30 Prompts for Your Gratitude Journal

30 Prompts for Your Gratitude Journal

Even when buying the Five-Minute Journal, I wasn’t completely convinced that I’d manage to stick with it for more than few days. Whilst I could totally see the benefits, commitment has never been my strongest point, and I could see myself making the effort for a short period of time before giving up and letting the book go unused. However, to my pleasant surprise, I’ve been using it for around a month now and it’s had such a positive effect on my mood and outlook on life. I’m becoming used to collecting happy moments, recognising even the tiniest of plusses and now have a record of what’s kept me ticking each day. It’s a wonderful tool, and I cannot recommend it more if you want to start a gratitude journal yourself.

If you aren’t familiar with the concept of this particular journal (or others like it), the premise is that, at the beginning and end of each day, you’re prompted to write about the things you’re grateful for, what you hope to achieve from the day and any amazing moments experienced. To begin with, I found the provided headings enough to get me scribbling but admittedly there are certain days that the prompts given to me by the Five-Minute Journal don’t really spark much inspiration. It’s on these days that I cross out the given prompt, and add my own. Here’s a selection of prompts that I like to use, and that you could add to your own journalling routine.

30 Prompts for Your Gratitude Journal

1. What are your most positive qualities?
2. A small act of kindness to complete today.
3. A favourite quote to inspire/lift/motivate you.
4. A moment that made you smile/laugh today.
5. How could you make a positive difference in the world today?
6. Who are you grateful for in life, and why?
7. Who do you look up to, and why?
8. Something pretty/cool/beautiful you noticed today.
9. A new book/magazine/blog you discovered today.
10. What are you thanking the universe for today?
11. Something new to try today.
12. One thing you can do to be more healthy today.
13. One thing you can do to be more inspired today.
14. Draw a picture of a happy moment from your day.
15. Who are you proud of today, and why (this could be yourself!)?
16. Something you read today that made you think.
17. How will you stay mindful/present today?
18. A song that you loved/danced to/kept you going.
19. A great idea you had today.
20. A fear that you conquered today.
21. Something you did to prevent something negative happening today.
22. How do you feel right now?
23. Something that makes you different, and why you love it.
24. A compliment you received today.
25. How you worked on (insert goal here) today.
26. An amazing quality you noticed in someone today.
27. What made you feel nourished today (mentally, physically, spiritually)?
28. Something you did today that made your life simpler.
29. Forgive yourself for something that made you feel guilty.
30. How will you challenge negative thoughts that may arise today?

What are your favourite gratitude journalling prompts? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday Inspiration Vol. 1

Flourish & Be Sunday Inspiration #1

If my blog were a day of the week (like one of those really weird Buzzfeed quizzes that links two completely random things – “Have Breakfast For Dinner And We’ll Reveal Which Emoji You Are”), I’d hope that it would be a Sunday. Why? Because Sunday, for me at least, is absolutely the best day of the week. It’s slower and more laid back. It’s a day for recollecting your thoughts, readying yourself for the week ahead and taking some much needed me-time. It’s a day for getting up late, reading in bed and eating brunch. It’s a day for flourishing… and being… get it? Flourish & Be? I crack me up.

Bad blog name references aside, with Sunday being a day for stepping back and taking things slow, I thought it’d be a nice time to share the things I’ve been loving (both online and offline) in the preceding week(s). Here I’ll collate the things I’ve enjoyed, discovered and taken inspiration from in a single, concentrated space. So, here you go. Here’s my first list of Sunday inspiration:

Soundtrack: Haim – Want You Back

Online

1. Take some time away from your phone/laptop/iPad/desktop with these five ways to unwind without the internet. I’ve really appreciated getting more involved again in the blogging community recently on Instagram/Twitter, however I know that it’s also necessary to regularly step away from the tech and detach from the world of social media. (Oh My Clumsy Heart Journal)

2. I’m normally pretty upbeat when it comes to work but one day last week I completely lost the will. It was on the way to work that morning that I came across these tips for appearing confident at work when you don’t really know what you’re doing. Though I honestly do know what I’m doing, I sometimes lack the confidence I need to do it, and this pepped me up at the beginning of a difficult day. (Sophie Rosie)

