Writing for Self-Discovery: 6 Journaling Prompts for Gratitude and Growth | Yasmine Cheyenne | Skillshare

Writing for Self-Discovery: 6 Journaling Prompts for Gratitude and Growth

Yasmine Cheyenne, Writer, Speaker, Self-Healing Advocate

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12 Lessons (1h 9m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:14
    • 2. Why Write for Self-Care

      2:01
    • 3. Mini-Exercise: Find the Time to Write

      6:43
    • 4. Prompt 1: Cultivate Joy

      6:56
    • 5. Prompt 2: Work Through Regret

      10:14
    • 6. Prompt 3: Redefine Success

      9:26
    • 7. Prompt 4: Write to Your Young Self

      10:07
    • 8. Prompt 5: Write from a Quote

      6:54
    • 9. Prompt 6: Brain Dump

      8:51
    • 10. Tips to Cultivate Your Practice

      4:01
    • 11. Final Thoughts

      1:36
    • 12. Explore More Classes on Skillshare

      0:33
660 students are watching this class

About This Class

Discover the power of journaling to cultivate confidence, mindfulness, and growth—all are invited to join and begin!

Put pen to paper and transform your life in just 10 minutes a day with writer and self-healing advocate Yasmine Cheyenne in this welcoming class. Through six meditative writing prompts, you’ll gain tools and frameworks to open your mind, leave judgment behind, and make the most of your writing. 

All are invited to learn how to:

  • Find the time for self-care in your day-to-day
  • Use a variety of journaling styles and techniques
  • Translate writing insights into actionable change 
  • Cultivate a personal writing practice that lasts a lifetime

Plus, the class includes a downloadable, printable journal so you can follow along with Yasmine throughout every lesson! 

These prompts were created for everyone and are accessible wherever you are in your journey. Whether you’re a dedicated journaler or are new to the world of self-reflective writing, you’ll find exercises that guide you to powerful new insights for your life.

We all deserve to spend time considering and creating an authentic, joyful life. Use this class to discover what that means to you—and take tangible steps toward leading a life you love.

