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Visual Journaling

I recently ran a class based off of the book the Creative Entrepreneur by Lisa Sonora Beam.  The class was a great success.  I truly enjoyed the process and I REALLY got a kick out of the process of creating art in a journal.  I don’t fancy myself that creative in the aspects of creating art with my hands…with my camera, yes…with my coaching processes, yes…but with my hands, notsomuch.

This process is an easy way to play in the “right side” of your brain.  You can feel creative without having to be that creative…I just cut pictures and words and paste them in ways that feel good.  How fun is that? 

I feel like I’m communing with my child-self.  I feel relaxed and peaceful.  I feel creative.  I feel like I’m solving a puzzle.  I feel inspired.  I feel like I’m giving myself a gift even though there really is no ‘tangible’ outcome from this exercise (except a fun or pretty picture and a happy soul).

My process is:

  1. Set aside about 20-30 minutes (or more if you’re really getting into it)
  2. Have magazines, scissors, construction paper, other ‘crafty things’ and glue available
  3. Have an empty journal, canvas, or poster board
  4. Spread everything out (I usually work on the floor).
  5. Flip through magazines and cut out what speaks to you.
  6. Begin to create a story with the words and pictures you are cutting.
  7. Place the images in a pattern that looks appealing.
  8. Glue pieces (I use glue sticks)
  9. Save the good bits you didn’t use for another session
  10. Enjoy your masterpiece.
  11. Notice the feelings you have
  12. Revisit your journal/piece when you need a lift
  13. Repeat, repeat, repeat…whenever the mood hits

Here are other fun ways I ‘go about it’

  • Sometimes I will create a page based on a specific theme (say Dreams, Happiness, Change). 
  • Sometimes I will set the timer and work with what I can come up with in that time frame. 
  • Sometimes I’ll limit myself to make something from only one magazine.
  • Sometimes I’ll use my intuition and see what comes up.

I ALWAYS have fun. 

Since the new year has begun, I’ve created 5 new pages in my journal.  It is starting to become a regular practice to get me into my right brain.  I plan to share my pages over the next few days!

Why don’t you give it a try and get back to me?  If you’re thinking that it is a ‘waste of time’, or not good use of time.  I would argue that it may actually be the best use of your time…playing in the right brain has inexplicable benefits.  Especially if you’re trying to tackle a difficult problem.  For example, according to Martha Beck (O Magazine, October 14, 2009):

“Once you begin encouraging the right brain to churn solutions, it will do so more and more abundantly”

Feeling REAL

I am hitting my stride with my work.
I enjoy what I do.
I’ve decided that how I do my work is great for me.
I invest in myself.
I take myself seriously.
I am  courageous.
I collaborate with people.
I put myself out there.
I allow myself to be seen.
I learn from my missteps.
I am willing to feel vulnerable.
I love what I do.
I write.
I photograph.
I coach.
I support.
I read.
I learn.
I teach.
I connect.
I give.
I receive.
I love.
I accept love.
I care.
OOOOOO….that felt so good…like a bakrub for my soul.  Now you go. 
Set the timer for 2 minutes and write what is real for you.  Even if you working toward something…write it in the present tense, it kind of tickles a little but still feels good.  Then, if you’re feeling bold, share it with others a) they may add some more to YOUR list and b) they may make their own. 
At the end of the day, its what YOU think about YOU that matters, so strive for the really good stuff!


About every blog I am connected to is posting something about plans for the New Year.  I have to admit it feels a little tedious, but for some reason, I cannot seem to avoid it myself. 

I am in my third year of picking a word for the year thanks to Christine Kane.  My first year was ‘Happiness’ (in which I started my other blog), last year was ‘Feel’ and this year seems to be coming up with the word Courage.  As I’ve honed in on this word, I am getting all kinds of signs from the Universe that I am onto something.  I’ve decided to bring the totem animal Wolf along for the ride to remind me of this courage.  I have sometimes been known to change my mind so, “until otherwise noted” (my new favorite phrase), I will use the word Courage to anchor my thoughts, decisions and actions.  Sometimes Courage will move into ‘Ferocious’ when I need to feel feisty, and sometimes it will be more of the lighter ‘Brave’ variety…all told, Courage will serve me quite well…at least “until otherwise noted”!

Reverb10: Core Story

Reverb10 Prompt: What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world?

