By Juneous Pettijohn, IAJW Member

From the pages of his journal…

10/20/ 2018 Journal Entry
If I can describe my life with one word, it will be COURAGE. I chose this word because my life has been centered around this word. I describe my life as “Courage in Three Acts.”

Act 1: Running away from abusive adoptive parents.

Act 2: Leaving Akron, Ohio and relocating to Washington, DC without a job.

Act 3: Decluttered my life on July 31, 2008 when I stop living for others and began to live my life on my own terms. I discovered my passion for Yoga when I completed my first Yoga Teacher Training Program.

When I posted this journal entry on Facebook in October 2018, I never anticipated the overwhelming response I would receive from people who saw my post. I was very humbled. A few years ago, I would have never imagined sharing personal details of my life to anyone especially on social media. Being able to share personal information on social media is affirmation to how much journaling has helped me to get comfortable with sharing my story.

Life Before Journaling

There was a time in my life when I pretended my childhood did not exist because I did not want to deal with all the trauma that was associated with my childhood. Unfortunately, my childhood issues were affecting me as an adult.

I was exhibiting patterns of people pleasing, putting others needs before me, and being afraid to say No.

I thought I was doing good and being a good person. Unfortunately, I was wrong, and it was taking a toll on my wellbeing.

I started journaling in 2005 because I needed an outlet and safe space to share my feelings without fear of judgement and condemnation.

One of the first journal entries was to write about the trauma of my childhood and how my childhood trauma impacted me as an adult without realizing it. By addressing my childhood trauma, I was able to connect the dots on how it was negatively impacting me as an adult. I began to answer the question “Who Am I?”

Decluttering My Life

Journaling took on a whole new meaning for me in 2008 when I decided to reassess my life up to that point. I affectionally called this period as “Decluttering My Life” where I spent some time in my journal and wrote about the things that no longer served me. Decluttering my life allowed me to restore my sanity by making a list of personal pledges.

The Pledge

One of the pledges I made in 2008 was to do my inner work. I realized there were a number of things that needed to be done:

  • Embrace my childhood and the drama that was associated with it and use it as a symbol of empowerment, while learning to stop running from it.
  • Focus on activities that were important to me and that I would enjoy doing, and not overcommit myself to activities that would only serve my desire to be noticed and liked.
  • Apply the knowledge I received from Maria Shriver’s book, “Just Who Will You Be?” and pledged to create a life that works for me.Journaling taught me the power of loving myself. Loving myself helped me to restore sanity by giving me permission to develop a personal relationship with myself. I learned to stop consuming myself with what other people were doing and focused more on what I was doing.


Journaling allows me the opportunity to do periodic check-ins to examine how much I have changed and look at opportunities for further growth. The following questions serve as a guide each time I journal.

· Who Am I?
· Why Am I Here?
· What is Possible?
· What Do I want?
· Am I ready to make that change?
· What am I grateful for?

Journaling has brought, peace, love, joy and gratitude to my life. Journaling helped me to find peace where I was able to reclaim my power. Journaling helped me to love myself by allowing me to create my happiness. Journaling brought joy to my life by empowering me to find my purpose. At the end of the day, I always found ways to be grateful for what I have accomplished.

Have a Happy Day!


About Juneous Pettijohn
As a journaling coach, yoga and mindfulness meditation instructor, Juneous Pettijohn works with busy professionals to help them to relieve stress and increase productivity though journaling. He focuses on optimism, gratitude, and creativity to enhance day-to-day personal happiness. If you would like to learn more about Juneous please visit his website.