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Journaling heart and soul

3 ways deep writing helps to mother teens.

I’m a mum. Those of you who are mothers know what that really means. My kids are teenagers now. Again, those of you who are parenting teens understand what I really just wrote. For those of you who don’t, I’d explain but I can’t  do the impossible. There are some things you know not to even try.

Nothing and Noone could prepare me for mothering teens. No matter how many times other mums said things like ‘it’s a rollercoaster’ or ‘get ready for the ride of your life’ or ‘don’t get whiplash’ still I could not  understand the emotional white-knuckling that was ahead of me.

I have smart kids. They all do well in school. They all know an idiot when they see one and know not to follow. However, they are also doing what all teens are meant to do – need mum less. Gone are the nights when we all naturally gravitate together, now they choose snapping friends over sharing family time. They make their own plans and express their own minds. They are creating their own lives. 

This means things around here are clunky. Schedules clash and expectations crash on the regular. The opportunity to be overwhelmed presents itself daily. Choosing my battles makes its way onto my ‘to do’ list multiple times a week. Collecting plates, cups and bowls from random places throughout the house is a sport (how does one eat and shower at the same time?) Navigating technology and their unquenchable thirst for it is a grief unique to modern motherhood that I must learn to process. Writing deeply is more important than ever.

‘Deep writing is the retrieval from regular life or sense of self beyond motherhood. It’s a way to reach into and explore all that we cannot explain.”

Beth Kempton

Here are 3 ways deep writing assists me in motherhood. 

Deep writing aids deep rest.

Caring for the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of another human is deep work. Resting well is the only way I can do it. According to professionals, there are seven kinds of rest: physical, mental, social, spiritual, sensory, emotional and creative rest. Writing for restorative purposes is a way to access five of these kinds of rest by quieting the mind, finding purpose, escaping sensory overload, expressing authentic emotion and taking time to appreciate beauty in any form. 

This is how I do it. 

Find a teen free moment. 

Pop in air pods and play relaxing instrumental music.

Inhale for 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4 (do this until you feel ready to write).

Write the words you need to read. Write the words that allow you to lay down all that weighs heavy upon you (burdens, worries and concerns) Write the words you wish someone would say to you. Write to nourish your soul. 

Deep writing is a way to practise self compassion.

Like most mums, if I do not process feelings of being misunderstood, unappreciated and undervalued in a healthy, calm way, I’ll end up taking it out on my family.  Deep writing is a self-care practice that allows me to acknowledge and celebrate all I have done for my family that may go unrecognised. Instead of being tortured by Mothers guilt (it’s a thing), I take it to the page.

This is how I do it.

Find a teen free moment.

Write about specific real life mama wins. (For example, I looked my teen in the eye and listened to him chatter on about random video game things at the most inconvenient moment.) 

Write about specific real life mama misses. (For example, I told my teen to ‘piss off and stop being so annoying’) 

Write down what you can do to turn misses into wins by extending grace and compassion to both you and your teen.

Deep writing helps me to process heavy emotions, navigate conflict and find wisdom.

Anyone with teens knows that things can be complicated. There are times when little things rock them and big things don’t (go figure). There are conversations that lead nowhere and actions that are sometimes misinterpreted. However much we don’t like it, there IS a generation gap. My kids think and say and do things differently to how I thought and said and did them at their age. Deep writing helps to clarify what should be simple but often isn’t. It aids me to look under the surface and find the questions I need to ask them rather than telling them how it is or should be. On the page I can dump personal attacks done in teenage angst and process hurt that I really don’t want to haul back. 

This is how I do it.

Find a teen free moment.

Write down what you are feeling (anger, sadness, frustration).

Write down why you feel this way (what happened).

Write down how you will choose to react based on the outcome you want.

Write down how you can help your teen move through heavy emotions and feel supported. 

If you are afraid your teen will read what you have written, dispose of the contents of your journal carefully after writing. Writing about your experience for your health and wellbeing is important, however be mindful and protective of young eyes and hearts. If you are interested in more writing tips to help you parent well and champion your child, book a ‘Write to Rise’ session with me. I’d love to support you as you parent your child or teen. 

Categories
Journaling heart and soul Therapeutic Writing Prompts

7 journal prompts to nurture your inner wild.

