I saw this Mind Body Green article: 100 Questions That Will Transform Your Life a few months ago, saved it for my clients, and totally forgot to share it with you.
I think it was Julia Cameron who coined the term “morning pages” in her creative classic The Artist’s Way. I read Writing Down Your Soul by Janet Conner, who referenced Cameron’s impact on her morning journaling practice.
Both authors suggest morning as the best time to write stream of consciousness as we are still in theta brain wave state, and although I’m not as consistent with my morning practice as I’d like to be, I can attest to the extreme benefit of just 5-10 minutes. Cameron suggests three pages.
Conner refers to this journaling as a conversation with your higher self. Elizabeth Gilbert wrote about this kind of conversation in Eat, Pray, Love. And many many others have touted the creative and personal development benefit of cultivating intuitive listening.
I suggest this practice to almost all my clients. I think there is no better way to peel back the layers of the self.
We’re so good at playing roles and wearing the masks required to navigate the world, but that roles and masks can get us further and further away from who we are at the core and where we came from. A practice of journaling is a terrific way to get honest with yourself about everything that we spend so much of our time manipulating in our mind.
The biggest complaint I get from clients is: I couldn’t think of anything to write.
Well, here are 100 prompts to get you started.
Stream of consciousness can take you in 1,000 different directions from where you started, but there’s nothing wrong with prompting the brain, especially in the morning.
New season, new beginnings!! Part of my fall promise is to get back to my morning pages practice and these 100 questions will be a great way to dive back in.
I suggest we pull a question from the list the night before or print out the page in advance to reference. The last thing we need is to be on our phone first thing in the morning trying to find our prompt and then get lost in emails and FB and God knows where else.
Oh, and just a side note: don’t get too pretty of a journal. I like a marble notebook, unassuming. When they’re too pretty we worry about messing them up and have more of a tendency to want to edit ourselves. Stream of consciousness is more a vomit of the mind. Don’t buy a journal you wouldn’t want to vomit all over;)
One more side note: Janet Conner suggests finding the perfect pen. You’d hate to have anything mess up your flow or your rhythm as you’re tapping into the soul. Find one that glides flawlessly so you can truly become one with the page.
I leave you with this: Are there periods of your life when you’ve kept a journal? What was your method? How did it benefit you?