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Journal by Prescription

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By Jacqui Markowitz

RISMEDIA, January 15, 2009-I went to visit my doctor the other day. There is a lot going on in my life; or shall I say, my mid-life, which, by the way, I am re-coining as “my re-defining years.” Like many, I am dealing with issues of the market, money, heartburn, time, husband, stress, my body, anxiety, aging parents, as well as the daily bits and pieces and details of life – it just feels like I have a lot going on.

So, feeling a tad overwhelmed, I had a chat with my doctor. I felt like he would be a good person to talk to. I’m not a talker. I’m extremely private, but I felt that I really needed a little direction. I felt paralyzed. When I got there he asked me if I was feeling paralyzed or if am I depriving myself – I replied I’m ‘deprivalyzed’ – it’s a blend.

Our first visit caught me at an extremely vulnerable time. I had been experiencing an especially difficult time with my Mom, who at ninety-one, was not doing well and it was affecting me terribly. The stock market had plummeted and my husband was not dealing with it especially well. The daily stress was impacting my health. I was shouldering the issues of the world. I definitely needed to join Madonna for her four daily hours of fitness training if I intended to carry the load sufficiently.

So, here I am, sitting in the doctor’s office venting about all this “stuff.” Part of me is still questioning why I am even telling him all of this and the other part of me is thankful to just get it off my chest. I finish ranting. There is a pause. I am waiting for some wisdom; some words that will put everything into perspective and send me along to deal with my life and forge on. The words were not what I expected.

He said, “Do you journal?”

A pause hung in the air as the microchips of my mind computed his comment.

“Do you know what I do at work?” I exclaimed.

“I profess the joys of journaling on a minute by minute basis. I create, direct and expound the multitude of journaling initiatives of our company in an array of media! Do I journal???”

Well actually…..no, not so often. I’m so busy thinking and writing everything about journaling all day that I confess I do not journal by the light of early morning nor the warm glow of a lamp at night as much as I’d like to in my little black lined book, nor does my laptop receive the tap, tap tapping of supple journaling fingertips with any regularity.

So, what does my doctor do?

He writes me a prescription for journaling. I’m to come for a follow up after a week of having written in my journal everyday.

Why?

He says that I need to get all the stuff that is going on in my head down on paper for a few reasons. He wants me to get rid of it. He wants me to figure out what it is that is standing in my way and to get in touch with my emotions and the effects they are having on me. He wants me to dream of the things I want to do and will make me happy. He wants me to determine my true passion; that thing that makes me smile, is effortless and brings me great joy. He wants me to come up with a plan of action, taking baby steps, but steps in the forward direction.

All that from a journal – imagine that.

The prologue to my story is that I have been journaling everyday and I can’t believe everything that is pouring out of me. This really does work! It is helping me to unload all the stuff that is inside me and identify the themes in my life that are frankly themes that I need to let go of. Lack of money, being available to everyone in my life except me, finding the time for everything except exercising, giving up things that I love to do, not being an active pursuer of my dreams…any of this sound familiar? It’s amazing how you look at your life with different eyes when you are able to stand back from it. That is what the journaling has done for me so far. And, in looking at my writing and recognizing the themes that are presenting themselves, it is easier for me to make changes. Clarity is a very interesting thing. Once you can see your way, there really is nothing standing in your way.

Try journaling. Really. It’s prescribed by physicians!

Jacqui Markowitz is the Director of Communications for Frame of Mind Coaching and an advocate of journaling. FOM52 is an online coaching program that uses journaling as a tool to get you from where you are now to where you want to be. Online coaches read your journals daily and make comments, offer suggestions and ask questions that help you to overcome your struggles and develop the skills that will allow you to achieve your goals. FOM52 will guide you in terms of what to write about so that you can decompress, determine, decide and reach your destiny. Please join our community now, and begin your journaling journey to a healthier life. Visit www.fom52.com.

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