How I Create Experiential Learning Journeys by Blending Coaching, Art Journaling, and Guided Meditation
My most recent exploration designing learning journeys has been incorporating art journaling with the other modalities I use as a coach. The modalities most which resonate with me are experiential.
I suppose this evolution comes from a career that I have loved in adult learning design and delivery + my coaching journey which began in 2010 + learning about deep process and experience in the Gestalt Training program in 2011-12 + launching Women Connected in 2015 a website devoted to the female experience + wanting to create beautiful learning journals with the launch of Women Connected Circles + my first art journal “The Feminine Shadow” in 2016-17.
When I began my “Feminine Shadow” art journal, I had already been blogging about the Feminine Shadow and Why Aren’t More Women Supporting Other Women at Work. I was now ready to go further and explore the mother-daughter relationship with my mom. My mom had passed away a few years prior and I was still grieving her presence in this world and the unresolved things between us.
I quite accidentally began learning about art journaling
I have never been able to wrap my mind around excel spreadsheets for anything other than data base purposes and was in search of another approach to business planning to evolve my vision for Women Connected which I came across a book by Jennifer Lee called “The Right Brain Business Plan. When I found this book, the world of creativity, and the creative impulse within me opened up.
I was inspired to draw from this creative approach to explore the relationship with my mom – leaning into discovery, exploration, and expanding consciousness. I hadn’t touched art materials since kindergarten and this world of art supplies, new books and videos, created excitement for me.
With this process of learning art journaling techniques, I added in my own learned processes for depth exploration and integrated meditation, creative visualization, reflection questions, and processing with my coach. These tools provided a way for me to excavate buried experience and observe these experiences with my heart and my inner wisdom.
My coach encouraged me to continue the work I was doing and to also document my process for which I am deeply grateful. This process has become “The Inner Journey of Art Journaling ™” that I now teach in my Women Connected Art Journaling Circles.
In these Circles:
- I teach 5-7 art journaling techniques designed for beginners, though the program is open to everyone;
- These techniques intentionally and purposely guide the participant into the language of the unconscious through color, imagery, archetypes, symbols, metaphor, and dreams;
- I write and incorporate meditations and creative visualizations to support the deepening and embodiment of each learning journey;
- I embed a process of deep reflection and questions for the participant to use to deepen their own understanding of what they created in their art journal; and then as an integrating step,
- Add in the verbal processing of coaching.
The mind and language are powerful filters
While we can learn tremendous amounts of information, knowledge, and skills at the level of conscious thinking and acting in the world; when relied upon solely, they can also limit the expansion of consciousness.
Carl Jung realized this in his later years and began drawing circles, which then became exquisite mandalas. For Jung, the mandala represented the whole self and incorporated archetypes that are common throughout the human experience.
I believe that if Carl Jung were alive today, he would see “The Inner Journey of Art Journaling ™” as a continuation of what he discovered, a process of wholeness, individuation, and the conscious integration of the collective unconscious.
Today, I continue to create new learning journeys using all the tools I’ve acquired through a lifetime of being a continuous learner.
If you are curious about the “The Inner Journey of Art Journaling ™”, I invite you to join me in a new Women Connected Circle called “Seeking Light and Shadow”. The program is fully online with lifetime access to the materials and begins on October 7th. You can learn more here.