\ Dear Diary | Christina Brandt

Dear Diary

When I start working with a new client, I ask them to dedicate a notebook or journal for our work together.  We often create homework assignments that they’ll do between sessions, and some involve working with their journals.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this sentence:  “But I hate journaling.”    I’m always fascinated by this response, and being the coach that I am, I dig deeper.  Explanations run from “I’ve got nothing to say,” to “I don’t like to write,” and “I don’t want to put  my feelings on paper.”

My response is “So what?”  Who said anything about feelings?  Who says you have to even write?  Why not draw instead?  Or cut stuff out of magazines and paste it in there?  What about making a gratitude list?  Or, as one client does, a “mantra list.”  She copies quotations she likes, and other sentences she feels will keep her on track.

The great thing about journals is that they’re uniquely ours – deeply personal pages devoted to anything we’d like,  and they’re for us alone.  I encourage clients to be as fun, silly, stupid, wild, crazy, mean, funky, childish (or any other adjective) as they’d like, as long as they find a way to express themselves.  Once most get into it, they don’t stop. Creative self-expression is the best way I know how to create the beginnings of satisfaction in both our personal and professional lives.

Here’s a video from Fast Company’s site that beautifully explains the benefits of journals.   Enjoy!

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