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Sun, Aug. 18

Journaling gets thoughts out of your head

Are you an adult who has heard about journaling but can't seem to get started? Or, have you considered writing your life story but can't find the words to begin? Perhaps you need a coach to lead you.

Prescott-area seniors will have the opportunity to participate in both a journaling class and a memoir writing class, through a collaborative effort that includes the Senior Peer Prevention Program of West Yavapai Guidance Clinic.

"Journaling for Health and Recovery" will be from 3 to 4:30 p.m. from March 1 through April 4 each Friday.

"Writing Memoir" will occur just before at 1 to 2:30 p.m. also from March 1 through April 4 each Friday.

Each six-week class has a fee. For journaling, the cost is $85, which includes a book. And for memoir, the cost is $65. However, with scholarships available through the WYGC Foundation, don't let finances be a barrier to participation. Class size is limited so that each participant can have the focus and attention needed. Registration is required.

The organization Mental Health America has a "toolkit" listed on its website, www.mentalhealthamerica.net, and included within these 10 tools is "Taking Care of One's Spirit." Journaling is one of the techniques they describe to accomplish this. With all the time we spend plugged in, tuned in or online, it's easy to get disconnected from our inner selves. The site recommends that we all find some time each day to think about who we are and want to be in the world.

Class facilitators will be Victoria and Greg Smith, certified integral coaches via New Ventures West. They bring different backgrounds and interests to the class. Victoria is a retired attorney, while Greg is a retired machinist, long distance bicyclist and former Marine.

"Writing memoir allows you a new perspective on your unique life stories so that both you and your readers are enriched and moved. We all love stories that are true. And everyone has rich stories to share," said Victoria Smith. "In journaling, one creates a safe space to inquire, observe, create, work out solutions, and see in one place the moods and moments that make up one's own life experiences. It allows deep healing and insight. It is used as a part of recovery work or for anyone who wants to experience a deeper sense of their whole self."

The requirements to participate are:  over age 55, have transportation to attend, and eager to write your memoir or journal. Those who meet all of these requirements may call Victoria at 420-9705 to learn more or register.

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