“Journal to Change YOUR Life is looking for Journal Donations to give away to women, men, and children who need a jump start on a new life. The goal is to collect 2011 journals in the year, 2011 and then give them away. The purpose is to encourage people to spread their wings, give voice to what is inside of them, and inspire them to tell their stories. I am here to assist others in manifesting a rich and meaningful life through the art of journaling.”
Q. Lillian, you have a very interesting life. You seem to have reinvented yourself along your life’s path. Can you talk a little about how some of the events in your life led you to who you are today?
A. The most challenging events in my life are what have made me the person I am. Life's experiences, good and bad are the meat of our character. Doing my own healing work has helped tremendously in reinventing myself. Life's transitions didn't come easy for me. Reinventing oneself takes work, willingness, & determination. As a result of that work, today I am able to move through life with ease and joy.
Q. When and why did you start journaling? And what type of journals have you created?
A. I started journaling August 26, 1990. My life was in a major upheaval and I needed a best friend. I started creating journals with a specific intention depending on what I needed or wanted in my life. It gave me focus, clarity, and has fueled my creative ability. I date my journals and create different ones like: gratitude, visual, goal, collage, healing, travel, food & exercise, memoir, prayer, and creativity.
Q. Do you go back and read your journals as a way to check your progress or as a wake up call?
A. Yes, I have reread some. I like to go back and reread them at the end of the year. I normally accomplished a lot more in a year then I give myself credit for and that makes me feel good. I highly recommend doing this to anyone who currently is journaling.
Q. Can you name a few of the benefits one gets from journaling?
A. Heightens awareness and creativity, brings on more clarity, helps with breakthroughs and is a great place to record memories. A story loses its truth if it is not written down. When we journal for ourselves by ourselves, we can create a safe haven. When we journal in a group that is facilitated by someone with experience, we can create openness and expansion for all those involved.
Q. I always think of journaling as writing down one’s thoughts, but you have incorporated artwork into your journaling. Is that a whimsical type of exercise or does drawing help with dealing with one’s emotions and feelings of self worth?
A. Drawing is a great tool for self-expression. I'm predominantly a visual soul. I think in pictures. Pictures can help us visualize what we want and it can evoke emotions. I enjoy doing Zen drawings for meditative purposes because it is very relaxing. Besides drawing is just downright fun. I do it for the simple pleasure.
methods that you use with your group?
A. All the work is experiential. I use writing, drawing, movement, witnessing, and sharing. Sometimes, I incorporate nature and music. I create my work from resources such as: my various trainings, books, CD's, breath and yoga work, and life experiences.
Q. A few months ago you and your company, Journal to Change YOUR Life, decided to collect 2011 journals in 2011. I just love to see a tiny jolt of inspiration manifest into an opportunity for people to truly make a difference in the lives of people who are seeking a place to write their stories. Can you please share your story on how your journal donation campaign came to be?
A. A woman, Melissa Bass, who is in my Awakened Goddesses group, envisioned giving me 2011 journals to donate to other women in 2011. This is a great example of how God provides just what we need. This project idea couldn't have come at a better time in my life. I believe these things are presented to us all the time. We just have to be present and receptive to the gift.
Q. How are the donations going? What kinds of organization have you been able to donate journals to and have you gotten any feedback yet?
A. I have received 138 journals so far. So many people recognize the value of journaling and are very supportive of the Journal to Change YOUR Life project.
We've donated journals to Child's Advocacy Center and The Office of Solicitor. They both assist sexually abused children and adults. The feedback from these centers has been wonderful.
Some of the places I intend to donate when we receive more journals are: The Salvation Army, Thornwell Orphanage, Children's Place, Helping Hands and The Cumbee Center located here in South Carolina.
Q. Now I hear your plan to raise 2011 journals in 2011 has gone international. How did that happen?
A.I have Facebook to thank for that! I met a woman online from Australia. She showed great interest in the project so I asked her if she would like to come on board and work on getting journals donated near her home in Australia. I am so excited about the possibilities. I mean, imagine Australia embracing the journal donation project in one month’s time!
Q. How can people donate journals to you?
A.They can email me at email@example.com for information on how to get the journals to me.
Q. And finally, how has this changed your life?
A. The project has expanded my little world by giving back in a significant way what was given to me in a time of need...a simple journal to start a new journey. I found my best friend...Me.
Without that first simple journal, I may not be here today. That journal was my best friend, my confidant, my safe haven where I could release and express myself in a way that saved my life while I was living through an insane time in my life. I felt so alone and scared as hell. Journaling set me free and gave me peace. I finally wrote myself well. I say give every man, woman, and child a journal for it is like oxygen to our lungs. Journaling will breathe life back into you and your life. You just need to write with intention.
For more info, please go to Lillian Gaffney.
Help change the world – one journal at a time.
elizabeth’s Creativity Coach site is: Coaching for the Creative Soul
Please visit: My Views From The Edge