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Writing allows you to discern and begin to create space for what it is that you want that brings you the joy, that helps you grow, that helps you to move forward. Really, it's about us owning our self-healing, owning our self-care, and making it a priority for ourselves. Hi, I'm Yasmine Cheyenne, and I'm an advocate for self-healing, and today's course is about cultivating self-care through writing. Everyone is dealing with stress on a daily basis. Self-care is what helps us to really root in and stop and pause for a moment. Why I love the fact that you can write as a form of self-care because it is just between you and you, and it allows you to go back and see, "Wow, look how far I've come," or "Wow, I'm still dealing with this and maybe I need to do something about that." So today's class is made up of six writing prompts. I wanted you to try many different forms of journaling and figure out which form is right for you. There is no grading system or rubric for this class. Really, it's just about what makes you feel good. Self-care can be easy. What we face might not be easy, but accessing self-care can be easy. It can be something that you can create for yourself anytime. 2. Why Write for Self-Care: So I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and New York is not really a place where you think self-care. It's hustle and bustle. It's a very keep your head down, don't interact with others kind of place. So that really set the stage for me in terms of being a hardened person, especially when I transitioned into the military, it was very much about get the job done, give as much as you can, push through when it's tough. After 10 years of doing that in my whole life of growing up this way, I hit a wall and I fell into depression and anxiety. I was just completely overwhelmed. Honestly, at that time, I would say I had no idea why I felt this way. I would be like, "Why is this happening?" Taking time out to journal, taking time out to take care of myself, filling myself out were not priorities for me. Getting it done was a priority for me. It being life, career, friends, family. So I really resonate with the people that say, "How do I even get started in this work? I have no idea how I can slow down. I have no idea how to get started." For me, it really started with what don't I like, what do I need, and realizing I had no idea what the answers to those questions are. So I'm hoping that this class will help you be able to dig into what it is that's up for you individually, and really create the space to cultivate a life that helps you feel good. As you begin to go through this class, you're going to find your voice. You're going to figure out what it is that you sound like when you write. It's going to be completely different than what you sound like when you speak. It's usually like the truth of what is coming forward in the writing. It is not something that everyone's taught. We learn how to write, we learn how to write a paper, we learn how to write on a computer, but we don't learn how to talk to ourselves. So understanding that again, no matter how old you are. This may be something that's completely new for you. 3. Mini-Exercise: Find the Time to Write: So now, we're going to get started, and the first thing is setting aside 10-15 minutes and I thought there was no better way to do that than to start with a mini-exercise about how to find those 10-15 minutes. So we'll be going through a pie chart in which we lay out our day as it is today. It's really important to get super honest about how much time you have so you can understand where you're taking the time from. One of the things that stops people from continuing writing is they just start integrating it into their already busy schedules, and it seems like it's not that important in the beginning so it's usually the first thing to go like, "You know what, TV time sounds way more important than journaling. So I'm going to just stop." But when we say, ''Okay. I'm going to give myself this 45 minutes to watch TV and I'm taking 15 minutes from that hour, I would usually do watching this show to journal,'' then it begins to become a little bit clearer and we can make the space for that. So let's get started. I'm going to create my pie chart as it is today. I like to always start by going down the middle, that way I can just create the different blocks as we go along. Just really quick, I'm going to write here is Working out. You can write it however you want, it doesn't have to be fancy. But then you can even go a step further and say working out these blocks that look like this is one hour. So you know how much time it is throughout your awake time. But for me, I just like to write it out, Get it started. So work is always the biggest for me, then the second biggest is family, and I like to put into words what I am doing. So admin tasks, lots of phone calls, and family, Sesame Street, taking walks, whatever family wants to do that day. Then I'm going to change mine and put downtime as one of my resolutions. I like to call them actually like New Year's intentions was to spend a lot more time reading. So I've been spending about an hour-and-a-half everyday reading and it's been life changing. It's been a real place that I can get prompts for writing as well. So I've been reading during downtime and I've also been watching the news, which it's like a soap opera right now. So I'm enjoying it. I also have self-care. Again, I love that this is not coming out fancy because it doesn't have to be. Self-care, I'm not going to change it up a bit and put just a little bit right here for travel time. Anywhere from about one hour to an hour-and-a-half, and I'm going to write the time there specifically because if I'm in a car or on a train, I know how much time I have if I want to journal on my phone. Then I'm going to split this in half and do errands. For me, errands Is the grocery store. People don't really go to the post office that much anymore, but I do. So the post office, school, the kids, and then all around adulting. This is the stuff that sucks, paying bills, customer service, etc. Once you have your pie chart completed, you can begin to look at it from the perspective of, "Wow, I didn't realize that 55-60 percent of my day was spent doing work. I didn't know that I spent so much time doing errands. I really wish I had a little bit more time with family or maybe I wish I had more time with self-care." But you begin to be able to get an idea of what you do each day and how you spend your time. A lot of times, just this in itself is really eye-opening for a lot of people because we don't know how we spent our time everyday because people call us, people text us, people ask us to do things, work asks to do things and before you know it, you don't realize like, "Oh wow, I'm working 12 hours everyday, no wonder I don't have time for writing. No wonder I don't have time for self-care or for whatever is important to me." So looking at this today, I already have on my pie chart self-care, and this is where my journaling would go. But let's pretend that I didn't, and this was watching TV because a lot of people use that as a way to just unplug. For me, I would probably not want to get rid of my watching TV time. That's the only time that I have to be free and do nothing and just watch TV. That's what most of my clients do not want to give up TV time in the beginning, and I don't force anyone to do anything that doesn't feel good in the beginning. But one thing that you could do is take maybe, let's just take five. Let's pretend we're going to take five minutes away from work. This is how I have them take a little time from work. We're just shading it away. Then we can't stop adulting, bills have to be paid, but maybe we don't have to go to the post office this week. So I'm going to take 10 minutes from errands, and then I like to give myself a little grid. This means journal, class, skillshare. So this exercise was a way that you can dive into seeing what your day is like and really just get an opportunity to dive into the ways in which journaling can be very unconventional. This is an easy way to get started with journaling in any of the prompts and using it as a way to come back to this and say, "This is what I have going on. This is how I can take my time back." So I hope this is really helpful for you. I am excited to get into the rest of the prompts throughout the class. 