01 Sample from our Journalling for Clarity program
Please note: In the program you will not send in your personal journal for feedback, just your commentary on our experience using the technique.
Letter to a trusted friend.
This is one of my favourites and I find this a really easy one to use. Imagine that you have a friend who is a great listener; unconditionally supportive and always on your side. This friend is available at any time to listen to what is going on for you. There is no need to feel embarrassed or ashamed about what you are sharing, there is no need to worry about the information being used to judge you or as gossip about you.
Perhaps you already have a friend like this? Well you might like to keep them in mind, whilst you use this journalling technique.
As you might already imagine, with this technique, you are going to write a letter to your friend that is completely honest, open and allows you to express any and all thoughts and feelings that you may have at the time. Don’t worry if your feelings, thoughts and opinions don’t make sense or aren’t logical. In this exercise you are allowed to express whatever you want. You are allowed to swear, say things you would never want anyone to hear – there are no limits. This is completely private and you just need to give yourself permission to express your TRUE feelings. Not what you think you should say, what sounds reasonable, sensible or acceptable to others, but you what YOU really feel. You know that you can say anything to this friend. Allow yourself to move past the “good” you who may feel “bad” for having negative feelings. We are releasing feelings because they are there. If you can admit to them and allow them to be expressed safely then they no longer have to be suppressed, making you sick and draining your energy; and you can genuinely move onto a happier place.
Towards the end of your letter it can be helpful to bring the focus to what you most need right now and to finish on a positive note by telling your friend about what good qualities this situation has illuminated in you or reminded you that you have.
Here is a little example:
Dear friend, I had the worst day today. I was called into my boss’s office (rest of example contained in program)
This is a lovely gentle technique and also great to use with children. A worry box is for ongoing stressful situations, for worries that keep you awake at night and for any person, issue, problem or stress that is persisting in your mind.
We all have concerns, stresses and worries. They might be about work, about certain relationships, ageing parents, children experiencing difficulties, financial problems, anxiety even worry about self. Life today is complex and multi-faceted. We are all juggling so much and it is absolutely normal for things to get on top of us at times.
When you find yourself worrying or being unable to let go of something, use your worry box. Your worry box is any sort of box that is not easily opened and has a slot or lid that you can use to post your worries into.
Cut some coloured paper into squares roughly 10x10cm. You can also use post it notes if you like.
Write down what is worrying you and post it consciously into the box. This means with the awareness that holding onto the worry is fruitless and letting go of it for a time will allow more constructive thoughts and insights to arise.
From time to time you can empty your box (perhaps when you notice it getting full). I try not to look at the worries I have posted again, but if I do happen to see one, I am surprised at how easily I was able to let it go and that things did work out anyway.