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04/04/2010


Journaling Heals • by Jennifer LeBlanc


As a young girl, I was given a gift. The box opened to reveal a little white diary with a gold lock and key. But I received the real gift in college when I realized that journaling isn’t just for growing up, but for growing. I knew then that I never wanted to live my life without incorporating journal writing.

Writing Helps Me Survive
Art is therapeutic. My art is creative journaling, and it has saved me many times in my life. Writing kept me sane through ten years of severe depression. Writing guided me out of the darkest parts of grief, when I lost my grandmother unexpectedly, and later, when my husband and I lost a baby to miscarriage. Writing helped me survive multiple surgeries as a result of the miscarriage, and then helped me cope with the aftermath of chronic pelvic pain.

I have found journaling to be of significant value when dealing with loss and grief, health problems, trauma, stress, depression, relationship difficulties, anxiety, and illness. I also love that it can used to record the best times of our lives ― the victories, joys, celebrations, and the small pleasures found in every day.

Writing is how I process my experiences, how I (attempt to) stay calm and engaged in my life, how I remember, and how I express myself creatively. Writing is also how I heal. There really is no way to sum up the tremendous value journaling holds for me.

Finding My Passion and Passing It On
I never view my past writing as a waste of time. On the contrary, I find inspiration and joy in going back and rereading the pages of my past. I love that by opening a notebook, I can relive almost any part of my life that I choose. I can be a newlywed again, a college student, pregnant with my first, a mother of a toddler and a newborn, or, if I want to be embarrassed, a teenager. The times that I have loved most in my life, the times that have challenged me, and even the times that have been the most painful are all there ― like grapes or cheese they are aging into something better: life lessons, wisdom, experience...

I have found such a gift in journaling, and my passion now is to pass it on through my Live Art.fully blog and leading journaling retreats.

Jennifer LeBlanc is an artist who lives on the Oregon Coast. She may be reached by e-mail at injennuitive@hotmail.com, through her blog at livelifeartfully.blogspot.com or on Facebook at her Live Art.fully Fan Page at facebook.com/#!/pages/Live-Artfully/307385185082?ref=ts.

Comments

I remember opening my first diary too and all those blank pages rich with possibilities. Thanks for sharing!

There is always more to write than I have time or energy to put down. I'm so thankful that you have shared your journaling skills and ideas. It makes a difference for me as well. Thank you!

Thank you to Jenny & the CRESCENDOh team for posting my story!

I am so happy you can pass this gift on; I am sorry for your losses! I think it is a wonderful tool, that we can dig to find ourselves with, plant new seeds and see what develops.
Thanks for sharing~

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