My dear friend told me the other day that when she thinks about the concept of “possibilities” she sees my face.  My natural inclination is to steer toward happiness.  It is like I have a default setting of happiness.  So, with this outlook, I’m often thinking of how to change a negative to a positive or how to improve on a positive.  I think that is why I was so quickly drawn to the Mindy Audlin’s concept of What if UP!   So, I believe my core story is Possibilities.  Now, please excuse me while I celebrate the possibilities 0f 2011 with my dear friends!  Pop goes the cork!

Reverb10: Gift

Reverb10 Prompt: What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?

My answer may sound so cliché but it really feels like the truth…the gift of time from friends and my tribe has the most meaning for me this year.  My Myers-Briggs classification is ESTP…and the E is pretty much on steroids.  I thrive on connecting with others in meaningful ways.  I also notice that I don’t thrive when I’m feeling isolated and disconnected.  So, through this year, I’ve had the gift of many many many sessions with “my people”.  With a few people, I’ve even gotten to the point of having weekly contact with them.  Those weekly check-ins have become somewhat of a lifeline for me and they’re pretty much non-negotiable.  Sometimes my lizard likes to speak up and ask if perhaps I’m being needy and that THEY actually do not want to spend that much time with ME…but then I say to my lizard (Alice), “I am going to assume that if they did NOT want to connect with me, they’d say so…so until otherwise noted (my new favorite phrase) I will continue with my habit of regular communication”.  I like to think that this particular gift will be “the gift that keeps on giving”.

Reverb10: Ordinary Joy

Reverb10 Prompt:  What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

I definitely have a gift for enjoying the moments as I experience them…it is automatic…so I’d have to say, this moment two days after Christmas as my extended family meanders through the day playing pick-up card games, then outside for a throw of a football, and then a story from the past.  The comfortable”ness” of my family puffs my heart to almost popping.  These ordinary”ness” of our gatherings is my definition of comfort and joy.

Deliberately scattered

Today, I am choosing to be aimless, unfocused and deliberately scattered.  I like how I’ve taken the judgment out of the equation.  I also like that I trust myself that I will know what I need to do when I need to do it. 
This just might be a good M.O. to have on a more regular basis.  I suspect that my inner critic will be having a tantrum and that my self-trust muscle will have to be flexed…both will help to keep me in check.  So my next deliberately scattered “act” will be to tuck into my bed (at 2:30pm) with my current book Manifesting Change by Mike Dooley. 
Inner Critic voice says, “Is that a good use of your time?”  Self Trust voice says, “Yes!  If it feels like freedom, it can only be good!”

A wrong and then a right

The other day, I made a wrong turn (those who know me will now be saying…what’s new?).  This wrong turn turned out to be a RIGHT turn (both literally and figuratively).  I live near a large lake and in the 4 years of living here, I’d never made my way all of the way around.  It isn’t THAT big that you cannot drive the distance in a matter of 30 minutes. 

My little suburban life had me going to and fro to school, sports, play dates and an occasional trip into the city…but there was nothing drawing me around the lake.  Another thing about this lake and me….is that what I thought was the size of the lake was NOT even close.  We’d swum in the lake every summer and when I looked right, I assumed that just “over yonder around the bend” was the edge of the lake…not even close.  My ‘little world’ had metaphorically been broken open by this little foray around the lake.  It gave me an almost ‘cosmic sense’ that not only was there this “bigger than I’d thought lake”, but perhaps just out of my literal view of my life, there is something just around the bend opening up to me.  My awareness has not yet brought it to light but it is just over there waiting for me to make a ‘supposedly’ wrong turn but to actually find it to be a blessing. 

I am giddy to find out what ‘bigger than I thought’ life is waiting for me.  How fun to think of it that way.  Where are you not seeing the whole picture?  Do you think something is just out of view waiting to be seen?  Do you sense it is bigger than you can imagine?  I am so excited to share with you what my virtual “trip around the lake” will be in my life.  By the way, this journey around the lake provided stunning views, larger than necessary houses, an Eagle sighting, and a side trip to Target…I wonder what those gems will look like in my future life!

Go with the flow

My husband is safely home….which means:
My time a single mom is over.
My back-to-back meeting day is over.
My back-to-back doctor appointment day is over.
My driving all over tar-nation day is over.
My over committing and finishing up things day is over.
My barely keeping the house together time is over.
I could go on…
I thought it was going to be easy peasy…
I was wrong…
I will definitely have a different intention for next week…
I think slow-flow-with a cup-a-Joe sounds good…but wait….
My son’s birthday and sleepover
My PTA meeting
My three clients
My group sessions
My, my, my, my….aw heck…
Might as well go with the flow…whatever it may be… 
I wouldn’t have it any other way…thankyouverymuch.