Are you feeling like it’s time to release your journals? Has it crossed your mind when you were recently decluttering? Maybe you feel like it’s time to let go of saving your journals for who-knows-what; you never re-read them and the content isn’t something you desire to revisit. Or there’s details inside the pages that you don’t want read by anyone else especially after you’re gone! There’s lots of ways to release your journals. Burning journals feels freeing to me. I believe the lessons learned from your experiences are released in a puff of smoke and flames when tossed into the fire and are now free to energetically travel to another in need of your wisdom.
The flames make reading and clinging to the same old story impossible. Why return to a painful episode in your life’s history just to see if it still hurts? Learn the lesson and leave the rest. Ah, the lesson. Has it been learned? Or does it repeat itself across the journal, or many journals, like a broken record? Once lessons are learned and applied, it’s a done deal. That particular challenge disappears. The soul grows. No worries, lessons will not be wasted on someone who doesn’t want to learn or grow. Trust that they will be lovingly guided to land where they will make a difference.
I have all kinds of journals where I recorded my travels, dreams, guidance received through meditations, predictions, messages meant for others, full-tilt bitching sessions, wondering and wandering thoughts, hopes and desires. When I feel it’s time to clear out some energy, or time to let go of the past and be grateful for the lessons that got me to this spot in time, I build a fire.
You, too, may enjoy celebrating the lessons you learned with a hot, bright burn. It can be a solo act with ritual, or a group gathering to share with others ready to toss their journal pages into a fire. It can be one journal or all of them; a few pages or half the journal, as you like.
I stack fragrant wood and dried herbs from my garden in the fireplace, light it up, and feed the flames to create bright red coals. I pour a glass of wine, and bathe myself in the heat from the flames. Touching the covers, bindings, and page edges of the journals, I select one to release. I let my fingers feel the pages. The act of writing with ink on paper is sensuous to me. I tend to write in beautiful blank books. I open the journal, randomly scanning for a word I like or a phrase that feels good. Watching with the eyes of an observer, I witness the sensations and feelings that come with the words. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I shake my head in disbelief and other times I say “Ah-ha! That was the turning point. There was the lesson”. I give thanks to the journal, and the players in the lessons, and toss the pages or entire journal into the fire. I watch it flame up as the heat turns the pages one last time. It feels so freeing. Like clearing the air around my soul.
One caution! If your journal cover is not made of natural materials, I suggest you separate it from the pages and dispose of it in the trash rather than tossing the cover into the flames. You could create toxic fumes otherwise.
There are many ways you can release journals other than burning, of course. One very interesting artwork I saw in a gallery once was created by horizontally stacking 20 years of journals, drilling out the centers for a wooden rod to be placed through all of them as a collection with a layers and layers of encaustic wax poured over the journals forever sealing them in wax. It was then finished with a light polishing and installed on a wall.
The image below is an artwork I purchased in Philadelphia decades ago, and it’s a book that was used as a base to create an image of mixed media, with a vintage bronze sconce mounted right through the center of the book completed with crystal glass pieces and decorative objects. This would also be a beautiful way to recycle your journals!
Engage your creativity; what else can you do with your journals besides letting them gather dust on a shelf?
Are you going to release your journals or do you find it more soothing to keep them?