Flourish & Be Sunday Inspiration #1

3. I’ve enjoyed the Designlovefest blog for a long time, especially the ton of free downloadable tech wallpapers regularly shared there. These (and an upcoming Instagram post of mine) inspired me to create something similar myself… watch this space! (Designlovefest)

4. What with getting more involved with Twitter again, I’m becoming reacquainted with the people I’m following. One account I’m really enjoying getting to know again is @LondonMindful aka The Mindfulness Project. They’re always posting helpful tips, quotes and reminders to be present, which is much appreciated on my feed! They also hold courses at their London HQ, I actually went to a fantastic mindfulness and meditation session there a couple of years ago, so there’s plenty of opportunity to get involved. (The Mindfulness Project)

Offline

5. I’ve recently gotten into the habit of buying and discovering new magazines, a more recent purchase being Breathe magazine. And let’s just say it’s basically ruined all other magazines for me. It’s a lifestyle magazine dedicated to wellbeing, mindfulness, creativity and the general escaping of busy life… everything I love in one place! If I could put together my perfect publication, Breathe would be it.

6. There are so many habits I’d like to keep up with but a lot of the time I struggle with commitment. Even when buying The Five-Minute Journal I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to stick with it. However, I’ve now been writing in it morning and night for a couple of weeks and I’ve honestly begun noticing a real difference in my mood and outlook on life. Bringing focus to what I’m grateful for and the small-but-amazing things that happen each day has nurtured a much more positive attitude within me and I’m now absolutely committed to keeping the journal as part of my daily routine.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, and the week ahead!

5 Crystals for Increased Positivity and Wellbeing

5 Crystals to Introduce to Your Life

Whether you believe in the healing powers of crystals or not, they’re a beautiful addition to your home and general life. Personally, I have to admit that I struggle to get my head around the theory behind it all however I find them fascinating and am totally behind anything that promotes positivity. Whether they’re physically doing anything or not, choosing a stone that represents something you want or need will turn you on to saying yes to the right decisions and opportunities that will draw that particular thing closer. It’s a real, tangible reminder of your goals, hopes and dreams. And, honestly, whatever you find comfort in, whatever keeps you happy and looking forward, is a plus; crystals aren’t harming anyone, so why not embrace the magic? Here are my five favourite crystals, a few of their purported properties and what they are said represent.

1. Clear quartz The master healer. Quartz is one of the most abundant crystals on Earth. It’s ideal for bringing balance to the body and clarity/focus to the mind. It is said that it can help clear emotional detritus from the past and enhance positive emotions.

2. Lapis lazuli This deep blue stone is used to enhance intellectual ability/memory and to stimulate a desire for knowledge and understanding. It is also said to encourage honesty and deeper communication, bringing harmony to relationships.

3. Turquoise For good health and protection, strengthening the immune system and aiding with both physical and mental exhaustion. Turquoise may be used to encourage inner calm by stabilising mood swings and bringing peace to the mind. I love this one for its bright, vibrant colour.

4. Opal A beautiful, cloudy stone with a flash of rainbow within. Use this to provide inspiration and enhance imagination and creativity. As a water stone, like a river flowing over the rocks at its bed, the energy of an opal helps one smoothly move past times of change.

5. Blue lace agate This calming, sky-blue stone is one for bringing tranquility and lessening feelings of anger or nervousness. It enhances intuition and brings tact to both written and spoken communication. Sometimes I like to hold this stone whilst I meditate to help me focus on soothing my mind and being more present.

How I Survive Being an Introvert

The vast majority of the time, I enjoy being around people. I’m comfortable in most social situations, enjoy engaging in conversation and have no problem being the centre of attention. I love making other people laugh, quite often speak up in large group meetings and don’t generally shy away from gatherings where there’ll be a lot of people. I can be loud, I can be over the top and I’m not embarrassed to do silly things to raise a smile. If these facts were all you knew about me, I’d hazard a guess that you’d probably classify me as an extrovert. However, after getting to know myself over the past 23 years, I’d most definitely describe myself as the opposite.

