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Expressing Yourself Through Journaling

with Ariel Benavidez

In this episode of Breaking, we sit down with Ariel Benavidez, a certified Breathwork Facilitator who focuses on helping people navigate the internal space of emotions and thought.

He combines his training of meditation, breathwork, holding space and modelling presence to help you rebalance the ego and dismantle any limiting beliefs that prevent you from living life with a sense of wholeness and self-acceptance.


• Learning to hold yourself accountable
• How journaling helped him express his authentic self.
• Using journaling as a form of non-judgemental expression to help you develop a better relationship with yourself.
• Recognizing moments of anxiety and understanding his discomforts.
• Using creative expression to make changes in yourself and help you manage your feelings.
• And much more.


Find Ariel Benavidez at



Muhammad Kermalli –

Triena McGuirk –


Min Woo Park & Diana Hong @ 6 Story –

Episode Transcript

*This transcription was made for your convenience. Please excuse any mistakes the automated service made.

Muhammad Kermalli: so our, he benefited us welcome today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here to talk about your journey and the special, um, the, the most special thing that I work on. Talk about that a hero speaking to you is how you used tools that you had

Ariel B.: when you didn’t even realize

Muhammad Kermalli: that you had them, how powerful that is and how you use the art of journaling to get you through.

Muhammad Kermalli: Uh, starting point with no trading on how to journalize and how to journal to breaking through like multiple levels, uh, of, of yourself. Yeah. I’m looking forward to this

Ariel B.: conversation. Thank you, me too. Excited to be here. Thank

Muhammad Kermalli: you.

Muhammad Kermalli: One of the reasons we’ve said we’d want to talk to RDS because we don’t really, I don’t really think that you need to look at somebody who is.

Muhammad Kermalli: You know, the founder of some fortune company or whatever, because sometimes they’re just not relatable. We’re everyday people. Right. And sometimes when others look at those personas, there’s this, I would call a misconception that they are all these things that I am not. So therefore, when they talk about their story of trial and falling down and getting up, they somehow have this thing they’re wired a certain way that I’m not so forget it.

Muhammad Kermalli: So they bow out of the exercise. What I like about is like you’re so down to earth, right? Come on. Yes. Right. You could say, you could say that, right. So you so down. But you’re, you’re doing amazing things like here. And so I’d love to be able to just share some of that. And what I love about the way you do it is you just kind of look at it like, um, I want to say you’re even trying to be humbled.

Muhammad Kermalli: You’re like, yeah, this is just all hate it. And you also talk about how you did things that didn’t work now, you know, you just talked about earlier on about how you can take until a certain, very advanced phase in life to figure this stuff out.

Ariel B.: And

Muhammad Kermalli: it’s not like we can say we’ve figured it out, or would you say that yourself, but it’s interesting.

Muhammad Kermalli: You have figured some things up, right? When you look at a previous iteration or version of yourself, you’re able to just kind of stand outside of yourself and look at that and go, Hmm. Yeah, there, it was. So give us an instance, right? Like you found that you can recall that you would say, yeah, I was really struggling with this.

Muhammad Kermalli: Let’s start with that.

Ariel B.: Sure. Do you remember one that comes to mind? Yeah, even more so than the specific example of what I was struggling with when you were speaking earlier about that moment of choice, a very clear memory came up for me and I believe I was about 21 years old and I had that moment. I was, I remember I was living with my brother at the time and I was in my bedroom and this thought crossed my mind where I just felt so overwhelmed with life and overwhelmed with the poor choices or rather the lack of choices that I’ve made in my life throughout my early teens.

Ariel B.: When you started developing awareness of the ability to make choice. And I reached a point where this, the way it came to me was this very clear sentence where it was, I don’t know what it is that I want to do, but I know I don’t want to do nothing. And it’s just like repeated. And like I echoed in my mind, like, I don’t know what I want to do with my life.

Ariel B.: But I know I don’t want to do nothing. And that’s kind of like where that choice took place, where I was like, okay, you know, you don’t want to do nothing. What are some things that you want to do? And the way that that journey kind of started for me was very practical. So I was like, I don’t know what it is I want to do.

Ariel B.: So let me learn about things that will be applicable in pretty much everything.

Muhammad Kermalli: So, so I just find it so interesting. So you start there. I want to actually start a little bit before that, because you say, you said to yourself, I don’t want to do nothing, which suggests to me that you thought you were doing nothing at that point.

Muhammad Kermalli: What made you think at 21? Did you thought you were doing nothing? What, what made you feel that?

Ariel B.: I was definitely very self-critical of myself at that age. And. The way that I felt that I was doing nothing is because when I would examine my life, I would try to understand, or I would try to make my life fit in a box of marketable skills. And it was this idea that I have nothing to barter with.

Muhammad Kermalli: What made you think that you

Ariel B.: had nothing to barter?

Ariel B.: Because I feel like if I were to go to a convention or some sort of gathering and people would go, oh, what do you do? I don’t really know. I don’t have anything to offer you. That’s that’s what it felt like at the time, like there was things that I did that I enjoyed, but it didn’t feel like any of it was marketable.

Ariel B.: I couldn’t offer you the things that I was doing as a transaction for something that you would do for me in return. And so there’s that feeling of low value because I had nothing that I could give you in exchange for what you had to offer. What

Muhammad Kermalli: would you say that any part of this felt relative to us?

Muhammad Kermalli: So w you know, when you say low value or marketable, but was there this feeling that you might’ve been, you know, like as you’re being critical of yourself, you’re also observing others and saying, oh, that person looks very marketable because you seem to have, because they have these things, which I apparently don’t have.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. Can you speak to that a little bit? Oh yeah. I mean, we’re, it’s not just us, right? It’s like this, but we’re

Triena McGuirk: socialized in that construct. Right. Of, of comparing and achieving what the status looks like. Oh, you know, the university green check, you have

Ariel B.: this chat. Yeah. Like what trig was saying, like, you’re always swimming in some sort of pool and it’s all about perspective, depending on what pool you’re in at that time.

Ariel B.: And at that time I was knee deep in self development. So it was. Tony Robbins and a bunch of other gurus and sales experts and all these things. And I’ll just like examining their lives and reading their books and watching their videos and seeing all these things that they’ve done for themselves. And then there’s just me sitting in my brother’s bedroom, um, hopping from part-time job to part-time job feeling like I wasn’t developing any hard skills or even soft skills.

Ariel B.: I didn’t feel like I was cultivating anything. Um, the, a lot of self-sabotage or, uh, the critic within me, a lot of the stuff that it was saying is that I can stick to anything that I would be intrigued. I’m a fast learner. So I get through the first learning curve really quickly, but then I get stuck at that first plateau.

