I have something I’d like to share with you all this Valentine’s Day, which you can take or leave as feels right for you. It comes from a place of love and has been one of the most loving things I have ever done for myself.
I have recently come across the work of Nicole Sachs LCSW and her form of therapeutic expressive writing that she calls Journal Speak, and I can honestly say that it has blown my mind and changed my life! I’ve been doing it for a couple of weeks now and have had some MASSIVE breakthroughs. It follows on from Dr John Sarno’s work of treating chronic pain through addressing and releasing repressed emotions, and the more I learn the more it makes complete sense to me. I have been aware of this approach for a few years, but have only recently gotten into it further. The huge variety of symptoms that can be caused by stress and emotional repression is truly staggering. Here are some but certainly not all of them…
Unexplained chest pain
Some cases of depression and anxiety
I have stumbled upon this work from a few different angles, but recently as a way to continue to help myself heal from depression and calm my anxiety, after finishing working with a therapist. I was keen to do something to keep up good general maintenance of my wellbeing, and bought myself a 3-month subscription to Happiful, a magazine all about mental health. In my first issue (February 2021) I found an article by Dani Fagan, a woman who has healed herself from chronic, debilitating back pain using the work of Dr Sarno and Nicole Sachs. It was the first I’d ever heard of Journal Speak, and I wanted to find out more! I’d vaguely heard of this approach as a tool to help recover from chronic pain, but hadn’t ever tried it because I didn’t have chronic pain or any other symptom I had ever read on various lists throughout my previous research. I decided since I’d read about it in a mental health magazine I could give it a try from an emotional pain angle and see if it could help me at all. It is essentially a type of intensive therapeutic journalling where you tell the raw, unfiltered truth about anything and everything, and then burn/shred/delete it afterwards. I have journaled regularly anyway for a couple of years now and find it really helpful, but I had only ever done the kind that I keep and reread from time to time. My regular journal is full of my thoughts and feelings and experiences and gratitude, but not ALL of my thoughts or ALL of my feelings. I fell down a rabbit hole of curious investigation, and gave it a try. Here is something I wrote in my ‘to keep’ journal a few days after starting this practice:
“4th day of ‘write and burn’ journalling. Can’t believe what an incredibly powerful tool I have found! It’s been right here all along and I’ve been using it for a couple of years in the way I’m using it right now, but the act of releasing the very deepest feelings that are even too personal and intimate to be left lying around in a book is such a huge release. It is the safest place in the world, no one can hear you, and no one can or ever will read what you have written. I can feel myself embracing this practice with a resounding, full body YES! It’s amazing. Who knew there were different levels of journalling?! Mind blown.”
It has given me the biggest insight about how I ACTUALLY FEEL about things, instead of what I THINK I feel. It is such a great tool that I think everyone could get something out of using it, especially right now. During this COVID-19 pandemic, how much of your true feelings have you kept to yourself? How many of you don’t even know how you actually feel about any of it at all? How many of you have kept a brave face on to be strong for your children, and haven’t been able to acknowledge how scared and angry or any other feeling you are? How many of you are desperately lonely, or desperately wish for a chance to BE alone, but haven’t admitted it to yourself or anyone else? I can raise my hand and say “ME!” to all of those, but I am also in the process of finding out the truth, and it is such a beautiful thing.
If you want to try it out all it takes is a pen and a piece of paper (or a computer) and an open mind. It’s FREE, and you have everything you need to get started!
Read this article, listen to this podcast, follow your curiosity and do your own research and see what you find.
With Love xxx