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7 Journaling Prompts to Help You Tell Your Story

liz lamoreux

One of the most important ways I help women practice self-care is by giving them ways to tell their stories. So often our stories get stuck inside us, and we long to get them out.

 

liz journaling studio 2015.jpg

 

There are many ways to tell your story - from writing to painting to singing to sitting down with a friend and being vulnerable in sharing who you are. One of my favorite ways is through journaling prompts. These prompts give you a place to begin to find the stories waiting inside you. With writing prompts, you have the opportunity to uncover pieces of your own story that you've forgotten, that surprise you, or even that you've been avoiding.

Prompts are so much fun! They can be light, and they can be deep. And the word "journaling" takes the pressure off. This isn't about writing your memoir or a great work of fiction. This is about putting pen to the pages of a journal and telling your stories. 

Here are a few of my favorite prompts to get you started:

I want to remember

This is a great prompt to use when you want to tell a recent story. It helps you capture the pieces of an experience and gives you just enough of a push to drill down to the important moments and feelings. Get into your senses as you gather up the memories you're exploring in your journal.  

With this prompt, you might want to make a list or repeat the prompt, like this example from my weekend:

  • I want to remember the sound of their laughter as he tucked her into bed.
  • I want to remember the look of joy on her face as she crossed the finish line.
  • I want to remember the full Harvest Moon shining through the clouds as I stood on the front steps.
  • I want to remember the delight of hearing him singing "On the Road Again" when he thought we weren't paying attention.
  • I want to remember the quiet truths that linger when we let ourselves be loved.

Yesterday/Today/Tomorrow

This is a prompt that invites you to explore the past, present, and future, but it leaves the subject open ended. You might explore who you were, who you are, and who you are becoming. You might look at a relationship, dreams you once had and how they've evolved, places you've lived, beliefs you once had, and so on. This prompt can be a rich playground for so many stories.

Write a letter to yourself

Imagine letters full of the kindness and wisdom you most need. This is what this prompt is all about.   

I have a simple notebook that I fill with letters to myself (often paired with self-portraits I print out at home and then stick in my journal with washi tape). This practice gives me a safe space to just show up as myself. These letters are sometimes a pep talk. Other times I ask myself a question and then answer it. Some letters are full of forgiveness and deep truths. 

One of my favorite prompts to give the women I work with is to start a letter that simply says, "Dear girl..." and then just start writing the words you most need to hear. Before you begin, you might want to pause and just close your eyes and get present in your body, heart, and mind. Let the day drop away so you can listen. Then open your eyes and start writing. 

See what comes up. Try to let go of judgment and keep your pen moving across the page. Then when you're done, notice if there are any themes or specific phrases that stand out to you. Those phrases could become prompts for your next letter.

A secret dream

Writing about a secret dream can be a beautiful way to unearth the longings you have inside you so that you can begin to not only name but also claim them. This can open up new possibilities because these dreams are no longer hiding in the secret places inside you but are dancing on the pages of your journal. 

I come from

"I come from" is a prompt I first learned in a workshop with Susan Wooldridge. Susan wrote the wonderful book Poemcrazy. If you feel the call to write poetry or simply tell your story through more lyrical writing, this is one you need for your book shelf.  

"I come from" can be a prompt that digs deep into where you were born and the land of the people who came before you. It can also invite you to look at where you live now. You might want to make a list, repeat the prompt like the "I want to remember" example above, or write this prompt across the top of your page and see where it takes you. This is one of those prompts I love returning to again and again.

Inside/Outside

One of the creative prompts I love that grounds me in my everyday life is to act like an observer of the world and of myself. I get curious. I try to just notice without judgment, without a need to label or claim something as true or false.  

A great journaling prompt for this is Inside/Outside. Here's how you use it: Begin to pay attention to the world through this lens: 

Inside I notice... 
Outside I notice... 
Inside I see... 
Outside I see... 
Inside I feel... 
Outside I feel... 
and so on

Let yourself find a rhythm with this idea of seeking the differences (and sameness) of your experiences with "outside/inside." 

Then put pen to the page and write, letting this prompt take you down a path of unearthing evidence of who and where you are. 

Joy

In your journal, make a list of the things/people/places that bring you joy.  

