come SO far in my mental health journey. The person who was once plagued by anxiety so severe she did not know if she could go on now DECIDES how she wants to feel… I DECIDE how I want to live. I write it down, I write it all down, and I make it happen. I write it all down, I shine light on it all, and I bring my light to the world.
Journaling is for everyone, and if you do not have a practice, I highly recommend you pick one up :) If you do not know where to start, I recently recorded an episode on my podcast with the wonderful Laura Rubin, who is the founder of AllSwell journals, and she will tell you evvvverrrything you need to know, accompanied with a lot of laughs and a lot of wisdom! As for a journal, I will link AllSwell’s site below, because having one of their environmentally friendly notebooks with both lined paper for writing and blank paper for drawing has been a BIG game changer.