Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WOW Dark Chocolate Blog Tour And Giveaway

MMatPianoWhen I saw chocolate and journaling therapy associated with this ‘new-to-me’ author, I was intrigued and asked to be a part of Author Mari L. McCarthy's WOW! Women on Writing Virtual Blog Tour with her eBook DARK CHOCOLATE FOR THE JOURNALER’S SOUL.

Mari is a journaling therapy specialist and owns Create Write Now, a website dedicated to all things journaling. Mari has published nine books to date. Her latest release is DARK CHOCOLATE FOR THE JOURNALER’S SOUL: 17 PERSONAL JOURNALING STORIES FOR HEALING AND GROWTH

Mari is offering a fantastic prize for one lucky visitors who comments on her post between now and 8 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, Dec. 21. The lucky winner can select either an eBook copy of DARK CHOCOLATE, a Dark Chocolate T-Shirt, or MARI’S MOST MUSEFULL JOURNALING TIPS (8 1/2 x 11 Spiral Bound).

Mari shares some relaxation techniques that we all can use and discusses journaling.

Everyone needs to have a relaxation technique of choice, something they can do almost anytime to calm down, focus in, take a breather. 

Life's just too demanding, too strange, too uncooperative for us to pretend we can deal easily with anything and everything as it arises. If you're an adult, whether you live in the first world or the third, life is highly complex for you. 

Dark_ChocolateI used to think that thinking was my greatest ally and friend. Nowadays, I get more out of not-thinking. When I take a break from all the considering, calculating, compartmentalizing, cataloging, critiquing and more that my mind continually feeds on; when I turn off the chatter and just breathe, I know I am accessing a more healthy me.

Now, I'm not saying that we should turn into mush-minds. I'm suggesting that if you build into your usual behavior the ability to take a break, an excursion, a moment, the practice strengthens you on many levels: physical, mental, and spiritual.

Some relaxation solutions for the on-the-go-type are
·    A one-minute meditation,
·    Taking three deep breaths,
·    A little facial acupressure,
·    Taking ten deep breaths in the yoga downdog position,
·    Reaching for your journal and reflecting through the movements of your pen for five minutes.

When you see how powerful these in-a-jiffy relaxations can be, youDark Chocolate TShirt will probably want to try longer versions of them. While continuing your on-the-spot system throughout the day, you may add in a 20 or 30-minute relaxation session each morning or evening.
·    Longer meditation
·    Free expression singing or dancing
·    Trade massages with your partner
·    Yoga
·    Daily journal entries, following your whims, relating your day, asking questions, telling stories, following Challenges or prompts, going wherever you wish to go as the pages fill up.

You might expect journaling to involve thinking, but it actually is much more about the kinetic coordination of your hand and eyes, which reveals its own intelligence, separate from the thinking brain.

Journaling deepens the total experience of anything for you. Whether you devote five minutes to it or an hour, the activity will work magic on your stress. Include in your journal comments on your meditation, your creative ideas, your progress in dealing with an issue, your frustrations and triumphs in your exercise routine, or other reflections of any sort.

6781493I want to feel peaceful and loving all the time. While I am still a great long way from that goal, by using my personal relaxation system faithfully, I can see gentle progress. When I journal alongside the relaxation practice, it seems the process is quickened; it is richer and more meaningful because I understand it better. 

And the fact is that journaling in itself is tremendously relaxing. Especially when you can give it a minimum of 10 minutes, you'll be amazed at how refreshed you feel after writing, even if your subject is not a happy one. By moving your inside life to the outside through your pen to the paper, you progress psychically to an easier and wiser place.

Mari, thanks so much for sharing these relaxing techniques with us. This is something we all can use, especially at this time of year. I’m one of those who always felt I had to think while I was journaling. I need to give it a try without thinking.

Let me share a bit of background on Mari. She offers guidance, counseling and encouragement to writers through her many journaling eBooks and in private Journaling Jumpstart consultations. Mari’s hosting the next Peace of Mind and Body: 27 Days of Journaling Challenge starting January 2, 2012. Please join her!

Her website, Create Write Now, includes hundreds of journaling prompts, personal journaling stories, interviews, a blog, and many other resources. For more on ways that journaling brings self-knowledge, see Who Are You? How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life.

Here’s a synopsis of DARK CHOCOLATE FOR THE JOURNALER’S SOUL: The 51 page eBook compiles the journaling journeys of 17 journalers who have shared their stories on Create Write Now's Journal Writing Transforms You blog. Reading these stories is both comforting and enlightening, sort of like dark chocolate, a food that is good for your health despite being sinfully delicious!

In this eBook, travel with journaling experts as they reveal:
·    What you should do when you find yourself cheating on your journal
·    How you can make the Blank Page work for you
·    What it's like to reconnect with your Inner Kid
·    How journal writing hastens healing
·    What the best time of day to journal is
and many more journal writing tips and tricks, ideas and inspiration that will help you jumpstart your personal journal practice for the first time or the four hundredth time.

Do you take time during your busy day to relax? Do you keep a journal? Remember commenting enters you in Mari’s giveaway. Be sure to mention which prize caught your attention. Thanks so much for stopping by.


  1. I frequently *don't* take time out to relax, and I feel the effects when I don't! Some good ideas here for de-stressing. And for journaling, too.

  2. Mari, thanks again for guest blogging today and sharing these relaxation tips. No matter what line of work we're in, we need to take a break now and then. But for writers sitting at a desk all day, these tips are especially helpful. Wishing you much success.

  3. Elizabeth, it is strange that we know we need to relax yet we don't take the time and then pay for it by feeling bad.

  4. Oh, man... how much better is dark chocolate than that dumb chicken soup stuff?! And I've been a deep believer in journaling since I was about eleven. Surely it's responsible for the picture of sanity I am today...erm... But seriously, I know that direct channeling, turning the brain off and letting it flow gets to the REAL corp of what is up. I use walking in a similar way--busy body, relaxed mind leads to solutions and ideas that just can't be forced.

  5. What a delightful and special post today which I can appreciate and enjoy. Many thanks for these wonderful and unique ideas. I try to relax daily and the musefull journaliing tips would be great.saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. I am not a journaler - no matter how hard I try. But I do the deep breathing thing a few times a day. And sometimes dance or sing. Or romp with dogs. All are de-stressers.

    Love dark chocolate, though :)

  7. I was intrigued with this interesting post. Too many scoff about relaxation and I think it is an integral part of life. With our lifestyles the importance is neglected. The journal looks helpful. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  8. Thanks Mason for hosting me! I've enjoyed reading your reader comments and excited to meet fellow self-care fans. WriteON!

  9. I need to take time during the day to relax more. I used to think watching TV was relaxing until I realized what I was watching wasn't relaxing me at all. So now I try to read before bed.

    The prize that caught my eye was the MARI’S MOST MUSEFULL JOURNALING TIPS

  10. That's why I play my guitar to relax - the music is soothing and my mind is focused on what I am strumming, so no thinking involved.
    Of course, I can turn the thinking off just about any time of day!

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  12. I'm one of those people that has trouble remembering to take some time to relax each day, and so often find myself stressed out, exhausted and anxious by nightfall. These tips will help a lot!

    The prize that caught my eye was the MARI’S MOST MUSEFULL JOURNALING TIPS

    Deborah Watson-Novacek

  13. I definitely need to take more time to relax - these are great tips - thanks! :)

  14. I have only recently gotten into journaling but it's so great! These books look awesome.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.