Welcome to the latest post in the life journal workshop series. I created this journaling workshop to give myself a reason and a purpose for my own personal journaling. I am a life-time writer and doodler and have fallen in love with art journals, mixed media and collage as great journaling resources to add to my practice. The concept of a life journal is a combination of writing and images that add meaning to your journal practice. The life journal is a place for you to play, explore, celebrate and get to know yourself.
Today, I stumbled across a book on my bookshelf that I had not noticed for a while. It’s called Visual Journaling and I had put my name in it, along with the year 2000. It’s been collecting dust bunnies on my book shelf for quite a few years. Who knows what inspired me to pull it out today. This book is about art as healing therapy and it is chock full of ideas for using images and journaling to make peace with some of our demons.
But I wasn’t in the mood for demons today. My life is pretty good right now and I have spent years taming my inner shrew and silencing my inner critic by making peace with her. I have given up trying to be a perfectionist, although my mother’s visit this week seems to have thrown me into a habitual tail spin of self-judgement, emotional eating and deep house cleaning but that’s a story for another blog post.
I was sitting in the car waiting for my son while he was at his bass lesson, flipping through Visual Journaling and admiring the artwork and the emotional work showcased in the book. I read some writing prompts on managing stress and thought, that’s not where I am at.
Writing Prompt – Joy
I want to write about joy, about the raw emotional celebration, the fierce excitement or the quiet appreciation that defines joy in a myriad of images, colors and thoughts.
So my art and my writing today are inspired by JOY. I feel like we all spend way too much time sitting in our own shit. It’s comfortable. We like our stories and wear them with pride. They make a great shelter that we can hide behind. I want to be done with this smelly state of mind!
Instead of hiding this week, come out and play. Remember how to be creative by celebrating joy however it appears in your life. Here’s some simple instruction (but of course you are free to ignore my instructions and dance naked in the moonlight, no one is watching.)
Instructions for your life journal page this week:
- Get your journal and turn it to a blank page.
- Get some pastels, oil pastels or crayons ready to color with. Keep it simple, no fancy tools needed.
- Sit in your chair in your creative space. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths. Make sure the breath starts deep in your belly and feel the breath flow up into your lungs and allow it to whoosh loudly out your mouth.
- Allow the word joy to bounce around your mind. What colors do you see? What images? Do you see people? Hear sounds? Smells?
- When you feel like you have an image or a color in mind, open your eyes, grab a crayon and start coloring. Remember that the goal is to capture the feeling of joy, not to make beautiful art.
- Your image may be abstract or representational, it doesn’t matter. Don’t add words yet, allow yourself to fill the entire page with the colors of joy.
- Once you feel like the image is done, write about how this image represents joy to you for at least 5 minutes.
I guarantee that you will walk away feeling more joyful! Celebrate you today and make some time for creative play.