Sunday, 20 March 2011

Shamrocks & the magic of journaling...

The theme for this week's Inspiration Avenue challenge was St Patrick's Day. Yesterday evening I sat & doodled this shamrock mandala. Hopefully it conjures up the spirit of the day. The nondescript colour that the scanner couldn't recognise is gold - so in reality it looks gilded & shiny. But as I know my visitors have great imaginations I'm sure you can imagine that part :-)

Both yesterday and today I've been reminded of the magical quality of journaling. At the moment there's a few things to battle health & medication wise, details of which I have no intention of boring you with. What's important is how a couple of hours alone with my journal the past couple of mornings helped me untangle my indecision, put my worries in perspective, realise the true root of my fears and feel energised, empowered and positive. Does this sound far fetched? I guess it does, even to me, but truly sometimes just emptying my thoughts/worries/stress onto paper can have a magical transformation even I don't fully understand. It seems to me that I think better through writing and that as I lose myself through free writing my unconscious is free of the shackles of the chattering mind. Coupled with doodling or some form of art work I feel even better. Creative activity, writing, painting, doodling etc... acts as form of meditation practice in that it releases me from the eternal chatter of my mind & helps me connect to a calmer intuitive part of me.

  • Do you ever use your creative work for meditation and self-development? Please share your experiences if you feel able. 

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  1. It is interesting that I saw this today, since I have done the exact same thing recently. I find that when I write something down, it often releases it from my mind so that I don't go round and round with indecision. It is as if I am writing to a friend, and can take a different perspective. It often comes out as a poem, but once and a while a essay, or free association.

    I hope your decision has the benefits you need.

  2. Absolutely art is a form of meditation. There is a book I love called "Drawing to God". In it are exercises using mandala's and various other art forms to help raise inner awareness. You'd probably like it Kat!

  3. Very pretty!

    I do find my art journal valuable for both since I have started using one. I just don't use it enough or I think it would be more valuable.

  4. Lovely shamrock mandala, Kat.

    Writing my diary often helps me to sort things out in my mind. In fact, sometimes I only realise what my true thoughts are on a particular matter when I read what I have written.

    Sorry to learn that you are having more health/medication battles, but I'm pleased that you sound positive in this blog post.

    Best wishes

  5. Thats great that you have a channel to clear all the clutter out! It's certainly recommended in the Artists Way...clearing out the random chatter and making way for the inspiration...
    I sometimes find myself writing things to help get some clarity but the best thing for me is to try and change the focus and actually stop thinking!! Oh if only it were that easy :)x

  6. Mlissabeth - sometimes I think we're meant to find things at the right time & I do love a bit of synchronicity :-) Its good to learn of your similar experience - thanks for taking the time to share. X

    gemma - Ooh I haven't come across 'Drawing to God' - sounds intriguing - thanks for recommending it. X

    EVA - thank you :-) Yes, there have been times in the past where I got out of the regular habit & I think for me it helps to make it a regular practice because somehow it helps the process & results. It seems to help the process flow. I find with other sorts of traditional meditation the same is true - when I'm not practising regularly I find it tough to relax into. But that may just be me, having an easily distracted mind. Lol. X

    Christine - thank you :-) It seems you have a similar experience of things being revealed through the writing. Thanks for sharing, its good to learn about other's experiences. X

    Jenny - I know, it can be so tough to 'stop' thinking can't it? Lol. That's why I try & do things like meditation/Tai Chi Qi Gong. But when I get things on paper it also seems to stop the thinking or kind of get it out of the way a little :-) Thanks for commenting & letting me know your take on things. I find it really interesting to learn what works or doesn't for other people. X

    Kat Xx

  7. I love your Celtic mandala! The little shamrocks are adorable!

    I also find painting very calming and meditative - especially small, detailed work - I can lose myself for hours :)

  8. Kat, I started journaling after reading Julia Cameron's 'The Artist's Way'. As you might already know, she advocates writing 'morning pages', three pages of just letting whatever is in your head splurge onto the page. Now, as a non-morning person, I tend to do it whenever I can through the day, and my goodness!! I can write myself out of some pretty negative states of mind, dissect problems, and get right to the heart of what's bothering me. Sometimes it might takes days, sometimes just one sitting. I only wish I could say it made me feel happier overall, but it doesn't seem to take long for the effects to wear off!

  9. artangel - thank you :-) Yes sometimes small or/and repetitive creative work can help me too - the focus needed tends to leave less room for the mind chatter . Gives me a headache mind. Lol. But worth it :-)

    Sam - it does seem to need to be repeated regularly but then many things do to have continued affect. I find it works until the next worry knot appears & needs untangling. Lol. I find it helps to combine the journaling with other practices like art/doodling/meditation etc...Seems to help me to vary the way I express myself. And often I just want to escape into a fiction book. Take a break from my own life :-) Actually, after a particularly draining morning & before the kids finish school (& despite the million things on my to-do list) this is what I'm going to do next. X

    Kat X

  10. This would make a lovely canvas, don't cha think? Busy hands=calm mind for me :)

  11. I love your shamrock mandala! I agree journaling is great for the soul! I share my journey on my blog, which includes my journal posts I started doing journals after the loss of my mom. I also deal with too much on the mind and thing it helps with that too~ Happy creative journaling. ~Theresa

  12. I agree that journaling is really helpful. I try to write as much as possible in mine and whenever I'm really worked up or upset about something journaling lets me get it out and I immediately feel better.

  13. Lisa - I could possibly do with paint on canvas. But I'd have to create neater circles next time, not like these shaky free hand. Lol. You produce gorgeous art so it means calm mind for you and happiness for your customers & bloggy friends. Win win all round :-)

    Theresa - thank you :-) Journaling either writing, art or both can be so good for the soul I agree. Thanks for sharing your experience. X

    Anne - good to hear about your positive journaling experience, thanks for sharing. I'm a bit weird because I keep two personal journals 1. a personal written journal that I start every Birthday 2. an art journal where I get to experiment & express myself freely in various mediums. My written one really helps me empty/sort my head whilst my art journal seems to calm & cheer.

    Kat X

  14. I realize I'm a full week late getting here, but I am so happy to read that some of your problems seem to be gone. Although I don't journal on paper, I have a real respect for anyone who journals and uses that time to work out problems.

    I love the shamrock that you made, too. It is also pretty powerful.


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