First, let me explain what I mean when I say ‘inner wild’. Simply, it’s that part of us that dares, that plays, that dreams and knows we were born to be free. Because life is life, our inner wild can fall by the wasteside and we can lose touch with what makes us feel alive. A ‘wilderness experience’ can wake  us up to how we have settled. We can see that just because life is good doesn’t necessarily mean we are free. 

In my life, I can look back on my late twenties and thirties and see that there were about 12 years that all looked the same. Every year, a carbon copy. You’ve heard of Groundhog Day; well, these were my Groundhog Years. Yes, I had small children at the time so there wasn’t much spontaneity going on. Lord knows when a child is in a routine so is a new mother. However, it was more than being a young mum that made these years tedious. I neglected myself; swapped my dreams for someone else’s expectations. It was only when I couldn’t fulfil those expectations that I saw how my inner wild had been tamed.

To experience the best of life, our inner wild must be nurtured. The following 7 journal prompts were created to call attention to your wild side and help you remember who you are.

journal prompts

When was the last time you felt really alive? What were you doing?

Here, try to write about an experience that wasn’t so ‘once in a lifetime’. For example that time you went rock climbing or jumped out of a plane. Look at your everyday life and identify what  things you incorporate in your week that make you feel like you’re being true to you. 

What did you do for fun as a child?

Most kids don’t ask for permission to be themselves. They move toward curiosities without a sense of self consciousness. Remembering how we played and exploring what brought us joy in childhood can re-wild us. 

Where do you want to explore?

Don’t be intimidated by the word explore. If you are like me, then the word conjures up images of fleets of sailing ships, or some overly courageous soul cave diving. To explore is simply to engage in a journey for purposes of discovery. It can be as close as your local second hand book store or as far as the ends of the earth.  Where you long to go tells a lot about who you are and what is important to you.

What thoughts and feelings arise when you read the words ‘adventure’, ‘possibility’, ‘discovery’?

If someone was to say, ‘let’s go on an adventure’, what kind of adventure do you hope they are talking about? What possibilities do you hope are available to you? What would be an absolute dream discovery? If you’re introverted, you’re probably content with a solitary adventure. Write into the above prompt with your personality and temperament in mind.

Write about your wild side. What makes you unique, daring and edgy?

You may be thinking that you don’t have an ‘edge’. Well, that’s simply untrue. Your edge is being you. Many people tell me that they would not be brave enough to write or speak in front of others. For me, it’s like taking a shower. No biggy. I don’t care if what I say or write is cringe. I don’t mind appearing a fool. This is my edge. You’ve got an ‘edge’ too.

What images come to mind when you think about the words, ‘wild new ways’? 

Maybe you see yourself navigating a new city, changing jobs, starting a family, leaving home, ending a relationship, starting a business, engaging in further education, or simply stopping, being still when you have been running all your life. Write about what you see and what is calling to you. 

The word ‘wild’ is often paired with the word ‘free’. Is there any part of your life in which you do not feel free?

Firstly, it’s important to know that freedom is an ‘inside thing’. Negative thoughts and emotions can act as anchors and hold us down. Write about the feelings and thoughts you wish to be free of and the feelings and thoughts that will replace them. To do this you will need to take a good look at the narratives you tell yourself. Using this prompt requires bravery. It is hard to look at truths. However, I suggest you don’t skip it because it can really benefit you.

For more monthly prompts like these subscribe to my newsletter.

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Books Journaling Therapeutic Writing Prompts

A guided journal for navigating wild new ways.

The process is becoming a little easier, which is not to say that it is easy.  This latest creation required a willingness to write with more vulnerability than I did in my previous books, but hey, ageing is for becoming more courageous right?

That’s what I think readers want – courageous writing. Poetry that isn’t protective or coercive. Language that breathes and beats its fist on your chest. Authentic writing, void of the highlight reel; because we all know there is no way to speak ‘nicely’ when your mid metamorphoses. 

Metamorphoses let’s talk about that word.  According to the word hippo app on my phone (one of my many writing tools) it can be defined as ‘a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one.’ In my experience this process cannot take place on familiar territory. One needs a cocoon of sorts, somewhere away from the patterns of old. 

We may think that a cocoon is always a small, protected hide away. However, I have come to see that living through a wilderness experience is a kind of cocoon. Simply, it is a space where familiar ways don’t work and to survive you must surrender to your undoing. 

Nobody volunteers for such a task. The unravelling of life is something no one asks for. Change happens and sometimes we can’t help it. How do we unknow what has been made known to us? How do we unfeel, unsee, undo experience? Trying to do so would be to miss the point of being here. All we can do is surrender to the lesson and walk on.

Although surrender is the only way to endure the process, tools are handy. ‘Beyond the Safety of Trees’, is a tool. Use it like a spade. Through expressive writing, dig up what lies in your subconscious and explore how your wilderness experience is shaping you; even if you think you’ve walked through it. This guided journal contains 74 wilderness themed poems and 40 writing prompts to help readers navigate seasons of unexpected, and at times, unsettling change. Document your becoming, discover what lives deep in your heart and re-write your story. 

My wilderness came in the form of a story. A page was turned and I found that I had been killed off, written out of a narrative I was mistakenly told I belonged in. This made me question everything, including why I had spent most my life playing a part in my own life instead of holding the pen. Suddenly I could see, ‘Those who hold the pen hold the power’ and that is how I discovered that journaling isn’t just a way to offload negative emotion, but a life altering creative practice that requires us only to show up with honesty and embrace the process. 

And so, if you are found in an unfamiliar place, a desert of lost dreams, an ocean of grief, a hinterland of heartache, a city of uncertainties. It is my intention that the words and writing prompts in this book will bring a sense of empowerment and make you feel seen, understood, and celebrated. 

Guided journal
Guided journal
Dear Wild One, 
On the edge of a new beginning.
It’s time to undress.
For there is not place 
for high shoes and tall hats
where you are going.

You will need to be
light on your feet,
led by your heart,
alert in your gaze.

You must learn to love
not the day,
nor the night.
Both must become meaningless to you-
The moment is your prize.

For the wild wants 
to teach you joy,
independent of dreams fulfilled
free of your certainties,
despite what happened to you.
Categories
Journaling heart and soul News

3 Reasons Why Everybody Should Attend a Therapeutic Writing Retreat.

Last Friday, 9 women gathered in lovely Stroud NSW for the first ever ‘Write To Rise’ Therapeutic Writing Retreat. These women all came for varied reasons and left with something unexpected. As they worked both together and alone, they discovered the power of honest expressive writing and the clarity and life enhancement it brings.

‘Write to Rise’ is a program I wrote to not only introduce others to therapeutic writing but to showcase the role narrative plays in our lives. The takeaway, ‘to restore we must re-story’, how to do that is where the writing comes in. As I reflect on this day, for the purpose of both celebrating it and improving the program, I can see great reward in a retreat of this nature. Here are three reasons why I think everyone should consider attending a therapeutic writing retreat. 

Write To Rise Therapeutic Day Retreat
  • To step out of routine and reflect on life.

Most of us live full lives. Busting out of the daily 9-5 and taking time to reflect on what is working or not working, as well as focusing on the emotional or psychological blocks that prevent us from processing pain, fulfilling our potential, and finding the fulfillment we seek, is worth upsetting the routine.  As we write, prompted by points of view, questions, quotes or the sensory details we find in nature, we start to see patterns, and the steps we could take to move forward. Re-reading, reflecting and analyzing our work is an important step in therapeutic writing. Having time to do this makes retreating extremely valuable. 

  • To learn skills that will improve life and foster well being. Therapeutic writing is directed. It usually starts  with a prompt or exercise. Certain techniques foster certain outcomes. It is writing based around healing, development and growth and seeks to highlight what can be found in the moment as well as how to move forward. It is more purposeful than simply keeping a diary or dumping your stress, anger and anxiety onto the page. It is a way to practice self compassion, foster gratitude, solve problems, build strategy, nurture mind and spirit, enhance creativity and imagination, record  dreams and of course, process pain and loss. Retreating for me is not only  about leaving with a fuzzy feeling in your chest, but also with tools to take home and use when needed. 
  • To make new connections and foster bonds.

Retreating gathers like-minded people. There is nothing like coming together with those interested in similar things, and walking through similar seasons. In the case of this writing retreat, (‘Write to Rise’)  all that gathered were processing hard things, keen to discover how to heal and the role that writing could take in that journey. There were tears, and by the end of the day, exhaustion. However, there were also multiple ‘aha’ moments and the discovery of truths (no matter how painfully liberating that may be). We wrote in musical silence, had some laughs over lunch, engaged in discussion and deep conversation. Some car pooled with friends, others bravely ventured on their own, but all had a seat in the open circle. How sweet it is to retreat with those who are committed to connection and consideration. 

Already I have had numerous people say that they would love to come to the next retreat (whenever that may be). That makes me extremely excited not only because I love coaching people and showing  how to use writing to heal and rise, but also because I believe in reflection, connection and the joy found in writing your own wild and beautiful story. 

For news on upcoming retreats and to receive monthly progressive writing prompts sign up here. 

Categories
heart and soul Journaling

How to find the wisdom you need.

From time to time we all need a little guidance. Seeking the wisdom you need from those who have experienced what you are going through and have  demonstrated sound judgement is invaluable. You may have a mentor, a mother or father figure you go to when you are stuck and  in need of some life advice. You may regard the words and instruction of Plato, Rumi, Thoreau, Aurelius, or Solomon.  You may turn to the pages of a religious text such as the Quran or the Tanakh. 

But have you considered mining the truths that hide inside your own heart? 

How to find the wisdom you need.

I often say, ‘the most life changing words you’ll ever read are your own.’ This statement can be misunderstood if left unexplained. And so, let me clarify. 

When we write about anything with authenticity, we are able to read our own true thoughts and feelings. Knowing what we really think and feel allows us to be emotionally aware of what we need and want, don’t need and don’t want. We can also discover negative thought patterns that cause unnecessary emotional suffering or simply prevent us from growth. This is powerful because it is only when we identify negative thoughts, that we can change them.

Wisdom is truth applied. To gain clarity and find direction, we must first understand what is going on in the heart and mind; we must seek to pinpoint the lies we have adopted as truth. Distinguishing between what is true and what is a lie may seem tricky, however, it is less difficult once it is understood  that lying is an act of fear and truth is always grounded in love. 

Poet David Whyte says, ‘One of the great disciplines of life is having the ability to ask beautiful questions. Beautiful questions cultivate a beautiful mind.’ 

Once you have written down your thoughts and feelings and identified the truth from lies, you can take what is on your page and let it lead you to ask a beautiful question. Beautiful questions are those that always elicit beautiful answers. They lead to wisdom, peace and exciting possibility. 

For example, consider one who wrote ‘I feel rejected’. One may be tempted to spend time trying to figure out if this feeling is true or false, however, the question, ‘Have I been rejected?’ holds within it the possibility of more pain and lacks empowerment.

In this case, a beautiful and better question would be, ‘Now that this door has been closed in front of me, what possibilities can I see?’ If the answer is ‘I see no possibilities.’ This is a good indication that one is in need of processing grief. Although this answer does not seem very beautiful, it does provide insight and direction, which leads to a beautiful outcome. 

Quote, ‘Where there is love there is life.’ Gandhi

Often when people are unsure of what to do next, whether they should go right or left, they take out a piece of paper and write down the pros and cons; the good and bad things that will come from their decision. Although this can be helpful, I suggest you go a little deeper.

Good and bad can be situational; dependent on one’s circumstance. However, this can not be said of love and fear. Instead of listing pros and cons, list the things that align with a loving intention and the things you are afraid of. This is helpful because wisdom, truth, goodness are all branches of the same tree. The love tree. Wise words are found by lime-lighting truth which is always grounded in love.

So to recap.

Wisdom can be found through first journaling authentic thoughts and emotions. Next, pinpoint possible negative thought patterns and lies that are disguised  as truths.  Allow what is discovered on the page to lead you to ask a beautiful question that will yield beautiful answers and outcomes. To take it a step further, make a list based on love and fear. Use this list to help you identify what is wise, truthful and loving. 

Categories
Journaling Therapeutic Writing Prompts

7 June journal prompts to finish the year strong.

Journaling can be used for both reflection and projection. It can help us remember where we have been, what decisions we have made, why we made those decisions, how we have coped with challenges and what we have learnt from our recent experiences. It can reveal how we really feel, what we really want and the obstacles that stand in the way of achieving our desires. 

Although we can not control every aspect of our lives, these June journal prompts are crafted to help you be responsible for what you can control, navigate your next steps well and finish the year strong. 

What has been the thing you have enjoyed most so far this year?

Don’t think too hard about this one. It could be your job, your hobby, a new or old friendship, an event or vacation, a spiritual practice or a simple delight found  in your everyday life. This prompt helps point to not only the pleasure experienced, but also to the plan you should consider. What is life for if not to be enjoyed. To finish the year strong you will need to pack it with good times, the things that amuse you.

What goals did you set this year? How would you say that you are progressing with them?

You may want to resist this question. But don’t. It may cause you to feel guilt, shame or disappointment, but remember there is no room to judge your emotions on the page. Simply write out the goals you set and then without excuse assess if you are progressing towards achieving them. It’s a simple yes or no. If the answer is no, be brave enough to look deeper into why you have not made any ground. If your goals have changed, you may like to set another set of goals to be achieved by the end of the year. 

What does success mean to you?

I love this question. I love it because it allows us to define success rather than have it defined for us. It is important that your goals reflect what success means to you. Is success financial gain? Is it being praised by your peers? Is it spiritual growth? Is it community impact? Is it healthy relationships? Is it freedom to do whatever you want? Answering this question will help you move through the lessons you need to learn and towards your true north.

Write a few lines about each of the following areas of your life. Note the things you are proud of and the things you would like to change. 

Health. This includes your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. 

Relationships. This includes, romantic relationships, friendships, work relationships and other family connections.

Finances. This includes paying off debt, budgeting, investments, and your attitude towards money.

Creativity. This includes following your curiosities, solving problems, improving your craft and being inspired. 

Soul. This includes finding alignment, self-love, peace of mind, connecting to a higher power and being content. 

What area of your life do you feel needs the most focus in the coming months?

After answering question 4 you will be able to see what area of your life needs the most focus in the coming months. Write down a few ways you will do this. Remember it’s all about time and action. Select the time you will set aside to focus on this area and the action you will take within that time frame.

Imagine it is New Year’s Eve 2022. What do you want to be able to say about this year?

In light of the fact that we are still living in a pandemic and there are lots of concerning things going on in the world, many would answer this question with two words, ‘I survived.’ Although this answer is valad, think of something you would like to say that is in your control and would put a smile on your face,

Again, imagine it is New Year’s Eve 2022. What do you want to be able to say about yourself?

In essence this question is asking, ‘What could you do that would make you feel proud?’ The best way to answer it is to write out the kind of person you want to be and then take a look at the things you can practically do to cultivate personal growth. Do you want to overcome a fear? Improve your communication skills? Become more loving? Increase your capacity? Give more to others? Write down what you would like to say about yourself.

If you enjoyed these journal prompts and you would like to further engage in writing for therapeutic purposes, consider booking a ‘Write to Rise’ session with me, or taking a closer look at ‘The Remains of Burning Therapeutic Journal’ poetry and writing prompts for processing pain and loss. Available from bookshops.

Categories
Journaling life lessons Therapeutic Writing Prompts

5 Journaling prompts to help find your sweet spot.

In my most recent newsletter I shared that my first journal is just weeks away from being published. I told subscribers that in creating the journal I found my sweet spot: the marriage between what I love to do and helping others.

The sweet spot

In the newsletter I also included a few journal  prompts to help subscribers  find their sweet spot. Today I’d like to unpack these questions. So lean in lovelies, we are about to take a deep dive into the honeyed core of who you are and take a look ( if only a glance) at your very significant purpose.

1. Who are you a tad jealous of?

All my life I’ve been told that jealousy is a sin. What I was not told is that jealousy is a useful way to figure out what is in your heart.  You see, when we are jealous it is for a REASON. Usually we want to succeed in the field another is succeeding in.  Feelings of envy are in essence, nothing more than a sign that says – YOU ARE IN THE VICINITY OF YOUR PURPOSE. Think of it this way, those whom you are jealous of are doing one thing – holding up a mirror. That’s right, jealousy does not have to be about creating idols, being resentful, holding grudges or becoming bitter. Although jealousy, if left to itself, can produce these unpleasant thoughts and emotions, when harnessed, it  becomes an indication of what you want to do with your life.

2. What does a perfect day look like to you?

For many of us the answer to this question would include the people and things we love. However, when I say ‘what does a perfect day look like to you’ I’m talking about rhythm and routine . Is your perfect day fast paced, energy fueled, with your fingers in lots of pies? Maybe your perfect day looks like  being alone with time to focus and produce deep work. Do you like the surety of a fixed schedule or are you better pleased with a day that is flexible and full of variety? Your sweet spot is not just about what you do, but also, the way you do it. 

3. What energises you?

The meaning of the words introvert and extrovert are often mistaken for being associated with personality. In truth, these two words refer to where energy is sourced. Do you gain energy from solace or from interaction? From inward reflection or activity? If you are introverted you will feel refreshed by contemplation and drained by things external to you. If you are extroverted you will feel refueled when you are around people and drained by a lack of interaction. I am introverted. That means time alone revives me. What it does not mean is that I am shy or I don’t like people or I’m fearful of public speaking. In turn, extroverts are not always the life of the party and do not always have a ‘bubbly personality’. Knowing how you are energised will help you find your sweet spot.

4. What kinds of conversations do you lean into?

Imagine you are sitting in a cafe. At the table beside you are two people in deep conversation. You can hear what they are saying. You have two options. Tune them out and focus your attention on something else or lean in and indulge in their exchange. What topic(s) would they be discussing for you to want a seat at their table. What  are you insanely curious about? What are you intrigued by? What do you often find yourself googling? What are you hungry to learn about? The sweet spot is not a place in which we arrive, but a road we journey. Your sweet spot will leave you room to breathe, grow, and become.

5. Who do you empathise with the most?

It’s true that not everyone notices who you notice. Who you see is often largely dependent  on your own experiences. It’s likely that you have wisdom and insight into how to serve certain people because simply put, you’ve been there. So, Who can you relate to? What have you been through that you hope others won’t have to? How can you use the things that have hurt you to help others? Maybe you have a heart for people of a particular race or culture. Maybe the people you wish to help all have the same kinds of struggles or are in a similar season in life. Your sweet spot will be a place of impact, a place of healing, a place that benefits others as well as yourself.

Now it’s your turn, finish these sentences:-

  1. I’m a tad jealous of…
  2. My perfect day looks like…
  3. I am energised by…
  4. I lean into conversations about…
  5. I empathise most with people who…

From here, you are well on your way to figuring out what you want to put out into the world, how you will go about doing it and who it will help the most. Sweet as honey, delicious as pie!

Great News! You too can become a LOVE-Mail subscriber and receive inspirational words and writing prompts like these on the regular. That’s right, my monthly newsletter is jam-packed full of lots to think about. Sign up today and receive my FREE beautifully illustrated digital chapbook, ‘Never Far’, poetry about peace.

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Journaling life lessons

Why you should absolutely journal your dreams.

On the night of the 10th of January, as I laid my head on my pillow, I thought about a family predicament. Once again, we had to move. 

Finding a rental in a certain high school catchment area is really tricky. Good houses don’t come up often and when they do, they can be pretty pricey. I was worried, yet also watchful. Past experience told me that the most unexpected things can happen at the last minute – in a good way. One moment I think we’ll have to bunk in with my parents, or live in a caravan park, and the next, a house is offered to us. 

That night as I slept, I dreamt. (I dream a lot, well at least two or three times a week.) In my dream I saw a math equation, 25+13=38. Random? Yes, but as I woke I got the impression that it had something to do with our next house. I told my husband. He didn’t make a big deal of it. After all, it was ‘just a dream’. 

A month passed to the exact day, and well, you guessed it. We are moving to number 38. 

Some of you are not shocked. This kind of thing happens to you too. Like me, your dreams come true. Others of you think it’s a coincidence, but what are the odds really? Maybe you wish this would happen to you. Maybe you would like a few dreams to hold onto.

In November 2019, I had another dream. In it I saw things being delivered to my door. Packages wrapped in brown paper were piled high on the front patio. When I woke I wrote it down. The dream was so vivid, I had a feeling it might mean something. 

The following January, Covid 19 hit Australia. In February my husband (the main breadwinner) lost his job, and by March we were experiencing our first lockdown. Like many others, things looked dire for us.  

Slowly, objects started to turn up on the doorstep. First, a box of chocolates. Next, a stack of books. Thirdly, bread and milk, followed by an expensive designer jacket, a dyson vacuum cleaner, toilet paper, wine and cheese. We were literally living my dream. 

With the help of many earth angels (kind people) both known and unknown, we scraped through; we found our knees and then our feet, but it was my dream that helped to ease the tension. 

Why you should absolutely journal your dreams
journal your dreams

Dreams have long been associated with insight, solving problems, creativity and finding clarity. (Did you know author Stephanie Myer first dreamt the premise for her uncommonly successful novel ‘Twilight’.) I don’t know how it works. Some say it’s physiological, others deem it to be spiritual. Personally I think it’s a bit of both. Likewise, I don’t know how the telly works, but I use it, I believe in it. And I believe average Joe Blows’ and Plain Janes’ like me can be comforted and directed by dreams.

For this reason, journaling dreams is powerful. We gain a new perspective around issues that concern us and can become more in tune and at peace. Recording dreams can assist us to make decisions and explore meaning.

When I journal my dreams, firstly I write down what happened in the dream. Next, I identify how I felt in the dream and whether those feelings linger after I wake. It’s important to record even the smallest detail because those seemingly irrelevant things may add layers of meaning to the dream. For example, I once dreamt about a tree bursting with pink flowers. I had the same dream three nights in a row. I got the impression that the colour of the flowers represented ‘love/relationship’. Without this small detail of colour, the dream’s meaning would be lost. 

Dreams don’t have to be profound; mundane dreams can reveal more than we first assume. And of course, there are dreams that do mean nothing. I have dreamt about things that haven’t come true. Not all dreams become evident in real life.

And so, I encourage you to write down rather than right off your dreams. You could be onto something.

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Therapeutic Writing Prompts

10 writing prompts to process your thoughts and emotions.

Processing our thoughts and feelings, doing deep work, is important in developing resilience, cultivating a healthy mind  and emotional stamina. Therapeutic writing, also called journal therapy, is expressive writing with therapeutic benefits and has proven to further wellbeing, improve mood and ease painful memory. 

As we express thoughts and feelings in writing, we utilize the rational left hemisphere of the brain. By applying this side, the more creative free-wheeling right side is left to potter about thoughts and play. This enables it to act more creatively, allowing ideas to flow onto the page. The more we write, the freer we become of the emotions we have bottled up and can see things in a clearer context.

writing prompts to process thoughts and emotions.

With this in mind, the following is a list of 10 writing prompts to help you process your thoughts and feelings. But first, a few guidelines. 

Firstly, journal therapy is  a judgement free zone! Don’t judge the emotions you experience; the page is no place to punish yourself for feeling the way you feel.

Secondly, journaling is a way to make sense of experiences and situations. Remember to observe what you write. This means taking notice of the layers of emotions we experience.

And lastly, commit to honesty, write as much from the heart as possible. Nobody is going to read your writing, so hold nothing back from the page.

I hope these writing prompts lead to clarity, calm and self compassion.

1.How are you feeling today? What is the dominant emotion?

 2. Explore the thoughts and experiences that have perpetuated this emotion. 

3. What  effect has this emotion had on your body?

4. Are there any memories you associate with this emotion? Do you recall the last time you felt this way? What were you going through at the time?

5. What behaviours, both positive and negative, result from this emotion? 

6. When you think about letting go of this emotion are there any fears that arise?

7. What strengths, support, and resources do you have access to, that may help you from becoming overwhelmed by this emotion or lessen suffering?

8. Create two lists: one of things that push on negative emotion and cause you suffering. One that brings you joy. What can you do to bring more joy into your life?

9. Is there anything you need to accept, that you have been resisting?

10. How can you use your emotions to work for you? How can they help to bring about increased health and freedom in your life on a soul level?

Write to Rise.

For further therapeutic writing mentorship consider ‘Write to Rise’, a unique program crafted to assist participants to breakthrough in areas of their lives.  I  lead individuals/groups through a series of writing exercises aimed to unlock creativity, draw out courage and increase clarity and self-awareness. For information regarding the program go to my services page.