Ariel B.: I never pushed myself to actually become an expert in anything. And so then I would hop around from thing to thing and just always feeling like I wasn’t breaking through in anything.

Muhammad Kermalli: So. Can we now go even further. So what’s interesting is that at 21 you have this moment, right? You start reflecting before that there’s this building up of, um, of, you know, what’s relative of what, what value is talked about that like how we socialize it, what’s interesting though, is I find that when you go further back, because I’ve had the same sort of thing happen, but at some point in time, we thought we were doing all right, can we go back to that point where we thought we were, you think, Hey, I’m doing great.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah, because that came even before. So how can you go from doing great to thinking you’re doing nothing to think. You got to do something. Wait, wait, wait, let’s go back to the part that we thought where we were doing. Great. And I want to understand that because when you look back on. We weren’t doing great.

Muhammad Kermalli: According to the 21 year old version. So what, where did it start further back where you figured, Hey, I’m doing just fine. Yeah. What were, what were, what was that version of

Ariel B.: you saying? Yeah, I think it’s, I think when you’re, at least my experience was when you’re in it, you don’t really realize that you’re in it.

Ariel B.: And so it was just flowing. And for me that was like high school, like high school years. There was just, everything was great. Um, I had, yeah, I, I, you know, I was popular to a degree in the central, like I connected with everyone. I wasn’t really part of a specific group, but like, you know, I had no problems with anyone and I was able to like, just jump into like any group at the lunch table and just be like, Hey, what are you guys doing today?

Ariel B.: Type of thing. So that felt cool. Um, Had the girl, which is awesome. Yeah, there’s an acceptance. And it was an ease of acceptance. There was never a nervousness of me approaching a lunch group that I’ve never really interacted with before. It was just very easy for me to go, Hey, you know, I, I sat beside you out in this class and I’d go talk to him and all of his friends at the table.

Ariel B.: And then I spend the whole lunch. They’re not nervous in the slightest. Just kind of like shooting the shit, talking back and forth and all that kind of stuff, which is great. Right. Um, had the girl, which is awesome too, right. And made a strong connection with someone we dated from, I believe we started in grade 10 until after high school as well.

Ariel B.: So there’s just that steady relationship all the way through, um, family was doing really well. My dad has a painting business and things were going really well in the business. So money was never really a thing that crossed my mind during those ages. So everything was going well in like the social aspect, the personal aspect, the relationship and the family aspect, everything was kind of flowing well.

Ariel B.: Um, but then after high school, a lot of those things started to deteriorate some of them at the same time and right on top of each other, um, my relationship got really Rocky. My dad’s business started to collapse. I started not socializing. I started becoming more introverted and kind of like shutting myself off from everyone and everything.

Ariel B.: And when I broke down, Those three things, the family, the social and the relationship, all I was left with was like me and myself. And then it just became a parade of self berating, just like self-sabotage, oh, you’re not this you’re not good enough. You couldn’t maintain the relationship. You know, you’re you come from a family of failures and so on and so forth.

Ariel B.: And just like, you know, your friends don’t want to hang out with you anymore. And just like a lot of that self sabotage has started to come on. And it’s one of those things. Like, you don’t realize that it’s happening, but you kind of see a buildup over time. Um, what’s funny. I always have this one very clear example in regards to the family business that made me feel poor.

Ariel B.: And it was like so clear of a transition for me because, um, my family would always buy wonder bread. And then one day I opened the fridge and there was no more wonder bread. It was like this no-name bread. And I remember grabbing the loaf and just like looking at it. And it was just like, Okay like this, this is life now.

Ariel B.: Like, this is where I’m at in life right now. And it was just like a really interesting moment at that time. And I feel like I make it a bigger moment as I think back to it. Maybe it wasn’t this big when I was actually doing it, but it definitely wasn’t enough to be anchored into something.

Triena McGuirk: I think what comes up for me when I’m hearing, what you’re saying is you’re the same person at the, through all of those stages, but your worth and your perception of worth of yourself shifts based on external circumstances.

Triena McGuirk: So I guess for me is like, what life has storms is going to happen around us. Right? So the thing of it is, is we are always intrinsically these certain things. We’re always like kind and smart or generous or funny or whatever. Those are really the core values, the other stuff. It’s super fearless. Like it’s superficial.

Triena McGuirk: It’s not, you know, money is not a real thing. You know, the, the currency that comes with quote unquote education is not a real thing, even though we’re in a 3d kind of world. So I guess the issue or the question would be looking at it through that lens or that context would be, how has that shifted for you in the sense that your worth, or is it shifted?

Triena McGuirk: Is your worth something, that’s something that is stable as you go through life’s experiences, because it was such a, a shift for you there where your worth, which is always a constant, it’s always the same, but in your perspective, it went down as those external things

Ariel B.: came. Yeah. Yeah. So looking back on it now I could confidently say that yeah, the worth is consistent.

Ariel B.: The way I see it from the day you’re born to the day you die. There’s no such thing as improving the self. All there is, is really actualizing the potential that has always existed within you. So I see that now at the time, I didn’t see that you see that just a lot of time in meditation, probably spending all that time by myself.

Ariel B.: And, um, journaling was a big factor in that as well, because, um, when I first started journaling, it was out of pain and a lot of emotions. So I would write very emotionally and. Skew things intentionally in my writing to make it more grandiose, right. To make it more emotional or more powerful or whatever it was.

Ariel B.: And slowly over years by continuously writing that feeling of needing to be grandiose would start to settle down. And I would journal in a way that was more concrete and more reflective. It’s kind of like with a mirror started as a fun house mirror. I was warping everything and slowly over time, the mirror started to regulate itself and start to give me more of a clear reflection in that.

Ariel B.: Um, but at that time I feel what I was experiencing with that shift. Uh, you use the metaphor of the storm. Um, I feel like that was the first storm I’ve ever really been in. Um, I came from a really good childhood. I never really had any issues growing up. My parents always provided for me. My family was always strong.

Ariel B.: I mean, we live. I think it was about seven of us in a household. Cause my aunt and uncle and their kids lived with us. So there was always like a really strong family connection. And through that connection, I was very, um, comfortable socializing with others. Cause I was always surrounded by people and so socializing with others, there was no problem for me.

Ariel B.: And so I feel like it was when all of those things started to collapse at that age, I had attachment to those things. I was those things at that time. And so I feel like that’s, what’s kind of like that necessary journey of realizing you’re not those things. That’s not who you are. Those are extensions and maybe even expressions of who you are, but they’re not you at the core central version of what you’re capable of.

