A beautiful client of mine is moments away from embarking on the road trip of her dreams. She’s been thinking about this trip for years, her heart anxiously calling her to pack her belongings, throw all practicalities and fears to the wind, and set up for a drawn out drive along the East Coast in a dinky old van, with only her few and favourite possessions packed in alongside her.
But, then one day, full of trepidation she asked:
What the hell do you do with all your old journals when you’re hitting the road?
Years of memories, revelations, passions, heart breaks and insights, hastily scribbled down in half-lit rooms, quietly mediated over at dawn-breaks, slowly filled with tears and joys.
What do you do it with it all?
Ah, us humans, we love to hold on to fleeting moments and memories, simply to be experienced, as if they are what holds the earth and all the planets together!
Release them I say.
Almost as soon as I fill the last page of a journal, I let it go. I might take out a few notes, tear a few pages that have a special meaning. But mostly, I see it has my lessons learnt and past.
I am ready for a new chapter.
And sometimes, if the period of this particular journal has been a deeply touching one, I do a Black Moon ritual.
Which goes like this.
Try to do this just before the next new moon, when the moon is the darkest.
Since the new moon is a symbolic time of new beginnings, a good place to start is by first making space in your life by letting go of that which no longer serves you including your old journals.
Find a cozy spot to sit with a new journal, or a pen and paper. Make a list of the things you’re ready to let go of—guilt, fear, toxic relationships, negative self-talk.
Then take all the old journals and bind them.
Make a small ceremony out of the letting go process by burning them or sending them into some deep water like a lake or pond (I once did it in a public park and it felt great!) either alone or in the company of someone close to you.
Now that you’ve symbolically created space in your life, take a few moments to recharge any goals you are working on—or to set new ones.
Go back to your new journal and spend some time focusing on any goals you would like to work on—whether it be by renewing your energy to reach an existing goal, or allowing ideas for a new goal to come to you.
Be gentle with yourself and think about where you can find inspiration for these goals. Once you feel ready, write them down with a focus on renewal and inspiration for the next month.
Make Space for Deep Rest
Carve out some time to be alone, and ask yourself:
How can I deeply rest and recharge during this lunar phase?
Follow that inner voice; allow yourself to sleep in, eat comforting and easily digestible foods, read an inspirational book, practice restorative yoga or yoga nidra.
Letting go, and change, takes a lot more energy and space than we often allow ourselves. Letting go of several years or even decades worth of journals, is a huge letting go process, and it’s important that you take the time to honour yourself as you let go, in order to make space for new things.