Now, where was I?
Oh yeah, I decided to start my blog about two years ago hoping to share some of my thoughts, some of my journals, and some of my yoga journey. But I had some personal things that were more important to handle within the last two years; and that is another blog post for another time. During the last two years, even though I didn’t write many blog posts, I have continued writing in my journal. I often find myself writing more in my journal when things get difficult in my life and not sharing as much on social media. It has also just taken time for me to be comfortable with being vulnerable, especially related to sharing my writing with others. Here is why: I’m not a writer, but I do write on a regular basis. I only write for myself, not for others, just my own thoughts.
My journal has been a sacred place for me. I first started journaling consistently in the year 2000. I was 25 years old and going through some big life changes: a new job, moving on from a relationship, managing my emotions related to grief, and moving from my own place to living in my Grandmother’s home. My Dad’s only living brother (or sibling for that matter) had passed away, which left my Grandmother’s duplex semi-empty. My Grandmother actually stayed with my parents, because her dementia was just too advanced for her to live alone anymore. I lived upstairs and my newly widowed Aunt lived downstairs. My cousins would often be there (that’s code for: they were also in transition and living with my Aunt). They were like my brothers. We went to high school together, hung out together, got in trouble together. I felt like they needed me and I needed them.
This was not the first time we had experienced an elder’s transition. My soul remembers my paternal Grandfather’s transition. It was not peaceful. It was downright traumatic for me, for him, and for the rest of the family. We were expecting him to die, the doctors told him that his lung cancer was too advanced to save his life. This is one of those moments when I will spare you all the details of my journaling, but I will say that my thirteen-year-old self found him. I ran to get help and he died in my mother’s arms on a cold bathroom floor. The effect of losing our Patriarchal Rock in such a traumatic way was a shock to my nervous system, to say the least. Working through the stages of grief was far worse, especially since we were not aware of the process of grieving. Or at least I was not aware of it.
I began to spend more time with my family after my Uncle passed away. It became clear that I needed something more to deal with my recent life transitions and my grief. That “something more” became my journal and daily meditation. My friend who lived in Minnesota at the time probably sensed my difficulties and sent me some books to read. One of those books was One Day my Soul Just Opened Up by Iyanla Vanzant. My daily meditation practice and journaling was born.
My journal became a place where I could write and not have someone else judge my thoughts, including me. A place I could retreat to when life started kicking my ass (sorry for the cursing, Mom). It was in this space of non-judgment that I found the courage to speak my truth. I found a space where I could go to facilitate healing. A space where I could listen to my inner voice. A space where I found my connection to the therapeutic effects of movement. A space where I found my yoga mat. Yes, all of that came from my pen, my pad, and some quiet time alone (I call it Me-time to this day).
The therapeutic thing about journaling is that I can be completely vulnerable and write whatever I want on paper. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else because it’s just me and my journal. Don’t worry, I will spare you the ramblings of my mind that don’t always make sense.
I often wonder when I’m writing these blog posts, am I sharing too much information or is that too vulnerable? Does anybody really care? Those doubt monkeys in my head have literally turned into having the courage to say to myself, “I really could care less what others think, this is my truth.” Journaling has helped me get to this place of sharing my voice. I tell myself that these are my thoughts, set good intentions and release it.
My intention is to create a space for myself to share information without judgment (mainly my own judgment) and hopefully help others in the process.
Do you journal? How has journaling helped you? If you have not journaled before, what are your thoughts about it? What are the barriers that keep you from journaling? I would love to hear your response on this topic.
Stay tuned for the next post!