Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, power to retell it, to rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it and change it as times change, truly are powerless because they cannot think new thoughts.Salman Rushdie
Evidence shows that writing can be essential for our sense of self and improving our mental health. There are four small colour coded mental health diaries in the box set and each follows a theme from the project: A Little Book of Smoke & Mirrors; The Body Book; The Golden Notebook; A Little Black Book of Catharsis (with a handy match on the spine).
Each book is small so that you can carry it around in a pocket. They have lined writing pages with 9 additional suggestions about ways to re-organise perceptions of Self.
LOOK INSIDE: here are a few sample pages from each of the colour coded diaries
Smoke and mirrors are used as emblematic concepts in this book – using mirrors to discover new ways to see ourselves, and learning to recognise ways in which we hide, distort and change who we think we are. We often trick ourselves with illusions about ourselves. Gazing in a mirror we imagine a coherent, unified individual self, yet we are of course multiple, and contradictory – and constantly changing and evolving.
This book encourages us to enjoy some creative time in our heads, create versions of our selves and be our stories. Turn life in on itself and be whatever you want to be. The consolation of narrative psychology is that we are the story we tell ourselves, and that we can create what that story is.
The body book helps explore ways of looking after our body and re-synching with our minds Making a bridge between our minds and bodies helps us to be ‘present’ – and bring our body stories and inner experiences together.
Originally this book was going to be more about performance theory and the body but I felt that making many of the ideas from Bessel Van der Kolk’s The body knows the score, seemed more important.
All references are in the Bibliography.
The Little Black Book of Catharsis – complete with handy match on the spine
The meaning of catharsis is ‘cleansing’ in Greek, and refers to a literary theory first developed by Aristotle, who believed that cleansing our emotions was the purpose of a good story.The purpose of this book is to write down stories you don’t want to keep, light the match (somewhere safe) and watch it burn.
The Golden Notebook is about being the author of your own life, the creator of your own possibilities.
It’s about our best and happiest selves – and about becoming your best authentic self. Recognising that you are many people, and have the potential to be who ever you want is part of recognising and collecting all of our best stories and putting all of them together.
Because writing – or even talking is not always enough – there is more information about mental health services on this website.