Have you ever toyed with the idea of writing your life’s story? A couple of years back, Nancy, my mother-in-law, started writing about the different chapters in her life. During Christmas, she gave each of her three children the chapter that was dedicated to them. You can imagine that their mother’s biography was one of the most touching and meaningful gifts they had ever received.
I wish I would have encouraged my parents to record their incredible histories, which included surviving World War II as teenagers, my mom having to choose from one day to the next between freedom and her parents, who lived in Eastern Germany, all the way to rebuilding a new life as country-side doctors in a remote town in the Black Forest.
I remember some of their incredible stories, such as when they rescued a monkey, who was the star in a small traveling circus, or when my father helped a distraught farmer, by surgically setting up right the comb of a prize-winning cock. But I fear one day, most of the events of their extraordinary lives will be forgotten.
In a society that communicates largely with text messages, emojis, and 140 character statements, taking the time to reflect, contemplate and write becomes more and more a lost art. Anais Nin, the famous French writer said: “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” But writing isn’t just an enjoyable stroll on memory lane. For many of my clients, journaling about their thoughts, dreams and daily appreciations has become an invaluable healing tool on their journey.
But you may tell yourself that you don’t have the time or talent to sit down and write. Or you judge your internal and external world as too mundane to scribble about. Or maybe you always wanted to journal, but just don’t know how to get started. To address all of these issues and more, I have invited my special guest Diana Raab, author of Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life, to Empowerment Radio, this Wednesday, January 17 at 11:00 AM PST.
Here are some of Diana’s personal experiences with writing:
“Writing your story is a way to reclaim your voice, reveal a family secret, or simply share your story with others. Journaling is a cathartic and safe way to work through your feelings and direct your rage to the page. With the help of this indispensable guide to therapeutic writing, you’ll understand yourself better, learn to honor the good times, be able to deal with various challenges in your life, such as depression, anxiety, illness, loss of a loved one, job loss, early life trauma, addiction, and life transitions.
I have encountered many losses in my life, and since it has been said that survivors are very often seekers, my experiences compelled me to record my feelings and impressions. For me, writing is my spiritual practice. My “go to” place during both good and bad times. My journal is my friend and confidant, helping me release whatever is bottled up inside of me. It is liberating for me because by releasing my secrets and sentiments, I become free and have more control over my life.
Writing is healing and transformative because it’s a way to nurture yourself. Free-writing, in particular, which is writing without lifting your pen off the page, can be liberating and healing because you go wherever your mind takes you. If you share your writing, others can be transformed by your words, especially if your story resonates with them or they have navigated similar journeys. Ultimately, healing, transformation, and empowerment are all parts of the same path—leading to self-awareness, self-discovery, growth and, eventually, bliss.”
Tune into Empowerment Radio and learn step-by-step hands-on exercises for journaling your thoughts, emotions, and memories.