Pictured above: Elizabeth Gilbert Women I Love and Admire Journal
WRITE SOME LETTERS
- Write to yourself at age 15, or any other age that was tough for you. What would you want your past self to know? Is there something you’d like to thank them for? Try writing the words of kindness and support that you most wanted to hear back then. Give yourself the kind of love you needed, and perhaps didn’t receive.
- Write to your current self, from your future self. Imagine yourself 20 years in the future. What perspective would that version of you have to share? What would they tell you to let go of?
- Write to yourself “from” an emotion you’ve been experiencing. For example, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, let the overwhelm speak. Is it trying to teach you something? Protect you from something? Is there something it wants you to know?
If you’re struggling with something, use your journal to have a conversation with yourself about it, as if you’re speaking to a trusted, wise friend. Write out the issue as your scared, questioning self, then allow yourself to write out responses to it as if you’re the friend. Suspend your judgment, get out of your own head, and “answer” from the wise, gentle perspective of someone who deeply cares for you.
BURN AFTER WRITING
This one’s a bit of a ritual. Write out everything you want to let go of. Make it messy. Cry on it. Get mad! Scrawl it all down. Resist the urge to read it over when you’re done. Rip the pages out and burn them (safely, duh). As the paper turns to smoke and ash, imagine yourself getting lighter as you release the heavy energy on those pages.Pictured below: Lisa Congdon Your Story Matters Journal, Finding Yourself Journal, and the Survival Journal.