4. Prompt 1: Cultivate Joy: So in this exercise, we're going to be talking about cultivating joy. I thought joy was about having fun with my friends, hanging out, being successful in my career, all of the kind of external things, and I didn't realize that a lot of my makeup and my understanding of joy was with the mind frame that it would be brought to me by those in my lives. That there will be people that would make my joy a priority for them, and it was a long journey into realizing that it was my responsibility to make joy something that was important to me. I don't think we often think of joy that way. We wait for it to happen, we wait for something funny to happen, we wait for someone to bring it to us. But this is a way where we can have this list and then when things get tough, we can have this to reference back to and begin to bring that joy back into our own lives. So I'm going to using the list format here and I find this really easy because, I mean, you can just go on and on and on about the things that bring you joy. So for me, I'm going to start with a title before I do my list. So What Brings Me Joy. The first thing that I always think about is people watching. I think being a New Yorker in general, my God, the things you see when you're walking around like someone being helped across the street, watching someone, a couple in love and you can tell they're on third date and it's still all new and fresh. All of those things like really bring me joy and are just fun to me and help me remember like the easygoing parts of life and get out of my TV, social media mind frame and just stuck in the negative parts that are a natural part of life but that can bring us down. Another thing that brings me a lot of joy is when I wake up the first time my alarm goes off. That is not often. But it really makes me feel like I've prioritized myself care in a way where I can actually wake up on time. This is another small thing but when Trader Joe's has eucalyptus. Joy, it smells great, I'm going to jack up the spelling but that's the beauty of a journaling. It's just for me. I want every one of you guys and me knows I can't spell eucalyptus. I love fresh flowers. I love when my kids laugh, like them laughing makes me laugh and then you just are like three crazy people laughing. I really love really good wine preferably red and Malbec. I am from New York. I have said that a few times, but New York City is just like as soon as I can see the skyline, I'm like, yes. Joy, the ocean I actually have a meditation app that I listen to and it brings me a lot of joy hearing that before bed. Memes on social media and made joy. Cuomo on CNN. I love his dialogue with Don Lemon before they pass it off. This is how you know I'm firmly in my 30's. It's hilarious to me. I stay up for that every single night. I'm like finding the joy as I'm doing this. If you don't, it's just like thinking about the things that make you happy. It really changes your mood instantly. So I'm going to stop here but I think this is a really good example of how focusing on the little- these are like really small things that throughout the day just reflecting back on them remind me of how much joy I get out of the time that I spend focusing on the small things in life like Trader Joe's for example. That's during my errand time but tons of joy from that. Same thing with the fresh flowers, kids laughter, that's a completely free experience and sometimes, I get that even from people watching. So sometimes I circle back and I'm like, wow, that's double joy there. So one of the things that comes up a lot after you finish a joy list is like that was great but how can I integrate this into my life? So I just want to reflect back for a second into the pie chart and I think finding ways that you can integrate it into your life and be more actionable about it helps you go again take back your power and is an empowering experience. So for me the Trader Joe's experience is in my errands and yeah, I don't really like my errands remembering that during that errand times, I'm actually having joyful experiences. So even though I don't enjoy running errands all the time, this is an amazing time for me to be more present to the things that do bring me joy. Another thing is during family time for me seeing the places that my joy shows up that I often forget. When I look at my day and I'm like overwhelmed by the amount of things that I had going wrong, remembering all of the joyful things that take place in them. Adulting time often leads to that glass of wine. Lots of joy. The ocean, that's in my downtime, listening to my meditation app that also usually comes from adulting and itself. Work leads to more time in New York City and I love New York so this is more joy. I think that just being honest about there are parts of these charts that really suck. That can be draining to our day-to-day lives and our experiences but trying to change our mind frames to being more present to the places that joy already exists within these helps us change our mind frames, helps us to get back to this is what actually makes me happy, this is where I actually shines, this is where I feel good and it doesn't mean acting like these other sucky things don't exist, but we can have both and that's the important piece. Understanding that it can be like sucky by five o'clock or by 5:30 a.m, I'm looking at eucalyptus and I'm happy. So just bringing that into your experience more and understanding that this is all created by us. There are people that influence it, there are people that come in and out of it but we are in charge of this experience here and we're also in charge of bringing this in. So I hope that this was helpful for you to see how you can intersect writing practices and you can take things that you learned from one writing practice and bring more perspective to another. I mean this can lead to so many different writing prompts but I hope that this really helps you to understand and gain more clarity around how journaling is so expansive and we can make it look very different in so many different ways. 5. Prompt 2: Work Through Regret: So for this exercise, we're going to be talking about working through regret and it's a bit of a tough one, and one that really you want to avoid. Nobody wants to talk about the tough stuff, it's taxing our system emotionally, and it's often the part that most people don't want to bring to their realization and why they avoid writing. But I think it's super important. We can't have the good unless we know what the bad is. Having more control and having more awareness about what makes us feel bad, what we don't enjoy about our past, what we wish we could do over and especially as we begin to get older, we start to feel like I wish I knew better. Instead of looking at it from a place of, how we can learn and move forward, we often get stuck in the negativity of it and I think we all do it. One of the important things about moving forward and one of the things that I teach is: We have to honor and be honest with ourselves about what we regret versus really trying to push it down and take it away from our awareness. It doesn't work in the sense of the more I forget about, the better it gets. It's the more that I honor and I'm honest with myself, the more I can move forward from it. What I worked through here which just a free flow and this is the traditional way to journal. I just wrote out some things that I was regretting, and for me, it was definitely not going to college straight out of high school and joining the military instead. So I have a lot of regret around that because I dove into adult life from 19. So for this writing prompt, we are going to be talking about the things that we can let go of and becoming clear about what it is that we really want to let go to and just being honest about what do we still holding onto that keeps us from feeling we can move forward. So for me, I feel I missed out on my youth, that's the gist of it. I really wish that I went to college instead of joining the military. The reason why, is because as I've started to get older I've realized that I've been working pretty much since I was 19 years old and I didn't get a chance to really be free. Then from here, I often feel if I went to college I wouldn't be so exhausted now, because I've been working so long. So this is the framework, this is what my story is about. Why I'm so exhausted, this is why I'm regretting this. The reality for me, and what I've come to realize is that just because I didn't go to college straight out of high school, doesn't mean I can't have fun now. I think that's a huge misconception about being an adult. The fun is gone, it's over. Just because it's not completely unadulterated, crazy, risk-taking fun, doesn't mean that it can't still be something that allows