Video: A Journaler's Journey - Diving into Self-Discovery

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    Mari L. McCarthy February 9, 2017

    Journaling master, Jenny Beatrice, shares her experience, her methods and her journaling journey. Jenny started journaling in 2013 with Mari L. McCarthy's workbook, 27 Days of Journaling to Health & Happiness, which gave her focus and structure, and also helped form a journaling habit.

    Jenny says that the CreateWriteNow Facebook group is also extremely valuable. Other journalers share their own progress, tips, and challenges with one another.

    Mari always follows up on comments and questions during the program, helping you at every step of the process.

    Jenny says her biggest "a-ha" moment came not within the 27 days of the program, but after 6 months. She was in a deep depression after uncovering deep-seated issues. This prompted her to seek counseling. While she had been to counseling before, thanks to her journals, she was able to fully articulate how she was feeling, resulting in her receiving the help she needed.

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    Here is the full transcript of the video:

    I am Jenny Beatrice and I'm proud to say I am what Mary calls a journaling master since starting her journaling program in January of 2014 when I first started, uh, following the title 27 days to health and happiness. I really expected to find health and happiness in 27 days. I had been thinking about journaling for some time, but I never had a structure. I wasn't able to get started. I was lost. I wasn't sure what to write about. And her program really focused me on not only forming the habit but her topics really had a progression to start you off. Simple and then really gets you deeper and deeper into some issues. Some you would find more relevant to you than others, but all important about learning about yourself. Uh, some people are afraid of the blank page and how to get started. I'm really not.

    But sometimes I'll only write three words. Sometimes I'll write three sentences or three pages or more. And I think whatever needs to come out and however many words at whatever time is really important to you and they're all valuable in the same way. So I don't write every day. I have to admit I have numerous journals and I write all over them. I don't have one that I keep and I go by mood. Some are black and very serious and they seem to rank my serious thoughts in those. Some are more colorful. Uh, those seem to be my more positive thoughts. Uh, so I like to switch it up. I have to admit I don't write every day, I am trying to form a habit for that, but I have a perfectionist. So I tried to not allow a, that feeling that I'm failing at journaling. Hold me back.

    I do a when I need to. I try to, uh, keep forming that daily habit. But it's helpful for me no matter how many times a week that I do the program. But every time Mary starts up or 27 day program, I raised my hand. I find it helpful to get back into the daily journaling process. I learned something new about myself every time, even though they're the same topics that I know they're coming. It's interesting to see the progression from where you started to where you're landing as the program goes along. And I really find her facebook group very valuable when you start the program, she adds you to a private facebook group with everybody who's doing it. The sharing is wonderful. Seeing how people are progressing on their own journeys and also their challenges keeping up doing the program. And Mary is always very supportive.

    She always follows up with your comments, uh, given you suggestions, telling you to go right back to your journal and write to her and look for the answers that you are seeking as far as having Aha moments through the journaling process. I have very many, uh, so many of the topics that I've worked on each time over and over again. It gives me an opportunity to a fully fleshed that out and I do find what's at the heart of what my issues are. But my biggest ah ha moment was really life changing and it didn't take 27 days. It took six months after I started the program in January, in February, I fell into a very deep depression. I felt like the January 27 days opened up a lot of issues and vulnerability for me that I'd been hiding for a very long time. Uh, so instead of the health and happiness, I got myself into a great challenge.

    I, my depression really manifested in many ways over a six month time and it seemed that each month it was manifesting in different ways. In February, it was very deep. In March, I was trying to be a little bit more positive coming up with solutions. In April, uh, I went down again, it became very negative and it was a very up and down process. Uh, I really had a struggle with depression and anxiety and I really use my journal to just pour it out when I read that journal. Now sometimes it makes me sad and it brings me back to that place where I am very surprised to see how low that I was going. Uh, but by the time I got to June, I realized that I needed to get some help of my journal started being scribbles. It started being a less coherent and my emotions were really coming out in ways that I could no longer control.

    So I did seek counseling and I've sought counseling many times in my life, but this was the first time I was able to fully articulate how I was feeling and I attribute that to the journaling. I spent six months really fleshing out my feelings whether they were scary or negative or hopeful. So when I arrived at the counselor for the first time, I was able to really be articulate and bring the counselor into my world, which helped her, helped me better. I had never been able to do that before. So I really credit Mary's program and helping me recognize what my deep seated issues were. Helping me put pen to paper to really see them. And then being able to share them with important people who could help me, including my family, including the counselor and including my friends who were all very, very supportive.

    Now I can't say that I achieve the happiness every day that, um, I hoped for, but my psychological benefits have been beyond my hopes. It's still a struggle, but I go back to my journal and I keep writing it out. And every time we have the 27 day challenge, I returned to it and find that I'm growing each time. As I said, I don't write every day and I write it in a lot of different ways. But today I, uh, find a personal challenge to number one, be a little more positive. I've gotten myself through the negative times, but I'm kind of a glass half empty person. Sometimes I'm even a glass totally broken person. So I'm trying to write down positive things in my life. I feel that will help me manifest more positive things in my life by recognizing them. So I would like to begin to focus more on gratitude and thankfulness and even just what happens to me during the day without any deep thoughts, uh, to be present, to show what my life is really like.

    And I will be able to pick up some of the values. And the and the good things that are happening to me. So I am very grateful to Mary for her dedication to her journaling programs. I feel like she really cares about us. I feel like she really wants us to pick up this habit for our benefit. And I am very grateful that she continues these programs on, invites us in to her world and continues to grow her journaling community. And as Mary says right on, and I will continue following that for the rest of my life.

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