The first step to this activity is to set up the bracelet that will be used to direct this activity. Follow the steps below to get started with your bracelet.
1. Select a sturdy material, such as cardboard, to create a circular cut out. I used a disposable cup to cut my circle.
2. Cut 12 slits in the circle, preferably evenly spaced.
3. Cut equal lengths of your 11 colors of embroidery thread, or other similar thread material.
a. Green = growth
b. Blue = sadness/depression
c. Orange = confusion
d. Purple = anxiety
e. Grey = frustration
f. Red = anger/rage
g. Pink = love
h. White = peace/faith/spirituality
i. Yellow = joy/happiness
j. Black = fear
k. Brown = clear as mud emotion
4. Line up the ends of each thread and tie a knot to hold them all together.
5. Attach a charm to one of the threads, if desired.
6. Use a pencil to punch a hole in your cardboard circle and gently thread your colors through the hole.
7. Separate your thread and anchor each color in its own slit.
Now you are ready to begin your journaling.
The first thing I recommend is to pick a charm that represents what you want to anchor your journaling experience with. In my office I often use an anchor charm or a have my clients find a charm that represents their safe or healing place. Thread the charm onto the emotion you want your anchor to be attached to as you complete this activity. Examples are: growth, peace/faith/spirituality, love, joy. Pick a positive emotion.
You can decide on the pattern you want to use to create your bracelet, as long as you at least move every other string. I recommend your first bracelet move every third string. As you pick up a string, journal about the emotion associated with that color. Spend a minute with each string everyday for a total of 11 journal entries until you get used to the process. Use the following questions to guide your work:
· Green = what is something I am growing in?
· Blue = what is something that makes me sad or feel depressed?
· Orange = what is something that is causing me, or has caused me, confusion?
· Purple = what is something that makes me anxious?
· Grey = what is something that I find frustrating?
· Red = what is something that makes me mad?
· Pink = what is something that I love?
· White = what is something that gives me peace or strengthens my faith/spiritual practice?
· Yellow = what is something that gives me joy?
· Black = what is something that causes me fear?
· Brown = what is something that makes me feel an emotion I don’t know how to name?
Each week or month change up the question by changing the stem of the question to answer the “wh” questions and how. Who, what, when, where, why, and how. As you address each question for the colors, you can search for charms that represent your experience with each emotion and thread it onto that color. You could also thread charms that represent nurturing or strength as you work your way through this activity. The sky is the limit when it comes to the charms you may add! Try to make the charms something that helps you grow in your journey or honors an important memory/milestone.
As you observe your bracelet growing, or help your child observe their bracelet, notice the following things:
1. Is there a pattern emerging?
2. Do the colors look separate or intertwined?
3. Is each thread stronger or weaker than before it was woven together with the other colors?
4. Are there any colors you did not like? How do they look woven together with the other colors?
5. Do you notice how you put positive and negative emotions through the circle (healing place) and something beautiful was created? It took the good stuff and the bad stuff to create your beautiful bracelet.
Some of you might think: This is great….if I wanted to make a bracelet. Rest assured that you can modify this activity to meet your lifestyle. You can use this activity to make a bookmark, wall hanging, or whatever holds meaning to you and can provide reminders of what you need, where you’ve been, or where you want to go.
NOTE: This journal activity utilizes a friendship bracelet technique that can be found on social media or other internet searches. What makes this activity unique is the interaction between the bracelet and the journaling directives.