you to access joy and have a good time and in a lot of ways, a lot safer. So I can still access blissful joy and fun even though I missed that out of high school. Then I think also honoring the way in which I did have a lot of fun by doing what I did, I traveled the world by 20, like literally I only missed one continent. So in a lot of ways, I did get to do a lot of things that I wouldn't have been able to do and this piece for me is the important part about bringing the honesty, right? So this is what I would actually do in my journal. This is the truth. It's like myself therapy, myself conversations with myself. This is what really happened. This is what I say happened, this is what actually happened, and then coming back to the place of, in the future I want my joy to always be a priority even if I'm a 112, doesn't matter. I think what's important for you to understand here is, it doesn't have to look like this but for me I like to almost have my own therapy sessions as I'm journaling. It really is between me and the part of myself that's feeling this, and we don't often talk to ourselves in this way. We think it has to be, my name is Jane. Remember we already know ourselves and the relationship that we have with ourselves in the way that we talk to ourselves in our mind is the way that we can write to ourselves. So this is me saying to myself, I feel like I missed out on my youth and then this is Jasmine right now with the prospective responding and saying, "Just because you didn't go to college out of high school doesn't mean you can't have fun." It gives you that space to really have that conversation and go back and forth with yourself and remind yourself of what's really happening here. Then also honor, it still sucks. It still sucks that I didn't get to have that experience. This is an experience that will never be the way it is even if I decide to go to college today. So a bonus exercise that you can do with this practice that I often do because lists again, I might go to, is thinking about the desires that you have and ones that you want to integrate into your life. Often at the end of my journaling, I make lists that really help me to honor in to what desires I have based on what I just wrote. So I'd like to, desires and then I would put to travel more. Another one that I would have is more fun because if we get down to the real emotion that's when to come forward as the regret is based on not having as much fun now, as I feel I would have had if I had gone to college right out of high schools instead of military. So I want more fun, I want more travel, I want more flexibility, that's the key thing in youth I think. You have no responsibilities. I want more freedom, and I also want the opportunity to access bliss, which I think is real joy. What I like to do is use the pie chart and we talked about this in a different prompt. But I'd like to take these and put them into my pie chart and find ways to add these or see that they're already in my pie chart. Because a lot of times when we get caught up in the things that are going wrong, we completely forget all of the things that we are already doing to make ourselves care, to make our joy a priority. So for me, travel more would be the first one that I would want to think about and I just want to backtrack for a second with the desires. Thinking about what are the things that you can integrate into your life now versus the things that may take some time. I think the reason why that's important is because, it's the same reason why we created the pie chart in the beginning of the class not overwhelming ourselves with the idea of, these are my desires and I have to find a way to integrate all of these at this very moment versus, I'm just going to focus on this one thing. This is the thing that seems to be really, really important to me and how can I make this happen, not necessarily today but how can I begin to work on it today in a way that brings me closer to this traveling more versus, I need to find a way to get all six of these in here. Because if you think about how hard it was to just find the 15 minutes to do the sculpture class, it may take a little bit more time to find ways to have more freedom in your schedule, or more flexibility. So for me I'm going to start with traveling more because I think that that's something that comes up a lot and is a thing for me. I'm in my self-care work, and from me is honestly going to come from work. Travel more, and this is where I'm going to have to figure out where can I begin to turn this block, if even for five or six days into the travel block. Obviously I have to make a living. So this isn't going to be a travel all the time but this is the space that's going to have to switch in to travel for me to be able to access that bliss and joy that traveling brings me, that I feel I missed from my youth. So it's a really actionable way to tie into, this is the problem I had, this is the truth of it, this is what I want in the future, this is what I desire, this is what it's going to have to come from. It's a way for us to begin to tangibly work towards what it is. For me in this particular situation, traveling more obviously leads to more fun, more flexibility, the freedom, the accessing, the bliss, and the joy. Now, when I'm not traveling, I'm going to have to find ways to bring this in because we don't want joy to only exist when you're traveling, and that's a lot of times what a lot of people do. They are like, I'm only happy when I'm in Hawaii. I think everyone's happy when they're in Hawaii, but what are you going to do on a day-to-day life to bring the same exact shoe that you have from traveling into your pie chart? That's probably a whole other journaling exercise, but I wanted to mention that. This is a good place to reference back to if you're coming back for this course and you want an opportunity to do another journal prompt. The thing that you wanted to add in form of desires lists. How can you begin to add that into your life all the time in a way that you can consistently reference back to it, and especially for something like travel, something that you can access on a recurring basis? 6. Prompt 3: Redefine Success: So this writing prompt is all about defining success, and I find that with every single person I've ever worked with, this is the piece that leads to all of the other branches of where we feel like we're not fulfilling our destinies, where we feel like we're not showing up properly in the world. This is where a lot of the shame comes from. A lot of things that our parents, friends, family, who we believe that we are to the world and how we define ourselves often leads to why we do all the things that we do. For me, specifically around being the strong person, always having it together, always being able to over give, always being able to share more than I have, that was a part of how to find myself and how I define myself as being a apart of society. Ultimately, it was killing me in terms of just continuously over giving, and not having enough for myself. This prompt is probably one of the ones that's going to have the most reaction from just being a really tough thing to face, and what we think success is for ourselves, and what we think it isn't. I preceded this exercise specifically around my old definitions of success, and what I found to be successful and what brought me joy. So I definitely believed that intelligence was success. Education, a lot of people that I work with are like got to be Ivy League, you got to be this, you got to be that, and those things are super important and super individual to how you decide to be educated, and live your life, and things like that, but it's also important to understand why we think that. Who told us that, go into Ivy League schools important? Who told us that we're not successful if we don't? Do we really believe that we're not successful if we don't do that? This was just a good way for me to get a starting point of what success was. These were the things that came to mind. Then when I thought about what actually brought me joy, and what success meant to me, I realized it was again waking up my first alarm. That's huge. I mean, if you wake up feeling joyful, if you wake up feeling like you're ready to start your day, most likely it's because of the self-care and the ways that you gave to yourself and fill yourself up throughout the day, throughout the week. Cooking home cooked meals, having enough space, and this is usually a part of myself care time. Having enough space in my schedule to just get the ingredients that I need to make a meal and cook them at home and actually