Muhammad Kermalli: Do you remember that? What was it? A Jodie foster movie called contact or something with the alien? I think about the alien thing, but yeah, it was alien stuff, but what really stands out to me that movie is when she’s sitting in front of like this panel and the end describing her. And great acting at this one moment where she gives a speech and she talks about if we only realized, like by looking at this universe and our place in it, how simultaneously we are both so, so special.

Muhammad Kermalli: And so, so insignificant at the exact

Ariel B.: same time and just keeping that duality

Muhammad Kermalli: in just perfect balance. We understand what’s interesting as a, here you talk about, that’s what it reminds me of because in high school, we’re the insignificant part hasn’t kicked in. Exactly. It’s the house special. I am. I’m part of this group.

Muhammad Kermalli: I’m part of that group. I have all these friends, this girl, blah, blah,

Ariel B.: blah, all that stuff.

Muhammad Kermalli: And you cannot be complete without realizing how insignificant we are at the exact same time. You talk about actualization. I think there’s nothing more than that in actualization, like perfect understanding of these two aspects of what we are, what I find is that I’ve gone through it.

Muhammad Kermalli: You’ve gone through it. You’ve gone through it. It’s the exact same thing. And everybody, it seems doesn’t just go through it accidentally. It’s like, we must go through this to be able to finish. And so when we look back at when the 21 year old or the, what you are now thinking of your 21, like you’re so young.

Muhammad Kermalli: So it was like, everybody

Ariel B.: looks young to me. So I’m not 21 anymore. I think you could pass this 20. Maybe if I show,

Muhammad Kermalli: you know, you got the book, you got this like very like young look, so it’s great. So. When you w my point for bringing it up is you can look back on it now, but I really want you to stay in that way.

Muhammad Kermalli: Now it was 18. Cause I think a lot of the times when we’re going through what we’re going through, whether it’s a 21 or 25 or 30 or 40, it starts like that learning that ingraining, the accepting of the relative worth of who we are starts way earlier on. That’s why I like spending that time in that zone to understand, because that’s where some of our, like our beliefs or what we call our secrets are built.

Muhammad Kermalli: Um, and you had all the everything going for you yet. It seems like you were according to your 21 year old version

Ariel B.: doing

Muhammad Kermalli: nothing. Yeah. So while we’re on this high, we’re actually doing nothing. Is that a possibility, would you actually go back to that 18 year old and be like, dude, you’re doing nothing actually.

Muhammad Kermalli: Is

Ariel B.: that how you would say. No, no, not quite, not quite like what’s coming up for me now. Um, I feel the best way to describe my situation at that time is I was in the optimal environment. So the environment was stable, it was safe, comfortable, you know, abundant, lots of opportunity for relationships and all that kind of stuff.

Ariel B.: Very good in that sense. But what I feel was that I was lacking was a tool set. And so although my environment was safe and all those great things, there was no necessity for me to develop any tools. And then, so when all those storms started to come in and I had to deal with all these emotions and, you know, real life changes.

Ariel B.: Our house was almost paid off. We were like, I think down to a hundred thousand dollars of, you know, of the mortgage and within, I believe it was about four years, we were back up to 700,000 because my dad wasn’t willing to adapt. He was not, he worked so hard to build a business and create this life for us in Canada, that when the 2008 recession hit, he refused to accept it and refuse to adapt and slowly kept putting us more and more debt because you wouldn’t adjust the lifestyle.

Ariel B.: And he would say, look, I got us this far, so yeah. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. I can understand that. Exactly. And when he would look back on it, it would look like I wasn’t adapting, but at that point, It would be like, but I am resilient. Yeah. Isn’t that amazing. I call it like a blessing and a curse, but in terms of yourself now, as you’re going through this, now that you come to this awareness and it, you just said something really interesting to me.

Muhammad Kermalli: You said you didn’t think now looking back that you had the

Ariel B.: tools, tools, emotional Tony.

Muhammad Kermalli: When we talk about, when we’re talking about building or training or whatever, learning, it’s getting tools, whoever thinks they’re going to need that tool because it hasn’t presented.

Ariel B.: Like why would I need this?

Muhammad Kermalli: How many times that people in high school said, what do I ever, where am I going to use this?

Muhammad Kermalli: I don’t need this because I’ve never actually faced that. And so that’s one thing I think is an important point to highlight is that often we get opportunities coming our way to get tools, to learn. But we pass. Yeah, I think, Hey, that’s a, that’s a choice we need to take accountability for don’t you think,

Triena McGuirk: just reflecting on what you’re saying through my perspective is I had a very different upbringing than him and I had to learn tools really early, early.

Triena McGuirk: Right. So it’s kind of like, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t take

Muhammad Kermalli: that away.

Triena McGuirk: It’s all about perception of it because I feel at 21, in context of all the adverse experiences I had, I had way more tools than your 21 year old version of yourself. And I think sometimes when we have these illusions of security, quote, unquote, such as, you know, stable family income support, these are all great things, but they give an illusion.

Triena McGuirk: To us that we, we have to, um, achieve that or that, that that’s what happiness

Ariel B.: will be there forever.

Triena McGuirk: We’re attaching we’re, we’re so attached to these things, right. So when you lose a house or you lose a family member, you lose jobs or whatever, or it’s just like any mom I had, I’m like wondering if it’s not even good chapter

Muhammad Kermalli: in the book, wonder

Ariel B.: bread.

Ariel B.: Yeah.

Triena McGuirk: But it’s wonder bread shop, but it’s just like the, you know, you’ve had, you’ve come, you’re raised in compared to me raised in situation of privilege. Right. And, um, but the privilege doesn’t always be. How you feel or gives you the opportunities or the tools? That’s the thing. It’s always an internal, it’s always an internal thing.

Triena McGuirk: Um, which is just so wild. That’s why the mural always comes back to us.

Muhammad Kermalli: Well, again, why I love your stories because some people would say by 21, even just like, ah, you know, you’re, you’re late to the game. Right. And then do you ever, did you feel that all of a sudden that, okay, I’m out of high school now? I got up now, how did talk about that now?

Muhammad Kermalli: Because that is also it. Um, how do you say it? Like, it, it accelerates the, the fall, the fall down. It gets deeper now because now you’re like, I don’t have it. And I wasted the opportunity. And you talk about that in your writing probably. And then. The realization makes it even worse because of how we’re dealing with it.

Muhammad Kermalli: Right. I’m late now. And then there’s this feeling of like, oh, and the panic started setting in. Was there any of that going on or was it, was it just like a, an objective

Ariel B.: moment? No, no, that was definitely going on. Um, I think one of the reasons that wasn’t going on is, uh, there’s, there’s a bit of an age gap between me and my parents.

