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Journaling Basics

The Story of Use Your Journal

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Use Your Journal is something that has been a few years in the making. When I started my first blog, AC Hoekwater.com I wanted to talk about journaling and how to make it work for people and for healing.

What follows is the story and the thoughts behind Use Your Journal born out of this desire. Thank you for joining me on this journey.

My Story

Like many people, I’ve journaled for years. Before I really understood what it was, I was intrigued by the images of people writing down the stories of their lives. Journaling was something I wanted in my life.

My first journal was a brightly colored teal journal with an asian flair. It was silk covered and I bought it at the fair. I used that journal for a long time and I wonder if that is where I developed my struggle with what journal to use next. The concern was that if I filled it (and I didn’t) what would I journal in next.

That question still haunts me to this day. I always must have an extra journal (or 15) on hand for when I needed to switch out my journals.

That is one of the reasons I began Use Your Journal.

I wanted people to understand how much a journal can help them with their daily lives.

I wanted to show that journaling doesn’t have to be difficult nor overwhelming.

And, I wanted people to not be afraid to use their beautiful bound books for whatever they needed to.

Journal writing is one of those things that is so often given as a task or a piece of advice but seldom are you taught what to journal or how to journal.

There are many ways to journal and many reasons to do so. And none of them are wrong.

But how do you find what is right for you.

I’ve found that my own journal writing has taken many forms and has evolved through my daily life. Still, I found myself at a loss for how to express what I was learning and what I was discovering through my journal writing.

About a year ago, I came across a journal class by Kay Adams from The Center for Journal Therapy. It was one where you could go at your own pace and it was about healing.

Journaling has been a part of my healing journey for many years. Intuitively I knew how to use my journal for healing but I was clumsy in my teaching of it.

In Kay’s class, I dove into the exercises, often doing more than was required. I grew more and more excited to teach what I had learned. The difference I felt in me was wonderful and I knew others would find benefit with it.

I started small. Teaching my immediate co-workers then onto other departments before I began a class with survivors of both domestic violence and sexual assault. While the class was an interesting exercise, there were successes and a dream to take that class I’d worked on to a larger community.

And So It Began

Though I didn’t know it then, the spark for Use Your Journal was ignited. I still had a difficult journey ahead of me and I didn’t yet know the outcome.

Fast forward one year and here we are. Though a work in progress, my dream for Use Your Journal, is to have a place for community and to learn something new. This site will be a place to come back to again and again looking for ideas, prompts and gentle encouragement when your own journey becomes difficult.

After all, life is full of ups and downs. And a journal at your side is a valuable friend, counselor and confidant. And there is no judgement. Not here and not from your journal.

Thank you for beginning this journey with me. I look forward to many more conversations. Please remember to subscribe to the Use Your Journal newsletter. I promise not to bombard your inboxes with unwanted emails.

Until next time,
Angela

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