What do I mean when I talk about Creative Journaling ? What IS it & Why Do it?
First of all….A bit of Context
When people ask me what I ‘DO‘, I know that I usually take a mental moment and a deep breath as I gauge how they might respond to me including Creative Journaling into the conversation, knowing that having already identified myself as both a Yoga & sometime Dance facilitator (I prefer to think of myself as a ‘facilitator’ rather than a ‘teacher’) I’m already putting myself out there as a slightly ‘alternative’ thinker. Why facilitator, why not teacher ? If someone can’t get past that question, how are they going to receive the concept of Creative Journaling Facilitator? So when I do add Creative Journaling Facilitator into the mix , I usually see a glazed rather confused look pass over their faces as they try to decide whether to ask a follow up question in order to seek clarification and for a moment I reflect how much simpler life would be if I could answer Dr, Lawyer, IT Consultant or even Writer or Artist.
As a society, we love to be able to quickly & neatly identify people, to find a nice simple point of reference by which we can navigate ourselves in relation to them. It’s a sort of unspoken formula, a guide by which we negotiate our relationship with someone. A method by which we can understand what our shared values might be? what might we have in common, shared experiences? When we ask people what they DO, we are really asking them who they are in relation to who we think WE are. We are also asking them, what do you ‘produce’, what’s your ‘output’, what is the ‘outcome’ of what you do, how do I measure your ‘success’. How much money do you make? Non of these measures are a comfortable or useful fit with what I DO.
Journal, Diary, Sketchbook, Notebook, lets not get too hung up on the semantics. The whole idea, of Creative Journaling, is that we free ourselves up to allow our Creative thoughts, ideas, dreams & desires rise to the surface and to find expression. So, call it what you will, a Notebook, Sketchbook, a Diary or a Journal, what ever you like but we’re all starting from the same point, the blank page! That scary, intimidating, vast empty space full of potential…… just like you.
I spent many, many years struggling in an attempt to use a journal to record my thoughts and ideas. I would always be buying myself new notebooks, I could never resist the urge to buy that next notebook, which, on a level I was yet unaware of, I thought would solve all my problems and would enable me to write, unhindered, all my most profound thoughts, which I felt compelled to do. What actually happened was that I would start writing full of enthusiasm & passion… wonderful! Then inevitably the inner critic would raise her head and tell me it was all rubbish & nonsense. The, mostly empty, notebook would then find itself on a shelf where it would stay, covered in shame, to be forgotten about over time. But of course there were always new notebooks to be found In the shops, with all of those wonderful, scary but potential laden blank pages waiting to be explored and the whole cycle would start again. So, this has been one part of my own ‘Creative Struggle’.
What is it……?
Without wanting to state the obvious, Creative Journaling, is about taking a more Creative approach to how we might use the Journaling, Diary, Notebook, Sketchbook keeping, process. When I discovered Lisa Sonora’s work with Creative Journaling, the gateway to exploring my own creativity began to open, the pathway became more clear and my thinking shifted. As part of my own Journey, I took part in 3 of Lisa’s 30 Day Journal Projects then went on to take part in some of her various ‘on-line’ courses before finally travelling out to work with her in Oaxaca, Mexico in January 2018 where I took part in the life changing workshop ‘Creative Pathways to your Purpose & Power’. During 2018/19 I took part in her facilitator training programme.
In Creative Journaling we use a whole range of ‘tools’, in addition to the pen. Paints, coloured pens & pencils, photographs, scrap paper, tissue paper, sponges, stencils, rubber stamping, collage, glue, drawing, writing…..the list goes on. Using these tools we allow ourselves to engage with the Creative Process rather than concerning ourselves with the ‘outcome’ of what we are doing.
Practising a 3-dimensional, visual approach to exploring our imagination & creativity, we tap into great resources, in ways that linear, non-visual approaches don’t access. Visual, creative journaling helps us go beyond what we know in our rational minds, accessing alternative ways of understanding resulting in original thinking, ideas & creative breakthroughs.
A Creative journal is a way of capturing, remembering & recording ideas in a visual 3 dimensional way.
A Creative Journal is a place for thoughts, dreams, ideas, fantasies & fears. Its a private place, where consciousness meets reality & freezes in time. Its a place for self-expression, self-discovery & exploration. Its a place where there is space, space for transformation & alchemy for magic & mystical happenings, for healing. This is a place to play, a place for searching & discovery.
While we might use ‘art’ materials in our Journal, we are not producing ‘Art’. We are exploring the process of using creativity as a tool. A Creative Journal is a place of private reflection & practice for our own personal reasons, NOT for the approval or judgement of others.
“The Creative Journal is where I learn to listen; What do I need? What does my heart long for? What do I want to do next? What would nourish me most? What is no longer serving me? What do I need to let go of? It’s where my healing unfolds, where all of my desires emerge, where my dreams take root and creative ideas reveal themselves. It shows me how to observe and recognise the world within and around me. What makes me happy? Delights me? Drains my energy? Inspires me? This is the place that all my work flows from because I have this private creative space. Its where I find my flow, what works for me. I learn what feels easy & what resources I have. Its where I continue to re-connect to my higher purpose as it evolves and reveals itself.”
(from my own journal)
Creative Journaling is for you if you are;
- Creatively Curious
- A seeker
- Looking for _______ (fill in the blank)
- Seeking Inspiration
- An artisit/Not an Artist
- An explorer
- An aspiring writer/artist/creative……..
- __________________(add you’re own reason)
If you find yourself curious and maybe interested in exploring your own Creative Voice, you might want to sign up for my next
FREE 30 Day Journal Project
Starting in January 2020 this years theme will be
Maybe the Journey isn’t so much
about becoming anything.
Maybe its about Un-becoming everything
that isn’t really you, so that you
can be who you were meant
to be in the first place
follow the link from my Home Page or use this LINK
A project like this can be a great way to introduce yourself to the idea of journaling.
- its just 30 days ! The time limit acts as a container placed around any expectations or pressure of keeping an ongoing journal and even if you dont complete the whole 30 days…….who’s going to know ?! Its your time, your project, no rules, no right or wrong, no expectations. You can take as much time as you want to complete the project. This is not like your school homework that you need to hand in, there is no deadline other than that which you impose on yourself.
- you don’t even need to decide what to journal about. The project has a ‘theme’ and you’ll receive a quote along with journaling ‘prompts’ each day. How you respond to that quote & prompts is entirely up to you.
- begin to allow yourself to let go of the need to ‘produce’ something. simply enjoy the process. Have fun ….Enjoy yourself
You can also find details of the following upcoming workshops taking place in my studio, on my website just follow the LINK below
- Introduction to Creative Journaling – 8th February 2020
- Create your own ‘Creative Call to Action Manifesto’ – 14th March 2020
- Re-writing the stories we tell ourselves – 11th April 2020
Thanks for reading !