Beyond Baroque: All the Feels - Writing for Emotional Liberation with Janice Littlejohn
About this Event
Most of us regularly contend with an upheaval of negative emotions: sadness, disappointment, resentment, isolation, fear, confusion, exhaustion – among them. Sometimes we don’t even know where it comes from and, if left unexamined, we can ruminate in that undefined gloomy haze for days – if not longer – wreaking havoc on our productivity and our health.
Tapping into the practice of emotional journaling allows us to liberate ourselves from our feelings by reflecting on the emotion and recognizing behavior patterns or trends to eliminate or avoid certain triggers. By getting real with how you feel, you will be able to focus on better responses to similar situations, reduce stress and anxiety, and live – and write – your truth.
Blending together art and the wellness practice of mindfulness, emotional journaling helps participants understand negative feelings by learning to nourish, encourage and support yourself – by giving yourself permission to feel the emotions without being consumed by or judging them – through the expression of writing. Unlike journaling one’s day or even gratitude, this is about cultivating a habit of emotional self-awareness.
Beginning with a brief meditation for grounding, each 90-minute workshop explores the three components of self-compassion: mindfulness (noticing our own suffering without over-identifying with the story around it), our common humanity (remembering the universality of suffering – not to diminish our own suffering, but understanding there’s nothing wrong with us for having a hard time and knowing we’re not alone, and self-kindness (treating ourselves kindly as we would with anyone else who is suffering).
From there we will do another meditation to open participants to a particular experience of suffering, emotions of hurt, anxiety, annoyance, anger, et. al., and the emotional backdraft that was caused by opening the door to those feelings, then allowing those feelings to linger focusing on two key questions: “What are these emotions?” and “Why and I experiencing them?”
Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn is a journalist, author and community advocate. Her work has been published in the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, Ms. Magazine, Essence, among numerous others. She is a contributor to the James Gayles anthology, Reflections, and co-author of Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate Mixing Race, Culture and Creed.
In addition to her work in print, Janice has adopted a new storytelling platform – filmmaking – and is also active in developing mindful and wellness workshops enabling others to harness the power of writing and sharing their own unique stories.
Janice earned a certification in mindfulness from USC where she also completed her Master’s degree in Fiction. She earned her B.A. in Communications from Loyola Marymount University, and taught journalism as an adjunct professor at the university. Before her appointment as Associate Director of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities, Janice headed Special Projects for Los Angeles Review of Books while serving as Senior Editor of Women, Culture and Media. She is a Board Member of APLA Health and Jazz Women and Girls Advocates.