Thankful for this Day!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the sentiment and traditions of this day. As you reflect on this holiday of gratitude, try an AlphaPoem:

Use the letters from the word ‘THANKFUL‘ as your prompt.

Simply write the letters down the side of a blank page. Reflect on the word for a few moments, then write quickly. Just follow your pen, as a rhythmic paragraph unfolds. Perhaps each line starts a new phrase or sentence, maybe not.

Enjoy the impromptu and imperfect poetry of this technique and the inspiration of this lovely holiday.


AlphaPoem is just one of 18 amazing techniques I teach during Journal to the Self workshops. Learn more on the Workshops page (online and in-person session). Or, if you prefer to sample first, try a free technique, or let’s schedule a no obligation phone call to chat about how I can support your own change journey.


Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash.

Take Aim – It’s Sagittarius Season

The season of Sagittarius reminds us to take aim.

Take a moment to try a journal-writing prompt inspired by the archer of the Zodiac. Try the Clustering technique from Journal to the Self ®:

simply write the inspiration prompt, “Taking aim” in the center of a blank page and circle it.

Take a few deep breaths as you reflect on the prompt. Then brainstorm whatever comes using branching, arrows, doodles or whatever strikes you. When you are done review your clustering and write out a few sentences to describe it in words, themes or insights. Finish with a reflection – how did it feel to write this? What are your ah ahs? What did you notice or observe?

May the confidence and strong sense of self of Sagittarius and your own insights on taking aim carry you forward over the next month.

Clustering is just one of 18 amazing techniques I teach during Journal to the Self workshops. Learn more on the Workshops page (online and in-person session). Or, if you prefer to sample first, try a free technique, or let’s schedule a no obligation phone call to chat about how I can support your own change journey.

Image by skeeze from Pixabay.

Becoming: A journal to tell your truth, faster

Former First Lady Michelle Obama is celebrating the one year anniversary of her best-selling book, Becoming, with a guided (or Springboard) journal. The prompts are designed to help each of us find our voice and are inspired by the lessons she has learned in her own life as well as some of her most memorable quotes. For example, the USA Today shared this example:

“When they go low, we go high. How do you put this phrase into practice?”

One of the tenants of Journal to the Self ® is the art of telling yourself the complete truth, faster. In her book of this name, Kay Adams explains that this statement came to her from author Sondra Ray. Kay describes why self-truth in your own journal is so valuable:

“Your own truth is not your enemy. Don’t try to talk yourself out of knowing what you know or feeling what you feel. You’ll get the best results in your journal if you give yourself permission to write your own truth.”

On the Becoming Journal’s webpage Obama is quoted similarly:

“It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.”

Last year, Obama inspired by sharing her story with all of us. This year, she gives us guided prompts to create the gift of sharing our own story with ourselves.

Time to Fall Back – A Journal Writing Prompt

Ah. It’s the weekend to ‘Fall Back’. One hour of sun taken from the evening and granted to the mornings. At least for a few months.

Autumn is a vibrant season of change. The colors, the daylight, the weather calls us to let go.

But this weekend we ‘fall back’. It takes resources to weather a change. Your resources might be your inner circle, your own sense of your strengths and values, your self care routine, or a favorite book or song.

Whatever it is, take a moment to reflect on the tools you have to navigate change in your journal. Try the following prompt as a Springboard for your writing. Follow the prompt and write for five minutes. When you are done, reread your writing and jot down a few follow notes based on what you notice, observe in your body or any to do’s that may be popping out to you.

No matter what, I can always fall back on…


Springboard is just one of 18 amazing techniques I teach during Journal to the Self workshops. Learn more on the Workshops page (online and in-person session). Or, if you prefer to sample first, try a free technique, or let’s schedule a no obligation phone call to chat about how I can support your own change journey.


Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash.

‘The Foundling’: My Inspiration

For over 25 years working in the change management field I’ve always been inspired by the stories and case studies of people with an inner power of self-resiliency and the ability to lead when others want to run away. As I began the journey to find my father-in-law’s biological family I found myself gravitating towards stories written by the genealogically bewildered. It’s hard enough to be anchored in you as you when you’ve known all the facts and details your whole life! Even more complicated to find that sense of inner calm and confidence when major details are missing, withheld or concealed.

I’m still most greatly inspired by the first story I read in this space, ‘The Foundling‘, by Paul Joseph Fronczak. My initial interest in the book was because I grew up knowing about this story that had been huge headline news a few years prior to my own birth, and based in the neighborhood in Chicago where my mother was from. But it’s the honesty of his story, and struggle and desire to both be fully himself and also support his biological family as well as the family who raised him that really stays with me. Truly an inspiring story reminding us all that each of us has the power to be uniquely you, and to chose which aspects of nature and nurture you want to reinforce, and those you want to redo.

Photo from

It’s Fall Resolution Time!

How many of us make New Year’s Resolutions … and then forget about them? Breaking the year into quarters is a great way to keep on track with goals and priorities, without checking and over-analyzing so much that we don’t make any progress. The changing of the seasons is a great way to open ourselves to the cycle of progress that is always with us in nature. Fall in particular is a visual reminder to check in!

The Journal to the Self workshop includes a journaling exercise called “Life Balance Inventory”. Resolutions that get defined but forgotten are often lost because they weren’t in synch with the overall balance of priorities. Likewise, “bullet” journalers can find they have great lists, but not a lot of results because they are moving too fast to act on the reality of their priorities. Until you can get into a Journal to the Self workshop, I like the “Balance Wheel” created by The Chopra Center as a way to think about priorities, and identify gaps between what’s currently in focus, vs. where you desire the focus to be.

There’s no better time than the Autumnal Equinox (this year on the 23rd of September) to think about priorities and life balance. Sketch out your own wheel, reflect on it, then write in your journal for 5-10 minutes with ideas for the fall. Don’t forget the signature element of the Adams Method for self-directed change through journaling: when you are done writing, read what you have, reflect on that and then jot a sentence or two of any follow ups that come to mind. It might be to record an emotion, a to do, something else you want to write about next time.

Finding Rituals

Ever read something quickly and then it still stays with you so vividly? This article Welcome to the Clan by Jodi Klugman-Rabb for Severance Magazine was just that for me.

As a therapist, Jodi works with some clients on parental identity events such as she personally experienced. She wisely points out the importance of rituals in processing any life-changing event. And, unfortunately, the lack of ritual examples for the genealogically bewildered community.

With open ears and an open heart, Jodi hears, “welcome to the clan” as a mini-ritual within her new family. And she’s also open enough to extend her Jewish-faith rituals back.

My own family stepped into some rituals that offer a bit of comfort as we make sense of my husband’s extended bio-family who we’ve met but not connected with yet. As luck would have it, we were hosting a soccer coach from Sweden at the time we discovered my father-in-law’s birth father was from a line of Finnish-Swedes! So now we celebrate all things Sweden on Coach’s birthday. (The custom of Fika is a good one to learn even if you don’t have Swedish roots!)

The thing about rituals is, you can’t fake them. They matter because they mean something. Over time I think we’ll start to see some common rituals evolve to accommodate families with unconventional branching of a tree. Indeed, the open adoption community already provides some inspiration such as with the concept of celebrating Arrival Day. But rituals, like families, are unique and that too is a reason they mean something. For those seeking to make sense of known family, new family, bio-family and family unit perhaps the pattern of a ritual, or its kismet means it may discover you.