One of my daily practices that I try to stay on top of is writing in my gratitude journal; breaking it down in different segments. My current journal looks a little like this:
Three things I'm grateful for... (break it down if you need to and write at least one)
Today I am...(feeling, emotion, state of heart)
Memory of the day...(about childhood, a trip, first thing that comes to mind)
Three goals...(big picture of the day)
To do...(break down task list with timeline)
Exercise...(movement of some sort - move the body)
Meals...(breakfast, lunch, dinner - fuel the body)
Now does this happen everyday. I wish! I do my best and give myself grace because it is a process. When I do stay on top of it, I love to look back and see the journey. Mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It's hard work sometimes but I believe it opens up to self reflection and lets the light in the cracks of life to help us see things more clearly. When light enters in, growth and healing can begin. One step at a time.
Feel free to take these points and adapt them to what's doable at this moment in time. If it's just one point. Focus and grow in that space. Think of it like a seed planted. One little seed can make great things happen. Nurturing and tending to it carefully. It needs the light. It can't grow in darkness.
I think we've lived in a dark time over the last three years. Yes, there has been good times and also hard times. We've lost loved ones, relationships, grounding, and our world has been altered terribly. Through it all the one thing that has brought us to our knees is when we could finally step outside and let the sun shine on our faces. Navigating through the cold and rainy months. New life emerges when the sun comes out. Spring.
That is where we are right now in 2023. Spring. Gosh I love hearing the frogs, seeing the crocuses be the first to the colorful party. Then each day we see new buds, greens, and flowers grow from the dormant season.
Emerging into a new year. Emerging into new goals. Emerging into new creativity. Emerging into new hope. Emerging into new activities. Emerging into our bodies. Emerging into our dreams. Emerging into new beauty. Emerging into our stories.
Storytelling comes in many forms. Music, writing, lyrics, poetry, dance, art, photos, nature, and many more.
Currently, I'm exploring a different way of storytelling through painting. It's a vulnerable and emotional experience yet so freeing. I kind of like to say it's therapy. I'm able to express myself and not care what others think. It's me on canvas. It's my heart, soul, and playful humanness shining through and hopefully move and speak to the receiver in a profound way.
In one of my previous blogs I shared about the writing process. How writing on paper is challenging for me. My mind moves so fast with thoughts that my hand can't keep up and what is left on the paper is literally chicken scratch. It's easier for me to type out everything on my laptop because my fingers and mind flow swiftly and freely together. So, this year I've challenged myself to physically write. Pen to paper about my painting experience and not worry about it. Our daughter Katie makes handbound books and before she left to work overseas she gave me a beautiful homemade book for me to write in. It has a picture of a mountain scenery and the huge moon above. The moon. It's what connects all of us even though we are miles and mountains away from each other. The moon draws us in, calms and grounds us, and is always there to celebrate month after month. It's bound carefully with a hook and string through each page. Holding it snuggly to keep the words written secure and safe. So much love into it.
In this journal, I don't care if things are misspelled, written like chicken scratch, crossed out, messy, or out of order. It's ideas, reflection, and about the process. I hope this year and many years to come this becomes a wonderful ritual. I'll transfer the notes to this blog. From white canvas, to words on canvas, all the while wrapping the canvas in music, love, and my heart.
I thank my friend Shawna for sharing her gift of Intuitive Art with me and introducing me to Intuitive Artists Flora Bowley and Betty Franks Art. They are inspirational and encouraging. It's amazing what kind of expression can appear through the layers. Each artist has their own flow, story, and beauty to share.
Intuitive painting for me is a form of relaxation and meditation with personal expression by creating something from the heart. It's helped me work through the struggles of writers block and my own fears. Feeling free during the process and not rushing it. Layer after layer of texture and color reminds me of our own stories. Each painting is unique in its own way, just like we are.
When I look at the white crisp canvas, music is in the air (from my speaker) and moves me. All different forms of music. Feel free to revisit my blog post "Music Moves the Soul" which was written in 2021. I didn't know then that music married with color would be my next journey in creativity. I'm ready and excited to explore this experience.
Writing about each piece, what inspired it, along with the struggle and joy to completion.
Thanks for coming along with me!
With deep gratitude,