chop everything up, it really slows me down. So it's really important to just look at the way that we show up in the world based on our predefined definitions of what success is, and what joy is, and the ways in which we succeed. So in this prompt we are going to be going through all of the different ways that you define success, the ways that I define success, and I'm going to be showing you how to do it. So I think it's important as we start with part one to remember that these are often the beings that society or our families, our friends have told us success is, and that we now identify success. So for me, it was being intelligent, being attractive, and for a lot of women we have a lot of stuff around attractiveness and wanting to be seen as someone that's attractive, and it leads to a whole slew of other things. So this is something that I just want mean this could potentially come another prompt where you write different things about wanting a partner, et cetera. This is something that I would definitely do while I was generally living in New York, going to a good school, a good college. Another big one is usually for me it was the friends, having people in my life that relied on me. I I took a lot of pride in having people who relied on me, and I had no idea that I could also feel free to rely on other people and have reciprocity and my relationships. So this is a just a quick list for me of things that I thought brought me joy, but actually didn't really identify a lot with what I really believed. So when I redefine my lists of success, and just thinking about things that make me feel successful today, making time to laugh with my kids, having community which is different to me than having friends. When we're younger or just when we were learning friends is completely different than having someone that you can rely on community usually means people that rely on each other. I mean, help each other grow and help each other get through the tough stuff. Also, having a home, that feels good. Having a home in New York City is maybe what feels good to you, but having a home no matter where you are that feels good is something that you can begin to really bring in to your mindframe versus the type of home, or what it has to be, or what other people are going to think about the home that you have. For me feeling strong, being a veteran, and all of the different things that come along with that. Attractiveness also led to a lot, being slim, working out, things like that. Now, especially two kids later, just feeling strong and energize feels amazing. You can begin to dig in to all the different ways and branch out into what these things mean to you, making time them laugh with my kids for me means I have more freedom. It means I have more flexibility, it means that I'm honoring what's important to me, and that's success to me. I think just allowing yourself to really be open around this will allow you to become a lot more clear on what you thought it was versus what it is. Not from a place of judgment, we needed this. I had to go through these experiences, if I had never gone through all of the experiences that I went through, I most likely would have never gotten to the place where I am now which is, this was perfection, and this was really self-love. So the transition for me of how I began to let a lot of those definitions go, and redefine them in a way that matched what really matters to me. So part one and part two lead us into part three which I was kind of nationally walking you through as I was reflecting back between how I led from perfection to self-love, and how things have shifted for me from here to here, but it's an opportunity for you to reflect. I like to use arrows when I do these kind of lists on a paper because then I can go in here, and talk about what happened on the way there. I was overworked, and that's what's led to being honest with myself about what self-love really was. Then down here, I honored my need for therapy, for coaching, and making self-care a priority. I call myself a recovering perfectionist because I'm constantly having to remind myself that perfection is not real, and I will never attain it. If I am trying to attain perfectionism, that's when I start to go back up this list. This is when I go back from here, and it happens all the time. I don't want you to think that because I am teaching this class that I have now worked all this stuff out and everything is just roses all the time. I definitely have those moments where I'm like crap, I really wish I went to Harvard, and then I come back to look at how much you achieved. Look at Harvard, it doesn't mean I wouldn't have achieved more, but this is just the path that I took, and being honest with myself about the path that you took is okay. Actually it's great. Being really gentle with yourself as you work through this this one is really hard, it really brings a lot of self-reflection in ways that you just wish you knew what you didn't know. A lot of time lost, and a lot of those big thing that comes up for me on the way down here is the grief. But being honest about what we had to let go of to get to the other side, but it's a natural process of allowing ourselves to just let it go, and coming into it from a place of now that I do know, this is what I'm going to step into, now that I do know this is what I'm going to let go of, and now that I do know I'm taking my power back and I'm being honest with myself in a way that honors who I am today. 7. Prompt 4: Write to Your Young Self: So this writing prompt is about channeling your younger self and I always think about, you know, when I'm doing something the person that I'm channeling, you know, a lot of people channel Beyonce, Diana Ross, well, those are my people. Beyonce, Diana Ross, Oprah. But channeling our younger selves and getting back to that place of, what helped me feel free when I was 20? What helped me feel joyful when I was 20? What were the things that I was letting go of and that weren't even aspects? A lot of this comes from, you may be asking yourself like, well, at 20 I didn't have the wisdom I have today and that's why it was that free and crazy and risky. But there is a piece of it that's about that bit of feeling like there is endless amounts of time, and that you can Jack things up and it'll be okay because 30 is decades from now. That's how it feels when you're 20. But remembering that in each day we can't look at life as, you know, there is time to redo the things or bring in more joy or change the things that we don't want. I mean, if you think about a lot of people don't start the things that they've been doing for a living until they are firmly in their 40's and 50's. I think a lot of times we think that we're running out of space or time because of the things we spend time doing, and it's really a mind-frame or where to look about how the things that we did helped us with what we're doing today. So I decided to choose my 20-year-old self. This was a huge year for me. I traveled a lot. I spent six months in Kurdistan. I just did a lot of very interesting things. I decided to use a bubble map because for me, it allows me to branch off easily and it's just another way of journaling that I want to share with you guys that allows you to free flow and use a different mind-frame, of how we can approach journaling. So I'm just going to free-flow for you here, and I always start with a circle in the middle. I'm channeling 20-year-old Yasmine which was a different time. So my biggest thing at this time was traveling the world. I wanted to travel as much as I could. I was starting a new career. I was in the military, and being a New Yorker in the military was a whole thing in itself. So I was experiencing that. I prioritized rest. It's so interesting how we need less sleep when we're younger and we take more naps. I think that's because we don't have as much going on. But for me, prioritizing rest was something I did and that's something I definitely looked at, when I did this exercise by myself. Why am I not prioritizing rest now? Why was it more important to me when I had less going on? Now that I have a lot going on, I don't care about rest as much. I slept on flight. I don't know about you, but flights are like the time where I'm like, "Oh, I could get this memo done. I can do this. I can do that." At this time I was like, "Oh, I can sleep. I can take time for myself to just do nothing." I was also meeting new people, and even though I'm married now, it was happening for Yas at that time when she was dating, and that was cool. This was fun, this is funny, but I literally danced like no one was looking. I