A few years ago I wrote some fun journaling articles for Carolyn Rubenstein‘s blog. I thought I would occasionally repost one here for people to revisit, and for new visitors to see. The series was called Pen & Paper, living between the lines and featured journaling prompts and exercises where you can be both creative and do a little self exploration. Some articles have been refreshed and updated!
Journal Prompt: A Creative Check-In Journaling Exercise
As we start off the second half of the year, it is a good time to take stock of where we are, where our thoughts are, and what we are feeling.
I found a fun way to document this on Ali Edwards blog a couple years ago, and love doing it every now and then to ground myself.
She called it ‘Naming Your Petals‘, which she came up with after her son brought home an exercise her did in school. I thought it was brilliant and got to work on my own straight away.
The first time I did it was in 2009 (you can see my post about it HERE), and then I did it again in 2012 (photos below), so I thought that now that it was 2016, it was over due to work through the exercise again
2009: I named my petals back in 2009 (shown above left in my journal)—in this spread I printed the petal file Ali offered, and traced it onto a tea stained coffee filter, then cut it out.
2012: For my 2012 petals (shown above right), I just printed out the petals and cut them out. I plan on adding them to my journal later, and writing a but more about each petal as I reflect upon it.
This is a great way to see how you have grown, where you are en route to your dreams, and balancing yourself when it becomes hard to decide what to focus on.
I decided to throw back to my 2009 spread and traced the petals file onto a dyed coffee filter again. I made the petals smaller so it would fit in my passport sized Travelers Notebook
Here is my finished spread, where I did the petals, then journaled a bit about them:
Go ahead and give it a try—read Ali’s post first, then create your own petals and start naming them. They can be big or small – there are no right or wrong answers here. They can be soul deep, or surface thoughts—just start by naming things that represent you NOW.
Once you have them named, take a day or two to just look at them every now and then, thinking about what they mean to you. Then sit down with your journal, and write a bit about each petal—here are some questions to help get your journaling started:
- What was the first petal you named? Why did it come to you so easily (perhaps this is something you self consciously need to focus on the most)?
- What was the last petal you named? It is something you are avoiding? Something you don’t give enough thought to?
- Did any petal surprise you? If so, why?
- Did any petal make you feel guilty? If so, why?
- What order would you put your petals in, as far as importance to you and your well being?
- Any petals you wish you could change now? Explain.
- How do your petals tell your story?
- Which petal do you wish you could pluck off?
For each petal…
- What are your thoughts when reading what you wrote?
- List three things that elaborate on each petal
- Now write one sentence for each list item (this is a good way to jump-start journaling)
Try and do the exercise again in a month or two and see the difference in where you are then.
Download the Flower Petal Template created by Ali Edwards (link to download on her site is down so I’ve added it here for you!)