• Sarah Ratermann Beahan

One True Thing

When I tell people I teach workshops on the intersection of writing, creativity and healing, one of the first things they remark on is their journaling practice or lack thereof. It is the single biggest request I get: can you lead a workshop on journaling? I think it's because we all know, either intuitively or because the latest clickbait article on Facebook reminds us, that when we put our thoughts on paper, we feel different. We know this, and yet, we don't do it.

We open the pretty new blank book we bought and stare at the page and eventually push it under a pile of mail and go back to our daily routine. Why is it so hard to start?

  • Because we don't know how to say what we think.

  • We don't know how to get past what we think to what we feel.

  • We are ashamed of documenting what we feel--as though we'll be judged by the paper itself as complainers.

This all stems from one thing: fear. Mostly a fear of "doing it wrong" mixed with a little "what will people think."

This is so incredibly, ridiculously, perfectly HUMAN. And yet, if we are going to heal ourselves--and I'm not talking about major trauma here, I'm just talking about every day wear and tear--we have to go deeper. And to go deeper requires us to push aside that ego-driven fear.

I do a lot of things in the morning. I meditate, I do a bit of yoga, I write, I walk my dogs. I love my morning routine, each part of it brings me a different sort of joy. And yet, sometimes it becomes a bit rote. I find myself going through the motions. My flow becomes shorter, my walks are more a function of getting the dogs to stop whining than the pleasure of feeling the air on my face and the sun on my shoulders. My journal becomes a list of what I have to do that day rather than any sort of reflection on myself and where I am at that moment and why.

So, yeah. We can all use a little kickstart. Myself included.

And I KNOW that writing it down opens us up, moves things about and creates space for healing. I know this, and I'll fire all the research at you in another blog on another day. So your instincts and that BuzzFeed article you read on the bus or in the line at the grocery store is right.

I've put together 14 days of prompts that will arrive in your email box each morning. Some will be timed, some will have specific instructions, others will just be the beginning of a sentence to get you started. None should take you more than 30 minutes.

I want anyone to be able to participate in this, from young people to older adults, and I don't want money to be an object. And yet, I know that if you have a bit of skin in the game, as they say, you'll be more likely to stick to it. So this is a pay what you can situation: you can chose to pay $10, $14 or $20. Each gets the same prompts, but those who pony up $20 support the folks who can only pay $10. Pay it forward, right?

The link to register is here. You have to register by June 8 because I'm doing this thing all by myself, y'all and I don't want to miss anyone.

The emails will start June 10.

Simple as that.

Questions? Get at me here: sarah@sarahratermannbeahan.com

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