Tonight I am going to simply offer you these three writing prompts. Do with them what you may…
The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it. ~ Jules Renard, “Diary,” February 1895
1. What is possible?
2. Why not ________….?
3. In the blink of an eye, so much can happen. What would I like to have slowed down a bit?
As I sometimes do I will start off my own entry, and then you go ahead and begin.
What is possible?
1. Change, radical change: relationships, career, where one resides.
2. Making a choice to be happy
3. Seeing beauty
4. Learning new things at any age
5. Having a close relationship with your teenager
Why not_________ ….?
Why not live in a place that is mild during winter and is dotted with happy palm trees everywhere?
Why not smile at the grumpy neighbor and see if you can change his face just a bit…
Why not reinvent yourself when you feel the need to?
Why not purchase the best quality coffee and mattress that money can buy?
Why not believe in miracles and love Disney World at age 47? Why not!?
In the blink of an eye, so much can happen. What would I like to have slowed down a bit?
1. My daughter growing up.
2. Life in general. It is all flying by lightning fast.
3. The time I have to write (usually early morning and early evening before dinner).
4. The cars driving on Seminole road (the ones that are speeding by when they should be stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk).
Your turn. Happy writing!
You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke. ~ Arthur Polotnik
If I am not sleeping well at night, feeling anxious, grumpy, or otherwise fidgety… chances are I am taking something in my life too seriously.
Whether it is myself, expectations connected with my spouse, job, family, life… I know when I am getting heavy (and I need to lighten up) when:
1. I am not sleeping at night (my mind is active with all concerns about everything)
2. I am starting arguments with my spouse
3. I am not being patient with my kid
4. I feel stuck or shut down…
If this sounds familiar you are not alone. I think we all start off with good intentions. We want to do our best. Be our best. We expect that of others as well. This is a time of year when expectations are really at a high. We put pressure on ourselves (and others) to prepare and execute the perfect holiday for our families (traditions are in place and need to be followed).
All of this is giving me a big headache. I think it is time to lighten up a bit.
Do yourselves, your spouses, your children, your co-workers, and anybody else who comes into contact with you a favor…
In journal, write:
How can I lighten up?
Then just write! That’s it.
Ready to try this? I know I am. So let’s go.
How can I lighten up?
My entry might look something like this:
1. Look for ways to find the “fun” in my work.
2. Have more patience and appreciation for my teenager’s behavior (it won’t last forever and it is kind of cute depending on how I choose to perceive it).
3. Get out the mini trampoline that is collecting dust in the garage and jump!
4. Make funny faces at myself in the mirror and at my husband and kid.
5. Play with cats
6. Experiment with fun videos via Instagram and Vine. There are a lot of people that just want to have silly fun out there… there must be something to it.
7. Read something just for the fun of it.
8. Watch something just for the fun of it.
9. Try a new kind of music genre to listen to.
11. Learn about humor and start telling jokes
12. As I start thinking about the new year and making New Year resolutions, perhaps consider committing to taking baby steps and initiating small changes (which over time will accumulate to something great) as opposed to declaring radical life altering changes and by February 1st they are all forgotten (due to burn out or unrealistic goals).
13. Remind myself that it doesn’t matter what other people think of me so long as I know I am doing my best.
14. Try new games: card games, board games, going out bowling… switch it up. Break the routine!
15. Do laughter meditation: force laughter for two minutes straight. Do it with significant other. Feel lighter?
Your turn! Have fun.
A man isn’t poor if he can still laugh. ~ Raymond Hitchcock
When Hannah approached me with this idea, I thought “yes!”. This is a great time of year to reflect, assess, and look at the coming new year.
I know you will enjoy her writing prompts for this holiday season…
Ten Journaling Prompts for the Holiday Season: a guest post by Hannah Braime
With the holiday season upon us, our journals can become a source of refuge and comfort in an otherwise hectic time. During this time of year, journaling is also a valuable way to reflect on the year gone by and prepare ourselves for the one ahead.
With that in mind, here are ten journaling prompts that will bring your focus back to self-connection. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year can leave us focusing outwards, sometimes at the expense of staying connected to our needs and preferences. The prompts below won’t take up too much of your time, and they’ll give you a chance to reconnect with what the festive season means to you.
