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…

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

Writing Your Way to Better Health

It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Your Body has its own wisdom; it knows what it needs to heal itself and be well, it knows what it needs to be energised, it knows what it needs to come back into balance. Your Soul knows what your ideal physical body feels like, looks like, moves like. Your Mind knows what it needs to feel calm, centred and balanced, happy.

Writing has great power. Today’s journalling exercise is all about using the power of words and visualisation to manifest better health and to help understand and create your ideal body.

Journal Activity

Over the next week use the following journal starters and write as much or as little as feels right for you.  Begin by transcribing these words (the ones in coloured ink) into your journal. Then choose a journal starter that resonates for you and let the words flow.  You can use the same journal starter more than once if it really resonates.

Dear Soul-Body, Heart-Body and Mind-Body, 

There are things in my life that I would appreciate some help or guidance with right now. I know some of these can be quickly sorted, and some may take more time. I am open to the wisdom you need to share with me, I am open to however this works.


  • I know that the best time of day for me is
  • My body really enjoys
  • The sort of food that revitalises me includes
  • The thing that will most improve my mental health and wellbeing right now is
  • The thing that will most improve my physical health and wellbeing right now is
  • The thing that will most improve my emotional health and wellbeing right now is
  • I am now willing to release my addiction to
  • I would love to attract into my life a person who could
  • Exercise that suits my current body is
  • One way I can treat my body better is to
  • One way I can give myself some mental relief is to
  • A thing I used to do that always made me feel good is
  • If I had more energy I would be able to
  • If I felt better about my physical appearance I could
  • One way to nurture my body today is
  • Some of the things I need to cut down on are
  • Some of the things I need to include more of are
  • One of my favourite ways to move my body is
  • One thing I’d forgotten about that always improves my health is
  • My ideal body would look like
  • My ideal mental state would be
  • My ideal emotional and soul state would be
  • The most important thing I need to pay attention to right now is

Inner Child Work:

Image from writemath.com

Often we think that the best way to find guidance is to look to someone older and more experienced, or a Guide, Angel, God or our Higher selves.

There is however, a wonderful source of Guidance within you, known as your Inner Child.  This is the refreshingly honest, loving and very caring part of you who can tell you with all the affront and careful attention of a five year old, what’s really going on in other parts of you.

The best way to work with your Inner Child directly is to have a conversation between the Big you, and the Little you.  You can do this through what is known as Left Hand – Right Hand Dialogue.  It’s an easy thing to do!  Simply find some different coloured pens or pencils.  Use your dominant hand (the one you usually write with) to be the Big you, the conscious awareness of you as an adult.  Choose one pen for this hand.  Then use your non-dominant hand to represent your Little you, and let that hand pick a pen, or pens to write with.

Have your Big You write a question for your Little You, and then let your Little you respond.  The writing will be awkward, and don’t worry about spelling or vocabulary.  What you’ll get is honesty, and love, and isn’t that all we really ever need to get started?  You can do this to work on health problems and blockages in your life, and you can even get your Little you to draw and create works of art.  Enjoy experimenting!

Art Journal Activity – Inner Child Drawing

Using coloured crayons or pens, have your inner child do a drawing of you with your non-dominant hand.  Feel free to also use other materials and collaged images as well as words.

Collage of self portraits from healingsense.org

Now use a left hand, right hand dialogue as described above, to ask your Little You questions about what the drawing represents, and any advice they have to give concerning this.  Be prepared for some surprises!  This is a great technique for working with health and diet, and other aspects of wellbeing.  And may bring to the surface things you’d never even thought of!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

The following video contains some useful affirmations for health and well-being, and can also be used as a meditative practice.  Be well! Love and Honour yourself this week. ♥