Ariel B.: I was born when my dad was 39 and my mom was 36. And so as I started hitting my teenage years, they were like, well into their fifties and sixties, um, folk yeah, fifties and sixties, and so such different generational gap and different mindset that like right out of high school, you’re supposed to be working like you’re supposed to like dive right in.

Ariel B.: Um, And if they understood the importance of school. So like, if you’re not working, you got to go to school. And so I told my mom that I remembered having this conversation with my parents. I wanted to take the first year off. I had no clue what I wanted to do. I had no clue. This is like, when all that stuff really started to kind of like tumble on me and I didn’t have the tools to sit with myself and process things and make decisions under pressure.

Ariel B.: And it was just like, I genuinely don’t know what I want to do. I feel like if I go to school right now, I’m going to be wasting my time. I’m going to be wasting my money. Uh, I have two older siblings. My brother never went to college and my sister went for like a one-year. And so my parents were terrified that if I don’t go to college, now I’m never going to go.

Ariel B.: And so this is where the tool of standing up for yourself would have been good to just have an honest conversation with them and be like, Hey, if I do this now, it’s not going to go well, it’s trust me and give me the space. But at the time I was more accommodating to them. You know, they’ve given me so much, I didn’t want to upset them.

Ariel B.: So I agreed to go to school. And that is like a way to build up your tools. Exactly, exactly. And then ended up just being a waste of a year. I ended up, uh, dropping out halfway through the second semester and my professors were calling me. They’re like, dude, like you’re almost there just complete the year.

Ariel B.: And there was just a huge disconnect with me from. The structure of school and the programming and all that stuff that was going on there that I just couldn’t force myself to do. I couldn’t make myself sit through it and ended up dropping out. And then I finally got to take that year off, which I feel like in that year, that’s where a lot of this growth started to take place because it was like, oh, like finally, my life feels like my own, you know, finally these are my decisions that I’m making now.

Ariel B.: Um,

Muhammad Kermalli: so that’s the next kind of thing I’d really like to kind of peel back a little bit more and understand, right. So in this year, so you’re on 21. Now

Ariel B.: this would have been like this. Would’ve been like, no, this would’ve been like 1920.

Muhammad Kermalli: Okay. 1920. Okay. So that’s where it started happening. And you had you find that you feel like you got the space and now you’re kind of, um, owning your decision, owning your time, owning your life and your space again, and you’re your own person.

Muhammad Kermalli: Right. Um, so you failed that, that was important to you. For you to start actually getting clarity and knowing whether it was your decision or somebody

Ariel B.: else. It allowed me to know where I stood, where I stood. Right. It allowed me to know how capable I am of standing on my own two feet. And it was also when I realized that I sucked at it.

Ariel B.: Well, it was just like terrible, like terrible time management, terrible, um, self accountability and all these things I realized like, wow, like I can’t manage myself. I really can’t manage myself. I can’t hold myself accountable. I can’t. Uh, it’s a struggle for me to be accountable to others. So like all these realizations about myself started to come through.

Ariel B.: And of course, like I said, through the journaling, there was a lot of self berating. I would exaggerate these things to make them more poetic in a sense, either

Muhammad Kermalli: started thinking about journalizing.

Ariel B.: Uh, it was the breakup, it was the breakup with my partner that I was dating in high school. We broke up maybe a year or two years after high school.

Ariel B.: So she breaks up with you. She says, you should start a journal. It’s such a mess. I can’t even, no, no. It’s such a messy breakup. We dragged it out for basically two years. Yeah. I want to

Muhammad Kermalli: understand, is that, that, where did this idea come from necessities now?

Triena McGuirk: How did you learn about journaling as a tool?

Muhammad Kermalli: All

Ariel B.: of a sudden one day.

Ariel B.: That’s it? Poetry? Yeah. Uh, oh, oh, okay. There’s a bit more clarity now. Um, it was a tool of manipulation in the beginning and I was. Writing poetry to manipulate my ex partner into loving me again. I would try to convince her that I’m still worthy of her love, and I would use poetry to do that. Um, how does that,

Muhammad Kermalli: how does that morph into journalizing?

Ariel B.: Okay. It felt good. It felt good to express myself onto a page. And although obviously the attempts didn’t work, you know, we’re not together, obviously. Um, but there was a certain sense of release that I experienced while writing. And even though it wasn’t, it was interesting because even though it wasn’t accepted, I still felt good about the experience.

Ariel B.: And like, uh, like I created this, I made this with my own two hands and my mind and I was just, so

Muhammad Kermalli: your, your, your focus, she started shifting from,

Ariel B.: from her, from her,

Muhammad Kermalli: the groups of people. The debt of your family or whatever the Wonderbread to now you, um, would you say that’s called fulfill you for reflection?

Muhammad Kermalli: That’s the beginning of it and they became of self-reflection. Yeah. So it seems to be like this constant. I keep hearing it. It’s like, um, when we hear about stories of others and, and these, these, um, these expressions of helplessness and despair, it’s always, I find in relative senses. And as soon as it, people start just reflecting just on themselves, even though they might be really harsh on

Ariel B.: themselves, that’s where it starts.

Muhammad Kermalli: Right. It’s like the slap and then the kiss, right. Or whichever order. But once when we start doing that, as imperfect as we might be in doing it, like you didn’t get, you, didn’t go look up how to journalize it just started writing. And that was the beginning. Yeah. That’s awesome.

Ariel B.: Yeah. So

Triena McGuirk: the accountability is always interesting to me because, uh, many people lack and it’s always a work in progress for those of us that have awareness of it.

Triena McGuirk: Right. So like what were, what would be the epiphany’s of accountability? Because, um, when I think of accountability, I think of, okay, what am I bringing to the table that could potentially bias or put a lens on this situation that I need to hold myself accountable for? Like, I, if I have an anger management trigger, or if I know certain situations are going to activate me, then I’m accountable to, to keep those biases and judgements and checks.

Triena McGuirk: So they’re not then projected onto others. So what, what’s your experience with that concept? Or do you even identify with that kind of process of accountability or does it mean something different for you.

Ariel B.: I think it was, I think it was all internal of an experience of accountability. It was never so much about me being accountable to others or family or community. It was always about being accountable to myself. So I think it would be more accurate to rather than say accountability, but authenticity. It was more about being authentically to who I am, despite what my family wanted and despite what people thought of me.

Ariel B.: And so that was, that was the experience through the writing was trying to find that authentic self. And, um, when it started, it was like a dam breaking down. So like in the beginning, there’s just like this huge rush of emotion. And so, like I said, it started with poetry just like poem after poem, multiple times a day, I would just be ready, multiple poems.

