Journaling is an incredible tool to help us get clear on what we're feeling over a given time, what we want in life, and the challenges or obstacles that are impeding us from living a life of ease and grace. As humans, we go through a roller coaster of emotions and thoughts every day. If you don't currently have a journaling practice, this is a great place to start! And If you already journal on a daily basis, then you can use these prompts as an additional resource to add to your repertoire. My hope for you is that with time, you may begin to differentiate between thoughts that are ego-based versus those that come from your heart and soul. When we begin to get clear on the desires of our heart and choose to take actions that feed our soul rather than our ego, we begin to notice shifts in our life that help us understand how truly powerful we are in co-creating our reality. I hope these prompts inspire you to begin putting pen to paper so that you may deepen your relationship with yourself and get clear on the true desires of your heart.
Whether you're a complete beginner or have been journaling for years, every entry is an opportunity to discover something new about yourself. The variety of prompts and questions I've included below will guide you to look within yourself in the present, as well as when you were younger to uncover thought patterns, triggers, desires, fears, and memories that be the root cause to the way you feel today. I invite you to allow these prompts to open up a door of self-discovery and contemplation that you can take with you wherever you are. Know that what you write in your journal is for your eyes only, and you need not hold back or hide anything out of fear that anyone will read it.
1. GRATITUDE LOG
Gratitude Log - This is a great place to start if you currently don't have a journaling practice, but is equally beneficial for those with years' of journaling experience. Practicing gratitude calms our nervous system and allows us to shift our focus from worrying about the things we lack or desire to acknowledging how much we already have. Take 5-10 minutes each day, whether it be early in the morning, during your lunch break, before you go to bed, or any other time to write a list of things you're grateful for. Your list can be as short or as long as you want, and can include physical things you appreciate in your life such as a roof over your head, your comfortable bed, the delicious breakfast you made yourself. Or they can be intangible things that make you feel grateful such as the community of people you are surrounded with, the love you feel from/for your family, partner or children, the warm weather or cozy rainy day. Whatever it may be, take a few moments to write a list of things you're grateful for and when you're done, read over each one and allow yourself to deeply feel the emotion of gratitude in your heart and visualize your heart absorbing and growing with each item.
2. DIARY-STYLE OBSERVATION
Diary-Style Observation - This one is simple but very eye-opening. It's a system I've been using the most lately and it's allowed me to uncover some deep-rooted thought patterns and fears that have been with me since my younger years. As you go about your day, observe the inner chatter that goes through your mind. Notice moments in which you feel really happy and grateful, and moments where perhaps you feel anxious, upset, frustrated, or confused. If you have your journal nearby, take it out and start writing, otherwise you can use the notes section in your phone, or even record a voice memo if you're driving or unable to write. Take a few minutes to write down how you're feeling, any triggers that may have caused you to feel that way, whether this is something you've noticed coming up repeatedly for you, and anything else that comes up. Let yourself write freely, don't hold back or refrain from writing something that makes you feel vulnerable. Know that this diary entry is just for you and that no one is going to read it. If it makes you feel uncomfortable to write about your triggers or feelings of anger, jealousy, resentment, etc, you can always rip the page out and burn it or throw it away later. It's amazing how therapeutic it can be to simply write down how you're feeling as if you're venting to a best friend who would never judge you. Allowing yourself to write for as long as you need without limitation is where the clarity begins to pour in. If you were to look at my journal, you'd see many "aha!" moments where I'll write something like "wow, this is the first time I've noticed this about myself" or "woah, I just realized that this is something I've wanted since high school," etc. Once you make these realizations, you can't un-learn them, and they end up carrying on with you on the rest of your day. You begin to notice more patterns in your thoughts and emotions, and question yourself when they first started, what beliefs about yourself are at the root, etc.
3. VISUALIZATION FREE-WRITE
Visualization Free-Write - This one is a fun exercise that you can do whenever you don't have anything in mind that you want to journal about, or are feeling confused about what you want in life. Give yourself a little more time for this one, perhaps 20 minutes - 1 hour. Find a comfortable, quiet space (even if that means putting headphones in while out in public or surrounded by company) and close your eyes for a moment. Envision yourself 10 years from now living your ideal life; don't worry about challenges in your present life that you believe would impede you from achieving that life. In your dream world in your private mind, anything is possible. Take a few moments to visualize a scenario during that time in your life 10 years from now and begin to visualize the details; the location, sights around you, smells, sounds and perhaps people or animals that are in this scenario with you. Next, think about the specific emotions that you would be feeling in this scenario. Would you feel at peace, free, secure, abundant, loved, connected, happy, relaxed or anything else? How would you feel about yourself and the people that you love? Would you be in a career that you enjoy, or perhaps working on your own business that you are excited to launch to the world? Allow yourself to visualize freely. Then open your eyes and start journaling about this scenario and the answer to these questions. As you write, add as much or as little detail as you want, and write in the present tense as if it's happening in real-time. For example here's a little blurb from one of my visualization journal entries: "I am sitting on the ground in a beautiful forest near my house, it's getting close to sunset so the trees are all glowing with the light of the late afternoon sun. I'm having a picnic with some girlfriends and we're chatting about an upcoming retreat that we're hosting together and brainstorming about how we can make it a love-filled experience that will transform the hearts of whoever is attending. We're eating local fruit that we picked off the trees, and veggies grown in our gardens. We're sipping on some fresh-pressed orange juice that one of the ladies brought to share, and I can hear the sounds of birds in the trees, I can feel the warm breeze of the wind on my skin and I can smell the fresh flowers, plants and fruits that are surrounding us. In this moment, I feel blissful, relaxed, loved and connected to nature and myself. Most importantly, I feel grateful that this is the reality I live and that my career allows me to serve the world in a way that considers the highest and best of all."
Your visualization may sound nothing like mine, and that's wonderful. Perhaps you see yourself as a successful artist who is making a living expressing yourself the way you love most and inspiring others through your art. Whatever it may be for you, we all have our own way of showing up in the world and being of service to others, and these journaling prompts will help you get clear on what that is.
You may have noticed a common factor among these prompts; and that is the focus on the root emotions that come up, whether it be in the present, past or future scenario. When we begin to get clear on the root emotions that we want to feel or let go of, we give the Universe an idea of how to align the circumstances in our life with those emotions. Rather than trying to control every situation and know HOW we will achieve the feelings we desire, we surrender the details to the Universe and focus on observing the present moment instead.
I hope these prompts have inspired you to begin journaling so that you can open the door of self-discovery and get some clarity on what you truly want out of this lifetime. Feel free to leave any questions, suggestions or feedback down below. I always read and respond to everything and take into account any suggestions for future blog posts.
DID YOU KNOW...
I offer personal accountability coaching where through a series of one-on-one calls, we take a deep dive into your current situation and the changes you want to make to align with your purpose. We discuss your current blocks and where you would like to see yourself in the future, and come up with a personalized game-plan to start taking steps towards that. In addition, I provide additional journaling prompts, guided meditations, motivation and accountability exercises, tips on getting organized and so much more on the Members-Only Portal. This is a section of my site that is available to you whenever you want, as soon as you sign up for a coaching session with me. Click the button below to learn more.