A Journaling Practice to Help You Let Go of Limiting Habits
Instead of judging yourself for what you want or what you’re feeling, explore these writing prompts to help you turn toward your experience with greater understanding and self-compassion.
Encountering the people, places, and things that activate us out in the real world can feel like too much all at once. For example, when our nervous system rehashes an old pattern of feeling unsettled or unsafe, because that’s how we felt the last time X happened, it’s difficult to take a step back from that and stay present right now. That’s one reason journaling is such a powerful tool. A mindful journaling practice provides a quiet space for us to intentionally explore what is arising, how it’s rooted in our survival strategies, and what we can give ourselves instead to meet our needs in a wise and loving way.
Journaling Prompts: Let Go of Your Limiting Habits
In your journal, with gentleness and over time, explore these writing prompts:
- Where in your life does “power over” versus “power with” manifest? What is the cost?
- What survival strategies were you indoctrinated into within your family of origin?
- What survival strategies can you name that operate on the level of the collective? Examples of places to look: “We must win at all costs.” “We should follow the rules and play the game.” “They need to be kept in their place lest we lose ours.” “Don’t acknowledge what’s really going on, just maintain the status quo.”
- What else can you name?
- How do you intersect with these strategies? How do they live within you?
- What collective judgments keep these survival strategies in place?
- How would you describe the unmet need underneath these collective survival strategies?
- And what do you envision would meet this need?
- What, for you, brings about the experience of inherent belonging?
- What might invite a direct experience of belonging for any collective you identify with? How might you bring this to form? How might it get expressed personally and/or collectively?
Take your time with these prompts. These questions may take weeks, months, years to truly unpack. Share your observations with a friend or with a trusted group, if you would like to.
Excerpted from the book The Heart of Who We Are: Realizing Freedom Together by Caverly Morgan. Copyright © 2022 Caverly Morgan. Reprinted with permission from the author and the publisher, Sounds True.
Caverly Morgan explains how we can use the practice of inquiry to loosen our grip on “us versus them” thinking and shift into a deeper perspective on our shared being.
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