When this fighter showed up in my art journal, I thought she’d make for an interesting and revealing journaling prompt, since what we’re always trying to get at is self-awareness. Here’s a step-by-step prompt for you to work through. I’d set aside about 20 minutes for this one so that you don’t have to rush through the process.
1. Write the prompt, “I’m fighting . . .” ten times on a piece of paper:
Now complete each “I’m fighting . . .” sentence on your paper. As much as possible, write without thought, at least until the automatic answers have all been recorded. No self censoring allowed, write everything.
2. Read through what you wrote. Read it out loud if possible – hearing yourself is powerful. Do you notice a theme? If so, complete this prompt in one to three sentences: “The theme I notice is that . . .”
3. Now read through your list again and choose the one that stands out now or that surprised you or that you disagreed with or felt resistance to when you were writing it. Circle or highlight this one.
4. Five minute write (I did three minutes myself and found that it wasn’t enough). Before completing the following timed writing exercise, here are a few notes about this type of writing: Sometimes you may not, at first, know what to write – start anyway. This is the benefit of the “forced” timed writing – it makes it so you don’t have time to think. So simply set the timer, start it and just start writing absolutely any words at all, even if it’s total nonsense at first, something always comes.
When you’re ready, start your timer and write for the full five minutes on the following prompt: Use the highlighted sentence you chose in step 3, and we’re going to spin it around by answering this question:
“How can I surrender this rather than fighting it?”
Continue to write for a little longer if it feels natural or simply sit gently with whatever has come up for you, alway remembering to be patient with yourself. Self discovery and exploration is a process that can’t be rushed or forced. Looking with curiosity at what comes up for us and leaving it with a question, and especially being okay not having the answer to the question, is quite a pleasant way to end a journaling session. As you continue through your day, you might ask yourself: I wonder what that means? I wonder what I can learn from that? I wonder how I might approach that a little bit differently? I wonder . . .