LifeJournal™ Newsletter – March 2010

March, 2010          LifeJournal Newsletter

I hope you are enjoying the beginning of spring, a time of new beginnings, optimism, and renewed energy. Focus some of that energy toward your journaling!

The theme of this newsletter is Making Meaning, a cornerstone of deep journaling.  I’m thrilled to offer a wonderful opportunity from my colleague Dr. Eric Maisel, who has written 30 books about writing, living a creative life, and making meaning.  I’m sure you’ll find Eric’s special offering below of great value.

Sign up for NEW ONLINE APRIL CLASSES with flex scheduling:

Join our next IAJW members-only telecast with Mary Reynolds Thompson on Wednesday, April 7: Writing from the Natural World: Accessing Nature’s Wisdom through Journaling.  What if the primary text of the world was the world itself? What if every lichen-covered stone and caroling creek could help you to understand who you are how to live? Join Mary Reynolds Thompson as she guides us on a journey in search of nature’s wisdom as we deepen our relationship with our inner nature through writing from the natural world. (Not an IAJW member yet?  Join IAJW today and have access to world of journaling articles, telecasts, discussion forum and more!)

Warm regards,
Ruth Folit

Making Meaning 

There’s a folktale that goes something like this:

In a little village many year ago lived a boy whose grandfather was a tailor. When his grandson was born he made a beautiful baby blanket for him.  As the boy got older and he carried it around with him it got worn out and frayed and his mother said to the boy, “It’s time to throw the blanket out.”  Of course, the boy had become quite attached to the blanket and wanted to keep it, so he asked his grandfather what to do. His grandfather quickly took the blanket and snipped, shaped, and sewed and turned the blanket into a jacket.  The boy grew and the jacket became too small, so again he turned to his grandfather, who fashioned the material into a vest.  Again, the boy outgrew the vest and the boy went to his grandfather. This time he turned it into a scarf.  When the scarf became too tattered and raggedy, he brought to his grandfather who then cut and sewed the material into a hankerchief.  That too, became worn and frayed and this time when he asked his grandfather what to do, the grandfather turned it into a button.   He sewed the button onto his pants to hold up his suspenders.  One day, the boy looked down and realized the button was missing!   He searched frantically everywhere but couldn’t find it. The whole village looked for it, but it was gone.  He turned to his grandfather who sadly told the boy that he couldn’t make something from nothing.

The next day while at school, the boy had an idea.  He could take the material and turn it into a story. Indeed, he could make something from nothing!

Stories are made from the material of life.  And, conversely, the story that we each tell ourselves about our own life material has widespread influence on how we live and view our own lives. A critical part of living a conscious and fulfilling life is to create a narrative that makes meaning for your life. Journaling is as an excellent tool in making meaning. It’s where you can report, review, digest, ponder, understand and make sense of the underlying and constant threads woven throughout your life.  When you have sorted out your bigger life purpose and created meaning, you will find more joy, more passion, more depth, and more satisfaction in your life. Making meaning is something that most of us do without careful thinking–but imagine if you made meaning consciously, and learned how to do it by someone who has studied this.


Much of what challenges us today, and probably about which we each spend some time journaling–everything from depression, boredom, and anxiety to feeling overwhelmed to not knowing what our real life purpose is–has a “meaning” component. (Here are some questions which, if you find that you are asking yourself, may indicate that meaning is an issue in your life:  Am I really following my path or making use of my talents? Do my efforts matter?  How do I make important changes that I know I must make?  I know I need to make a career change or am about to retire and, yikes, what should I do next?) “Making meaning” in your life can be a slippery goal and difficult to gain traction in moving forward and clearly defining…until now.

Eric Maisel has recently created the first “home study program” on making meaning that has ever been offered.

You’ll learn as a start that “There is no meaning to find; there is no meaning to seek; there is no meaning to discern. There is no meaning to look for anywhere…There is only meaning to make.” And you’ll learn how to do it. You’ll learn how to start your day aiming yourself in the direction of meaning, what to do when life feels empty or overwhelming, and a lot more. Go ahead and take a peek!

And as a special bonus, if you buy Eric’s program by Monday, March 29, by 11 PM eastern time, I’ll send you a free copy of Eric Maisel’s e-book Deep Writing. E-mail ( to me a copy of your receipt for the Meaning Solution program, and I’ll send you a copy of the e-book.

End Quotes:

 “Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.”—Anthony Robbins

“When the shriveled skin of the ordinary is stuffed out with meaning, it satisfies the senses amazingly.”–Virginia Woolf

“I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.”

–Hermann Hesse