Think about the simple joys you experience in your daily life. Reflect on the bigger moments/events that have brought joy into your life. Think about the younger you and what brought you joy years ago. Keep writing and writing. Return to this list often and add to it. You could even fill an entire spiral notebook with all your joys. 

One cool thing is that this list becomes its own list of writing prompts for you to use for future journaling.

I hope these journaling prompts give you a place to begin to dive into your own journal. May the practice of telling your stories support you in creating a self-care practice for yourself. 

COME ALONG TO TELL IT: COLLAGE

 

If you'd like to explore journaling even more, come along to my current ecourse. Tell It: Collage explores the mediums of collaging + journaling (plus a big dose of inspiration and connection) to help you tell the stories waiting inside you.

But it's even more than that.

It sets the foundation for creative self-care that you can do almost anywhere so that you feel supported and connected to your truth and inner wisdom as you move through the world.

The next round starts on March 21, but you can join in at anytime throughout the class. Read more and sign up here.

Tell It: Color Starts Wednesday

liz lamoreux

Here's what I know: Simple creative + mindfulness practices change our lives. They get us through the tough stuff. They bring us joy. They help us make sense of these wacky, beautiful, sometimes really hard, incredible, messy lives we get to live.

And in my new course, I'm sharing some simple, fun ideas to help you dive into the world of creative play with color to help us add in a little joy + connection to these last two weeks of February. Because I really want to help you create space for creative self-care moves that can change your life in real + doable ways.

(And if you've been wanting to join but aren't sure what creative medium to choose, you don't even really have to choose one. Read on for more about that!)

 
 

Come along for 14 days of creative play as we take back the gray days of February and fill them with color. 

  • Because playing with color opens us up to the beauty and joy around us.
  • Because we live in a time where the overwhelm can feel tangible, and we need go-to practices to get us back into our hearts (and this course is filled with some easy to add in practice ideas).
  • Because creativity is a form of self-care, and self-care can free you to show up as your whole self.
  • Because you deserve to have a little fun over there in your corner of the world.

Tell It: Color is an ecourse that helps you practice self-care through the act of being inspired by the everyday joy of noticing the colors around you. (Noticing color as an act of self-care? How cool is that?)

When you come along for Tell It: Color, you choose the medium you want to play with (more on that below!) and I'll provide prompts, inspiration, ideas, and connection during our two weeks together.

Here's how it works: You'll gather up the supplies you need for the way you want to play along plus a journal and a favorite pen, and I'll provide prompts, stories, inspiration, and community.

And then we’ll meet in a private Facebook group and on Instagram to share our creations and stories each day. 

I'll also share peeks inside my Tell It: Color journal + a few other colorful practices I use and how creative play + mindfulness help me each and every day. 

AND if you just want to join in without choosing a medium, there will be plenty of creative ideas in each day's email for you to use for your daily creative act. 

OR if you're really longing to play with some art supplies but don't know where to begin, pick up some watercolors and an inexpensive watercolor paper pad and come along!

Dates: February 14 - 27
Cost: Just $18 (Register here)

 
 

Tell It: Color Includes

Daily emails: During our 14 days, you'll receive a daily email from me in your inbox. There will be ideas about capturing color through our chosen medium, and ideas about reflecting and writing the stories that rest in those colors. Every day will be about connection and how we can create space for inspiration and curiosity in our daily lives.

Facebook group: An optional private Facebook group that gives you a space to connect with like-minded souls as you share your Color stories.  

We’ll also connect on Instagram via a hashtag, which is a fun and easy way to share and meet others in the course. 

Ways to Play Along

  • Play with paint or markers or crayons and blank paper
  • Play with collage 
  • Make a quilt (yes, a quilt!)
  • Write
  • Cook
  • Take a series of self-portraits inspired by the prompts
  • Do a different colorful act each day
 
watercolors liz lamoreux
 

And here's another idea for you:

Let color itself be your creative medium! Each day, use the prompt to inspire you to do something creative with color. You might decide to:

  • Bake a cake and decorate it with the color(s) from the prompt.
  • Gather up a collection of items that are all one color and photograph them.
  • Paint with watercolor one day.
  • Make a meal that celebrates the color(s).
  • Gather up crayons in shades of a certain color and play in a coloring book before bed.
  • Choose your daily outfit based on the prompt.
  • Make a list of everything you can think of in that color.
  • Write down a memory that connects to that color.
  • Buy flowers and create different mandalas each day.

