“Journaling Power: How to Create the Happy, Healthy Life You Want to Live”

Mari L. McCarthy

It is a temptation when one is reading a book such as this, to “cut to the chase.” Often, we want to get to the part that will start making our life more rewarding. I urge all readers to this wonderful book to resist that urge. Don’t miss Mari’s story of how the discovery of her multiple sclerosis and the subsequent search for the ultimate doctor or pill made her realize that her healer lay within. Not only is it a gripping tale, sans self-pity, but it brings all of us to the dark moment of our souls.

For me, it was a battle with almost debilitating anxiety and agoraphobia that haunted me for more than a decade. There were the tranquilizers, the doctors……the guilt, the missed meetings. You haven’t lived until you figured out how to get enough food from the aisles closest to the grocery store exit because you knew you had about 10 minutes before the walls began to close in.

Whether it be physical or emotional, often the best answers are within us. This is not to say that people should toss out lifesaving medicine – but we have an incredible intelligence inside that can go so far to bring us to a place of total wellness.

That is where Mari’s book comes in.

Exercise after exercise brings you closer to you – where so many of the secrets and pain that we carry physically simmer slowly. On page 196 she speaks words that resonated with me. “I chose to become my own health advocate, and so in my journal I am always asking myself, ‘what’s my next step toward my goal of whole health?’”   When we empower ourselves, instead of turning over power, when we ask ourselves what we need instead of relying on others to tell us what that is, we become stronger, healthier and more comfortable in ourselves.” After all, we have been with ourselves since birth. It is just a matter of getting to that little core, that voice, that soul – whatever you want to call it – that we need to unlock.

Journaling brings us face to face with us. Didn’t the ancients say, “physician heal thyself,” and “know thyself”? Indeed. Ancient wisdom often prevails.

There are no set “rules” to journaling other than doing it. Being an impatient sort myself I never thought I could do it. Indeed, my first month’s forays lasted a few no more than 15 minutes.  Then something clicked. I loved the mystery – I wanted to hear what I had to say next.

Even when you are doing painful memory work, such as the section on healing childhood hurts, the fact that you control the pen and can stop and reflect if it is too difficult, is a great help.  Believe me, you will go back to it because the door has been opened and the thought of going in again is great because you are in control. Put it away, come back in a few weeks…it still works.

It all works. The tragedy is that our society denies what is so obvious – we are powerful, we are knowledgeable, and we just need to listen to us.