an open journal with a pen, there is writing in the journal about the beauty of journaling

The Power of Journaling …

Hey there! It’s good to see you here. My name is Lizzie, and I am the redhead who is always wondering! Wondering about life, about this beautiful world, about words and light and colour and form. And mostly about how I can be the best me that I can possibly be.

I am a creator of hand bound books and of art, in the form of cyanotypes and photographs. I am also an avid journal-keeper and I’d like to share some of my journal wonderings with you today ….

… and How You Can Journal Through Your Fears

I am passionate about what I do. I love creating cyanotypes, I love making books. And I love writing.

I love to share my passion for journaling with other women; and I love to encourage other women to write.

It is so cathartic, keeping a journal. You get to write down all those things that you’re scared of, and they don’t seem so scary anymore, when they are words on the page.

Let me share with you an example of one of my fears that I “worked through” in the pages of my journal …

The Terror of Being Visible

For me, being visible is one of the most scary things there is. If you’ve read any of my blogs or social media posts, then you’ll know that I’m a (big) bit of an introvert … I don’t like social situations, I don’t like crowds, or parties. I hate places like pubs and restaurants (tea and cake in a café with my Bestie, that’s about as social as I get!!).

However, I am also building this hand bound book business of mine, and since this is my “side job”, I have to do all my own marketing. (By the way, I refuse to use that ghastly word “hustle” … The Hustle is something that Van McCoy sang about on Top of the Pops in 1975, with Pans People dancing to it, as far as I’m concerned … it’s got nothing to do with the creative business I am building in my spare time, while I work a day job to pay the bills!).

Anyhoo, I digress. Because I’m a one-woman band, and I don’t have the budget to pay a marketing or PR company, I have to do all that stuff myself, and that means being visible … doing that thing that really scares me and showing up, in public, in my social media and here in my blog.

Facing The Fears And Doing It Anyway

But I face that fear, and I show up every day. I post on social media every day, and I have no idea who is readying my stuff, who is getting a view into my Self.

Because you see, I’m not only facing the fear of being visible, but I’m also facing the fear of showing my true self, revealing my innermost thoughts, sharing some of the struggles I’ve had on this journey to me. I am compelled to do that, because if I truly want to help other women discover the power of journaling, then I have to tell my own story.

And there is always the fear that people who have hurt me in the past are reading what I write today.

And sometimes that fear stops me from hitting the Enter key.

Sometimes that fear gets me backspacing like a crazy woman!!

Test Your Fears Out In Your Journal

That’s where my journaling comes to the rescue.

The beauty of a journal is that no one else gets to see it, unless you choose to share it, so you can write what you want.

You are only being visible to yourself.

And that is a very good thing, that being visible to YOU!

an open journal, a pen and cuppa ready to start the day
an open journal, a pen and cuppa ready to start the day

Because the first step in healing is to tell yourself the truth.

And our fears and our worries, when they are on the page, they don’t have as much power over us. And as you write, you actually start to change … you change how you feel, how you think, how you behave.

Letting Go Of The Things You Can’t Control

An open journal with writing and two poppies.

What if I let go of the things I can’t control?

Here’s a for instance from my own journal … the other day, I asked myself in my journal …

“What if I let go of the things I can’t control?”

And my answer to myself … I would free up so much emotional and mental bandwidth. I’d stop letting my mind get sucked down the dark holes of “what if people don’t like me”, or “what if they’re watching” (they being the people who have hurt me in the past).

But I can’t control those other people or their feelings about me. I can’t control what other people think of me, so if I let that shit go, look at all the space there would be for me.

That was some pretty powerful journaling for me. That was something I already KNEW, but it hit me right between the eyes when I saw it written on the page.

How I Found My Way To Journaling

How I first started journaling was through The Artist’s Way. The main tool is Morning Pages, three pages of stream of consciousness writing every morning. At first, I thought that was going to be so hard. When I read the intro and the first chapter, I thought, “no way!! There is no way I’ll be able to write that much!”

But I did. I wrote three pages, I wrote more than three pages a lot of mornings, because there were so many thoughts tumbling onto the page. It was like a dam had started to crack, and the words came pouring out.

In week 5 of The Artists Way, during the end-of-week check in, Julia Cameron asks this question … “Have you discovered the page-and-a-half truth point yet?!”

That was such a huge moment for me! I read that and thought, YES! OF COURSE!! Because you see, it happens a lot when you consistently show up at the page each morning and commit to writing those three pages. You get about halfway through and you have an Aha moment … What Julia calls the “truth point”, and which I came to call my “holy shit moment”, as in … “Holy shit, I did NOT know that’s how I felt” moment!! (We’ll call it the HSM from now on, so that I don’t keep swearing at you!)

The Fears Came Tumbling Out

In the first couple of years of journaling, for me, those moments were often around fears; the realisations of where so many of my fears came from … fear of failure, leading to fear of rejection, leading to the ultimate fear of being abandoned and left.

I came to realise, in the pages of my journal, just how deep-seated those fears were; just how far back into my childhood they were rooted; just how much I had allowed them to control my present-day life; and how I had allowed myself to become a victim.

In another HSM, I realised that I had spent my adult life in relationships that put me in that victim place, the self-fulfilling prophesy of “I will be used, then I will be abandoned”.

And Then There Was Space For Healing

It took me a while, and a LOT of journals, to get myself to the point where I simply refused to play that role of victim anymore. I did it. I set myself free from that fearful mindset, and I truly believe that the key to that freedom was journaling; my morning pages were the thing that set me free.

And I still do them, more than twenty years later. I still do them, and I still have HSMs. I still release fears (like the current fear of being visible).

And I’m still growing as a person.

An Invitation to You …

Why don’t you try it? Why don’t you grab yourself a gorgeous journal, or a notebook, or any paper you can find, and start writing, and see what HSMs you can have?!!

If you’d like to share any of your thoughts with me, I’d love to hear about your HSMs. Just drop me an email at [email protected] everything you tell me will be held in utmost confidence.

If you’d like to know more about me, and my hand bound books, and my journaling journey, and maybe get some tips for your own journaling process, why not sign up for my Wonders out of a Redhead Newsletter.

You can sign up here … Wonders out of a Redhead

Footnote Thanks

I’d just like to say thank you to a couple of women who are inspirational to me, and whose energy and honesty help me write and fight my way through my fears ….

Gemma James, whose course, From Fear To Freedom, was mind-blowing for me and who is a constant inspiration in her Lazy Manifesters Collective, of which I am a member and an affiliate.

And also, to Kat Shaw whose Goddess Art and whose Iffirmations provide me with so much inspiration and food for thought in my own journaling.

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