This week, I've taken out my journal again.
My son, Gabriel, graduated from high school last week, and is now traveling in Argentina with a friend. And I am very emotional.
I find it hard to even understand all the things I'm feeling: there are things that I need to process for myself about who I am, time, who I was, who I want to become, what I miss about the past (as hard as it was, I loved having little kids), changing relationship, hopes, fears, dreams.
Going back to my journal helps me process all of these competing voices.
When Gabriel and Simone were babies and toddlers, I kept good journals about what they were doing and how it was to be a mother of young kids.
As a young mother, I was both writing for myself in the moment and writing for my future self and the future self of my kids, who would look back on our writing.
Now when I read those early journals, we both are and are not the same people we were.
What is the self? In some ways, that is what writing is all about, at least for me: it's an invitation and dialogue with the self, a way to explore what selfhood is, in its many aspects, and then, when we are ready, a way share that interior life with others.
But first, before we share our writing, writing is about discovery. the novelist EM Forester famously quipped, "how do I know what I think until I see what I say?" Often the best way to understand what we think and feel is to write it down.
A journal allows you to tell your story, and in doing so you come to understand yourself and live more comfortably within yourself.
Over the past weeks, I've had a number of students ask me about how to keep a journal, so I created six journal prompts.
Whether you always keep a journal or never keep a journal, you might have a good time exploring these prompts.
Six Journal prompts for adults
Emotional Healing & Mindful Writing Blog | Nadia Colburn
I blog about creativity, writing, yoga, meditation, justice, women, the environment and integrated well being for the individual and society.