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journal writing

I Am free when… tonight’s journal writing exercise


In honor of Independence Day quickly approaching, I thought it would be a meaningful exercise in our journals tonight to write about what freedom means to us.

In your journals at the top of the entry, simply write: I Am free when… then just write away.

As I sometimes do, I will begin my entry and then you begin…

I Am free when…

Oh yes, I am free when:

1. I am not worried about what other people think (people pleasing be gone)!

2. I follow my passions and my conscious.

3. I have enough money in my bank to pay the bills, help my kids, travel, and have as many beverages at Starbucks as I want!

4. I am trusted to do a good job and be well compensated for it.

5. I live where I want.

6. I write about what I want to.

7. Life and God are just working with me and I enjoy peace in my life as a result.


Your turn, sweet friends. Happy writing and a happy early Fourth of July to our American friends.

I wish to dedicate this post to the millions of people who are not free because they are victims of human trafficking. The A21 campaign which stands for abolishing injustice in the 21st century is doing good work to increase awareness and work with law enforcement agencies around the world…

You can learn more here:


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Three writing prompts for your Journal Writing today

1. Write a prayer list. Who could use some extra love and healing right now? Include them in your prayers!

2. Write a bucket list of fun adventures to do this summer.

3. Answer this question: What am I most thankful for right now?

Happy writing!


There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart. ~ Celia Thaxter

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Ten things that delight me this June evening (tonight’s journal writing entry)

on the river

Tonight, I invite you to get out your pen and journal and write down as many things as you can think of that positively delight you NOW.

Ten is a good number but if you can list 100+ things, all the power to you. Write quick. Don’t think too much. Don’t edit. Just write.


My list:

What positively delights me right NOW?

1. The fact that my young son started a new job today and he is very excited about it.

2. I am pain free and feel good.

3. The perfect Florida evening I am enjoying: breeze, frogs in the back yard pond.

4. The knowledge that as soon as I am finished publishing this post I have a delightful dinner to prepare (smoked salmon and trout, onion rolls, cream cheese, Mediterranean orzo salad).

5. The time I spent with my daughter today. She showed up at the end of my work day and we took a nice walk together on the St. John’s River in downtown Jacksonville.

6. Chocolate. Always a delight. Whenever. anytime. No matter what.


7. The delightful people I am becoming friends with in our Short Morning Prayer Club. If you haven’t yet joined us, I invite you to do so.

8. The Prayer to Saint Joseph. It works (my son got the job and he is happy and excited about his future).

St joseph

9. My back yard patio.

back patio

10. Writing

Your turn, my friends. Happy writing and I wish you a restful night tonight.

In Peace,



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A mid-week gratitude list: our journal writing exercise for tonight


Gratitude is an art of painting an adversity into a lovely picture. ~Kak Sri

I feel compelled to write a post about gratitude tonight. Change is in the air. Spring is turning into summer. People I am close to are losing loved ones. Texas and Oklahoma are drenched and we are very dry here in North Florida. The next generation is graduating and my own two kids are at forks in their lives. When there is drama and change in my life (or around me in this case), I find it helpful to pray and focus on gratitude. It is hard to be afraid and anxious when one is feeling blessed and thankful.

For our journal writing tonight my friends, I offer simply, a mid-week list of things you are thankful for. I will jot down a few things I feel thankful about and then you go ahead with your writing, okay?

My gratitude list for this Wednesday evening:

1. All of my friends and followers here at The Warm Milk Journal. I appreciate your support and feedback.

2. My parents. I didn’t realize when I was younger just how hard it is to raise kids. Now, even though my kids are getting older, it is still tough. My parents were always (and still are) there for me. Thank you, mom and dad!

My sweet parents who live in Oklahoma City:  Joe and Donna

My sweet parents who live in Oklahoma City: Joe and Donna

3. My job. I absolutely love what I do and I have the utmost respect for the people I work for.

4. My health. I am pain free and I am enjoying vibrant health and energy. Thank you!

5. My home. I am so happy here.

IMG_3262 (2)

6. All of the doctors and nurses who have taken care of me over the years when I have occasionally needed medical treatment.

7. The city of Jacksonville and the State of Florida. This is my present home and this place has been very good to me.

8. The splendid Spring weather we are enjoying here in North Florida. It is now June and I am actually feeling a breeze and no mosquitoes!

9. My husband who loves me and accepts me and lets me write when I should be in the kitchen right now cooking dinner…

10. My cat mew. The sweetest creature on this planet.

IMG_3120 (2)

Your turn. What are you thankful for this Wednesday evening?

In Peace,



We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~ Thornton Wilder

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Affirming what I Am: my greatest benefit from journal writing. What is yours?

2012-01-04 02.41.52

The Greatest Benefit of Journaling that I have experienced:
Affirming What I Am

There are many benefits of journal writing. For me, I would have to say the greatest benefit is affirming my faith, affirming who I am, and affirming my life’s vision. I have used the power of affirmations for many years. When I write them down, they become even more powerful.
I think the turning point in my journaling happened in 2010 (about the time I started The Warm Milk Journal). Over and over I began writing in my journal that

“I Am a writer. I Am a writer”.

