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Journal Your Way to BALM® Recovery – Be A Loving Mirror to Yourself

BALM | August 15, 2016

Journal Your Way to BALM® Recovery: Be A Loving Mirror to Yourself

 Why Has the BALM® Added journaling to our offerings?

By Mark Scannell, ACC, BALM® Journaling Instructor and Coach Training Faculty Member

Over the past year, journaling classes and workshops have been added to the BALM® offerings.

Actually, journaling has always been a part of the BALM® program. Our goal is to Be a Loving Mirror to Those around us. Journaling is one way to Be a Loving Mirror to ourselves that hopefully helps us to Be A Loving Mirror to Others.

So, why journal? And why journaling as part of the BALM®? Journaling is one way for individuals to capture what is happening to them and within them. It is stepping back from our lives in order to become more aware of what is taking place inside of us.

We often suggest younger people take a time out to settle down and relax. This is important for people of all ages as, for centuries – both individuals and communities – have written down their experiences in order to discover what has happened, what they value, what is important to them and what they want to do.

I have journaled for about fifty years, and my teacher was Ira Progoff, who developed the Intensive Journal workbook. His method distinguished between keeping a diary & keeping a journal. His insight was that within each of us there is wisdom and experiences that can help us find meaning in our lives, develop the gifts we have been given, and enable us to reach out and contribute to society and others. Journaling, then, is very much for ourselves as well as being in the service of others. I understand this to be the focus and thrust of BALM® also.

In a few words, the Journal Your Way to BALM® Recovery workshop invites BALMers to write about their life experiences, acknowledging that their life experiences vary over time and place. So, what is happening now is different from something that happened thirty years ago; a night dream is different from something happening in the world.

Different sections of the BALM® Recovery Journal reflect these different kinds of experiences. The belief is that “taking apart” our experiences and looking at them from different perspectives can lead to new found awareness that we can then work with and incorporate into our lives. Journaling is not about just filling notebooks. Rather, it is about resolving issues that have been with us for a long time, and discovering possibilities for our future.

A couple of other important aspects of this journaling process:

We write for ourselves – for our eyes only. We write not to impress or depress others – we write to know ourselves better. As we write for our eyes only, it is often helpful to journal with others who keep us on track, especially when we are tempted to stop writing & do something else. The group keeps our feet to the fire! While we always protect each person’s privacy, at times it is helpful to read out loud what we have written – why? Because often there is much contained within the words that we have written. We only become aware of the feelings and sentiments when we speak and hear what we wrote. Yet, no one is required to read their journal out loud. People only do so when they want to.

I have often thought that journaling seems to come much more easily to introverts and introverts find it easier to set aside time to write and ponder their life. On the other hand, it strikes me that possibly extraverts like myself can benefit more from pulling back & writing about what is happening, where we have been and where we wish to go. So, introverts and extraverts – whoever you are – come and sample this journaling process as the Journal Your Way to BALM® Recovery workshop will continue the remainder of 2017. Feel free to come any Tuesday @ 10:00 am ET, as each week is an individual workshop. Just possibly the journaling might help you to become a Loving Mirror not only to others but also to YOURSELF!

Mark Scannell

Note from FRR: Mark will lead these workshops, which will be open to every BALMer, whether you have ever journaled or not. Please contact Tracy at tward@familyrecoveryresources.com to register for the workshop. If you are not yet in the BALM® Community and want to join, please contact Tracy at tward@familyrecoveryresources.com.

Not yet in the BALM® and would like more information, please click here.