truly did not care, and you know what? If you are 20, it's a little bit different today, oops, but no one was recording things on their phones. So no IG. That was a cool part of being 20 and something I like to remind myself about when I think about missing out on time. I was driving my dream car. Had a Tour Coop, and that was really cool to me at that time. I use this as a way to talk about what Yasmine was looking at from that frame of mind and myself today looking at these things from a space of, how would I feel about these things right now? If I were starting a new career and if I was journaling I would use a different color marker. I'm actually going to just do that really quick so you can see the difference. If I was starting a new career, there would be more fear. Then I want to talk about why. Why was 20-year-old Yasmine excited about this and why am I afraid of that today? Traveling the world. Today I'd say, "With what's time?" Notice there's a lot more question marks. No IG? How will I survive? I'm joking here but honestly, people don't remember what life was like just connecting with people one on one versus having the Internet. You know, prioritizing my rest. Why is this not a priority now? The second part of this is, is writing that letter to yourself. That is a conversation where you can begin to talk about what you think now about what you thought then. The way that I like to frame this is most of the time when we write a letter telling on ourselves, we're like, "We forgive you for this or I forgive you for this part or I forgive this piece." But this is 20-year-old Yasmine, I know you're watching me wondering what the heck happened? Why are you so afraid? Or why are you so timid about doing these things? Or why are you so and what happened to that spank that we had? This is a way for me to get back to that part of myself, and for you it may be your 16-year-old self, your 35-year-old self. It might be actually yourself today. Maybe you're writing a letter to yourself yesterday and saying, "You kick butt in that meeting yesterday, I cannot believe that you finally said what you wanted to said and you did this and this and this." But it's a way for you to look back and say, "This is what I thought. This is why things change and this is how I can show with myself today." So what we're going to do is get into the letter. Normally I would two different papers to use this but I want to show you what I did in my journal. I might write a little bit here but this is a good frame of work for you to look at and I always write, "Dear 20 year old Yasmine" so I can get back into that mind frame of who I'm talking to, because if you think about your past souls, they're completely different people but I believe that they're still living inside us. Not that the 20-year-old version of us continues to grow but they stay 20. So it's a really cool concept when you're thinking about this writing prompt because it's a way for you to remember that those cool parts of yourself or the parts of yourself you may be looking back on and kind of like I wish I could access that, they're still alive. So, the first sentence I wrote is, "I know you probably can't believe how far we've come". She'd be shocked. You know, we were just starting out something completely different completely new, and this is huge for me remembering how far I've journeyed, being honest with myself about how much has changed, and just giving myself the space to write with myself about, you know, I know you thought we'd be doing this and I did this instead and this is why. It's also a way for us to let go. A lot of times we are holding onto regret and things that happened that we promised ourselves and promises are pretty tricky when we think about. We may think of them as splitting things, but when you promise yourself something, and you don't honor it, there's a part of you that's pissed at yourself, like, "Hey, you said we're going to do this and we're 50 now. When is this going to happen? When are we going to finally go to, you know, China? When are we going to finally go do that thing that you said we were going to do?" It's an opportunity for you to say, "Hey, so? I'm still working on it. I know that you're waiting for me to do this, I know that you're waiting for me to look back at this part." But another important piece is that it's an opportunity for us to discuss how things haven't really changed as much as they feel like they have. One of the things that I talk about while with clients is driving. When we are 16 and we got our licensing for New York is 18, but for me I didn't get my license until I was 19 and I was so excited because, I got to drive this dream Coop. Today driving is an anxiety, inducing activity because I feel like it's a waste of time. I don't have that same excitement. In a letter to myself writing like, I know that we used to be so excited about driving and I want to get some of that back. What was something that I really enjoyed about that? Thirty one year old Yasmine can look back and say, "I really enjoyed blasting music". I don't do that anymore because I'm usually on my phone with someone or I'm usually listening to the news, or I'm usually doing something else, that doesn't bring us much joy, you know, 20-year-old Yasmine and would have prioritized. Listening to music 20-year old Yasmine would have danced in the car didn't care at the person next to them was Snap-chatting or whatever. We would just been something that I looked at it as a way to entertain and bring that joy into my day before starting work or doing whatever it is that I was going to do. So I hope that this really helps you to see how looking back at those past parts of yourself is a way that we can begin to reckon with and let go of the pieces of us that we still hold on to and feel like we cannot access. But this is a way to figure out how to bring those pieces of ourselves with us and begin to move forward with the parts of us that did all the things that we found fun and amazing and joyful in a way that resonates with who we are today. 8. Prompt 5: Write from a Quote: So this writing prompt is all about quotes, and I'm a quote girl, I love the way they made me feel, the way they inspire me, the way they motivate us. I think no matter who you are, you hear someone say something and it resonates with you in a way that really inspires you, but I think we often stop there. We write the quote down, we're like, ''That really inspires me,'' but we don't go to the next step and say, why does it inspire me? What does it awaken in me? So I've created a list of quotes that you can choose from that you'll find in the resources, but I also wanted to talk a little bit about if you don't resonate with one of those quotes, how you can find your own. I think that it can be a little bit overwhelming. There's a bajillion quotes out there, and it may feel like how do I find the right one for me to be able to do this exercise? A really good exercise or a really good thing to think about when trying to find a quote is thinking about things that you already like. For example, my husband loves Notre Dame, the football team. They have quote which I cannot remember, but it's on our fridge and I see it all the time. For him, someone that has really general on a regular basis, that will be a starting point that I would recommend if he was working with me one-on-one, like, ''That's the quote that you relate to because you love football, you love Notre Dame. What does a spark with you when you hear that?'' He may write something like Notre Dame is number one or something, I don't know. But he may also write the community, maybe the faith that they represent, maybe being a winner. So feel free to use quotes that really allow you to be playful and bring in things that resonate with you, but they don't have to be from the place of the perfect, inspirational, spiritually connecting quote. It can just be the simple like, ''McDonalds, I'm loving it.'' Choose the quote that really just calls out to you immediately. The quote that I chose to walk us through today is by Dr. Brene Brown, and it goes, ''You either walk inside your story and own it or you spent outside just story and hustle for your worthiness.'' It's super powerful for me because going along with what we've been talking about, a lot of times we feel like we have to do things, over give, make achievements that other people find as success or define as success, so that we can be worthy or seen as worthy, and learning, for me, through this quote, that I need to be who I am is just enough. Then once I have the quote written down, what I do is I often do this because