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Authentic Journaling | Katharine Chestnut

3 of the Best Ways for Authentic Journaling 

Being authentic in our busy, packed-to-the-gills schedules can make being mindful and fully present a challenge. Along with all the things that can bring anxiety and sorrow. 

While being authentic is a lifelong journey, there are times when it is easier than others. Finding the time and direction to explore our own authenticity through journaling doesn’t have to be intimidating or time-consuming. 

A few minutes of time for yourself is all it takes. Here are some ideas to get you started. 

Explore a Variety of Prompts

While I love gratitude journaling as much as the next girl, I get bored writing about what I’m grateful for every day (or even every week). Some of my favorite sources of prompts for authentic journaling come from: 

Angel Blessings: Cards of Sacred Guidance and Inspiration
  • Oracle Cards – I have several sets of oracle cards that I’ve collected over the years and my favorite are the Angel Blessings cards by Kimberly Marooney. Pulling a card and reading from the accompanying book about its meaning is a great way to prompt my writing. More often than not, there is something in the reading that resonates with me and I explore that through my writing.
  • A Burning Question – If I’m distracted with thoughts about a decision I need to make or a situation, I give myself perspective by answering the question, “What is it that I need to know about the situation/day/etc.?” 
  • Writing A Letter – Sometimes the best way to get the words out on paper is having a person to direct them to. A few of my journal entries are letters to myself, to a Higher Power, or to loved ones. These messages are some of the most revealing (and touching) entries that I’ve written, and if I’m at a loss for words when I start to journal, I’ll often just start a letter.

Authentic Intention Setting

It’s common for many people to plan their week on Sunday. I’ve used notebooks and planners to review the previous week’s goals in areas of my life such as work, career, business, finance, family, relationships, etc. On occasion, I’ve added self care to that list with things like mani/pedis, girls night, etc. And, after reviewing the week and rating my success, I went about setting goals for the next week. Sounds about normal for very logical and ambitious folks, right?
About 5 years ago, I realized that I needed to include the category of spirituality. More specifically, what my spiritual or energetic intention was for the week. At the same time, I also knew that I couldn’t establish goals for this in the same manner as the rest. Which led me back to…

Non-Dominate Hand-Writing

I was introduced to non-dominate handwriting over 25 years ago and can honestly say that it has been the most powerful tool I’ve ever used to gain more self-awareness. Non-dominant handwriting means having to think more carefully about each word, even each letter, that you write down. It is an act of mindfulness. Intentionality exercises — anything from breathwork to yoga to meditation — all do a great job of s-l-o-w-i-n-g you down. 

In these types of practices, you’re forced to focus on just being in your body. Because you get out of your head, away from distracting thoughts and a racing mind, your ego also quiets down and falls away into the background. 

Don’t judge your thoughts; just look at them, observe what’s going on, and write.

These journaling activities allow you to be with your authentic self, without your chattering, demanding ego getting in the way.

Katharine Chestnut

Looking for support as you start (or adjust) your journaling practice? My book, Inner Affirmations, can give you the tools for this mindfulness journey.

Mindful Life Founding Member Special | Katharine Chestnut