At one time I was under the impression that extroversion meant that you loved being around people, and that introversion was the same thing as being shy. So whenever the discussion came up as to ‘what people were’, I’d confidently announce to the group that I was an extrovert. How could I, someone who enjoyed chatting and being social, who loved leading conversation and making others giggle, be an introvert? It didn’t seem possible. Yeah sure, there were a couple of times a month at which I felt an almost crippling desire to be by myself, to curl up in a ball and recharge my batteries without the eyes of other people on me… but, like, that wasn’t really relevant. If I loved people, I was an extrovert. Full stop.

Now though, now I understand what extroversion and introversion actually are, I’ve revised my answer to that ‘what are you?’ question. I’ve come to realise that it’s exactly those moments, the moments of desperately needing to be away from the hum of humanity, that make me an introvert. I love being around people, but they’re not where I pick up my energy. I might like to spend my energy on other people, however a group setting is not where I gather it. My energy is gathered when I’m by myself, doing my own thing, in my own time, at my own pace. Though I love a group, that group will eventually sap my energy away and there’ll come a day where I can think of nothing worse than being around other people.

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Goji Berry, Almond and Wheatgrass Dark Chocolate Bark

Goji Berry, Almond and Wheatgrass Dark Chocolate Bark

I think perhaps the thing I find hardest about striving for healthier eating habits is the controlling of my sweet tooth. I’m not really one for dessert (I’d seriously rather have another starter at the end of a meal than a pudding) but there are certain times of day (mid-morning, a couple of hours after lunch, when watching a film or reading after dinner, the list goes on…) when I find myself sniffing around for something sugary. I can start the day with all the best intentions, but I often find myself slipping up at these dangerous moments. Pair this with the fact that I’m not really one for moderation (if I have one, I want them all), and I end up really struggling to balance my wish for a cleaner diet and my contradictory ‘need’ for sweetness.

This rather annoying tendency to slip up led me to think about what I could do to control my lapses in a way that left me satisfied but also wasn’t going to completely derail a healthy eating plan. My mind immediately rested on dark chocolate. We’ve all heard that, in moderation, dark chocolate has a whole host of health benefits and I figured this would be a good ingredient to spring from… a quick brainstorm later and this superfood dark chocolate bark came to life. The almonds provide crunch, the goji berries a bit of chew and the wheatgrass powder an interesting depth of flavour, let alone numerous health benefits (if you haven’t tried it, it tastes a bit like a green tea). What I love about this, and what makes it so perfect for the moderation of sugar-cravings, is that the dark chocolate (the darker the better!) is so rich that this isn’t the kind of treat you want to sit and scoff; it’s something to be savoured a few bites at a time.

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Fresh Summer Pizza with Pea Pesto, Avocado and Mozzarella

Fresh Summer Pizza with Pea Pesto, Avocado and Mozzarella

If you’re thinking that it’s been a little while since I last wrote, you’d be perfectly right. Spot on, in fact. Over a year ago (1 year, 3 months and 22 days to be painfully exact) I shared my last post and, from around that point, life ran away with me. I got a new job, and a subsequent promotion. I moved from my family home to live in a flat with my partner. Things became all ‘adulty’ and the time I had previously been able to devote to making, creating and sharing was lost within all that. I was distracted by the newness. New people, new places, new experiences… I was out happily exploring the fresh path life was taking me on.

Now that it’s all calmed down though, I’ve come to miss my creative outlet. I had been considering getting things going again here for a while, but it wasn’t until last week that I decided to just get on with it. No worrying about plans, no schedule, no endless brainstorming sessions. Just me, doing what I love, like it was back when I first started blogging (nearly 5 years ago now!). I’m in my element again and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

And what have I chosen to return with? A pizza, of course. Pizzas are a firm favourite dinner at our place. For one, we have a bread-maker, which makes the whole process an absolute breeze, and two, they’re the perfect dish for using up whatever bits and pieces we have lying around in the fridge. Whip up a tomato base (or not!), shove on a few veggies (or anything else!) and you’re away. This particular pizza is super fresh and summery, perfect for the warmer evenings we’ve been enjoying recently. I replaced our usual tomato base with a homemade pea pesto and piled on a beautiful lineup of toppings – avocado, mozzarella, pea shoots, vine-ripened tomatoes, pine nuts… I wanted to perfect the look and flavour of this pizza, so eventually ended up with four of them piled up in my fridge – and no one was complaining! I hope you enjoy this recipe, I’d so appreciate your thoughts! And tell me, what are your favourite pizza toppings?

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