48-Years of One Mom’s Daily Journaling Practice by Living Legacy Author And Educator Merle Saferstein, Episode 153

Have you ever tried to start a consistent journaling practice? Especially, if you have young kids in the house, it might feel impossible to sit down and do anything with any sort of consistency. Merle Saferstein decided to share 48 years’ worth of her journaling practice – containing lessons and life experiences –  through a series of books. In this episode, Merle shares how she managed to implement a journaling ritual, even when she was a mom with young kids. She also shared the times of day she would figure out when to write, as well as the moments that prompted us as a society to start journaling.

As the director of educational outreach at the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center for twenty-six years, Merle Saferstein worked closely with hundreds of Holocaust survivors helping them to pass along their Legacy of Remembrance to hundreds of thousands of students and teachers. When she retired from the Holocaust Center, she developed a course entitled Living and Leaving Your Legacy® and teaches and speaks to audiences locally, nationally, and internationally. She trains hospice staffs and volunteers showing them ways to help patients leave their legacies and works closely with the patients at the end of their lives doing sacred legacy work. 

For many years, she has volunteered at a camp for children who experienced the death of a family member. Merle facilitates a writing for wellness group at Gilda’s Club for women who have been impacted by cancer. She is also currently involved in Wisdom of the Century, a project that interviews individuals ninety years old and older. Merle has been facilitating a weekly journaling circle since April 2020. For fourteen years, she culled through her 359 journals taking excerpts according to approximately seventy topics. This June, Living and Leaving My Legacy, Vol. 1, a book containing eleven of these topics was released. The second volume will be published in 2023. Merle is a council member of the International Association for Journal Writing and is the author of Room 732. Her chapter on legacy journaling appears in The Great Book of Journaling: How Journal Writing Can Support a Life of Wellness, Creativity, Meaning and Purpose.

Hopefully, this episode will inspire you to get started on journaling and see its benefits. There may be times when your consistency will be challenged, that’s why Merle is also going to share some journal prompts to help you with your journaling. Every mom has a story to tell. And if no one writes our legacies, who else will?

In this episode, you will hear:

  • How to create a new journaling ritual as a mom with young kids
  • When to write when you don’t really have time to write and why that’s important
  • Ways your feelings can come out and astound you by writing even a “fiction” piece  
  • Are there typical times when most people journal?
  • How to get through negative moments to get to a positive space
  • Using journaling to grease your writing wheel
  • Journaling as the place to practice being vulnerable for writing that’s public
  • Insights garnered about the cycle of life/motherhood after journaling for 48 years
  • What might your kids not want to read about if you decide to write your own legacy book?
  • The benefits of documenting your life for self-understanding and the benefits to our kids as they grow up and became parents
  • Is journaling every day being selfish? Here’s what Merle found
  • Our memory is unreliable; an effective alternative is keeping a daily journal
  • How to start journaling using Merle’s mom-friendly journal prompts and where to grab a Quick Guide Merle designed just for Unimaginable Wellness listeners

Supporting Resources:

Shop Merle’s Book on Amazon: Living and Leaving My Legacy, Vol. 1 Paperback – June 7, 2022 by Merle R. Saferstein


Grab a FREE copy of Merle’s Quick Start Journaling Guide For Moms: bit.ly/momwrites 

Website: www.merlersaferstein.com 

Instagram: www.instagram.com/merles1212/ 

Twitter: twitter.com/safer1212 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/merle.saferstein 

SHARE this episode with a mom who enjoys reading nonfiction and/or is writing her own. 

Similar Episodes:

Want to Make a Big Life Change? Learn the Four Phases of the Jump Curve from Mike Lewis, Episode 139 

Shop: When To Jump: If The Job You Have Isn’t The Life You Want 

The Rules of Raising An Entrepreneur by A Mom Who Did Margot Machol Bisnow, Episode 133

Shop Raising an Entrepreneur: How to Help Your Children Achieve Their Dreams – 99 Stories from Families Who Did by Margot Machol Bisnow

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Melissa Llarena

Melissa Llarena is an author, imagination coach, consultant, speaker, and contributor to ForbesWomen articles that have garnered 4 million + views. She is also the host of Unimaginable Wellness, the podcast for entrepreneurs, founders, and creators who are also moms. Featured guests include GaryVee and Beth Comstock. Melissa holds a psychology degree from New York University, an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and a Transformational Coaching Academy certificate. She is training to become a meditation practitioner. Melissa lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and three sons. Visit www.fertileideas.com.

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