I swear by self-reflection, especially the Buddhist philosophy that we separate from our thoughts. Our thoughts do not define us, they are not us, they are separate and independent of who we are as people. One way to achieve this awareness is through meditation— sitting still and metaphorically watching your thoughts pass you by. Soon you realize thoughts are fleeting, we aren’t married to our thoughts as much as we might have thought to be the case. It’s freeing. Unfortunately, like all things worth doing, meditation is hard. The good news is that I’ve found a good gateway drug to meditation through journaling. Especially prompt journaling. Prompt journaling adds a level of intentionality to each journal entry, allowing you to take a deeper dive into your thoughts, ideas, and self-limiting beliefs. You can then take those thoughts out of your mind and onto the paper. Like with meditation, once the words are on the paper, you can detach yourself from them. They are no longer yours, they now belong to the journal.
Example Prompt from my Journal
There’s no right or wrong way to journal. In the example you’ll see below, I am writing in a stream of consciousness format, half having a conversation with myself, half going off topic.
What does self-love look like?
For someone who was a people pleaser nearly all my life, I will resist the urge to say self-love is when I feel loved by others. That makes no sense anyways, but it’s the first thing that popped into my mind. It makes sense to want to feel loved by others having gone into a helping profession, but I think it has to do less with wanting to feel loved and more with wanting to make a lasting impact on someone’s life. It’s about the satisfaction in knowing I was able to be a good influence in someone’s life….Okay I’m rambling on and deflecting.
What does self-love look like? What does self-love look like to me? I think it looks like doing the things that I want to do and sticking to my guns despite negative feedback or discouraging feedback. Like when I was younger and my mom always wanted me to straighten my hair because only “straight hair was beautiful” and I said F-that, my hair is curly and I think that’s beautiful. At the time it was probably more of an F-you to my mom because like most teenagers, I thought she was annoying and controlling. At the same time though, that small act of defiance made me really proud of my hair because it was mine, it was how I came into this world and it was the hand I’d been dealt. It’s really more about accepting who you are and then growing to love yourself for being that way. Something else that just came to me was my teeth…random thought but I’ve always been so self-conscious about my teeth, they were either crooked when I was younger, now I have random gap that wasn’t there before. It’s always something. I used to not smile or laugh with my hand to my mouth because I was so bothered by it. Now I smile despite it. Now I smile and look in the mirror and stare at myself smiling just to get used to my new gap. Again I think it’s more about accepting myself and my “flaws” than it is about the stupid gap.
It’s not just the physical stuff, it’s everything about me. My personality flaws, my life choices, my failed relationships. I think self-love looks like loving myself even if I’m not prefect, even if I look in the mirror and see “flaws” or I look within and see “flaws.” It’s like I am marrying myself, “I promise to love me and take care of me, through the good times and the bad, till death strikes me down.”
Try it Yourself
Pick a prompt below and see how it goes. Ask yourself, how did it feel to release this prompt onto your journal? What did you learn about yourself?
I’d love to read some of your self-reflections! Contact me to share your prompts.
indfulness writing prompts:
- What does self-love look like?
- How do I value myself?
- When was the last time I carved some time out just for myself?
- If I could do anything in my life and money wasn’t an option, I would…
- The first thing I think when my head hits the pillow is…
- What if I cared for myself, as much as I cared for others?
- What is one area where I add value to the world?
- Describe a day in the life of your ideal self.
- If there was nothing holding me back, I would…
- Describe someone inspirational – could be someone you know personally or someone you admire from afar. What about them makes them inspirational? Why them?
Part 3: Confidence is a muscle, Learn How to Train It.
From the 3 part series: How to Overcome the Fear of Putting yourself out there.
Achieving your personal and professional goals takes courage and a belief that you can accomplish them— it’s called confidence. In this mini workshop, Life and Career Coach, Cat Marte, will give you 3 life changing tips to improving your confidence plus bonus 3 tips that will help you go from inaction and procrastination to manifestation.