Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Journaling to Be Still

Although I'm not a dedicated art journaler, there are times when I feel the call of the blank pages. Usually I come back to my journal when I am feeling overwhelmed. And with recent events, well... I think we've all been pretty overwhelmed. Journaling gives me a chance to write and make art just for me. I'm not a big storyteller, but more of a note-taker, so journal pages often include snippets of thought, hidden in pockets and folds of paper.

This entry was created using papers from my scrap pile, paint, printed tapes, and deli paper. I stitched a few pieces together and wrote this message to myself.

So I begin this day with a prayer for peace.
Silence within my mind.
Quiet within my soul.
A look at my place here on earth as if seen from miles into space.
A mere fleck of energy swirling around other bits of energy.
And all is well.
There is time, there is goodness, there is love and patience and all that I need.
It's all here and planned in a way that I don't know nor will I ever really know. (I'm not supposed to know.)
And so I breathe,
And sit still.

Sometimes I feel like I'm standing on the shore of an ocean. The tides and the waves rush up. I become too busy. I'm flooded with ideas, projects, goals, and worries. I'm bombarded with the latest frightening news, trends, and social media. I can't finish anything. I become overwhelmed. I feel like I'm running out of room. There is no beach left. I am forced to return to the dock, safely anchored above the rushing waters. I sit down on the edge of the dock and look out to sea. I watch from a distance. I see the sun sparkling on the water, dolphins playing in the distance, and fish glittering beneath my toes. In time, the tide rolls back out. It's safe to go back to the beach.

Journaling forces me to sit still, to walk away from the roar of life and see things from a different perspective.


If you've never tried art journaling or if you need some new ideas, you might want to check out this new e-mag from Cloth Paper Scissors, Art Journaling Exposed, Vol. 2.

It's filled with fun ideas and short instructional videos. The "Caught on Tape" article features Jen Cushman showing us how to use Ice Resin to create slick journal accents, Kristen Robinson showing us how to use cereal bags for journal pages, and yours truly demonstrating a sewn paper technique. I got to meet Jen and Kristen when we filmed our video workshops last fall. If you have a moment, stop by their blogs and check out their amazing work!


  1. I had to take a break from my crazy day job and found myself at your blog. This post fed my soul so I can manage my day until I can go home and create art. Thank you, Jen.

    1. Mia, thank you so much for your wonderful comment. I'm so glad you are here!

  2. Lovely post Jenny. I was feeling that way all last week and now I am just going to go out and have my coffee in the sun! Lovely pages. xox

    1. I've been enjoying the sun this week too. I've even taken a nap out on the deck with Peanut (the queen of napping.)

  3. Lovely, lovely post. I hope you will consider embedding the social media buttons in your blog postings. I'd love to share your messages, etc. with my audience. In Blogger, just go to 'layout' and click on the box for 'blog posts' and you'll see a drop down of items to choose. The social media share option is there and it's just one click. That way, I can easily Tweet it, FB share it and Google+ from there. The beauty of social media is having the ability to share such wonderful, mindful, living in the moment messages such as yours here, with others. We all need to hear messages like this as much as possible.

    1. Paula, thank you so much for the heads up. I set this blog up about two years ago and was just starting out with all the social media stuff. I did not even notice I was missing this on my posts! I really appreciate you letting me know!

  4. Well, Jenny, your art here is full of chaos--without a plan, perhaps, but your journaling brings it all into perspective. How cool is that? Even your handwriting soothed my frenzied soul today! hank you for reminding each of us to stop and take a breath every once in a while! Important for our wellbeing!

  5. Thank you for sharing such an important message Jenny, which is to find a way to soothe and heal regardless of what is presented to us. And of course, you had me when you spoke of the tides and the ocean :)

  6. Lovely words...they speak to be directly. I do journal pretty regularly and find it almost a necessity in clearing my mind! Thank you for stopping by for a visit and will put your name in the hat!