Giving Back and Changing Lives!

Giving Back and Changing Lives!

I reflect on how the first two years of the Project have changed people's lives, ways to use the Journal, and more satisfactions.

One of the great joys of launching this project was receiving generous support from some of our 2020 Kickstarter funders. Thanks to them, Brave Sis Project was able to provide copies of the 2021 Journey-Journal free of charge to groups serving women and girls across the country. Boxes of books have been donated to:

  • an Arizona group for women returning from incarceration
  • MISSSEY, an Oakland group working with girls escaping sex trafficking 
  • A church group working with low-income women in Brooklyn
  • Higher Heights for America, national women’s political action group, as part of their Inauguration Summit celebration
  • a Vermont women’s leadership group
  • a Honolulu-based group for Blacks in Hawai’i
  • a Maryland group for Black women’s mental health and wellness
  • San Francisco School of the Arts student group
  • Austin, Texas Little BIPOC Library
  • a women’s entrepreneurial circle in NY metro area...
  • and 16 other women-and girl-serving groups across the country

    As a creator, this idea of building a brave and generous Brave Sis community is the heart of the Project. I was thrilled to receive this message from an amazing group in Iowa working with low- and moderate-income women. P.S. Their ideas about how to use the planner are FAN-TAS-TIC!

    "I want to thank all of you at Brave Sis for making your 2021 journals available to us for the cost of shipping. Our program is a financial education program for low to moderate income women that begins with a four-week workshop series focusing on setting financial goals, creating a spending plan, banking, and using credit wisely. We then offer ongoing workshops on related topics to our participants.

    We paired your journals recently with a workshop on using the journals for goal setting and tracking progress and using planning as a method of self-care. The participants loved the session and REALLY loved your journals. I’ve attached a copy of the session guide our facilitator used and comments from some of the participants. Thank you again for making this possible through the generous gift of your journals."

    Comments from a few of our participants after receiving their journal:

    • Can I just say thank you- I looked at this Journal- and I am so excited!!! Where has this journal been all my life?!!?!?!  I am so excited for this event! I look forward to more!
    • I picked up my journal bag today!! What a treat! LOVED the journal! It is absolutely one of the most beautiful journals I’ve ever laid my eyes on. When I opened the bag I was like, “ohhhhhhhh” Can’t wait for the class!!!
    • This afternoon I picked up the journal and materials, and, I just want to say, the journal is marvelous. I love It! It is has everything. 
    • I am excited to have this outlet and a place to guide me this year.
    • OMG! Is this journal AMAZING!!! It’s so beautiful—thank you!!!

    Creative Journaling: Tracking Tasks and Progress Towards Your Goals

    Goal: We will explore how to integrate creativity into personal goal setting and schedule  planning as a method of self-care.  

    How do we use the strengths of both your “left brain” (analytics & logic) and “right brain”  (creativity and expression)  

    Suggested Supplies: 

    • “Brave Sis” journal Blank journal Spiral notebook Colored pens 
    • Colored pencils 
    • Scotch tape 
    • Post-it notes 
    • Stickers 
    • Old magazines, flyers, ephemera (paper  media), old planners or calendars – ideally  those with different colored and interesting  headlines, beautiful photos that you connect  with 

    Helpful Tips to Get Started and Combat “The Empty Page”

    Setting Goals: 

    1) Think about how the goal will help you be who you want to be. The steps to  achieving the goal should be small, “bite-size”, and manageable. If the “Due Date” seems  overwhelming, cover it. Just focus on the small things you can do daily and document  these in the daily section. 

    2) Imagine the goal as an intention. There are two pages of examples of intentions  before the yearly spread in the beginning of the journal. Choose a few of these that  resonate with you and use them as goals.  

    3) Select a picture that articulates or supports your goal. If you struggle to find the  words to state your goal, find a picture instead and add a few words around it.

    Blank Pages – What Do I Do with So Much Space? 

    1) Make it an art space to express yourself. Look through a magazine to find a photo  or article that tells your story or helps to clarify a bit more about the prompt for the  month.  

    2) Insert a coloring page and write a few words around it to share why it is a part of your  story. Use the monthly theme as a guide.

    3) For months that have passed, use those pages as an opportunity to reflect on  what happened (big picture) and set the stage for the coming months. You could also  cover the pages with magazine articles, or coloring pages. 

    4) Use bullet points to help structure and clarify your thoughts. This is an easy 10-minute a day reflection.  

    The Creative Process  

    1) Reuse materials (paper products) such as magazines, cards, etc. There is joy in  appreciating what you already have for materials & reusing them. It can also bring  sentimental things to life.  

    2) Set aside a regular time each day or every other day to work on the journal, even if it’s  just for 10 minutes. Building it into a routine helps to establish it as a positive habit.  

    3) If you are challenged by expressing yourself, chose a picture to represent your thoughts.  Enjoy the process rather than focusing on the whole outcome at once.  

    4) If you’re not feeling a page, move on and choose another one to work on instead. You are  in control. Just come back to it later.  

    This Journal is your tool to express your story, track your goals, and fill  with your narrative. Fill the pages as you wish and use it as a guidepost for  being brave and authentically you!