The Power of Journaling – Article 9 in a Series: Exercise Redux

By Erica Miner
NABBW’s Journaling Expert

Greetings, Boomers!

Once again the holiday season is about to descend on us, and what better time to start journaling? As you\’ve read in previous articles in this series, there\’s virtually no better way to relieve stress than by journaling, and we all know that this time of year can cause stress to escalate. Why not choose TODAY as your day to start handling your holiday anxiety in a powerful, creative way?

To help you along with this, in today\’s article I am continuing further with the list of exercises I put forth in Article 9. Again, it\’s about quality rather than quantity. Each of these is worth exploring in depth, and each one will help provide insight into your innermost thoughts and feelings.

Thus I will continue on from numbers 1-6 with numbers 7-11. So get out your pens, blank books, laptops and/or iPads. Incidentally, on the subject of iPads, if you\’re not familiar with the iPad app for Journaling, do take a look in the App Store. It\’s free, so there\’s nothing to be lost by downloading it, and you may find you prefer that mode for getting down your thoughts. However you choose to do it, as you may remember from earlier articles, what matters most is CONSISTENCY.

Happy Journaling – and KEEP GOING.

6. Recount three cherished childhood fantasies or a childhood tradition you wish you could still do as an adult.

Does the name James Barrie evoke a world in which you never have to grow up? Some of us would love to create our own imaginary world such as that great writer portrayed as “Neverland.” Or perhaps you recall other childhood worlds you created in your head and/or dreamed about. Holiday time often stirs up memories of traditions you enjoyed as small tyke. Go back in time and imagine yourself as a child again. Which tradition would you capture as an adult, and why?

7. Describe your most precious secret hideaway (and why).

Did you have a “safe place” as a child where you could be alone with your thoughts or together with your best buds? Where and what and with whom did you enjoy this cherished hideout? Do you still have such a place today? Why does it have such romantic connotations? Let loose with vibrant detail.

8. Recall a moment in time when you felt truly at peace with yourself and the world – and try to recapture it (the journal as meditation).

Journaling is such a meditative pursuit, one that potentially can create feelings of peace and tranquility. Think back and remember a former time when you were able to evoke these serene feelings and try to recapture their essence in writing.

9. Describe your perfect romantic spot for two crazy lovers. Better yet, write about your experience in one!

This is an exercise that can be done in past, present, or future. What would be your preferred spot for a romantic tryst? A cruise ship? An island paradise? A bridge over the River Seine? A parador in Spain? Let your imagination run wild with this one. Alternately, recount some remarkably romantic encounter and recreate the scene in your most colorful language. (MPAA ratings are irrelevant here!)

10. Describe your very first conscious memory.

This is one of Oprah\’s “faves” as well as one of mine. In fact, I always start my workshop exercises with it. It\’s amazing what people come up with. I remember a major occurrence when I was two years old, but others have shared experiences going as far back as infancy – and even the womb. You may just have a major revelation here.

11. Make a list of 10 items that share the hue of your favorite flower and write about what these items evoke for you.

For example, depending on your generation, a pink tulip could evoke: bubblegum, baby pigs, \’50s era poodle skirts, pencil erasers, clouds at sunset, et al. Many Boomers are old enough to recall some of these; I count myself among them. My granddaughters giggle when I share stories about such ancient objects. So this is fun not only for you but also for those who would tend to ask such questions as, “Grammy, was there really such a thing as a black and white TV?”

The above prompts could keep you busy for quite a while in the upcoming frantic season. Treat yourself to a cup of tea and a dose of “me time” when you feel the need to take a break from the madness. And if all the tryptophan brings on soporific feelings, indulge yourself. You\’re worth it!

Happy holidays!

Till next time!

Former Metropolitan Opera violinist ERICA MINER has had a multi-faceted career as an award-winning screenwriter, author, lecturer and poet. Her screenplays have won awards in recognized competitions, and her debut novel, Travels With My Lovers, won the Fiction Prize in the Direct from the Author Book Awards. Erica’s 1960s coming-of-age novel, FourEver Friends, published in 2009, was written with Baby Boomer Women in mind. Her highly anticipated suspense thriller, Murder In The Pit, released in June of 2010, has received five-star reviews across the board. Learn more about Erica on her website, EricaMiner.com.