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 Wether you’re a “writer” or not, I’m a big believer in writing your way to a better life. (I should disclose that I subscribe to a school of thought that believes— if you are a human being, with a brain that thinks and a heart that feels, like it or not, you are a writer. You may be a writer who doesn’t write, but you are a writer, nonetheless.)

I’ve been journaling consistently since I was a tween, and the process has never failed to enrich my life and bring clarity and peace to my soul. Daily writing has offered me greater purpose, passion, companionship, fulfillment, clarity, equilibrium, connection, encouragement, direction, gratitude and peace (and that’s only the tip of an inexplicably expansive iceberg).

Even through my greatest tears and fears, even amid my most soul crushing challenges, even during the times when there was no hope to be found and despair threatened to overwhelm me completely, writing delivered hope. Writing shined a light on the dark and stormy places in my heart. Writing carried my heaviest fears and lifted my most horrifying burdens. Writing offered me respite from debilitating resistance and searing pain.

The bottom line? Writing will bless your life.

There are no rules. Simply put the pen to the paper, and go. You’ll be amazed by what you find.

Whether you’re new to daily journaling or you’re a seasoned pro, here are a list of 20 prompts to get you started or keep you inspired:

1. Think of a time when you felt deeply centered and connected. Describe that day (or that week or that month or that moment) with as much visceral and emotional detail as you can.

2. What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

3. Make a list of inspiration. Include people, places, things, smells, events, colors, activities etc. There are no rules.

4. What are you very most afraid of? What is the worst case scenario if that greatest fear were realized? Would you survive? How?

5. Describe your ideal work day: include as much detail as you can.

6. Describe your ideal personal day: include as much detail as you can.

 7. What are your greatest strengths? How are you currently using these strengths to bless your own life and the world? If you aren’t currently engaging your strengths in the ways you know you could, what shifts could you make in order to engage these strengths more completely in your life?

 8. What are your greatest weaknesses? How can you work to intentionally embrace and/or overcome them?

9. What are your greatest weaknesses? How are you still “perfectly enough” despite of them? How have these weaknesses blessed your life?

10. If you could sit down to lunch with 5 people from any time in history or the present, who would you invite to your table and why?

 11. Who loves you unconditionally, and why?

12. What is the greatest success of your life thus far? What are you the very most proud of?

13. Write a list of gratitude: include everything you have been blessed with, down to the most simple things: like air to breathe in and out all day long.

14. How do you measure your value? What determines your worth?

15. When you think of the word “love” what do you see? and/or What other descriptive words come to mind?

 16. When you think of the word “strength” what do you see? and/or What other descriptive words come to mind?

 17. Describe the natural environment that most embodies who you are as an individual. Example, I am most like a meadow, because. . .  describe the scene with as much sensory detail as you can.

18. How patient and compassionate are you with others? How patient and compassionate are you with yourself? Do you treat yourself with the same care with which you treat others? More? Less? How does this exploration make you feel?

19.  What is the one thing you wish someone would say to you? What affirmation are you most eager to hear? Start with a paragraph if you need to and then whittle it down to just a sentence or two. Write this affirmation at least 20 times in both second and first person, respectively. Example: You are . . . 20 times AND I am . . . (2o times).

20. Project yourself into the future 2, 3 or 5 years from now. What kinds of memories do you hope to have created in your life?  Be as specific as possible. For example: “I hope to have had happy memories” isn’t gonna cut it. ;)

 Happy writing, friends!

xx,

Natalie

I deserve less than zero credit for the origination of this DIY. My sister-in-law, Heather, posted something like this over 3 years ago here, aaaaaaaand my mother-in-law was the one who brought the idea back to my attention after I saw the ornament crafts she did with the boys while I was away filming for The Generations Project. I’m not nearly awesome enough to come up with something like this all by my lonesome.

When Heather originally posted this, she recommended you use a hot glue gun to first get the buttons in place. That seems like an unnecessary step to me (even if her tree does look a lot tidier than mine). Granted, Heather did originally write this before she had kids, so a) she had 7 million times the time available to her and b) she didn’t have any reason to be worried someone would get a third degree burn. . . ooooorrrrr . . . decide that hot gluing their hands to their face was the best idea EVER.

Now, I think it is important to point out the fact that the idea to add the ribbon came from my very own brain, thank you very much. . . unless Cardon actually thought of it. Now that I think of it. . .

Cardon’s beautiful creations.

I don’t like outlining projects like this step by step. It’s blatantly obvious how this process works, and I certainly wouldn’t want to insult your intelligence. But I will say this:

Tips for Success:

1. Don’t let your 5 year old get a hold of the buttons. They are too, too, too fun to fling across the room.

2. If you push your push pins at a downward angle they won’t have the tendency poke out the other side and jab you in the hand on the thinner parts of the foam. (Also, there are lots of fun colors of push pins, we used yellow, because it’s what we happened to have lying around the house).

3. Listening to John Denver and The Muppetts while you work is highly recommended, though clearly not required.

Merry Christmas!

Our halls (read: door) has officially been decked. Such an easy (and cheap) Christmas wreath. I love it. Thanks for the nudge G. And yes, I am VERY impressed by my mad DIY skillz as of late. Arizona is clearly rubbing off on me. (I even created a new DIY category on the blog (see?!) in the off chance the DIY fairy keeps whispering sweet nothings in my ears).

If you want to make something like this for your own door, I recommend doing 2 things better than I did.

Tips:

1. Use a white foam wreath (Michaels, Joann’s), rather than green, so that if you inadvertently miss a spot with the yarn, you won’t see green blaring through. White would be less noticible by a thousand times.

2.  Run a piece of double stick tape along the perimeter of the wreath before you start wrapping. This will help keep the yarn in place so that it doesn’t become loose and move around from too much handling.

Merry Christmas!