The most important piece is that you're creating space for creative play and self-care in your daily life. Yes. Yes. Yes!

Register and join in RIGHT HERE!

like a visual poem of possibility

liz lamoreux

A post shared by liz lamoreux (@lizelayne) on

I shared this little video over on Instagram and wanted to share here too (just hover over it and press play).

Because it inspires me so much.

Because this bowl is like a poem of possibility.

Because these little words really will change the world, one person, one brave move, at a time.

A big thank you to Ali Edwards for all that she does to inspire so many of us to choose a word to guide us. 

You can find these heart pocket talismans (along with other talismans, jewelry, and other mindfulness tools) over at my Soul Mantras shop.

2018 Talisman of the Month Club

liz lamoreux

TOMC_12_resized_2_1024x1024.jpg
 

2018 Talisman of the Month Club subscriptions are open through January 15 this year. 

The Talisman of the Month Club is a monthly subscription that includes a package of inspiration and support delivered to your door. Each month presents a new theme that provides you with lessons, practices, and creative prompts on the month’s theme plus a community of people practicing along with you.

The intention behind this club is to give you tangible practices and reminders to see, hold, and use to help you create space to practice self-care.

You can read all about it over on Soul Mantras, but I wanted to share a little bit here too.

This year there are two editions: 

 
TOTM_April_box1__1024x1024.jpeg
 

The Toolbox Subscription

The intention behind the Toolbox edition is to give you a monthly practice + tangible tools you can use to create an altar or other meditative space. It includes:

  • A handmade pewter pocket talisman hand stamped with a phrase to support you, infused with love and blessings, and packaged in a bag so you can easily carry it with you.
  • An additional item or two that complements that month’s theme that you can use as part of the monthly practice (for example, a gemstone, framable artwork, bowl for your altar, mini prayer flag set, prompt deck, etc).  
  • A tiny print with that month’s theme that becomes a reminder to place on your desk or altar (all multiple months create an inspiration deck for you).
  • A note from my heart to yours focusing on the monthly practice with creative ideas to get you started.
  • Another surprise or two to support your self-care journey.
  • Thoughtful packaging that invites you to slow down and create a mindful moment as you open it each month.
 
Ease_TOTM_Box_IG.jpg
 

The Pocket-Sized Subscription

This offering is perfect for those who want to focus on the monthly practice each month at a smaller price. It is also a good option for those living outside the US (see shipping info below). It includes:

  • A handmade pewter pocket talisman hand stamped with a phrase to support you, infused with love and blessings.
  • A tiny print with that month’s theme that becomes a reminder to place on your desk or altar (all multiple months create an inspiration deck for you).
  • A note from my heart to yours focusing on the monthly practice with creative ideas to get you started.
  • Thoughtful packaging that invites you to slow down and create a mindful moment as you open it each month. This edition will come in an envelope instead of a box.

Both editions also include:

  • Community, connection, and support via a private Facebook group where we talk about ways to work with the month’s practice, share supportive stories, and so on.
  • A few surprises along the way just for 12-month club members.
  • A monthly newsletter to help you deepen your self-care practice.
  • The opportunity to add on 1-on-1 sessions with me to dive deeper into your practice.
  • Discounts for the Soul Mantras shop and some of my other offerings (including ecourses).

Please note that photos show a peek at previous boxes from the 2017 subscription and other goodies similar to what you might receive. The 2018 boxes will be unique with all new practices and all new additional tools inside (for the Toolbox edition).

You can read all the other details, plus the FAQ, over here at Soul Mantras.

52 Lists Project

liz lamoreux

52 lists project cover

 

One of my favorite self-care moves is to make lists. It gives your mind a place to rest and can even become a mindfulness practice when you slow down and create intention around it.

Earlier this week, I came across my copy of Moorea Seal's The 52 Lists Project and decided I wanted to dive back in this year. Last year,  I made it through four weeks of lists, but then dropped off, and I want to start back up again. In her book, there's a different list prompt for every week of the year and some suggested actionable steps to take inspired by your list as well. The book is beautiful and throughtful (just like everything Moorea puts into the world).

