Journaling through unique quotes and writing prompts

My Upside-Down World_3Dcov copy

Review by D.C. Buschmann, MA

Initially, I wasn’t sure if a whole book could stand alone with quotes and prompts. I was wrong! Not far into Hope Atlas’s My Upside-Down World, I began to feel the intrigue of allowing my thoughts to fly and land where they would after mentally ingesting each quote/prompt combination. What a brilliant way to work through life’s issues! One day I might feel like exploring certain quotes and prompts in writing and other days simply read and reflect. There is no judgment, Hope reminds us more than once—a major theme throughout.

As I continued to turn pages, the energy of my directed thought process became as relaxed as a session with my former trusted therapist. In her sessions, she, too, gave me helpful writing assignments. So, I decided on the days I write my ideas to the prompts, I will need my trusty notebook or journal (electronic or actual) or my tape recorder.

Farther along, it occurred to me that recording my responses in the privacy of my own space, whether at home in the comfort of my writing chair, at the park, or at my favorite bistro, I could explore life and my own issues and save money in the process.

While Hope makes clear in her preface that she is not a therapist, I could see how these exercises, nevertheless, could benefit everyone.

That journaling is therapeutic has been proven. The one-liners and the prompts are thoughtful, inspirational, and a springboard to cultivating the self-acceptance and self-advocacy required to heal us from life’s traumas by teaching us to respect our own thoughts, ideas, and distinctive voices.
As a poet, I intend to revisit many of Hope’s quotes and prompts and let them take me where they may. I envision many bookmarks and tiny post-it-notes in my copy’s future, and that’s as it should be.

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