what I want to do is talk about the quote and what I think she may have meant or what I think this may have meant for her. We get caught up in like the story of it, but what I want to do is get to the connection piece of it like, how does this making you feel? What happened when I heard this quote? What happened when I read that excerpt from that book? Or what happened when I heard someone say something on TV that really spoke to me? So for me, it's about knowing who I am is enough, I need to be who I am. Knowing that I'm strong just as I am. Feeling really thankful for what has made it through, and then also just realizing that I still struggle with worthiness. It's not something that I've mastered or something that is an issue for me anymore, and this is the human aspect for me. Reminding myself again, no perfection, and it's pretty interesting how much can come from a quote when you take the time to really sit down and think about what was sparked in you when you heard the statement, read the statement or when you connected to it. I think this is a really powerful way to journal, because it gets us back to the present moment in realizing how much self-care is in the every day things that we do that we don't even realize we're doing. We think that self-care has to look a specific way or that we have to be doing it and a lot of times we're like, how do I do it? We don't realize all of the many ways that we are doing it. This is just another way to go a step deeper into what this quote already did for us. Most of us do have a quote or something that we saw or heard that really resonates with us, but this allows us to take it that extra step further. So I'm just going to add one more here that I feel like is something that a lot of us resonate with this particular quote is that what I've gone through doesn't define me. It could make me stronger. It could be a lot of lessons learned, but it doesn't have to be a part of who you actually are or have to be forever, it's just life experience and life just happens. A lot of times, I will do exactly what, I do know a lot of my promises do branches from them, and even break these down further. So neatly, who I am is enough. I'll talk about the things I like about myself. I am caring or with strength. I'll attach it to say something like this, because of what I've gone through, I'm strong. Thankful for what I've made it through, and I'll attach to that and realize for this one, what we've gone through some times can be such a hard thing for us to reckon with, and remembering how it's fed into the awesome person that we've become because we've made it through those really tough times. We can't change what happen, but we can change how we approach life, what we've learned from it, and what we've gone through. Quotes also I just want to name, quotes often really relate to us based on something that we have gone through that was pretty tough. Sometimes it's just motivational, but sometimes it's about reminding us that we can do whatever it is that we want to do, that we can move forward. For me, I love this particular quote because it reminds me of the strength and getting through the really tough parts that come up in life. So I hope that this prompt helps you to really connect to the things that you already like. This is something that you may have a court that you are ready like or there may be one out there that you search for and say, "Wow, this really connects with me," but this is an easy way to connect with yourself in a unconventional way of journaling that will also bring lots of ways to continue writing practice in the future, based on the prompts that you get from what came forward. 9. Prompt 6: Brain Dump: So this prompt is my absolute favorite, I shouldn't pick favorites but it is my favorite because it's the one where you don't have to think about anything is called the brain dump. You can just allow yourself to really get out every single thing that's on your mind. For this particular example I chose a theme for the brain dumb. At the time I was dealing with conflict and all the different things that came to my mind around dealing with conflict, what I'd like to do is really allow myself to have no frame of mind or judgment as am doing this exercise. Sometimes there are things that come up around or particular topic that we feel like it's cliche, shouldn't really talk about it. You shouldn't really say it out loud. Feel free to say all the crazy not politically correct things that you want to in this exercise because what it allows you to do is have prompts for your future journal exercises. I don't know how many words I've written here, but there's a ton of prompts for me to talk about in terms of like dealing with conflict. I wrote the word heard and what comes to mind for me is not being heard, not really understanding the other person or hearing the other person wanting to be heard, and so that's a general prompt itself. Also, being tired, tired of having conflicts, not wanting to deal with things. Being tired of dealing with conflict with the same people, how I can stop being tired around conflict in approach it from a place of learning and growth. It will take time for you to feel comfortable looking at a word related to a theme and being able to discern how you're feeling about that particular topic, but it's also an opportunity for you to look through like because I have so many words that explain or help me to figure out how I really feel about this in general. So I'm going to demo for you here, the dealing with conflict and I'm going to think about I'm sure there's going to be completely different words that come to mind. I like to use different markers when I'm going through a brain dump, and I like to use capital letters because I often write in lowercase. But I like to use capital letters to differentiate between things that seem like a big deal to me versus things that are like, not such a big deal but also just as important. So when I think about dealing with conflicts, some of the things that come to mind is the number one thing that comes to mind first and foremost is fear. I'm afraid of what people are going to say, I'm afraid of what's going to come up. If you notice as I'm speaking, I'm writing exactly what's coming to my mind. So that is what the brain dump is. Every single thing that, I like to like go all over the paper until I fill it up. So also just tired of arguing to be frank. Wanting to be respectful. So respect for me is huge, so I put it in capital letters. Then also just wanting my personal space around it conflict something that everyone approaches differently. Some people like really wanted us to dig in and talk about it and other people are like, I need like two weeks before I can talk to you about this. So I'd like have my personal space, but then other times I'm like, "Let's settle this now." Later on I can do a journal prompt about what happens around settling this now. I could actually bring in the bubble map in the middle. Let's settle this now and begin to bubble map like, how do I feel about settlement is now. Well, I feel like the sooner I get through it, It'll be a little bit easier for me. That's just another example of how you can take one journal prompt and when journal exercise and mash it into a completely different writing prompt. Wondering what they're thinking. I find that the different colors helped me to access different points of my creativity and other sounds intense maybe. But when I have the different colors, I'm able to see them differently on the page and then I'm able to think about other different things as I'm writing. Like I'm afraid of being wrong. That's where the fear comes from for me. I also like to be given time to explain. Often when it comes to conflict in people's emotions, you're really afraid of hurting someone else but the other person may be hurt and not want to hear what you have to say. So that's something that comes to mind for me. But I will just continue to go through this and write all the different things that are coming to my mind with the different markers. Internal validation comes to mind and It would just become an opportunity for me to take just take out everything, if I wasn't on camera there might be some curse words in here and things like that. But it's just an opportunity for me to be bluntly honest with myself about what's on my mind at this moment. If I'm dealing with a particular conflict, I may use the brain dump exercise as opportunity to brain dump about this particular exercise. So I did think about a conflict that I was having at a time and sometimes conflict is internal. So I was thinking about