Friday, January 6, 2012

Dark Chocolate AND Another Birthday!

Since today is my birthday (and yesterday was our anniversary and the day before was Breezy's birthday...Whew!), I thought it would be great to have Mari McCarthy share another guest post with us!

But first, I want to share a quick review of her DARK CHOCOLATE FOR THE JOURNALER'S SOUL.

To be honest, when I first discovered that Mari had put together some women discussing the whatwhenwherewhyhowtos of journaling, I thought, "How good can this actually be?"

I mean, seriously, just some women saying, "I journal?"

Guess what? WRONG. Again. No surprise there, eh?

It was quite interesting reading all the different reasons and methods of journaling. 

Women are learning who they are through journaling. They are working through various issues of all sorts and intensity levels. They are writing morning, noon, and/or night. They are writing a little. Or a lot. They are sorting out emotions and making spiritual connections to themselves. Journaling is providing them with a safe place to vent. To 'say' anything that is on their mind without fear of judgement.

Ok, ok. Y'all know how important I believe journaling to be. But now you can read the opinions of others and get an even better idea on it. PLUS, you might just find some inspiration!

AND NOW, Mari's guest post:

Why Do I Always ______? Use Journaling to Find Out!

by Mari L. McCarthy 

You may think that a journal is a notebook in which you write down what happens to you. This is true sometimes, but there are countless other uses for journaling, as well. Like figuring things out that tend to elude you. 

You know what I mean: the big questions of your life, like:

·         Why am I unhappy?

·         What does it all mean?

·         Is there a God?

·         How can I get more love?

·         Why do I always screw up/ trip over things/ get mad/ feel anxious/ say stupid stuff/ fall in love with the wrong type/ hurt the one I love? 

You can create a journal which becomes your daily opportunity to reflect on such questions, to have a chat with your inner self. If you are honestly seeking answers, your journal is a likely place to find them.

Taking the time for this kind of reflection – not just thinking, but writing or otherwise recording on paper the contents of your reflections – becomes an efficient therapeutic process that brings answers and improvements quickly. 

Say, for instance, you ask yourself, "Why do I always spend too much when I go shopping?" Your journaling process might be something like the following:

·         Dedicate a notebook to the issue, writing your question out at the top of the first page.

·         Decide to devote the first ten minutes of your day, or your lunch hour, or your bus ride or whatever to writing in the journal.

·         Describe in detail what happens when you shop: the time, circumstances, the way you feel, everything you can think of that is relevant to the question.

·         Let your descriptions be impartial. This is not a confession, nor is it rationalizing. Just the facts, please m'am.

·         Besides descriptions, record your feeling responses to what happens when you shop. Have at it with your guilt, your bitterness, your rationalizing in these posts. And write entire entries about one tiny aspect, if you're so inclined.

·         Go back every week or so and circle the hot words or phrases you've written: the ones that jump out at you from the page.

·         Start weaving deeper explorations of these words or phrases into your ongoing investigations.

·         Be sure to reflect, as well, on how the journaling practice itself affects your psycho-spiritual wellness; and on how your perceptions and feelings are affected when you write.

Along the way, you will notice that realizations about your question are manifold. You might suddenly see that there's a connection between your compulsive shopping and some condition of your youth. You might refine your approach to shopping as a result of describing it. You might make lists of alternatives to shopping. You might come to any number of surprising conclusions. 

The possible outcomes are endless, but you can be sure the journal will produce new and useful information for you. If you truly want to move forward, and not stay stuck in harmful ways, journaling is the smartest tool I know!

Mari L. McCarthy, journaling therapy specialist and author, owns Create Write Now, a website dedicated to all things journaling. The site includes hundreds of journaling prompts, personal journaling stories, interviews, a blog, and many other resources. Mari has published nine books to date. For more on ways that journaling brings self-knowledge, see Who Are You? How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life.

OH! And, because Mari is so generous, and because it's my birthday, I'm hosting a giveaway of Mari's book:  

Mari's Most Musefull Journaling Tips (spiral bound)

All you have to do to enter for a chance to win is tell me that you want IN! 
If you want a second chance to win, tell me whether or not you journal.
Want a third chance? Tell me why you journal. OR, if you don't already journal, just tell me why you'd like to begin! 

I'll announce a winner Monday!

 I'm linking up with Java at Never Growing Old for 



  1. Well, Happy Birthday to you in blogging friend. Where have the years gone?

  2. Cindy- I don't know where they went, but they flat out flew by! LOL Thanks!

  3. Happy Birdie Two Ewes!

    Have a wonderful day!

  4. Happy birthday my sweet friend. May you be blessed with so many more and know above all else, you are loved!

  5. Melody- Thank you for such a sweet sentiment! It's been a happy day so far!

  6. Woohoo....I'm in (she says jumpin' up and down)!!!

    Happy, Happy birthday to you sweetie! I hope your day is filled with flowers,friends and heaps of birthday cake...dark chocolate maybe. Heeehehehe!

    Today we're celebratin' our anniversary.

    God bless and have a wonderful weekend! :o)

  7. Happy Birthday, Pam! Thank you for hosting me once more and for the awesome review. I loved putting it together. WriteON! Baby!

  8. 2. I do not currently journal, but I just bought a journal yesterday with the intention of starting.

  9. 3. I'd like to start journaling because I would like to find out why I'm afraid to fail (and succeed) with my novel writing. Weird, I know, but it bugs the ba-jeebers out of me. I figure that writing it might make me understand it and overcome it.

  10. I need tips on blogging because I really don't know what I'm doing. I like the questions. I'm a new follower. Have a great weekend. Doylene

  11. Hi Pam. Happy Birthday! And Happy Anniversary! I'm late on both counts because I'm on a blogging break right now. Just thought I'd take a peek this morning as the dogs got me out of bed very early (for me)! I would love to be included in the draw, please. I don't journal but think I might be persuaded to start. Have a great weekend! xoxo

  12. Great post! I think it always helps to put thoughts down on paper (and then maybe have to burn it a bit later.) :-) Actually, I find journalling to be very therapeutic.

    I am so sorry I didn't get to your blog yesterday to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! ...and may you have many more happy and healthful years!

  13. Nezzy- We celebrated our anniversary on Thursday! Hope yours was fantastic! Thanks! I've got you down for the giveaway! Good Luck!

    Mari- I enjoyed doing it! It's easy to support someone you believe in!

    Patrice- I've got you down for the giveaway! Good Luck!

    Doylene- I was the same way when I first started. Hey, who am I kidding? I'm still like that! LOL Thanks for stopping by and following! I'll return the favor!

    Desiree- Thank you! I remember that you're taking a break! Can't wait to hear all about it when you get back! I've got you down for the giveaway! Good luck!

    Judy- It really does. And, yes, a burn might not be a bad idea some days. LOL I find it to be therapeutic too. Thank you for the birthday wishes!

  14. a journal is truly a great tool..let's you see all you've gone through and have survived! I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can!

  15. mom- I went over and followed earlier today! Thanks!

  16. Happy, happy birthday Pam!! And happy anniversary too! Good time of year for you with so much to celebrate. Hope you had some great days my friend. :)


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! It makes me feel connected to everyone even though we may live far apart! Have a wonderful day!

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