Soulful Journaling: Writing Circle for Women

My heart is full. Last night the Soulful Journal Writing Circle wrapped up our first year, with our final writing inspired by the poem “In Praise of Circles” by Christine Valters Paintner, We’re on summer break now, and I’m sending much love to my journaling sisters and to all women who gather together to write and create and open their hearts to one another.

I’m really feeling the benefits of keeping my journal close at hand lately, especially because I’ve been in a bit of a funk. I know that might not be true for everyone, but in the conversations I’ve had this past week with clients, friends and in the soulful journal writing circle, there’s been a collective sense of something shifting. Like maybe we’re at a point where we’ve adjusted a bit to what’s happening in the world, and now there’s more room for unexpected/difficult emotions and memories to surface.

But the thing about my journal is it never fails to reveal some unexpected wisdom that I couldn’t see on my own. It’s funny, because I’m noticing so many articles lately about why now is the perfect time to start journaling, usually with a list of reasons. And the one reason I would add to every list is…Because your journal can become your wisest companion, leading you out of the darkness.

The story of my own soulful writing journey.

This is a photo of my journals from the past few years. They reflect a new story for me, and that’s important. Because the story I used to tell was that I always wanted to be one of those women who say they’ve been journaling since they were 8 years old.

But as my journals stacked up and the months went by, I started to wonder why I kept telling that story. It turned out that my own deep longing for meaningful, shared and soulful writing experiences hadn’t yet caught up to my current reality.

Now, when I look at that stack of journals, I understand how the story has evolved. My journals remind me of what is possible when we long for something deeply and move toward creating it in our lives.

In fact, I often return to my journals, mining for wisdom nuggets that seem like they came from a soulful voice other than my own.

These days, I think of journal writing as a companion that helps me…

  • find insight in the midst of life transitions
  • practice self-care
  • discover the extraordinary in the ordinary
  • reconnect with my wise soul self
  • begin writing a book!

And…here’s a bit of my writing from last night’s circle:

Our circle has gone nowhere and everywhere, trusted companions together on the train, rarely knowing where we were going except that the circle would always bring us back to ourselves.

We’ve been the wave breaking at the shoreline, repeating and returning, like the moon and the sun. We’ve been late autumn slowly ebbing into long winter nights, and then the earth under our feet turning toward spring, gliding into summer. From light to dark and back again.

We’ve come through all the revolutions and turnings of the planet, riding a planet of our very own on Wednesday nights, holding on through gravity and upheaval, holding each other in the unknown.


soulful journaling writing circle for women

Patty Bechtold

Patty Bechtold

I help women find their way back to their deepest wisdom when they feel like something’s missing in their lives or themselves. On my blog I write about the stories, insights, ideas, and wise words I’ve picked up along the way. Thank you for being here.