Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Healing through Art Journaling

I wanted to share this exercise I worked on this past weekend.  I found it to be so cleansing for me, and helped get rid of some of the negative self talk I have rattling around in my head.  I thought others might enjoy this exercise as well so I am posting it here.

It stemmed from a workshop I am taking, the project we were working on just wasn't speaking to me at all. I sat with this particular project for about three weeks, just thinking about it, not wanting to dive in, not feeling called.  So I adapted it for me, and it was one of those art journal projects that I will probably do over and over in the years to come as life changes.

I started out with a blank page.  On that page I drew a figure of a woman.  You can draw her however you like, this is not a contest so draw her how you like but just make a basic shape as we are going to be writing inside and around her.

Once that shape is drawn, this is where the journaling part comes in, take some time to focus on the outside space, that space around your figure.  And in this space write all the negative self talk going on around in your head, the negative things you think about yourself, the things you mother used to tell you that were negative, the things others say about you, or that you believe they think about you.  Take some time to really get it all out there.  You can write down words or sentences or phrases, however that voice speaks to you.

Now on the inside of the figure let's write down the positive things about yourself, those things you already know to be true, those things other people are telling you, the things you want to be true, just lots and lots of positive *stuff*.  The *stuff* that belongs on the inside, the *stuff* that will replace all the negative.

Once this is done, lets paint, or get out the sharpies and draw.  Something that will cover up the words, or leave some showing through if you would like.  I think that would be cool, to let some of those positive words show through so when you look back at the art journal piece you can see the positive.  I started with the outside when painting, but there is no right or wrong way to approach this.  I just painted quickly, and when I finished the outside I could still see a few words showing through so I put some circles over those words.  It was healing to be painting over those words, if felt like I was releasing those thoughts, just letting them go, and creating something beautiful in that space.

Then I moved to the inside, and just really wanted her to be beautiful, as I am.  I wanted that space to flow, and be peaceful and embracing of all the positive word with which I used to fill her.  So many positive words, so many positive beliefs.

When I stepped back to look at what I had painted I really liked how the brown paint, which I chose because, to me, it evokes similar feelings as the negative words, seemed like a barrier, or a bubble around me, like that brown was keeping all that negativity out, away from me, right where it needs to be.  Enjoy, I hope you find this a healing project.

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