I used to think of journaling could only be done (or be valuable) in the traditional form,
Today I did X, with X, and it was X.
I heard keeping a regular journal had a ton of health benefits: Helping to manage stress, improve communication skills, stimulate mindfulness, spark creativity..the list goes on. Journaling was the magic answer I was looking for. A tool to make me less of a stress case and help get the creative juices flowing.
When you ‘Try Again” and it fails miserably
So I tried to get into it. I mean I REALLY tried. But something just wasn’t clicking for me. I wasn’t able to find a flow or purpose to what I was writing down. For example: if I sat down to journal and had spent my day lazing around at home, I found myself digging, like really deep, for content to write about. Sometimes I would even fabricate my own words to make my day sound just a little more interesting. Not a good way to go about an exercise that was supposed to be bettering me. But who the heck was I “juicing” it up for? Future me? Who MIGHT read the entry a few months down the road? It was pretty silly, admittedly pathetic and SUPER counter productive to say the least.
Bad habits don’t die hard.. they die in shame
It took a few weeks to break this horrible habit. I remember it was a rainy Monday evening and I was sitting down to write about my engagement party I had thrown the Friday before. In my head I was making it sound like this super glam evening, filled with champagne, gorgeous outfits and late night partying. Right when I was about to hit the pen to paper, ideas flying through my head, I had a “ohh megggggg….” moment. I burst out laughing to myself and slammed the journal shut. I realized what I was about to write about was a flat out LIE. My brain wanted to share “glam” but in reality I had felt kinda sick the whole night, had ripped my favourite leggings, and ended leaving the party before most people (including my fiancee) to go home to my snuggle my dog. There was literally ZERO truth to the glamorous journal entry idea swimming around in my head. It wasn’t genuine, it wasn’t real and it sure as hell wasn’t adding any value to my health or well being.
Prompting my way to a REVOLUTION
I am so proud to say I kicked that awful journaling habit early and all on my own (that’s a Breakfast Club fist pump moment if I’ve ever heard one!). And thankfully where I tuned next after that habit was so so so much more incredible.
I knew I still had something to say. I wanted to write my thoughts down, I wanted that pen to paper organic experience, I wanted to nourish my soul. So pen in hand, blank page in front of me, I decided to ignore the bullshit thoughts and ask myself a question instead: “Who is Meg?”
What happened next was INCREDIBLE, UPLIFTING, REVOLUTIONARY. There was zero writers block, the words just poured out of me. My page was full in no time and I had managed to uncover a whole lot of baggage that I never even knew was stuck in my head. I learned about myself: What I needed to work on, what was upsetting me, what I was truly passionate about, who I loved and why I loved them. It was so healing and so raw – exactly what I was missing in my life. The piece to the puzzle had been found (..under a really messy couch that hadn’t been vacuumed in years).
Prompt it up!
Here we go. This is what you probably clicked through to find (I won’t be mad if you scrolled to the bottom of this article). I have put together a list of writing prompts that will set you on a brilliant (but also terrifying) path to self discovery.
NOTE: Please please please. If this article sparked your interest in journaling with prompts, I strongly suggest starting with “Who is “insert name here”? It brought me so much clarity (and a whole lot of garbage) and made me realize what I needed to work on most. Thus, picking prompts that would work best for me.
Okay, so let’s dive on in! There is no specific order to these. Use whichever stands out most to you. This is about your own journey and I want you to customize it to what will be most healing for YOU. This is just the start people, I will be continuing this list later, so stay tuned for that (and happy discovering)!
- Who is *insert name here*?
- Write an open letter to your body. (Start with.. “Hi body.. it’s Meg. How are you?” or “My body is..”
- What is your relationship with your job?
- Define the word ‘health’.
- Who are the most powerful women in your life. Why are they powerful?
- What does the word ‘mindfulness’ mean to you?
- What is your relationship with food? (Get honest here everyone)
- If money didn’t matter and you could do ANYTHING, what would you do?
- What is your relationship like with your parents?
- In your eyes, describe the perfect human being. (Be honest)
- What is your favourite season and why? How does it make you feel?
- Describe/reflect on yourself from ages 6-16. Did anything HUGE happen?
- Write a letter to yourself as a child. What would you say to him/her?
- In your eyes, how does one truly achieve ‘self love’? (It’s a doozy, I know..)
- Write to your heart. Yes your beating heart. Ask it how it feels? What is it missing? How you can nurture it?
- What is a calorie? (This one is my favourite and was a BIG game changer for me!)
- Describe your relationship with exercising. Is it for fun? To lose weight? Or for sport? (Another serious game changer for me. You can read what I discovered this blog post).
- What is your ‘goal weight”? Why do you have a ‘goal weight’? (Be honest).
- What does ‘living creatively’ mean to you?
- If money didn’t matter, and you could travel anywhere, where would you go? What would you do? (Really give this one some thought people, you have to pick one place!)
I really hope you find these prompts helpful and a good way to start thinking more deeply about what your soul needs and where you need to put in a little more work. Prompting has brought up some serious crap for me to work through but I am embracing it and welcoming it with open arms. I know it will help me come out on top, ‘Breakfast Club fist pumping’ and in more control of my body and mind.
If this article really spoke to you or just sparked some ideas, I’d love to hear from you! When it comes to self development or self discovery I truly believe it’s all about community. I believe learning from one another is the best way to healing and can work some serious magic – I’ve been there, I’ve witnessed it.. Remember that I’m always here to chat about your discoveries (or even just give you a virtual high five). These connections, this sense of community, THAT’S what drives me people, THAT’S what sets my soul on fire.