Ariel B.: And then slowly over time, it morphed into like actual. Analysis of my life and of my, you know, how did today go? What are the things I didn’t like about my actions? How could I improve that

Muhammad Kermalli: read up on how to do this? Or did

Ariel B.: you just do it just slowly over time? It wasn’t with the intention of like, I want to improve my journaling skills, but it was through that expression of writing.

Ariel B.: I would eventually start reading books as well. And some of those books would talk about journaling, um, and the style of journaling. So like the first thing that comes to mind now is, um, stoicism like Marcus Aurelius and his style of journaling, which was just very much you’d sit down and just like critique his day and he would do it as objectively as you could.

Ariel B.: Of course, he’s a very like stark example, but, um, I took some of those skills or, or at least those ideas and kind of dropped them into the pot and a lot of them to brew and make them into my own to a degree. That’s what I love about

Muhammad Kermalli: what you’re saying is. Without any tools you acknowledge that you’re able to develop yourself

Ariel B.: just yourself.

Ariel B.: Yeah.

Muhammad Kermalli: Um, and when it occurred to you, you could read up on a book on Marcus or really his, or whoever you wanted and you could take from wherever you wanted and in your way made up your own concoction of how to journalize. Yeah. I think the essence of like the beginnings is right there. Um, that’s where you start.

Muhammad Kermalli: Of course. And it makes sense why you start there. Yeah. So that starts opening doors now for you, right. Like opening doors in terms of now your perceptions

Ariel B.: and

Triena McGuirk: self-expression for that,

Muhammad Kermalli: right. Yeah. Right. And, uh, and so at what point in time do you feel like it started? I don’t like asking you about how long it takes, because everybody I think has a different, their own pace.

Muhammad Kermalli: Right. Um, but it’s interesting to note for me that it actually doesn’t take a long time before. When you look back on him from the chaos, writing the, you know, the brain dump to actually having some structure and actually making it constructive. Yeah. Did you find that in your generalizing, you started going through these phases and then started going from journalizing to then planning ahead?

Ariel B.: Not quite at the planning stage yet. I would say that, um, but all these realizations that you just kind of listed and described, they would come to me, not through the process of writing, but through the reviewing of my journals. So, um, there’d be times where, like, I was just like struggling, emotionally, just having a hard time.

Ariel B.: I was down on myself and for whatever reason, I was drawn to open up old journals and just kind of like, see. What I was writing about at the time. And there’s, there’s, there’s a spectrum of experiences. Cause it was interesting to see how far I’ve come. And like I, and then I would read a little bit about my journal and that, that would inspire new things for me to write it because I remember very clearly if you look at like my first journal or to their scribbles and a year or so later when I recognize that what I journaled about is how I wrote that way in pensions only because I was scared of how people would interpret my thoughts and I wanted them to be as close to illegible as possible, because I don’t want people to know how I’m feeling or what I’m thinking.

Ariel B.: And then because of that, I would read some things and some things I couldn’t understand because I wrote them in such a mess. I was like, ah, this could be something, yeah. I can’t even reflect there’s going to be something great. So

Muhammad Kermalli: when you were writing. Did you, did it occur to you while you were writing that the future, that the future version of yourself is going to look back on this or where you just write,

Ariel B.: just writing exactly.

Ariel B.: Right.

Muhammad Kermalli: Otherwise you would have made it more understandable to the guy in the future, looking back on this, but it’s a message in a bottle to yourself in the future, and you’re doing this, not even realizing it. That’s what I love about the human mind. Like how we are. That’s why I keep saying to people like we’re destined to succeed, because look at how you, you self check how you self correct.

Muhammad Kermalli: And in the midst of saying to yourself that you’re doing nothing and have nothing, you have something, even when you said you have nothing. Oh my gosh. That’s crazy. Like, think about that again. So if I were to ask you again, right, did you really actually have nothing.

Muhammad Kermalli: No, that’s the

Ariel B.: lie we tell ourselves, right?

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. It was so real to you, right? Oh yeah. That I have nothing. Yeah. I’ve been goofing around. I don’t know where I want to go, but you had all this, the tools inside of you all this time and, and, and it’s, um, saying to yourself that you don’t have it, that actually started bringing you to the surface,

Ariel B.: not out of necessity.

Ariel B.: Right? That’s crazy discomfort and discomfort. Absolutely.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. So that’s not all going. I just thought that was an interesting thing. Then you

Triena McGuirk: had nothing of you got it. Um, and you, so you said you were looking at the writings to bring out your authentic self. Um, so anyone who’s been on the journey of authentic self.

Triena McGuirk: Has a meandering path. And so, um, when you’re looking at it, the perception or looking at this through the perspective of authentic self, what were the exercises or actions that you took in, in they’re likely not cognizant, they’re likely just things that you, um, in the may have been cognizant. They’re not always cognizant.

Triena McGuirk: So what would be things that you would have done to invite more that aligns with your authentic self and, and how does that translate into your relationships? Cause you said you had very different viewpoints in your parents. I think most of us do. Um, so there’s a, there’s a level of coexisting with people who are not aligned with what you find is an authentically resignating with you.

Triena McGuirk: And then what do you create for yourself in terms of your lived opportunities or your life experiences that you are inviting? What is aligning? Because if we’re not in alignment or authentic, We’re going to repeat the same patterns. So we’re going to have the same pitfalls. So I don’t know if there’s a really roundabout

Ariel B.: question, but summarize it for me

Triena McGuirk: where your authentic self, like where talk to about that journey and how to bring what aligns and the challenges with that could be with your family.

Triena McGuirk: It could be with friends, it could be with occupations partners, whatever, because being authentic, being authentic to who you are, is going to, um, be at the core of everything that will help you feel successful or reinforce your feelings of self-worth. Right? Because then you’re not always denying yourself.

Ariel B.: Yeah. Yeah. So

Ariel B.: the journal was the sibling of my authentic self. It was a space where. There was never a thought of anyone ever reading these pages. And so it allowed me to fully express whatever I was feeling at the time. And sometimes things were very, you know, grand and just like very uplifting. And sometimes things were really dark and scary and, you know, um, rancid, even at times, some of the thoughts that would come through my mind, but there’s this, the relationship with the journal that it never felt judged in any shape or form, and even reflecting on my own journals.

Ariel B.: I never judged myself, which is something I’m realizing now, as I say, which is such an interesting thing, because I spent so much time judging myself. But when I would write about that self judgment and then I would read it, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t judge the judgment. It would just be what it is. I was like, wow, like, this is how I thought about myself.

