Writing is like turning defrost on the foggy windshield—it makes everything in my mind so clear.
So, let’s talk about journaling—what to write about, what to write in, my favorite resources, creating writing habits.
Here’s the roundup. Below we’ll look closer at each approach.
In the episode, I share how I started here as a teenager.
I’d let my emotions out on the pages… but I’m not sure I ever really learned something from what I wrote. It was an outlet more than anything. Later, I continued documenting the facts, but also wrote through my emotional connection to the story.
I was open about something real I was going through. It was my first time writing and sharing in this way and I think it rewarded me with confidence in expression.
Try documenting your everyday or a story that’s on your heart. The facts + your emotional connection to the story. A good place to start: How is the changing you?
Wake up and write while your brain isn’t fully awake yet. They say you have the most access to the subconscious part of your brain first thing in the morning.
Susan Ferraro taught me to journal deeper than ever. For me, the more I learned about myself, the more I could make decisions moving forward to BE the person I want to be.
I can see my own self-sabotage so easily now, which means I can change my course easily. Susan helped with that!
Take the time to really look at your beliefs + thoughts. Perhaps more important, WHY you believe the things you believe in and WHY you think the way you think.
No matter what you believe in: Guides, the universe, God, whatever… what was so profound to me was to sometimes not WRITE + THINK… but to listen instead.
Maybe it’s our own mind, maybe it’s an outside source, but sometimes, with my pages if I just listen, revelations and big ideas come up that I get to catch because I was open to hearing them.
I’m not an expert in this one, so I pulled a few things I found helpful: Divine Breadcrumbs from Nikki Elledge Brown
This one came from listening to an audiobook by Gabrielle Bernstein.
With #4, listen first, then write, you may just be LIVING your life rather than sitting down to write / journal.
Here, in #5 Ask & Answer a Question, you’ll intentionally sit down to write, but you’ll first call out to your guide (whatever that looks like to you).
Before you write, say something like (this came from Gabby’s book):
“Dear guides of the highest truth and compassion, I welcome you to write through me now.”
Again, not an expert, but this article from Gabby might help.
If you’ve never done anything like this before, it probably feels weird AF. I get it. When I tried this, more than anything, I felt like the pressure to find answers all by myself was gone. Imagine the power of your writing when you feel weightless!
Write as if you’re in the future and all your dreams came true. They say it helps your brain to manifest the things you want, because you tap into the energy vibration as if it’s already happened.
I unexpectedly found much healing, closure and peace through writing a welcome letter to the new homeowners of our Michigan house. I wanted to tell them about all the magic of the home & the area we loved dearly.
I didn’t expect how I’d feel on the other side of that letter, which is published here.
Write to anyone or anything—someone you love, to a story or season in your life, to your future or past self, to a strained relationship (even if you have no intention to send the letter). Try it.
Through my own thing — Dangerously Good Stories: The Practice—I’ve found it absolutely cathartic to write out my own life stories.
Think: Childhood, young adulthood, pre-parter, after meeting your partner, pre-kids, etc.
It works, because you’re combining (#1) documenting facts & details + how you felt about the experience type of writing with (#3) the why type of journaling.
This has helped me unearth and honor my own stories. The new level of awareness for my tiny stories has helped me feel like I’m fully awake for my life. I’m no longer at risk for missing the stories in my life even when I’m focused on future plans, doing the work and getting distracted by the noise.
Set aside time to do this, which I lovingly call Slow Down Sessions. Start with this Notice Your People exercise.
I’ve done this with my kiddos. Author Hannah Brencher has talked in her books about doing this with one of her friends and another with her husband.
Journaling with someone else is a way to have an ongoing, highly connected conversation. Plus, you’ll likely document your lives as you share about your lives.
Prompts are like little surprises. We only see what we focus on, so breaking the script on our go-to topics to write about can be awakening.
Where to find journaling prompts? I’ve got you covered…
Pinterest has a ton. I’ve saved some here.
Nicole Annette of Journal Junky has THE BEST journaling prompts. I highly recommend following her on IG.
She also recently started The Journal Coaching Podcast—SO GOOD. She talks about journaling for self-awareness, healing, abundance, contentment and about a dozen other benefits.
I also purchased Let It Out by Katie Dalebout, which is like a recipe book, but for journaling. It’s not exactly questions and prompts, but rather different styles and journaling activities.
I’m also really excited right now about Promptly Journals’ app, which is more for journaling about your family stories. You’ll hear more about that in next week’s episode with Promptly Journal’s founder, Jayne Swallow, and hint: she came with a gift for our listeners.
11. Create Your Own Heart-Led Writing Prompts
You know when you *really* feel a story, or a line in a movie / TV show, or an excerpt in a book you’re reading?
For some reason, it just speaks to you, but then you continue on with life? Never really pausing to think about it? Next time, USE these as opportunities.
When you’re in the wild experiencing these things for the first or 100th time, pay attention. Use them as a jumping off point. You feel heat around them for a reason. Take the time to figure out what that reason is. There might be a story there.
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