art journal, coaching

FREE Art Journal Exercise to Soothe Your Soul

Calming down after a stressful week, soothing ourselves, and seeing the beauty in life is so important to a creative and healthy life.  Unfortunately, our lives often take us from one stressful event to another without time to pause or reflect, let alone to befriend our nervous system.

I am often inspired by quotes and affirmations and incorporate and share these with pictures on the Women Connected Facebook page.  I find they soothe my soul and are a reminder of the possibilities for our lives.

Imagery and quotes can also be prompts for new journal spreads and/or used directly in your visual journal.

To assemble this activity, I went back through the last couple of years of Facebook posts and created a collection of posts with quotes.  I like to use quotes in my coaching program and on the Women Connected page to help others see another perspective or to help find the words that give voice to their thoughts and feelings.  These succinct wisdom messages from those who have learned lessons we may find ourselves working through have the power to heal, to motivate, to calm, to soothe, to inspire, and to be a source of encouragement.

Inner Journey Process(TM)

1) Get settled in the space where you will be working.

2) Set a clear intention.  Are you looking for comfort?  To unwind?  To feel loving care for yourself? To play?  All intentions are welcome.

3) Take a few minutes to quiet your mind, breath, and notice what you are feeling and where you are feeling this.

4) Review and download the collection like the one below and find a quote, image, or feeling that resonates with you – or choose another quote you know well.  Click here to download the pdf file of 21 images and quotes.  Use the quote as a starting point for an art journal spread or card.


5) Respond with art materials.  

6) Gaze and notice. 

7) Read your spread.  Not reading your spread is like cooking a wonderful meal and then not eating it!

The spread you create can serve as a helpful reminder to slow down, to take loving care of yourself, and to remember what is most important.  Take a picture of your finished piece and place it somewhere that will be a reminder for you.  I often use my computer or phone screen, or Facebook covers, for new images that have messages I want to reinforce.

Below is my journal spread that I did earlier this year when dreaming of a pilgrimage to the land where I was born.  It has one of my favorite Rumi quotes and the colors remind me of this ancient land where my life began.

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For me, the process of art journaling is quieting and meditative.  When I take my time to let the colors and images unfold at their own pace, it reinforces the message to my body to allow things to unfold at their own time and pace.  I have many visual journals at this point and love being able to look back at all the ways that creative expression has supported my journey of healing, self-excavation, and discovery.

The Women Connected Newsletter

Get a weekly newsletter from Terri Altschul with self-coaching exercises, visual journal prompts, resources for creating new habits, tips for making self-care a regular part of your life, and other inspiring goodies.

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