how I was feeling really introverted. Someone had invited me somewhere and I said yes and I really didn't want to go and I was the one cancel. So like misses how I'm feeling about this I really don't want to go anywhere. I wanted to find a happy medium. Maybe I cancel this event and I come to your next event. So it can really be an opportunity for you to draw in all of the different things that come to mind. It doesn't have to just be words, it can be little statements like wondering what they're thinking. But then it can also just be one thing that means something to you. Afraid of being lonely, wanting to run away, afraid of failure. So I feel like the brain dump exercise is great for people who've never journal before and want a place to start, and don't know how to get started and they're afraid of the free-form writing. Which is like the paragraph sentence structure. This is a way to just jump in there and just write what's on your mind and, you can just do it for 10-15 minutes and just let it go. So when I'm doing this exercise, this is one that I often do on my phone. On the phone it becomes a little bit more of a list, but it's still a brain dump exercise, so I want to show you guys how I would do it when I'm using my phone. So I would go to my notes section on my phone and then I would just begin to do, I would type out. I have my phone set to lower caps. So dealing with conflict. Then I will just begin to write, I just want to be happy, feeling down. This is a great way to begin to do your journal lane like if you do take them to train the metro, you're on a plane, you don't have to have a printer pad with you you can just begin to write. Wanting to feel seen, afraid of getting it wrong, and you have spellcheck. So perfectionism wins. I just wanted to show that this isn't as pretty as this option, but it's still an option for you to access your working, your emotions in a way that fits your schedule and that can be done easily without the pins that paper that people clips and all of the setting. You can still dive into the work and then go back to it later and you can journal when you have more time. So I hope that this was helpful to you and especially to see like what it looks like in the finished product. It's not neat. So to speak is a lot going on, but whatever makes sense to you have the flexibility to be creative about it. This is something that you can draw, you can use tape, you can use posted notes. Anything that helps you to get into it in a way that feels good for you, but then also having those pumps for the future and having the opportunity to go back to these when you have that writer's block and you want something to do going forward. 10. Tips to Cultivate Your Practice: So you've gone through all these prompts and I hope that you've gone through each one at least once. But now you're probably thinking, 'How do I move forward from here? How do I continue this practice without the prompts to lead me daily as we've been doing in this class?' So a big thing about continuing your writing practice is sticking to it and finding ways to make it fun. Using what we've learned here and building on it or expanding on it, making it different, finding new ways that work for you. Maybe including art or photography or different things like that. But it is just an opportunity for you to bridge in all of the things that you love creatively and make it more individual to what you love and what resonates with you. So something that's interesting about writing is that it can begin to get a bit boring to keep it to yourself, especially when you don't do it professionally. It's something that you want to share and a lot of people use social media as a way to share their writing. But one of the tips that I give people that I work with is to invite your friends. Specifically, the friends who have mentioned that they are interested in starting a writing practice, or ones that you think that would be interested in starting one. Having writing practice or journaling parties, bringing your prompts, having them reflect to you. Things that you've been struggling with this lately and giving you prompts to write about or you reflecting to them, doing it over coffee, maybe over wine. Inviting the people in your life into this writing practice is a great way for you to also stay accountable. I've had girlfriends that call me and say, "Hey, how's your writing practice going?" I'd say, "I found this writing prompt, you'd love this."But it's a way for you to bring in the people that you love and the people in your life, but also give you new ideas and keep this writing practice fresh and something that you want to keep coming back to. So another one of my reminders is to start really slow. If you want to go back through to the pie chart exercise and do that four days in a row before you move on to other things, then definitely allow yourself the freedom to do that. The pace of this course was created to help you be slowly guided to the things that will slowly increase and help you to get deeper and deeper into your work. However, if there are things that resonate with you, if there's something that really sparked something in your mind and you want to stick to it and you really want to work on it for some time, or it got really tough and you're like, "I really want to just stay on this for a while." Feel free to keep yourself there for a minute and just go really slowly and allow yourself to get comfortable with the rhythm of writing, especially if this is new to you. Next is I really say this a lot. But light perfectionism on fire. It is the thief of creativity. It is the thief of joy in writing. Although, being a perfectionist or when it comes to your career, you want to work and give your best effort and give your all to projects. When it comes to self-care, this is about shutting that form of yourself completely off and allowing yourself to go back to the days where finger pain and macaroni noodles were welcomed with open arms. It's like being from that space of whatever I create is completely okay and if you want to go a step further and make it look a particular way or do something different, that's fine. But not allowing yourself to be stopped from doing your self-care writing practice, because it doesn't look the way that you think it should look or the way that someone else's looks or society says it should look or whatever that is. This is a completely personal, private, individual way to access your emotions and your feelings. It should be met with as much freedom and without judgment as possible. This is about just sitting down and allowing yourself that 10 to 15 minutes a day, to connect with what's going on with you at that very moment and being open to what you discover about yourself and that's what the entirety of this class is all about. 11. Final Thoughts: I hope that this has helped you to realize how easy it is to access your emotion from writing, but that the stuff that you meet along the writing journey isn't always easy, but that you can't get through it, and really begin to see how creative writing, as self-care, can really help you to do your work and further your self-healing journey, and make it accessible in an everyday sense. It doesn't have to be two straight hours with complete silence to be able to write 10-15 fifteen minutes while you're on the train, 10-15 minutes before you go to bed. It's something that you can access everyday, and ultimately, something that you can make space for in your life. Self-care is something that you have to choose. It isn't something that just comes easily especially in the day-to-day life, and we're dealing with adulting, and everything like that. So the cool thing about Skillshare is that there is an opportunity for you to connect in the community underneath this class. So as someone who takes Skillshare classes myself, I think it's an awesome opportunity to connect with other members and see what other people are doing. Also, it's an awesome opportunity for you to to get prompts from other people then continue this practice as you go along. So I look forward to seeing what you guys have to share and connecting with you in the community. So thank you so much for taking this class with me. It's been an honor to spend this time creating this content for you and helping you on your self-healing journey. I hope that you feel like you've walked away feeling like you can really bring this self-care practice into your life, and I look forward to seeing you in the comments and hearing all of the amazing things that come forward as you journey throughout this class. 12. Explore More Classes on Skillshare: