We’ve heard it a million times: the most important relationship in our life is the one with ourselves. Yet, in our busy lives, we typically don’t have (or make) the time to connect with our inner self, check in and give it some love.
Ever since I was a teenager, I found solace and healing in journaling. By using images along with writing, I was able to access and work through deeper personal information. Getting to know myself and tapping into my own inner wisdom that way helped me like myself more. I became more at ease with myself. Additionally, setting time aside to journal and be with myself was (and is) empowering on its own.
It didn’t come easy, to be honest. I used to feel very self-conscious about my artistic skills. I stumbled upon many inner excuses to avoid picking up a Sharpie or to pick up the scissors. I worried about “wasting” materials. “If I am not a master artist, why would I waste art materials?” was a limiting belief I encountered and worked through within myself. How do master artists get there? By “wasting” materials as they practice! Plus, I wasn’t trying to be a master artist; I just needed a tool to deepen my connection with myself and have fun at the same time. As I kept at it and stopped judging (attaching value) my journal pages, I began having fun with it. Joy is like a soothing, healing balm for our inner wounds. It is the way our souls recharge.
You will find ideas for integrating imagery into your journaling process in the list below. Get a big journal, print this list and glue it on the first two pages. As you feel called by your inner self for some ICT (Intimate Connection Time), grab your journal and let these prompts inspire you. Use them as a gateway into your core being and as a kindle to ignite your creative power.
Here we go!
1. Journal about things that gave you immense joy as a child.
Use a copy of a favorite picture from your childhood to represent yourself and embellish the page according to his/her desire. (Hint: You can use this prompt as a welcome ceremony to your inner child).
2. Find an image in a magazine that reflects your current emotional status.
Then cut it out, and paste it on a blank journal page. Intently, be with this image for a few minutes and then let words flow onto the page without editing them. You can write two sentences or two pages. Just let it out. Let the image speak to you. You may be surprised at how much lighter you will feel.
3. Pick a favorite inspirational quote and design a journal page around it.
Write about the wisdom this quote awakens in you and how applies to your life. Why is it important for you at this time?
4. Think about someone who inspires you.
What characteristics of that person make him/her so inspirational? Do you see any overlapping qualities between you and this person? Use those characteristics to inspire your journal page.
5. Journal about a high school heartbreak you had.
Make it fun, colorful and creative to celebrate a right-of-passage experience you had. Note how this relationship helped you grow.
6. Take your journal to a park and document what you see.
Write it, draw it, or paint it. Enjoy being the non-reactive observer.
7. If you had one superpower what would it be?
Journal about what kind of things you would do this power, or why you think you are drawn to it.
8. Rituals are a huge part of our lives.
Some people like to take a hot bath before going to bed, some like to light a candle and sip wine after a long day’s work, and some read poetry on the way home from work on the bus. Journal about some of your favorite rituals in life.
9. Find the lyrics to a song that is attached to a good memory in your life.
Create a page about it. Revisit the memory. Dwell in the positive feelings this memory awakens in you.
10. Journal about your unhealthy habits.
Use your blank journal page as an accepting, unconditionally loving space holder for who you are—even with these habits. Use this exercise to release the guilt you might feel for having them. Acknowledge your humanness. Write yourself a permission slip that lets you continue these habits until you are ready to trade them in for an upgrade.
11. Take ten minutes to sit with the thought, “What am I most looking forward to in my life?”
Then journal about it. Don’t try to make it realistic according to where you are in life right now. Use it to add a little more juice to your manifesting.
12. Fill your art journal page with all the negative things a caregiver or a parent said to you.
Such as, “You’re not good enough. You’ll never be anybody special.” Then paint over the words (cover them in a way that you desire) until they’re not visible. Then write what is true about you instead.
13. Journal about a secret you have with yourself (that you have not told anyone).
Write or journal about it visually. This will help reduce its charge over you and gain some insights into it.
14. Imagine a perfect date with a romantic partner (that you have or wish to have).
Write it in detail. See if there are elements in this fantasy date that can give you clues as to what your inner being desires and how else you might get these needs met. For example, if going camping and skinny dipping at a secluded beach is a part of your fantasy date, it might inspire you to plan a mini camping trip with a friend. Or you might realize that you haven’t done anything adventurous in a long time.
15. Open up a fresh page and write,”My favorite things in life.”
This last one is especially helpful if you are going through a rough, somewhat hopeless and dry period in your life.This will be a running list that you keep adding to. So leave 2–3 pages following that one blank—even if you start another entry soon after. You may feel uninspired at first but trust me on this one: it will become a fun exercise.
There you have it! Feel free to add to this list as you feel inspired. If you are having a hard time getting started, invite a few close friends over for a potluck and integrate visual journaling into your hangout time.
Consistent connection with our inner self allows life to flow more freely. When we are not emotionally or creatively congested, we are more able to hear the intuitive guidance we receive and act on our soul’s instructions as we hear them. That’s when living becomes more fun.
Featured photo credit: 2/365 Days Pen and Paper by Athena via flickr.com