Ariel B.: So that’s progress. That’s progress. Yeah. Yeah. And then the journaling also created some. Uh, hurdles as well, because like how I was saying, I would reflect on some of the things I write and I would read some things that I felt were so insightful and are big. Oh my goodness. How can I ever write anything better than this?

Ariel B.: Right. So then that ego game started where I was like, okay, now I’ve got to top myself. Now I gotta be more insightful. I gotta be more creative. And so then that started a whole good use of where you

Muhammad Kermalli: go in some ways, cause you’re, you’re pushing yourself to get better. I think

Ariel B.: so, but I think there’s a difference between pushing myself to get better and allowing myself to be more authentic.

Ariel B.: And I feel like pushing myself to get better, has the potential to warp the journey of being more authentic. Like I said earlier, um, authenticity is something that always is, is always there. It’s just about allowing yourself to align with it. And so the journal is where the first place that started and from the journal, it actually expanded into like my bedroom, my space.

Ariel B.: And it was in that space. I felt very comfortable being who I was and the memory that comes to mind to me is, um, I love cloaks. I love wearing cloaks. You’ve seen me wear them before cloaks. So just like a giant cloth. Yeah. Like a giant scarf, like really big scarf. And you just wrap it around yourself in a way where you, like, you could have a hood or not, but just like it covers your whole body.

Ariel B.: And I always felt like that resonated with me internally, but I’d never feel comfortable wearing outside of the house, let alone outside of the bedroom. I didn’t want my family seeing me wearing this, but I would put the cloak on and I would just look at myself in the mirror and I would feel so good about

Muhammad Kermalli: it.

Muhammad Kermalli: What version of yourself was it that you could see as authentic here and not authentic somewhere else? And you just described it perfectly. Can I ask you a quick, like housekeeping question? Cause this journaling thing is really, it’s a great thing. And what I’m wondering, is it just a quick thing and we move on.

Muhammad Kermalli: Did you have to schedule, how did you like make time to every night? Like you just said to something, not going to sleep until I do this, or like, can you skip an ideas as well?

Ariel B.: It happened quite naturally. It happened quite naturally every night. And I started writing

Muhammad Kermalli: it. That was it. And then every night I do this.

Muhammad Kermalli: What motivated you to keep on doing that? Because some nights, like, you know, you’re tired, you’re sleepy.

Ariel B.: It was late. I got caught up in something. Yeah. It wouldn’t be, it wouldn’t, it wouldn’t be Andrew, but I basically had two strategies. A lot of the time I actually spent journaling in my bed. So the journal would be on my pillow.

Ariel B.: So it was like, I get into bed, my journals there, it was there. Um, I eventually shifted from the upstairs bedroom to a basement bedroom. That was a bit bigger. So I was able to have desk. Um, my journal was open on the desk, 24 7 with a pen, clicked on it. It was just like as little friction as possible. Yeah.

Ariel B.: As little friction as possible. Um, and there would be times where I’d crawl into bed and then realize I forgot to journal and there’d be like five. Yeah. Tassel or just go to bed. It’s like, no, I can’t. I can

Muhammad Kermalli: skip a day here

Ariel B.: and there at first. Oh yeah. Yeah. And there also be phases. Yeah. You kind of work your way into it and there’d be phases where article months without journaling.

Ariel B.: And then I would journal about how I’ve gone months without journaling. And I started realizing there was a certain pattern that I would only journal when I was sad. I’d only journal when something was wrong and I needed her process something. And through that realization, I was like, well, journaling is such a beautiful thing.

Ariel B.: I don’t want it to be just this. Right. And so from there it took a little bit more effort, but then I was like, okay, let’s just journal more regularly. Even if things are good. Yeah. I mean, that’s where like,

Muhammad Kermalli: oh, well I didn’t like broccoli growing up, but I would think about it like that it’s journaling is like this effort that first, and it’s like, ah, I don’t want to do it today.

Muhammad Kermalli: I’m tired. You make excuses. Right. I think we do it with

Triena McGuirk: anything self care related though. We find ways to self-sabotage our own care like do with like exercise, eating properly, journaling, sleeping, properly, eating too much drinking. Like we all do these things and engage in behaviors that are actually against our best interests.

Triena McGuirk: Right. So,

Muhammad Kermalli: so that’s interesting because even though it wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t routine, there were breaks. Um, you just stuck with it. It just kind of, okay. Thank you for that. That was, that was something I wanted to understand. Um, now you start touching on the next thing that I find interesting. You already getting there.

Muhammad Kermalli: Is that a you, the expansion. Who you are, and you already started talking about it by going from one size room to another larger area. So like your, your pond and who you are gross. Right. And then eventually, um, now you can be more comfortable to be now you your authentic self and be okay with it and confident outside that door of that basement

Ariel B.: in a room of yours.

Ariel B.: Um,

Muhammad Kermalli: again, I, I’m not so fussed about the time that it takes, but there are phases clear phases. You went from a smaller space. You felt you needed to learn a space when, at what point in time. And I don’t mean like time as in, you know, a number, but at what, what, what, when did you feel? Yeah. When do you feel that you go, I’m ready to not go outside the other side of

Ariel B.: that door?

Ariel B.: What was the, what was the thought that led to that? I’m curious now. So now you’re going outside

Muhammad Kermalli: of you, these, these, these zones now you’re breaking through these zones. Well, it happened in a moment or did it happen? Just kind of like

Ariel B.: the first thing I’d love to bring clarity to is that transition from the smaller room to the bigger room.

Ariel B.: It didn’t quite happen like that. There was a step in between as well. If you want to try to keep that metaphor in packed rooms, I was in a smaller room upstairs with windows, and then I was moved into the basement, which was the smallest room with no windows. So my family had the joke. We called it the dungeon.

Ariel B.: I lived in the dungeon and it was pitch black all the time. Um, very cramped space, not much room for anything other than sleep. And so that’s where I felt most confined. And I feel that’s where a lot of. Um, internal exploration took place and that’s, that’s where a lot of my journaling in bed took place.

Ariel B.: Because, well, let’s ask

Muhammad Kermalli: you just out of curiosity as your journalism

Ariel B.: increase journaling, journaling.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. You know, at that point in time, so you move into a less comfortable space and that

Ariel B.: starts with the desk. And that was in the other room that was in the third row that I eventually moved to. So

Muhammad Kermalli: it’s like, it’s like the number of straight line.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. I love that. Yeah. But that’s everybody. Yeah, exactly. Okay. So carry on. Yeah. So, so thanks for clarifying that. And now at this point in time here, you’re now.

