Meet Jennifer Brooker, IAJW Member from New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada

Why did you join the IAJW?
I joined IAJW to be part of the journal writing community, to learn more about what others are doing with their journal writing. Our paths can be so diverse. For me, being part of community, hearing / reading others work, sharing my writing goes a long way to my health and healing. The key being the sharing. It feeds my soul to be part of this community, taking part in the monthly circles when I can, being inspired and supported to open up at a deeper level in a safe and supportive group.

How does journal writing enrich your life?
Journal writing enhances my healing and self discovery process. It supports transformation, growth, the search for those deep inner aspects of myself that so desperately want to be seen and acknowledged. My inner child and my inner critic both get to be expressed and be heard. It gives me space to connect to these parts of me, offering them guidance, nurturing, safety and security. Journal writing allows me to be both afraid and brave; I honour the courage within myself that it takes to be as open and honest as I can be.

What is one journal writing or creative writing tip that you would like to share?
If there is a voice inside of you telling you that you don’t have time to write, don’t listen to it. If you have time to play your favourite online game that consumes hours of your time, you have time to write. For times that I struggle with this, I have a collection of writing prompts that I turn to that help get me writing. I set a timer for 5 – 10 minutes, and I just write. If I want to make more of a game of my writing, I will choose 6 words at random, and spend 5 – 10 minutes incorporating all these words in my writing. At the end of it, I will spend another 2 – 3 minutes writing about how the experience feels in my body. It is always a good feeling to write, even for five minutes.

What is one of your favourite books on journal writing or creative inspiration?
My journal writing journey is focused on self care, self discovery, and spiritual healing. Anything by James W. Pennebaker is always a favourite. I am inspired by the work of Amber Lea Starfire, who has developed a “writing adventure” called Journalling Through the Chakras: Eight Weeks to Self Discovery.

One thing that I would like you to know about me is how blessed I am to be on this journey of self discovery. It has ignited a passion for travel that has taken me to the sacred site of Machu Picchu in Peru, to caring for elephants in Thailand, and to skydiving in Abbotsford. It has brought me to appreciate and honour that my life has not always been like this; in fact, it has been very much the opposite of this, where the only way to get me on a plane was to drag me on, kicking and screaming. I was not a fun travel partner. Blessed to have discovered journal writing as part of healing this fear.

My favourite part of being an IAJW member is…Being part of this loving, caring, & sharing community.

“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” ~ Ram Dass

May your writing be the sanctuary you need for this life’s journey. ~ Jennifer Brooker