Spirituality & Health talks with author Mari L. McCarthy about the inspiration of her book
Heal Your Self With Journaling Power
Similar to Journaling Power, Heal Your Self with Journaling Power offers comprehensive rationale regarding the benefits of therapeutic journaling. Why do you think people are reluctant to begin a journaling practice even though there are no risks or side effects to this type of therapy?
Fear is what keeps people from the page. I call it "page fright." There are many negative childhood thoughts, feelings, memories associated with writing: critical teachers, someone reading their teenage journal, lack of confidence in their writing talents that we’re still carrying around in our subconscious and we’re stuck there thinking that’s who we really are. And, keeping a journaling practice is the ultimate self-care tool and we were taught and socialized to believe that spending time on our self is so selfish. It’s a big behavior change exploring our inner world and we’re scared "to go there".
Your book opens with your own quote: "When I change the way I look at me, the way I look at me changes." Can you speak to the ways in which journaling has changed the way you look at yourself?
Today I look at myself as the beautiful, intelligent, creative… woman I truly am. When I look at my self now, I see and feel my universe of infinite possibilities and my inner peace and serenity grows each day. My Journal helped me return to my body (heal the issues in my tissues—childhood traumas, erroneous thoughts and feelings) and reconnect with my soul. My Journal has guided me to self-respect, self-compassion and unconditional love and it shows.
Did your chapters develop around the personal testimonials that you included, or the other way around? How did the testimonials shape your writing?
When my Journal and I scoped out the Journaling Power Trilogy (yes, there will be another Journaling Power book coming in early 2022), we planned that Journaling Power would be my self-help memoir and Heal Your Self With Journaling Power would be the self-help memoirs of other journalers. I had been running Journaling Journey blog posts at CreateWriteNow for a while, so when it came time to start creating Heal Your Self With Journaling Power, I chose posts that reflected overcoming mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health challenges, made them into the chapters, then interviewed the journalers and expanded the chapter content.
What does your second book on the benefits of journaling offer that your first book does not? How do they complement each other?
Heal Your Self With Journaling Power expands on book #1-Journaling Power. It shares 10 additional ways people can use journaling to meet and master life’s challenges. Journaling Power was the introduction to the therapeutic journaling (Journaling for the Health of It) movement and Heal Your Self With Journaling Power expands the movement into a revolution.
The biggest barrier is our self. We have been reacting, reacting, reacting to external stimuli our whole life. We have many internal battles going on and we believe that that’s the way life is and that we need to keep pushing through.
My first suggestion is for them to ask their Journal a question like, "Who Am I Today?" or any question they feel like asking.
Chapter 11 speaks to nurturing one’s inner wisdom through writing. How has journaling brought you closer to God/Spirit?
Thanks to Journaling, I now accept that I am a soul embodied as Mari L. McCarthy for this lifetime. I work with my spirit guides, and departed family and friends daily to further understand my soul purpose and journey and further explore our universe.
What plans do you have for the future to encourage others to begin writing as therapy?
I am constantly providing resources on my CreateWriteNow.com website: unique,soul-searching power prompts (we currently have 375 prompts), weekly journaling journey blog posts where journalers share their therapeutic journaling practice experiences and complimentary journaling eworkbooks like How Journaling Reduces The Stress and Strains of Life and CreateWriteNow’s Expert Guide To Therapeutic Journaling. In our Store we have 20+ eworkbooks with titles such as Spiritual Journey, Get Healthy and Empower Your Self. I’m always available there to answer questions and discuss how to create a journaling power practice that meets their needs.