Ariel B.: You’ve been journaling for a while. You’re you’re you got

Muhammad Kermalli: the cloak, that’s the chapter one in bread, the cloak. I like it. I like it. This is a great book.

Muhammad Kermalli: And um, and so now you’re ready to go. What’s the next chapter?

Ariel B.: I don’t know, but definitely wasn’t ready. And it wasn’t a conscientious choice that was made it once again, it felt like it was more out of necessity. It was just, uh, or maybe more out of circumstance. It was just transition of life taking place.

Ariel B.: And I was like, here’s your new environment? Everything’s now new. This was when I moved out of my brother’s house, back to my parents’ house in Fort Erie, which was even a smaller space, but bigger space outdoors. So it was like smaller space internally, but more space with nature and trees and bigger backyard and all that stuff, which felt nice.

Muhammad Kermalli: Is your state of mind, like where do you feel like

Ariel B.: transition moving? Oh, terrible. Terrible. Yeah. There’s a huge wave of anxiety. That’s when I started realizing that I, I experienced anxiety to me, anxiety was this very foreign thing that I did. Think happened to me. And then I realized anxiety has been happening to me all this time.

Ariel B.: And it just like culminated, uh, came to full bloom when I moved to my parents’ house. So waking up in the middle of the night, super nauseous feeling like puking, just heart racing. Like, I don’t know that I don’t know what’s happening here. And then I spoke to a friend who has a lot of anxiety. She’s like, yeah, you’re just having an anxiety attack.

Ariel B.: And then I did a little bit of research into it and it’s just like, yeah, changes up environment can cause anxiety. And it was also what was attached with those changes.

Muhammad Kermalli: I feel like it’s like another version of what happened when you were 21. Like it’s this time of year. Like what? By this

Ariel B.: age 20 I’ve been 26, 27.

Muhammad Kermalli: Okay. So interesting because I’ve heard about these cycles, like seven year cycle. Hey, so here it is. I’m seeing it again, happens with me too. So it’s, it’s interesting that no matter how you time it or who you are. So, um, after all of this building up your tools, now you have more, you’re aware that you have more, you never had anxiety attacks before, but now you’re having anxiety attacks when you have more tools.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. Isn’t that like, that’s such a curious

Ariel B.: thing. The anxiety attacks were always there. I just didn’t recognize them as anxiety. I didn’t know what it was. And so I didn’t have. The verbiage to kind of like label it to then categorize it to then eventually process and integrate it. So these things were happening, but they were just happenings.

Ariel B.: There was nothing I could do about them. They just were things that took place.

Triena McGuirk: The anxiety, you, I’m not saying this is your perception, but I know for many people is when they have moments of anxiety. And it’s usually because you did this, or you didn’t do this or created this situation. And that discomfort you have is because of someone else not doing something or not doing something up to par or creating a circumstance, but really it’s our anxiety around the situation that is then projecting that own as onto the other person.

Triena McGuirk: So that probably came out from your journaling. You probably saw that the

Ariel B.: anxiety come out. Yeah. And it allowed me to kind of, um, start to label it and to understand it. Like, I feel like that’s what started happening when I moved back to my parents’ house. Like the strong feeling about moving back to my parents’ house is I think in, in any person’s life, it feels like a step backwards, even though I was living with my brother, I wasn’t like, you know, out of, uh, out on my own, but there was a sense of separation.

Ariel B.: And now I retracted that. And so there’s a sense of failure that came with that. All of a sudden,

Muhammad Kermalli: you know, another thought you got to do something and you gotta do something. So this, I gotta do something comes up again and again and again. And in spite of your progress that you’re making, you’re looking back on yourself and being like, what, what am I quietly done?

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. Yeah. You had all these, like you’re growing. So it’s possible. Okay. That somebody growing. And not feeling the girl percent.

Ariel B.: Okay. Well, that’s

Muhammad Kermalli: an important thing to understand that you think like somebody who’s drawing you’re okay. How do you tell a person who doesn’t feel that they’re growing that you’re okay.

Muhammad Kermalli: How do you tell somebody that you

Triena McGuirk: did it when we spoke about earlier today, when the person you had the conversation with that you said, oh, I don’t know why they’re so great. Grateful for what I did. All I did was tell them they’re doing a great job and affirmed all their skills, but people don’t always have that internal self-talk.

Triena McGuirk: Right. So, um, when he hears someone else from like a system perspective, say something like that, that can create a shift sometimes.

Muhammad Kermalli: So there’s, again, the value of ourselves being put in control of something, someone

Ariel B.: outside ourselves, instead

Triena McGuirk: of, and again, that’s a

Muhammad Kermalli: choice, a hundred percent crazy. So, okay.

Muhammad Kermalli: Now. You see all of this now looking back. Yeah. So is that now what, like, that’s what I love about where you are, because now you’re at this point, right. That you’ve seen all of these things on his question. Do you still ever sometimes fuel, I got to do something that same. Oh, where am I? I’m not there where

Ariel B.: I want to be.

Ariel B.: Yeah. A hundred percent. But is

Muhammad Kermalli: your reaction with the same level of,

Ariel B.: you know, disparate volatility? No, definitely not. Definitely not. Now there’s a, a lot more of space created between the thought and the emotional reaction to the thought. It gives me that time to process it and, um, mitigate the emotional volatility of how I would tend to respond, you know, before it would be scribbling on the page and how I’m worthless.

Ariel B.: And I’m never going to be anything, all this kind of stuff resonates. So. These are valid feelings. It’s, it’s okay. That you’re having these thoughts. These are the reasons why you’re having these thoughts. And these are the feelings that are coming up around these thoughts. So let’s sit with it for a little bit.

Ariel B.: There’s no reason to want them to go away or anything, because my experience has been the more you want to push something away, it tends to have the opposite response. So it’s like, just sit with this, whatever it is you’re feeling, that’s what you’re supposed to be feeling. So sit with it. Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

Ariel B.: Yeah. Yeah.

Muhammad Kermalli: Um, so that’s interesting because as much as, as far as you come, um, and we all have our own distances that we cover, it’s our journey, right? Come a long way. Um, you don’t let go of this journaling

Ariel B.: that you did. It’s it’s like a relationship with a really good friend. You could go without a year without seeing each other, but when you meet again, it’s like you pick up, like you’ve never left.

Ariel B.: There’s never a concern with me about losing journaling. So you don’t feel like you have to do it every night. Exactly. I don’t feel like if I don’t do it on a regular basis, that I’m gonna, you know, not get a call back from my journal, you know, it never feels like that. There’s always that sense of security in that relationship that it’s going to be there when I need it to be there.