1. How do I feel when I think about the holidays this year?
2. What would I like to be different this year compared to last year?
3. What am I still holding onto from last year that would be beneficial to let go?
4. If I had to choose a word or a theme to describe what I want from this holiday season, what would it be? Why?
5. What am I most looking forward to over the next couple of months?
6. How could I make that even more enjoyable and meaningful?
7. What is the most important need I want to meet during the holiday season this year?
8. How would I like to feel during the holiday season this year?
9. What am I most looking forward to in the 12 months ahead?
10. What do I need to greet 2014 with an open heart?
What are your favorite prompts for the holiday season? Leave a comment and let us know.
Hannah Braime is the founder of Becoming Who You Are, where you can find tools and resources that will calm your inner critic and nourish your inner cheerleader. She is a self-relationship coach and author of two books on journaling and self-care.
Visit www.becomingwhoyouare.net to get the free ebook “The Five Most Common Blocks to Authentic Living… and How to Overcome Them.”
Focusing on one sense while we are writing makes us present. It is a simple thing but it can be very powerful. When I do this kind of writing exercise I feel very alive, sharp, and in touch with God.
For tonight’s journal writing exercise, we will focus on our sense of hearing.
Simply write at the top of the page,
These sounds make me happy…
My entry would look something like this:
1. The machinery coming from our garage reminding me of my sweet husband happily doing his woodworking.
2. The laughter of a neighbor who lives nearby and likes to sit out in her front yard. She has an infectious laugh and it makes me happy.
3. The crickets outside
4. The heartbeat of my babies during the ultrasound appointments when I was pregnant (it was quite a while ago now but I still so clearly remember those swish-swish sounds).
5. The sound of my daughter when she is animated and excited, talking about her future.
6. My cat Mew’s purring…
7. Jazz music when I am cooking or when we are on a road trip
The ability to go with the flow is so essential to our mission here at the Warm Milk Journal that I had more to write about it in my journal.
If you feel so moved I encourage you to do so as well and you are invited to comment here and share with us any insignts you have gotten from doing this exercise.
In no particular order, here are a few more thoughts about going with the flow:
1. It results in peace
2. It is working with life and permitting life/universe/God to work with us.
3. In other words, to have faith and not feel like we have to be in control so much of the time.
4. Relax and find the joy in life.
5. Give up judgment and the need to be right (EGO a.ka Edging God Out)
I wish you all a peaceful day.
I sleep well when I:
1. have purposeful work to do during the day
2. I get exercise during the day
3. Spend some time outdoors
4. Have had more positive interactions with others than not
5. Enjoy a little downtime before bed
I do not sleep well:
1. If I have set expectations about something (or somebody) and they don’t pan out (disappointment is an invitation for misery and insomnia)
2. I am set in my ways and not being flexible enough
3. I feel stuck
As I write I am reminded of the old expression that it is better to go bend in the breeze like a reed rather than be a solid (rigid) stick and break…
I also think of the energy that a flowing river has. It keeps moving, no matter what. Obstacles? It moves around them. It is fluid. Not stuck.
Tonight, I invite you to write a bit in your journal in response to this simple prompt:
Going with the flow
Just begin to write and see what comes out. As always, don’t fret about editing or judging. Just write! Ready?
Going with the flow…
What comes to mind for me:
1. being able to handle a change of plans at the last minute
2. being amenable to ideas my spouse has about how we are going to spend the coming weekend…
3. not being so reactive to people and events (just chilling and staying centered)
4. being at my-ease…
5. momentum, moving forward
I will stop here and finish in my private journal. This is a great exercise.
Feeling thankful this evening. Feeling good. I wish you all a relaxing and delightful evening. Fall is here in North Florida and the crisper and dryer air just make we want to focus on new and exciting things. I find this time of year to be exhilarating.
Tonight I offer a few Fall evening journal writing prompts. So between carving the jack-o-lantern and figuring out your football watching schedule for the weekend, you can give yourself a little you/writing time…
1. What five things do I truly savor in life?
2. What is simmering in my life (like a pot of Fall soup), it’s there… just not boiling yet…
3. What brings light into my life?
Pale amber sunlight falls across
The reddening October trees….
Are we not better and at home
In dreamful Autumn, we who deem
No harvest joy is worth a dream?
A little while and night shall come,
A little while, then, let us dream…
~Ernest Dowson, “Autumnal”
How many times do you ask yourself: what is a dream? A dream is no more that an information that contains various kinds of data (somatic, olfactory, visual, tactile, kinesthetic, visceral, emotional, etc.) of various origins (different relationships and experiences, cultural systems, etc.) that mix together unfettered by perceptive filters or cognitive frameworks typical of the waking state. For this reason dreams appear formalized in an apparently complex way, and is almost nonsense upon initial and superficial observation. In reality this perception is the result of stereotypes and clichés that operate in conscious state.
