Make a gratitude journal for someone you love, listing all the reasons you’re grateful to have him or her in your life. This is the best gift ever!Oprah
September magazine issues have arrived! I thought I should jump on the train, too, and get a head-start on the upcoming month. Plan and prepare. You know September is the new January. That’s what they say. Like sitting is the new smoking and gray is the new black (they say that, too.) And I do LOVE a new year. I’ve actually secretly (or not so secretly) had a love affair with sweet September for a long, long time! It’s been a time for renewal and reflection. A good time to look back at the year, so far, and plan/adjust for the remainder of what’s to come. Am I on track with goals? Is there anything I wanted to do this year that I’ve yet to make time for? What have I been avoiding and why?
I’m also a lifetime journaler. I wish I could remember the first time I picked up my first diary. I’m sure I was around 9 or 10. I remember it having a lock and key- and didn’t that make me feel important!? I don’t think I was all that faithful about writing in it, but I do remember that feeling of joy when the pen would touch the paper and I was putting my thoughts into form, via the page (I can’t imagine not knowing how to write in cursive!) Pens, pencils, paper- an office supply store is better than a candy shop! (it is!!) You get me, right?
This year I decided to step out of my comfort zone; I took an online journaling class… and ACTUALLY PARTICIPATED. 🙂 I showed up for live calls as often as I could and I even raised my hand. That was big! I know it could be hard to believe with me being an extrovert and all, but I’m pretty quiet in online forums (or maybe I’ve just become that way more recently. Age? Could be.) I also kept up with “assignments” and took all of my thoughts to the page. It has been so inspiring! I have loved the prompts/techniques/styles of journaling that I’ve learned and thought I’d share a few of them, at this the start of the “new” year, here, with you:
- Flood of dreams– make it FUN! This one will really get your creative juices flowing! Sit down with a notebook and start brainstorming ideas/thoughts/inspiration – do not filter. Anything goes. Nothing is too big or too wild. You may be really surprised at what comes up for you. If it comes to your mind- the HOW is none of your business– write it down.
- Get curious– ask LOTS of questions. When you come up blank, put your pen on the page and just start writing- “I wonder…I wonder what it would feel like to ________?” (actually, get up and go for a walk when I say I’m going to) or… I wonder what I can commit to today. Or… what’s one thing I can say yes to? Or… I wonder what it would feel like if I could lose the weight, get the job, start that business. You see where it’s going- ask the questions (and answers) in written form.
- Morning Pages– this has been my FAVORITE! It’s literally a brain vomit. Done the first thing in the morning (coffee in hand) a stream of consciousness. Three pages. Don’t lift your pen from the page, and put down any and every thought as it enters your mind. This takes me a good 30+ minutes. It clears my head for the day and allows the cream to rise to the top- anything that needs my attention will always bubble up. Do this with the intention of burning the pages when you’re done. (Whether you do or not doesn’t matter- what matters is that you’re not filtering any words or thoughts. You have to be able to feel free to express yourself. If you’re worried someone will read it, you will hold back.)
- Make a list– List all of the things you would change right now in your life if you could. Leave NO-thing out.
- Appreciation– What are you most thankful for in your life. Instead of only making a list of items or experiences, also write your why. It brings more meaning to us if we know our why.
This is a good start to get your blood flowing. Or it could be too much if you’re new to journaling. If it is, then pick one and go for it.
If you’d like to really start seeing a change in your life, start a love-letter-to-self-practice. Here’s my template you can use to get started. Make it your own. This is just to give you a starting, or perhaps a jumping-off point. You can print it out and make it a daily, weekly or monthly habit. I’m not gonna lie…this was the hardest practice to start, but once I did start, it became easy. I’m confident that it will become easy for you, too. Download and print the template below, you’ll be glad you did!
I’d love to know…Do you journal? Do you have a regular practice you use? Will you start? (morning pages are the bomb!) Leave a comment below.