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A TRUSTED FRIEND...the blank page.

I often talk about "tools for your toolbox." Tools are used for building, fixing and assisting you. Tools can be life skills, coping strategies and problem solvers; things you can learn to help yourself out. There are many. But, one tool I learned many years ago was from a book called, "The Artist's Way." There were weekly and daily assignments as a way to get unblocked. There was a daily assignment to write three pages of unbridled stream of consciousness writing; three pages no more, no less, first thing in the morning. This became a lifelong assignment as a therapeutic tool. It became a sacred space for venting and processing my thoughts. The blank pages began to fill with peace, clarity and solutions. The empty page is like a trusted friend you can tell anything to. You can let out your most innermost thoughts, frustrations, pain, rage, sadness and all of your secrets. I have been in places when I had no one to talk to or anywhere to go. I took it to the pages. Many times, I just sat down and wrote with an explosive pen, then ripped it up and threw it away. Some pages are creative, some are notes you want to remember, some are for your therapist and some might be practice for a difficult conversation. Writing has become one of my favorite things to do. It is a way to express myself. It is a place to process big emotions into manageable feelings while also sharing beneficial insight to others. My pages always begin like this, "Dear God, please guide my pen and help me to see the truth about...." It is usually at the end of the third page that I start to see things more clearly. I am typing this blog about writing, but the best way to do this kind of writing is pen and paper. Various research has shown that writing by hand engages the brain differently and uses large parts of the brain involved in thinking, language and more likely to get your creativity flowing. Give it a try and see how it feels. I realize that writing creates anxiety for some people. I certainly heard many students say, "I don't know what to write." And, I would say start there. Start your journal entry with "I don't know what to write" and write about not knowing what to write will flow. JUST START!

*My name is Jennifer. I am a certified life coach. I help others gain new tools and strategies for living better one day a time. I do not suggest anything to my clients that I do not do; or ask of myself. In fact, I took myself on a date to my favorite coffee shop to do my own writing. Mine begins..."Hello old friend. We meet again....I come back again and again. You give me refuge; a safe place to bang my head against the wall, cry, laugh, connect with the divine, the little girl inside, the woman in menopause on the verge of screaming, a place to look in the mirror at all my perfect imperfections, vulnerably baring my hopes and dreams. Hello old friend; my trusted friend."

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