That was a theme in my journal writing for a very long time. I wrote it so much with conviction that I believed it, my friends and family began to believe it, and now I feel as though the world sees me as a writer. As I affirmed my identity as a writer, I got my blog up and running and wrote and published various other articles and ebooks. Around this same time, whenever I wrote an article to the editor of our local newspaper, it would get published. I also started to get people coming to me and asking if I would write an article for their magazine.
All I can say is the written word is powerful. If you apply it with feeling and conviction, you can do anything and be anyone you set your heart to.
Happy Writing!


Debra DiPietro
Atlantic Beach, Florida
I would love to hear from you!

This post is dedicated to my friend Dawn Herring in honor of the fifth anniversary of her blog: Refresh with Dawn Herring

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In another life I would be these ten things… a fun journal writing exercise


We can always reinvent ourselves no matter our age. I have done that a few times now. Tonight (or this morning or afternoon) when you sit down and settle down with your journal, I invite you to have a little fun… dream, invent, imagine.

The prompt is simply this:

In another life I would be….

Then write all that comes out. Don’t self edit or judge. Just write. Have fun! As I sometimes do I will start my own entry and then you begin yours, alright? Let’s see…

In another life I would be:

1. A travel writer

2. A wine blogger


3. A stand up comedienne

4. A famous painter

5. A horticulturist

6. A syndicated columnist

7. A person who was not a sun worshipper in her youth and now has beautiful wrinkle free skin in her late forties…

8. An improv artist who leads workshops to help bring people out of their shells and to have fun

9. A bestselling author

10. A marine biologist

Parker-propeller 2

There you go. That is my list. Now, write yours. Have fun. Reinvent yourself. Who knows? This may be the start of your next great adventure.




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A Current Bucket List: What is Yours?

List writing in our journals is always fun. Bucket lists are wonderful because they put us in touch with what is really important to us.

Tonight, I invite you to write your bucket list. List as many things as you want. Ready, set, LIVE!

My Bucket List Currently is this:

1. Visit the Northern California wine country

2. Get my many (Warm Milk related) projects published

3. Take a cruise with my family to Alaska

4. Travel throughout Europe

5. Live on a beautiful Florida waterway

6. Sit at the same dinner table with Oprah, George Clooney, and Harry Connick Jr.

7. Go to Hawaii, my childhood home.

8. Have the ability to visit some of my favorite art galleries in St. Augustine, Florida and if I see something I like for my home, I purchase it on the spot!

9. Ride on the Trans-Siberian Railway

10. Take a sabbatical in Bali where all I do is be quiet, practice yoga, meditate, and write.

I can do it!

I can do it!

Your turn, friends. Write your bucket list now. There is no time like the present.

Happy writing.

In Peace,


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Rise and Shine: Five Journal Writing Prompts for your morning


We talk a lot about the benefits of writing at bedtime to help us sleep better but starting our days off with our journals is a great way to start the day!

I invite you when you wake up tomorrow morning to wake up and stretch in bed. Then when your feet first hit the floor from your bed silently or out loud think “Thank” (first foot) and “You” (second foot). You can keep this morning gratitude meditation up as you go about making your coffee and getting your day started. Once you are ready, take a deep breath and get out your journal.

Here are five writing prompts to help you get your day started….

1. My most important ONE THING is:_______________

2. I am thankful for: ________________

3. If money was not an issue, my dream home would be located here_________ and here is what it would look like:

4. What is something I can do today to break up the routine?

5. How am I going to make someone feel good today?


Happy Writing and have a Blessed Day!


Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment. – Thích Nhất Hạnh

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Bedtime Journal writing part 3: What am I looking forward to?


Anticipation is so sweet. How many of you enjoy planning for a vacation as much as the trip itself? Why not go to bed each night feeling that way about your following day? I invite you to in your journals tonight write about at least one thing you are looking forward to about tomorrow. Even if you for whatever reason you are dreading the day (perhaps you have a presentation to make or an exam to take), there must be at least one thing you can get excited about, right?

Give this a try and then turn out the light!

I think this sounds like fun so I will think of a few things that I am looking forward to about tomorrow. Let’s see…

1. Tomorrow is a work from home day and I do not have to drive (which will be nice since I have taken a couple of road trips in the last week).

2. I am looking forward to getting my hair cut at the end of the day.

3. I am excited about making progress in a couple of work related projects.

4. I know I will enjoy the walk I will take at some point during the day.

5. I look forward to a day of being pain-free and enjoying great creative energy.

beauty girl in field under clouds

Your turn, my friends.

Good night,


“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.

A.A. Milne

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Here’s to Sweet Dreams and Living the Life of our Dreams. Cheers!

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

What makes your day happy and fulfilled? How are you sleeping at night? I firmly believe that how we live our days affects how we will sleep at night.

In your journal, I invite you to describe a perfect day for you (it can be one you really experienced or an imagined one). Write in as much detail as possible. Then make a list of things you can do to have more days like this happen in your life.

Happy writing and… sweet dreams.



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