Dreams can perform a maieutic function for the dreamer, in other words: dreams can induce the dreamer to ask himself questions that allow him to recognize his own personal “truth criteria”.This is why dreams are the individual’s maieutic path.
To use an interesting analogy: we consider the waking state as the time in which we “take in the pieces of a puzzle”, sleep is the time when we “work on the images” that will help us to “put the pieces in order”. And this is why dreams are a 100% personal tool. Only the dreamer possesses both dimensions of the puzzle, the piece and the image, and only he can use them.
Now exists a tool that can help everyone of us to put in order the pieces of our own puzzle, this is Dreamboard, an app on the web and on mobile platforms (Dreamboard Mobile for iOS and Android) that lets you keep your own dream journal with you at all times – day or night – and it also gathers a lot of feedback about your oneiric activity, like who you dream about most, or the prevailing moods and the colors (yes, the colors!) of your dreams.
Dreamboard (www.dreamboard.com) is there to help you track them and understand something more about yourself and your unconscious.
“My interest was sparked by observing a general and increasing dissatisfaction around me that seemed independent of a person’s success, wealth, and social status,” declares Umberto Prunotto, the founder of Dreamboard. “The only difference I could perceive in people’s degree of unhappiness was in the noise produced by their frantic efforts, while they lasted. From this experience, Dreamboard Inc. was born.”
Since Day 1 Dreamboard has grown continuously and now possesses the biggest database of dreams in the world. Data is compiled using a patented system for the collection, analysis, and visualization of dreams, and more than 156,000 dreams have been registered by over 85,000 users.
Now Dreamboard has entering the second stage of its development with the appointment of Prof. Patrick McNamara, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and Dissertation Chair at Northcentral University, as Chief Scientific Advisor.
“I believe new and breakthrough insights about the nature and function of dreams will emerge from the interactions of users with both other users and with the revolutionary feedback tools Dreamboard provides to users concerning patterns in their dreams,” says Dr. McNamara.
The aim of Dreamboard is to better understand the dream phenomenon in order to give everybody a way to improve their own mental well being.
Dreamboard Founder and CEO: Umberto Prunotto, an italian engineer and enterpreneur that, after a strong personal experience with dreams, in 2012 founded Dreamboard, a company for the tracking and studying of dreams
What we focus on grows. Why not focus on the things we love? In your journals tonight I invite you to ask yourself, in this moment, what do you love? Then just write away! Have fun.
I will begin…
Things I love this Monday night:
1. My family
2. my cats
3. My home
4. The opportunities that are out there (so many doors opening)
5. The color blue
6. Chocolate chip cookies
7. The sunshine that comes out right after a rain storm
8. An evening on the beach at night with moonlight shining our path
9. Kind and supportive people
10. Great, real hugs.
11. Anything that makes me laugh
12. A movie that just moves me to tears or makes me think about it for many days afterwards.
13. Planning new adventures
15. Great jazz music (while I am cooking).
Your turn. Happy writing.
Sneak preview: here’s a peak into our new site launching soon…http://debradipietro.com/warmmilkjournal/
Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~ William Wordsworth
I Am a writer!
It just feels great to say and feel that. I just am. A writer. Why?
1. I love language
2. I love expressing myself in writing.
3. Writing is so relaxing.
4. Writing gets my creative juices flowing like no other activity.
5. When I am writing I feel like God is right there with me…
6. I have found my true voice through writing
7. It is fun!
8. It is a way to share and connect with many others
9. In some way, I just KNOW that writing plays an important part of my life purpose
10. Writing is healing
11. Writing can help us sleep better at night. How? Just the act of writing helps our brains learn better. So how about writing down a reminder (to our brain) about our many blessings or the things that (or people who) affirm us and support us? Then drift off to sleep with those gracious and all empowering thoughts (the stuff of true sweet dreams, huh)?
This is a topic near and dear to me and I could go on at quite some length about. Alas, I do have a family who wants to eat tonight (can you imagine that)? So, I will stop here for now.
Just a few last notes: The Warm Milk Journal, at it’s heart is a journal… a place of comfort, a supportive community, and a place where we can explore healthy life choices to live a well balanced life by day and sleep restfully at night. Writing, in any form or in a journal,is one of the most therapeutic activities I know of.
By the way, I recommend a couple of friends of mine who do such important work in supporting journal writing to improve our lives:
Mari L. McCarthy’s CreateWriteNow
Dawn Herring’s Refresh with Dawn Herring