Ariel B.: And so that allows me to be authentic in my journal rather than, oh, I gotta, I gotta journal because if I don’t journal today, then I won’t journal tomorrow and then I’m gonna lose this skill. Right. I look

Muhammad Kermalli: back on your journal and you’ve done it repeatedly. Um, now are you getting like different, um, Sort perspectives then you even had, when you looked at the same moment, but when you did that in your past, are there new things coming out constantly or is it like you look at it?

Muhammad Kermalli: And you’re like, okay, that was that. And I don’t need to look at it again.

Ariel B.: Uh, no, no. It comes up a lot and sometimes I would review same, the same things and have different perspectives on them, just constantly shifting. And I guess like one of the developments is in my earlier journals in my earlier writing, it was a lot of, um, punchlines.

Ariel B.: It was a lot of like one sentences zingers, you know, just try to like capture it all in one sentence Rez. Now it’s a lot more expressive and flowing in the emotion and just following the journey as I go along in that process. And so that’s been a really interesting thing for me, cause it’s kind of felt like before it was like, like a single.

Ariel B.: That was planted and now it feels like I’m planting forests at a time. Right. So it’s like, that was a good one.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. So two things I’m going to ask you like to wrap up on, um, like highlights to me, this conversation are the, gotta do something. I keep hearing you say that at a couple of different phases, that’s kind of like, I’m going to call it the stick.

Muhammad Kermalli: There’s a carrot and a stick. That’s the stick, right? Like you got to do something and then there is the non-judgemental writing, which is, you know, the carrot to me. It’s like, it’s all just like, it’s going to be okay. Just write it. Yeah. So if you’re talking to, um, yourself right out there and looking back, um, you know, I could ask you what’s next.

Muhammad Kermalli: You know, you think about

Ariel B.: that, first of all, like what’s next for Ari? I think, yeah, it doesn’t everyone not about me, but doesn’t everyone think about what’s next for them, or sometime you, you talk about this

Muhammad Kermalli: actually that if you were thinking about what’s next, because when I touched on planning before you backed off from planning, so I said, I’m going to bring that up again.

Muhammad Kermalli: But, um, as much as we plan, we often look back at it and go, what the heck were you thinking? How immature. Right. So I’m not going to ask you that because it, I think I know what you’re going to say. And I’m like, okay, that’s cool. It’s very standard. I feel like as we grow, we’re like, huh, that was cute. Um, that’s also a sign of progress.

Muhammad Kermalli: Um, but what I’m wondering is now really a lot of people think. Don’t make that same choice. And you talked about how that’s a choice, right? It’s a

Ariel B.: total choice you had to choose conscious or unconscious. And the thing that helps the choice

Muhammad Kermalli: is to me, I always find it’s the carrot and the sick. So it’s like, what do you, what do you say to somebody who says, you know, cause your situation, anyone could look at from another perspective and go hopeless.

Muhammad Kermalli: I don’t have the tools. You said it yourself. You already

Triena McGuirk: have so many tools you had. I see it as he had lots of tools. That’s what you see didn’t capitalize.

Ariel B.: Right? Um,

Muhammad Kermalli: yeah, absolutely. I totally, I told everyone would know now you, you acknowledge that you have everything it

Ariel B.: takes. I already believe that about everybody, but

Muhammad Kermalli: I’m talking about the people that are there at that moment, including yourself when you were

Ariel B.: there.

Ariel B.: I was there.

Triena McGuirk: You were there. How did it’s how I keep asking you questions. He’s not seeking, but yeah. Again, it’s the, how do you align with your authenticity in your life now? Because when you align with your authenticity, you’re going to invite things that resonate more with you as an individual and being authentic.

Triena McGuirk: Isn’t always, uh, something that we can capitalize on for lack of a better word, but it brings value to our life in different ways, whether it be work or relationships. So they coming from your cloak to the authenticity and seeing the authenticity as really the pillar of what you were lacking, because we, we get sad and upset and depressed and anxious when we’re not authentic to ourselves.

Triena McGuirk: So what is, what are the tidbits or what are the lessons you’ve learned in bringing that authentic self from the dark room to the outside the door?

Ariel B.: I think. The core to me, the most important aspect of it is that you’re never going to, I don’t want to say you’re never going to. I realized that I was never going to achieve my authentic self through consuming culture and consuming media and through watching what other people are doing. Um, like how we pointed out earlier journaling is just something that happened, because I guess at that time it needed to happen for me in the way that it happened.

Ariel B.: And I feel like that’s where the birth of recognizing my authenticity began there. It’s not like somebody said, Hey, you should try journaling. Yeah, it was, I need to get this out of me right now. And I can’t draw and I can’t make music, but I know how to spell. So let me just start writing. And even if it’s.

Ariel B.: Illegible the

Muhammad Kermalli: shift is instead of talking and listening to others, you’re talking and listening to yourself. Yeah.

Triena McGuirk: So how was that received when you presented your authentic self outside of

Muhammad Kermalli: walking, talking to yourself, they want you to listen to them

Ariel B.: that, yeah. You got to listen to that. Um, I feel like I haven’t done that too, too much to be completely, to be completely honest.

Ariel B.: I feel like there’s still a lot of, um, things kept behind the veil. I definitely feel I’m honest and

Ariel B.: authentic, but it feels like the raw newness of my authenticity is still veiled. This is kind of off of side note, but, um, I just love to share one of the last things I was journaling about.

Ariel B.: I feel like that’d be pretty cool. Um, basically what I wrote down was that music and you could replace music with art writing any form of creative expression, but I, use the word music. Music is medicine. For the creator and a drug for everyone else. And what I realized and the reason why that thought came to me is that to truly heal through the creative expression, it has to be your own because it’s kind of like, you know, when you’re putting a key into the lock, somebody else’s art, somebody else’s creation, it might hit some of those pistons and it might lift a few of them.

Ariel B.: But if you want to actually open that lock, you have to create the key yourself. And so I realized that through listening to the music of others and observing their art and reading their books, it would give me a high, it would give me a feeling as if something’s really changing, but then I realized that nothing was really changing and it was only through my own creative expression that I started to feel.

Ariel B.: that Progress was being made.

Muhammad Kermalli: That’s

Muhammad Kermalli: profound, man.

Muhammad Kermalli: I love how

Muhammad Kermalli: you articulated that. It makes so much sense. And as he’s describing lifting pistons, I’m thinking you’re right. You can listen to everybody else’s music, but you got to kind of make your own

Ariel B.: for wanting to if want to open that door. Yeah.

Muhammad Kermalli: I’d love it.

Muhammad Kermalli: I love it.

Ariel B.: Thank you. Of course. Thank you.