I shared my intention of diving back into it on Instagram and Facebook and several people shared that they would love to join in writing a list in this book each week. So we're going to do a "list-along."

I really love this idea of all working through the book together this year. And I love the idea of keeping it really simple. 

Here's how it will work:

We will gather on Instagram and share our lists (or something about the book and our experience with it) on Sundays using the hashtag #52listsSundays so we can find one another.

To share your post in the feed of others sharing about the book (who aren't connected with our list-along), you can use #52ListsProject. You can see lots of ideas and goodness in that feed from people who have been using the book over the last couple of years. 

Some information to answer any questions you might have:

This is a "choose your own adventure" kind of experience with a side of support and connection. Anyone reading this can join in at any time. There are no real rules except that we're using The 52 Lists Project. My hope is that we just have some fun practicing self-care and connecting about it each week on Instagram this year. And if you have the companion 52 Lists of Happiness book and want to use it instead, go for it!

It is easiest to connect on Instagram using hashtags. You can use them on Facebook, but your post has to be set to public for us to find one another. I will be focusing on connecting on Instagram and will also post my photo on Facebook for connection there. I won't be searching Facebook for hashtags though.

You can join in whenever you want to! If you're reading this in March, you can still join in. If you've done a few weeks and want to join in, you can. Like I shared, I have already done a bit of work in the book. I'll be adding to my lists or posting reflections on how they might have changed in a year for the first couple of weeks and then diving into new lists. 

 

52 lists project_list 3
 

You don't have to share your actual list. Some topics might feel too private. That is totally okay. Take a photo of the page before you write on it. Take a photo of the book closed. Take a photo of something that represents the list to you and share about it. Use the "blur" tool to hide parts of your list like I did above. You can make this as personal as you want it to be.

If you don't have the book and want to come along, just order one when you can and jump in if you'd like. 

If you're feeling overwhelmed about writing in a beautiful book, maybe use a pencil so you can erase! I know this is actually a huge piece that stops many people from using these awesome self-care books that people spend some much time creating and making in the hopes you will get messy and write and create in them. Try to let the beauty of you taking time for you in this simple act of self-care be bigger than the fear of messing up your book. I'm cheering you on over here!

If you can't post on Sundays or forget etc, just post on another day! We'll just always use the #52listsSundays hashtag to keep it simple. 

Again, all you need to participate is a copy of The 52 Lists Project by Moorea Seal (or her 52 Lists of Happiness book if you already have that one and want to come along).

And if you have questions, just let me know. I will answer them in the comments.

Looking forward to listing with you each week!

Big love,
Liz

PS This post and read-along/list-along is not sponsored by Moorea Seal or the publisher of her books. This list-along came up very organically and informally. My biggest hope is that by joining in together, we can keep each other accountable to actually take this time to practice self-care each week. The links above are affiliate links though, which means when you purchase something through them, I will receive a small commission. You can also purchase copies of these books on Moorea's site.

7 Small Self-Care Moves that Can Have a Big Impact

liz lamoreux

phone in hands
 

2017 has been quite a year so far, hasn't it? I keep saying the phrase "holy holy holy" as I stand in The And Space daily and keep finding my way. I have quite a few self-care moves I turn to that help me stay grounded, and making a list of my favorites is something I always love doing. Just writing them down reminds me to keep doing them and becomes its own act of self-care.

In case you need some reminders about easy self-care moves to make, here are seven ideas to help you take a few moments to practice some self-care in your corner of the world.

1. Pause the Devices for a Bit

Give yourself a break from your phone, computer, television, and tablet. Stop looking at screens for just a little while, so you can be present to the world around you. Notice when you're scrolling because you feel like you have nothing else to do. From waiting in line to sitting at the dinner table, put your phone down and look up. So much information is coming at you in any given moment, and your body, mind, and heart need a break.

2. Move

From a quick dance party to some yoga or simple stretches, move your body to get in some self-care and support. According to Psychology Today, movement helps not only increase brain function but also helps treat anxiety and depression.

Take a moment and think about the ways you most love to move your body, and create some space in your schedule to make it happen. Because I work from home and can spend hours at my computer, I sometimes set an alarm on my phone that reminds me to move. When it goes off, I ask Alexa to play some Paul Simon and I get up and groove.

