Happy New Year! The beginning of the year seems to be the point of reflection for most people, myself included. I have been doing a LOT of thinking as it relates to my new brand, Indigo Art House (See below for exciting new info!), my style of painting, all of you and how it all fits together. With so much to think about it is easy to get overwhelmed, so I try to get it out of my head and onto paper as much as possible. Journaling has always been a way for me to do that.
About six years ago, my young mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It was a time in my life where I was struggling with juggling my feelings around this horrible disease while trying to keep a positive focus in my life. A good friend suggested writing down five things that I could be grateful for everyday. I started writing on little slips of paper the things that made me feel grateful… pretzels, good coffee, sunshine… you know, the easy stuff. Seems that it feels a little less painful when the world is beating against you if you can remember that things like clean sheets and dog cuddles exist in the world. And little by little my optimism and luster for life began to peep thru. I didn’t become Tony Robbins overnight or anything, but it was easier to smile and take a breath, and for me that was something.
Now, I have an official gratitude journal, official in the way that it isn’t little scraps of paper all over my house anymore, but a real bound book. To make it that much more sacred, I am also filling it with art—as if a travel version of my art journal met up with my gratitude journal and they’ve started dating. I don’t know if it will become a lifelong pairing, but for now it is a beautiful union. The best part is I don’t have an agenda for what needs to be created beyond gratitude and space for my soul. I do know that right now doodling is feeling pretty good. I am loving practicing line drawing with my micro pens and coloring with markers and watercolors, in other words: playing. I love what my gratitude journal has become—a physical sacred space where I can listen to my soul and say “thank you” in return.
Why not try your hand at your own journal? Gratitude is a great place to start. And the best part of jotting down anything in your heart is that no one but you will ever have to look at it. There is no pressure to be perfect, no right answers, heck, no real grammar if you choose not to… just what has been bubbling beneath your surface and wants to feel sunshine. Start small and see how it goes and above all only do what feels right for you. Over time, you’ll have a library filled with blessings and a window into your soul.
(Click here to read an article in Psych Central about the health benefits of journaling, if you’re interested in more information.)
(Hey! I have some new art hanging up and I’d love for you to go see it! Here is where you can find it:
315 E. Main St.
“I Am Free“
Passport Habits (Now Open!)
1987 Main St.
420 E. Main St.