Get yourself an ugly journal…

I have a special journalling quest for you today.  Are you up to the challenge?

Get yourself an ugly journal. A cheap one. One you can never feel fond of.

Trust me, you do not want to get a pretty journal for what we are about to do…

Today we are going to create a ‘Sh*t Book’, a ‘Poo Book’, a Craptastic Account of all that is truly suckful, petty and awful in our lives.

We are going to make a journal that will act like a giant word-thought-and-emotion toilet: a dumping ground for all the toxic waste that we need to get out, in order to start feeling better.

I love journalling. And most of what I write is positive, creative and exploratory. It’s the sort of writing I actually want to go back and read over when I’m done. (See examples of how to do that here!)  Even years later I can go back to those finished books and take inspiration and guidance from their pages.  Rainbows, butterflies, and all that wonderful stuff that dreams are made of…

Sometimes life is all rainbows and butterflies… – image from blingee.com

But sometimes… you know how it is.  Life makes you mad.  You wake up with a great knot of pain or resentment or frustration. Or you get that mean pettiness, where everything is going to come out as a whine or a complaint.

Image by Inglgs at photobucket.com

That sort of thinking is no good to anyone. It’s like garbage. It just needs to be dumped before it pollutes the rest of you and spills over into your day.

Sometimes the toxic waste in your mind pollutes what would otherwise be a charming place to be – Photograph by Peter Cade, Getty Images

But we don’t want to go dumping that stinking thinking in the middle of our rainbows and butterflies! We need to dump responsibly.

That’s why we are going to create a special book just for rubbish thinking. We can happily write away in our ‘Sh*t Book’, recording every last detail of the sheer crappiness and horror, the drudgery and outrage, the blow by blow accounts of the things that depress us, upset us, tick us off, push us into ugliness.

You can even paint, sketch, collage and otherwise create. The thing that matters is finding a way to express the pain, hurt or other negativity within you.

Journal Activity:

Find your ugly journal. You can even make an ugly cover for it if you want. Use all those awful toilet colours – browns and blacks and nasty greens. Make it a worthy dumping ground for your terrible thoughts.

Then use any of the following prompts to get you started. Don’t worry about sentence construction, spelling or even what you say.  This is a dump, remember? So just follow the prompts and let it flow. Mind you, if you’ve already in that cranky space you might not need any prompting at all to get it off your chest…

  • I couldn’t be more angry about…
  • It is totally miserable that…
  • I can’t believe that he/she could…
  • The feeling eating a hole in me right now is because of…
  • If I’d had my way I would have told __________ that…
  • It’s Dumb! It’s so dumb that…
  • I hate…
  • Just the thought of ________ right now makes me…
  • Grrrrrr! The thing about all of this is that….
  • Hey! Let me tell you what I REALLY think…
  • I have never felt more __________  since…
  • It’s just not fair that…
  • I could scream right now because…
  • All I want to do is cry. I’m at the end of my rope and…
  • Here is a list of EVERYTHING that is pissing me off right now…
  • This is totally (insert favourite expletive or explanatory term). I had wanted to…
  • And yet again, cue drumroll, I am…
  • I feel like I’m never going to be able to…
  • It’s the same old thing -

There is only one rule with your ‘Sh*t Book’.  Don’t read back over it, and don’t share it with anyone. Ever. No-one can play in toxic wastegrounds safely.  You just get in, dump and get back out of there again as fast as you can.

You can choose to handle your ‘Sh*t Book’ in one of two ways. At the end of each writing session, rip out the used pages and burn them, shred them or in other happy ways destroy them. OR wait until you have filled the entire book and then destroy it.  Bury, burn, slash, mutilate, flush, dump, explode… Whatever works for you. You may also like the symbolism of binding your book with a cord or big bulldog clips to help keep everything safe until you can dispose of it responsibly.

This Photo courtesy of http://www.bradleygauthier.com

Art Journal Techniques:

Sometimes it’s easier to draw or paint, to rip and glue rather than to risk words.  Sometimes when you can’t even find the words, art can help you make a new language for healing.

I love this next clip! I was looking for something to explain art journalling to you, and this started out so well, because it’s about making messy art – ugly art even. Perfect for your ‘Sh*t Book’!

But you know how the Universe works.  There is something redemptive about clearing out the trash.  It always makes room for something new and brighter.

I was laughing by the end of this youtube how-to, because after the ugly start, she ended up painting…

Yep, you guessed it…

rainbows and butterflies…

Sending you lots and lots of love for the journey. Enjoy that ugly journal! ♥♥♥ xx

27 thoughts on “Get yourself an ugly journal…

  1. What a healthy idea to take all those mean negative thoughts and put them in a craptacular journal! I also think the idea of burning it is genius. Such a cleansing thought.

    Thank you Nicole. I am going to get a journal with Justin Bieber’s face on it just for this ;-)

  2. love it! I’ve been doing this on and off for years-I like to refer to it as “vomiting” onto the page-and it really does work. (My clients who are willing to try it also love it). Also burning it afterwards works because garbage (or vomit) is always something we want to never see (or smell) again!.. :-D

  3. Woo Hoo! Half the fun will be making it as ugly as I can…so many *poo’s* to choose from for the cover…How will I ever decide? LOL This is a wonderful idea for getting rid of the uglies!

  4. This made me laugh all the way through, such a funny idea and so different from your other journalling activities. Mind you, like the others this one also has a purpose and a wholeness about it, with the sacrificial destruction at the end. Surprising and inspiring!

  5. I love this idea! Sadly, I’ve seen many good bloggers turn their once interesting blogs into dump fests. I don’t mind reading a “dump post” once in a while (we are human after all) but when it becomes a regular occurrence I feel that I need to stop reading to shield myself from the negativity. BTW Love your blog! Great job! Very uplifting! :)

  6. What a great idea! I started journaling back in college when I was upset about something and knew I HAD to get it out. And it really helped so I’ve continued over the years. What I like is that you keep these whiney words separate from the rest and destroy them! Thank you!

  7. Gr8 idea!!! Have been thinking about journalling for ages.. Never seem to get around to it on a regular basis. But I am going to make it my mission to start with this.. How cleansing!!! Thanks again you are awesome.. Xxx

  8. Pingback: Making My Life Work for Me – Week 5 | Cauldrons and Cupcakes

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