Jenn Hicks

Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’

Why I journal

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

I’ve been journaling off and on since I was a little girl. In the early days I remember a pink gold-leaf paged book perfectly sized to suit my small hands. I wonder what I wrote about in those days? Likely more a record of my days than anything meaningful.

Fortunately, in grades 7 and 8 (when I was 12 and 13), journaling was a requirement. I say fortunately because this is where my creativity was invited onto the page – not only were we to report on our thoughts, ideas and emotions, but we were encouraged to colour and draw and paste and more as part of our entries. I have very vivid memories of lying on my bedroom floor, my pencil crayons and markers getting a good workout.


My Journal. Where I…


In high school my journal began helping me process my experiences and managing my emotions.  It kept me company when I felt the loneliest. During university I didn’t journal much – I guess I was too busy studying and writing essays.

My journals were a lifeline when I was going through a mental health crisis about a decade ago. Not only did journaling give me a space to try to make sense of myself, but it also helped me communicate my pain to others.  At that time we weren’t keeping tabs on one another through tweets, blogs and Facebook status updates. When I couldn’t bear to actually *talk about* what was going on, I’d hand my friends and family my journals and they spoke for me. Those journals helped me help myself in such a profound way.

Now my journal is like a dear friend. It’s place without filters where I can expose my whole self without judgement. Each time I put my pen to the paper I learn more and more about who I am and what matters.

Thanks to Jamie Ridler who inspired this post. She’s hosting a great initiative called “Give a Girl A Journal” to put journals into the hands of girls who can benefit from them. My life is definitely better because of journaling and I was pleased to get involved by writing this post and donating a journal today. Curious about this project? Check it out here.

Dancing Through Life With Pleasure: Nia Student Stories

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
Photo by Nia Technique

Photo by Nia Technique

Meet Sue: she has been attending weekend classes at Joy of Dance since 2012.  She is a very dedicated student of Nia and graciously responded to my invitation to share her Nia story. My experience with Nia has been about getting more into my body and so I am so inspired to know that Sue shares that!

Here is her story:

“The last couple of classes I noticed something weird. I saw my body doing rather complex patterns correctly without my even thinking about it. It was just falling into the music and doing what everyone else was doing – with it’s own touch of style. I just had to watch and enjoy. Wow! What fun!

I don’t even know for sure how I ended up in Jenn’s NIA class. I think it started when a therapist said I should get more into my body. Next thing I knew I was looking up NIA classes on the web and thinking, “Hmm, Joy of Dance, isn’t that near me?”

But the thing is, I don’t even remember how I heard of NIA in the first place. Must have been some kind of grace. Since then, NIA with Jenn has been an important anchor in my life. I always feel a un-anchored on weekends and can get a bit down if I don’t watch it – not doing enough fun things – spending too much time doing (or avoiding) chores, etc. NIA gets me up and out on weekends – having serious fun first thing in the morning.

Jenn picks great music – stuff I normally wouldn’t think of. I just knew she was going to grab the Pan Am song and choreograph it for us – and she did – it’s great! I just love the exuberance factor – inherent in NIA but channeled beautifully by Jenn and my classmates.  Even though I was never athletic I have always enjoyed movement and NIA kicks it up a notch – or several. And speaking of kicks – I love the mix of abrupt martial arts and more flowy dance forms and how the movements are constantly changing”.

Thank you, Sue, for sharing your story and experiences with Nia!

Want to share your experience and inspire others? Contact me!

New to Nia and ready to experience a class? Take a look at my schedule or visit to find a class in your neighbourhood!