Michelle Obama’s new journal guides fans to write their own ‘Becoming’

Michelle Obama is giving readers a chance to discover their own voices and their own stories through journaling. “Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice” (Clarkson Potter) is the journal companion to her best-selling memoir “Becoming,” last year’s top-selling book on USA TODAY’s best-selling books list. 

Out nationwide on Tuesday, the guided journal, which includes more than 150 quotes and prompts (and even a “Becoming” playlist) from the former first lady, has already garnered a great deal of media attention, including being featured as a bonus pick on Oprah Winfrey’s coveted list of “Favorite Things.”

Obama writes in the journal’s introduction: “I hope you’ll use this journal to write down your experiences, thoughts, and feelings, in all their imperfections, and without judgement. … Writing is a way to process, to understand, to grow, and yes, to remember.” 

Michelle Obama walks on stage during her Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama on May 12, 2019. (Photo: Courtney Pedroza, The Tennessean via USA TODAY NET)

Obama reflects on her own experience with journaling, which she did briefly in her 20s when her relationship with now-husband and former president Barack Obama was getting more serious and she was contemplating a new career. She writes, “It was a tumultuous time filled with change, and I found that dedicating time to writing my thoughts down helped me navigate all the transitions.”

Obama would not put pen to journal again until she began writing her memoir, during which she was “transported back to that earlier version of myself.” This begat the question she poses in her introduction: “Why didn’t I journal more?”

With that revelation, Obama created a journal to help readers reflect on their own personal journey. Because as Obama writes in her introduction, “We don’t have to remember everything. But everything we remember has value.”

To give readers an idea of what to expect, we’ve selected five of our favorite quotes with prompts from Obama, beginning with arguably one of her most famous.

"Becoming: A guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice" by Michelle Obama (Photo: Clarkson Potter)

When they go low, we go high. How do you put this phrase into practice?

I had nothing or I had everything. It depends on which way you want to tell it. Where we come from has such a strong effect on the person we are. Describe the neighborhood you grew up in. What was special about it? What was challenging? How did it shape who you are today?

I’ve learned that it’s harder to hate up close. Describe a recent conversation you had with someone who did not share your history or perspective. How did you navigate the conversation?   

Everyone on earth is carrying around an unseen history, and that alone deserves some tolerance. What major historical events affected your family – whether in the distant past or more recently?

If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others. How have others tried to define you in the past and how do their perceptions differ from the person you know you are?

Source: Read Full Article