3. Get Outside

Getting outside helps you create space to stop the swirling thoughts inside you as you notice the world around you. Whether you're at work or at home, pause and take five minutes or so to just get outside. You might want to sit on a bench, stand and just breathe, or take a short walk. Whatever you do, set an intention to really notice the world around you, so you can get the benefit of your time away from your to-do list

4. Rest

Notice when your body and mind are tired. Let yourself rest. Even schedule it if you have to. This might mean just pausing to do nothing for five minutes in the middle of the day or blocking out an afternoon on the weekend to just be. You could even decide to go to bed just 15 minutes earlier to get more sleep.

5. Stay Hydrated

There's a reason doctors recommend staying hydrated throughout the day. As the Mayo Clinic explains, "Every system in your body depends on water" and even slight dehydration can make you tired and affect your energy level. They suggest about 13 cups of liquid for men and 9 cups for women daily, and they stress that all beverages count. 

6. Stop All that Bedtime Scrolling

How often are you scrolling on your phone or tablet before bed? In the middle of the night? First thing before you even get out of bed? Take a few days off from this habit and notice how you feel. All that information will still be there after you get some rest or let yourself wake up before checking in with the whole world. You might want to get a buddy to help hold you accountable for this one. From your partner to your best friend, ask for some support as this is a hard habit to break.

7. Read Some Fiction

You may have seen studies popping up exploring the idea that reading fiction is good for you. According to Science Magazine, reading fiction can increase our ability to understand emotional cues, which can help facilitate our connections with other people. Also, reading fiction gives you a break from the day-to-day stuff, which is a very good thing. I've been part of the Book of the Month Club this year, and I love it! 

photo by Focus in Photography

Tell It: Collage supplies and other good things

liz lamoreux

collaging at desk
 

As I continue sharing peeks inside my collage journals, I've been getting quite a few questions about my favorite journaling supplies. So I'm combining the supplies I love using with suggested supplies for Tell It: Collage so you can have all of it in one place.

Suggested Supplies for Tell It: Collage

  • Journal: Preferably not lined (see some suggestions below)
  • Gluestick (Any glue stick will work - you will need a couple. I'm preferring the Craft Bond from Elmer's for more permanent sticking)
  • Pens + at least one black Sharpie
  • Scissors
  • Magazines/catalogs
  • Other optional ideas: Colored pencils, paint pens and/or gel pens, 1-3 colors of acrylic paint, washi tape
 
collage brush pen
 

A Few of My Favorite Collage + Journaling Supplies

Journals

Right now I'm working in mainly three (okay, really four) journals. I'll share those along with a few other suggestions. The biggest piece for me is that the journal isn't lined. I have seen some awesome collage done in lined journals, but I'm sticking with unlined for the kinds of collage I'm drawn to and will be sharing in the course. That said, lined is okay if that's what you love.

  • One of my favorites is a really large Cahier Moleskine that I picked up several years ago. It is very similar to these, which I also love, but mine is even bigger than the XL size and can often fit a full magazine page. The pages are thin, which means heavy marker or pen can sometimes be seen on the other side. I don't let this bother me (and will share tips about dealing with that), but it is something to consider. I don't add wet mediums, like watercolors, to the pages of this journal but I do sometimes add acrylic paint (without using any water).
  • Studio Oh! Sketchbook: I love that these are coptic bound so they lay flat. The sketchbooks aren't lined, but the regular journals are so make sure you read the description. I have this one and love it for collaging and journaling. I use only dry mediums (or acrylic paint without water) in it. This is the main journal you've been seeing pop up on Instagram.
  • A Stillman & Birn sketchbook: I'm using the 8x10 size that is for mixed media. The pages are like butter. And they are thick enough for all kinds of mediums, which means I can use paint in it if I like.* I found mine at my local art store. It doesn't have as many pages as the other journals, which is actually kind of nice, especially if you want to focus on one topic or complete a journal sooner. 
  • I love Moleskine sketchbooks and watercolor journals. Both styles have thicker pages, which is nice so pen and marker don't bleed through. 
  • Tricia Alexander makes gorgeous journals. Highly recommend her work!
  • A simple large sketchbook, spiral bound even, also works. (You can of course work smaller, but if you're taking the course, you will probably want something bigger for the prompts we'll be doing. I wouldn't go smaller than something around 10x7.)

