Journaling Challenge: It Opened My Heart Again

Journaling Challenge Master

By Marta Luzim

14-DAYS_DailyPractice_COVERsmallWhen I first saw the 14 Day Journal Writing Challenge I was excited. Since my twenties journaling was my confidante, conscious friend, mentor, spiritual, emotional and creative activist, the doorway into my artist and writer’s voice.   I had my clients journal and encouraged journaling as a source and core into one’s psyche to evoke healing, creativity and to find one’s voice and story. Journaling did all of that for me and more. And it evoked all of my clients.


I have shelves filled of journal books in every color, shape and size. Then I stopped. I don’t remember why. I believe, when I track back to that time, I began writing novels, articles and newsletters. I thought I didn’t have to journal any longer, nor did I need to journal. That was a mistake.

Then a year ago or more Mari’s website on journaling came into my email box. I did her first journaling challenge. I started to feel the old and ancient art of writing as a channel to my heart and soul.

It came at a time when I was in the midst of my recovery from a ten year chronic illness, PTSD and feeling very lost and hurting deeply. I was struggling to find my faith, my voice, and connect to my soul. Slowly, I began journaling again. I started to feel the spark of life rise my brokenness from the dead. I felt and heard my desire and voice to write again. I felt my dreams and intentions to write awaken. I had given up my work, my writing my joy


So, when this 14 Journal came to me, I knew it was serendipity. I didn’t realize I had a terminal resistance to writing daily. It was killing me not to write daily. Answering the deep question about my feelings, my life and my dreams triggered my resistance, exhausted me and I wanted to hide, sleep and go numb.

The fourteen days was moving closer and I was moving slower. Then Marni’s note in my box. I had committed to sharing my experience with this 14 day challenge. I dug deep, found my courage and determination and reached into my core to do what I set out to do. To complete the challenge. And I did.

I want to relay the important AH HA’s that jolted me to attention while participating in this challenge. Many are of a dark nature, but at the same time, from that shadow I came to the light of what actions I wanted and needed to do.

All I wanted to do is cry…. I had so may regret and fears. This challenge open a portal.

I angst over

Dying…. And living and staying conscious

Fulfilling my dreams, especially when I became ill

How much grief and regret I have.

Not giving myself the time to truly heal

Never feeling I have enough time

Rushing, speeding up… being in hypervigilance.

Being able to focus and stay in the present with my desires.

My rage. My lack of confidence.

Needing silence, quiet and relationship to my soul

Finding who my 65 year old is. HUH? I am sixty five? Really?


Intentions, choices and changes

All of this is what I realized was paralyzing me. It is time for change. Slowly, proudly and with lovingkindness

  1. I had stopped daydreaming
  2. I didn’t know what joy felt like
  3. I felt how stressed and hyper vigilante I had become
  4. I realized I stopped writing as a priority… writing had become a “have to.” Writing from pressure and power rather than love and exploration
  5. The writing daily challenged me to dig deeper into what I was not letting go of in the past.
  6. I stopped reading books for pleasure
  7. I minimized my achievements
  8. Was afraid to build fresh and a new thinking it was too late.
  9. I wanted to be perfect because I had so much shame
  10. Perfectionism, control and ego was stopping me from moving forward to surrender and allow life to lead me
  11. Accepting the last 10 years of illness, accepting the parts of my childhood that were hidden. Letting go of all it and stay in the present… and my journal gave me permission to rant and rave and still be in present with a new vision.

Most importantly, I had to face the darkest demon, my self-hatred and judgments. I wasn’t forgiving myself for becoming ill. I blamed myself. I thought I didn’t deserve my writing and joy. That my time was over. I stopped daydreaming of traveling to Italy, eating good food, continue my practice to help others as a Therapist, healer, writer and coach. That writing was a place of beauty, sacredness, fierceness, healing and creativity. That is for me, my relationship with myself, in the quiet of my heart, writing and expressing for myself.

It is a risk to expose myself in this way. But it is part of my healing. To unconditionally accept myself with all my dark and light. My good and bad.  

That is what this challenge has given back to me. A place to start, a place to feel, a place to feel joy without any stress, judgments or shame. It opened my heart again, helped me to express so many painful admissions to myself. It was a wake-up call.   And I am happier, calmer and more motivated because of it. Thank you Mari.



Journaling Challenge MasterI was born in Brooklyn, NY. Moved to Florida in 1974 with my husband Ron. Now married 45 years. I have two amazing cats Sammy and Zeke. My daughter Lara is pregnant with her first child, due December 26th. A new journey on its way as a grandmother. My life is a work in progress, filled with messiness, aliveness, painful challenges and I am always mindful, and determined to keep growing, healing and creating.

I have a Masters in Counseling Psychology and a BS in Education. I developed a practice for 40 years as a Psych spiritual Therapist, Writing Coach, Emotional Body Healer, Artist and writer. I obtained certifications as a Creative Coach, Intimacy Trainer, Rebirther, Breath worker, Hypnotherapist and Metaphysician. I have extensively studied Jungian and Depth Psychology. I worked with couples and families, and focused on women’s issues, addiction and recovery from trauma and abuse. I focus on woman’s voices, creativity and spiritual fierceness. I’ve written two self-help books, a poetry book, two plays and a novel.