Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Friday, May 18, 2012

Guest Post and a Contest: Mari L. McCarthy

Morphing the Critic into a Coach
By Mari L. McCarthy

Many of us are all too aware of our Inner Critic, that inner voice that sneers and scolds, the superego that drives us mercilessly. The voice can be tyrannical and, even though it comes from our own minds, it can destroy confidence and even happiness. 

If your Inner Critic has the upper hand, you will want to regain control as fast as possible because it's seriously unhealthy to let it have all the power. You must find a way to silence it or you won't have a moment of peace.

Nonetheless, we can say that the Inner Critic, when properly leashed, serves a useful purpose. We are not yet perfect, so it's appropriate that we remind ourselves now and again that it would be good to improve. The fact that we have this conscience as part of our basic makeup is pretty fabulous. It's an inner monitor that ensures we don't just sink into laziness and uncaring.

So how to keep a good balance between the torturous Inner Critic and the one that's actually healthy? One excellent way I know is to journal.

The reason journaling works so well is that it takes your endlessly circular inner thinking and puts it on the page, where you can look at it far more objectively. If you use your journal to examine what that nasty Critic is saying, or to sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk with him, or to tell her off – then you're able to break the cycles of inner chatter and move on.

You can also use your journal to create and build your Inner Coach. This is the persona – a being you can readily envision – who lives in your journal and believes in you more than anyone. Everything the Inner Coach says and does is to appreciate and encourage you.

You might think of the Critic and the Coach as separate, but really they are two faces of the same inner impulse to be, grow, and do. I don't know why, but we tend to hide the Coach's face most of the time. In journal writing, you can work consciously to turn that helpful face to the light.

As you quote the Inner Critic and describe its barbs in writing, you can start to see how it is not such a good leader if we're looking for peace and happiness. You can begin to describe the opposite of that Critic, and let your Coach evolve. When there is at least equality between the two, you can use them to achieve balance in your life. What do they each say at any given time? Which one do you choose to listen to? Can you take bits of advice from each and combine for a perfect solution?

Journaling lets you do this kind of envisioning, dialog, and analysis to arrive at a You that is more calm and in control. It's a real-world application that lets us make sense of our crazy minds!
Mari L. McCarthy is The Journaling Therapy Specialist, founder of Create Write Now and Journaling for the Health of It™. Mari offers guidance, counseling and encouragement to writers through her many journaling eBooks and in private Journaling Jumpstart consultations. Mari’s next Start Journaling and Change Your Life in 7 Days Challenge will be June 4-10 http://www.createwritenow.com/start-journaling-workbook. Please join her!
For more about the Inner Critic and Inner Coach, please read these articles.
Book Review
By Rita Ackerman 

This workbook opens with the reasons people are attracted to journaling and introduces ways to make journaling a part of the reader's life.

Mari introduces collage, ways to get past the blank page, and projects to get your mindset geared to being a writer.

The spiral-bound version would be the most inspiring with it's bright colors and fun pages but the eBook version will also get any person ready to write. There are links to prompts sure to end blank page syndrome.

Mari introduces ways to use your daily life and imagination to gather ideas and keep the pen moving.

I feel enthused to get going on my journal and look forward to being a part of Mari's workshop on June 4.

To win an eBook copy of Start Journaling and Change Your LIfe in 7 Days
by Mari L. McCarthy leave a comment to this
post before Sunday, May 20. That evening I will choose a winner
and let Mari know. Please be sure I can contact you.