*Note, I mention paint several times above but you do NOT need paint for Tell It: Collage. I just share a few tips about how I use it sometimes when I feel the itch or when I want to cover something up etc.

 
Collage with gold pen
 

Pens and other writing goodness

Paints

I love using just regular inexpensive craft paints from my local craft stores. Target has a fun line. I'm also a bit obsessed with these colors from Golden: Iridescent Gold, Green Gold, Quinacridone Magenta, and Prussian Blue Hue.

 
Collage magazines
 

Magazines

I really believe you can use almost any magazine but you'll want to choose some that have a mix of images and pages with more words etc. A few of my favorites include: Real Simple, O, Vanity Fair, Happinez, Flow, Selvedge, Domino, Marie Claire, In the Moment, Project Calm, Good Housekeeping, The New Yorker, travel magazines, and just about anything I find at the thrift store.

A few of the examples I've listed above are pretty expensive, and I know many lovers of these magazines wouldn't want to cut them up. I respect that. I just made a decision that keeping them on my shelves wasn't as inspiring to me as cutting out the pieces that do inspire me and adding them to my journals. I return to them again and again and bring them to workshops to share etc, so I do feel like the price is worth it. BUT you do not need to use the more expensive magazines for collage. Also, check out your local thrift stores, used bookstores, and even eBay for back issues. 

I welcome questions in the comments, so ask away, and will be adding to this page as I remember other supplies and use new ones.

If you'd like to learn more about Tell It: Collage, head over here. I'd love to have you join us! 

Note: Some of these links are affiliate, which means I receive a small commission if you choose to buy when you click through. Thank you so much for the ways you support my site and small business. 

Tell It: Collage: My new ecourse!

liz lamoreux

I'm so excited to share the details about my new ecourse Tell It: Collage! 

In this course, I share one of my favorite creative self-care practices that has become even more supportive to me this year. When I've felt stuck, unsure of what to say, in the thickness of overwhelm, this is the practice that has been saving me again and again.

And I can't wait to experience it with you!

 
 

Come along for 21 days of collaging, journaling, and connection to help you tell your story. 

  • Because playing with scissors and glue and images and words connects us to the creative joy inside us.
  • Because we live in a time where the overwhelm can feel tangible, and we need go-to practices to get us back into our hearts.
  • Because honoring and telling our stories helps us push through the stacked up stuff so we can fully show up in our lives.

Tell It: Collage is an ecourse that uses the mediums of collaging + journaling (plus a big dose of inspiration and connection) to help you tell the stories waiting inside you.

But it's even more than that.

It sets the foundation for creative self-care that you can do almost anywhere so that you feel supported and connected to your truth and inner wisdom as you move through the world.

And it connects you with a community of kindred spirits who are each finding their way to telling their stories every single day.

YES. YES. YES.

Here's how it works: You'll gather up a journal and magazines + glue + scissors + pens + whatever other supplies you feel called to play with right now. I'll provide prompts, stories, inspiration, and tips.

And then we’ll meet in a private Facebook group and on Instagram to share our stories and creations each day. 

I'll also share peeks inside my journals and how this practice has helped me deepen my relationship with myself, others, and even give me direction with my dreams and business.

Dates: November 14 - December 4, 2017
Cost: $35

 
Liz collage image.jpg

Tell It: Collage Includes

  • Inspiration, stories, and prompts delivered via email
  • A live group call to connect and share
  • Connection via a private Facebook group 
  • Additional connection on Instagram via our group hashtag
  • Breathing space so you can work at your pace
  • Accessible, juicy prompts for both beginners and experienced journalers
collage journal example.png

Why Collage?

  • Because the act of flipping through magazines to gather images creates a rhythm that gets you out of your head and back into your body.
  • Because this is a creative self-care practice you can do with minimal supplies almost anywhere.
  • Because pasting image and words give you a place to begin to tell your story - no more staring at the blank white pages in your journal unsure of where to start.
 

I'm so excited to offer my first new course in almost two years and hope you'll come along!

If you have any questions about Tell It: Collage, just comment below or send over an email.

Big love,
Liz