Art journaling is a safe, gentle, and private space, where we release the busy thinking mind and shift into the language of the unconscious: color, metaphors, and images. We encode ourselves in our drawings, and the choices we make about what and how to draw are only revealed when we have results to contemplate.
Art journaling supports and expands the coaching process:
- increase self-awareness
- learn about your patterns
- reduce stress
- release anger
- resolve conflicts
- get in touch with feelings
- overcome fear
- access your inner wisdom
- give voice to your soul
- approach freedom
- release trapped energy
- access deeper knowing
- discover gifts
Here is a new art journal prompt using the Inner Journey of Art Journaling Process tm. Download a pdf of the exercise here.
- Any type of paper or journal
- Colored instruments of your choice: markers, colored pencils, paints
Step 1: Prepare your space. Find a comfortable position and a place where you won't be interrupted for the new few minutes. If you are doing this in your art journal, also set your space so your supplies are ready.
Step 2: Set a clear intention. Some examples of intentions are:
- I intend to connect with the feeling of tension in my stomach.
- I intend to be open to whatever images want to move through me.
- My intention is to understand the sudden mood swing I am experiencing.
- My intention is to know the truth in my heart.
- I intend to draw the joy and peace I have been feeling lately.
- I feel timid as I start this process; I intend to find out what the source of that timidity is about and draw it.
- I intend to connect with that sacred part of myself from which I receive soul wisdom.
Write your intention here:
Step 3: Quiet your mind through a body-centered practice.
To get in touch with feelings and emotions through which our soul voice flows, you must disconnect from your thoughts. This is called quieting the mind. Most of us experience our thoughts as a kind of constant chatter that blocks our ability to feel what is happening inside the body.
It is by connecting with the body that you can access emotions and the images associated with them, because every emotion is expressed as a physical sensation, and every physical sensation has a corresponding image association. So, to access your inner language, you must quiet the source of your verbal language. We can easily accomplish this through body-centered awareness.
Body centered awareness allows you to shift attention away from your mind and into a particular part of your body through breathing and simple guided visualization.
Step 4: Seeing with your mind's eye.
Choose a color(s) that best defines your mood right now. Circle the color(s) and notice how you feel when you look at it.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- If your color/mood had a texture, what would it be?
- Where do you feel this color/mood in your body?
- Accept whatever mood you're in but give it a name.
Step 5: Respond with art materials in your journal. Express yourself with the color you choose by making marks. Trust your intuition and just let the mark making flow.
Step 6: Gaze and notice.
- Ask [name] what do you need from me?
- How can you give this to yourself?
Add this to your art journal or paper.
Step 7: Reading your spread. Not reading your art journal spreads is like preparing a wonderful feast but not eating it.
- What is the feeling of spread?
- Is there a story you're telling yourself?
- How can you connect the picture you made to a larger story of who you are?
- What wants to heal?
Add a healing color or symbol to your picture.
Here are my pictures from this exercise:
Want to learn more about how we use art journaling to support coaching and self-discovery? At Women Connected we offer an online courses The Inner Journey of Art Journaling and have a new LIVE ONLINE art journaling program coming up in July, Seeking Light and Shadow.
If you'd like to learn more about art journaling and coaching, take a look at the retreat we have coming up in August, Art + Coaching.
For more information, contact Terri Altschul at firstname.lastname@example.org