One of my biggest “wrestles” in art journaling has been What To Write. I have spent a lot of time sorting and classifying my thoughts before ever making the first handwriting stroke.  I spent years collecting quotes and taking notes from other people’s writing and talks, all the time busily making beautiful pages that were void of my own true thoughts and feelings.

Decorating pages was the first phase of my art journaling, but the next {and to me more powerful} stage was getting authentic with my content.  To do this, I had to deal with some old messages and judgments – the deeply embedded belief systems that controlled my story for years.  It was second nature to filter and modify my emotions BEFORE approaching the pages.  {especially if the pages were beautiful and the content not so much…}

There are many reasons that we keep secrets.  A friend of mine is fond of saying:  “We’re only as sick as the secrets that we keep.”  It is easy to believe that our secrets will betray us, expose us and ultimately consume us.  My art journal has shown me that I have options.

page detail:  be careful with my secrets

These days, I’m much more candid in my pages than in my early years of heavy editing and my later years of avoidance.  These days, I just write what I think and feel.  Where I am.  What I’m doing. What I’m thinking.  UNFILTERED. These days, I know the power in a folded page; I know that I can glue in an envelope and collect uncomfortable things for later.  Being honest in my pages, keeps me here, in my life.  My energy goes to art instead of dancing the Containing-Pain-and-Fear Dance.  The surprise for me has been in the demystification.  It’s amazing how writing something down causes movement.  I can:

*  capture.

*  release.

*  paint over.

*  pursue further.

* write clearly

* write messily {or in disappearing ink}

*  tuck away.

Writing it down doesn’t mean I’m sharing.  Writing it down means I’m facing the secret; looking it square in the eye.  It means that I am in charge.  I have choices.  The secrets don’t have to win

Feel the victory.  Write a secret in your journal. Fold the page and let it go.

A nest of private thoughts