Journaling Lessons Learned from Teens

Journaling Can Benefit All Ages

I had the honor and privilege of speaking into the lives of a few budding teens this month through a series of Journaling Workshops.

I have conducted several journaling workshops over the past few years at my local library.  It has given me an opportunity to share the importance of keeping a journal and showing participants of all ages how specific journaling styles can help them to

  • Identify and eliminate self-defeating patterns
  • Strengthen communication with themselves and others
  • Unleash their ability to create solutions to lifelong dilemmas and repeated mistakes
  • Become empowered as they work through life’s challenging situations

I have even created a Private FB group, The Journaling Suite, that provides additional opportunities for them to learn and grow through their journaling practice.  How much these participants use this information, I may never know.  What I do know, is that they have it.

Once we are given knowledge, it is up to us to apply that knowledge to our lives.

As I reflect on the workshops I have conducted for teens this month, I can’t help but think back to my own childhood. More importantly, how important it was for me to keep a journal (or diary).  Little did I know that my commitment to journaling would enhance my ability to impact the lives of others.

Observing the participants at these workshops (ages 11-14), I realized just how far I have come since my first journal.

Because I still have my first two journals (from age 11-13), I am able to reflect back on where I was and how far I have come.  I have also  been able to identify the core values I possess that have made me who I am today.

Journaling Provides Evidence

So many times, we fail to realize how important our foundation is and how it influences our current reality. Having a written record of our lives, our history, provides anecdotal evidence.  Evidence that keeps us moving in the direction that allows God to use us in a powerful way.

Where to Begin:

There are two journaling styles I believe are very important to use when starting out your journaling practice;

Cathartic and Reflective. Both provide a way to move beyond a particular emotion and identify their significance to our life’s direction.

The teens I shared this information with may not fully grasp the significance of these styles right now.  My hope is that they will water these seeds that have been planted in them. From using this valuable tool, they will learn how to capture their experiences in a way that nothing else can.

As I shared my post on FB about these workshops, one of my dear friends responded,

“What a profound thing you’re teaching 💜. I used to journal, which led to writing poetry, in turn helping me through the valleys in life.”

When I responded that I would be sharing her comment in this blog, she responded,

“I am honored! You may never know it, but you could some day be saving a young boy or girls life as they learn to express pain, AND JOY AND GRATITUDE, through their own words on paper.”

My sentiments exactly!

Ironically, these young teens provided an eye opener for me at this last workshop…

Journaling

 

I discovered that they didn’t know who Michael Jackson was! It occurred to me that they were between 2-5 years old when he died! Even with his music legacy, no one in their family has kept his legacy alive. It just goes to show, if we don’t share our stories and lessons learned through our own experiences, no one will remember who we are or what we did.

 

My goal in conducting these workshops was to provide a tool for these young men and women to identify their own gifts and talents.  Also, to consider how to use them to change the world through reflective journaling. They participated in hands-on activities that introduced them to the journaling process.

As I indicated above, how they use this tool is totally up to them.  I believe I have done my part in guiding them. Guiding them on a path that will take them to where they want to go. I want them to recognize how this tool can help them to head off the distractions that will try to keep them from walking in their purpose.

 How about you?

Are you taking full advantage of the benefits and discoveries that journaling can provide for you?

While journaling is a great tool to rely on in times of distress and confusion, it is also a phenomenal tool to be used for helping you to move forward when we’re feeling stagnant.

So I ask you:

Frustrated

  • Are you feeling stagnant? 
  • Could you be progressing further than you are right now?
  • Is it possible that you are unsure of the direction you should be headed in?
  • Are there particular circumstances you are facing that are hindering you from moving forward and keeping you away from your peace?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might consider participating in my next virtual journaling workshop.  I would love to conduct on site workshops as well, but having so many people needing to learn about this practice prompts me to want to spread the love and the knowledge virtually!

Journaling Course

My next “Writes of Passage” 6-Week Journaling Forum will begin August 15th (on Tuesdays).
Click photo for specific details.

Clarity and forward progression begins when we take the time to step back and reflect on where we are and just how far we have come, or not come, based on the experiences that mold us.

It would be so great if you could  join me and all the others who participate in this forum.

I am currently preparing for my family reunion in August.  I have no doubt that I will have many more experiences worth journaling about when I return.

Enjoy your summer!

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