Wednesday, March 25, 2009

deeper than words

I bought two new books. A blank journal. And Visual Journaling: Going Deeper than Words by Barbara Ganim and Susan Fox. The book presents a 6 week course in using drawing to get in touch with your feelings. It addresses: healing your stress-producing emotions, overcoming fear, resolving inner conflict through soul wisdom, among other topics.


I began with the fear chapter. I chose to work with the fear of buying a house. On the left side page I wrote how my fear was unrealistic. Then I drew the above picture of my fear. As I later revised the picture it may be hard to see the original in which I drew a black fog smothering my nose, stitches closing my mouth and my stomach full of fear butterflies. My heart is encased between these two congested realms. My healing of the fear, visually, was to remove the black fug and breathe in and out freely. To unstitch my mouth and ask for help. To let the butterflies out of the stomach cage so they could fly free. Then you are supposed to burn this drawing.

The next step is to draw a symbol of the "lesson" your fear is gifting you with. Some words that came to me about this image are: it's okay to leap and make choices for yourself, to be your own parent. I am good enough, I do deserve a house that I love.

Of course as a long time journal writer I have in the past used words to work through blocks. Now though, I do not write in my journal. I am finding drawing an image of my fears (in this case) goes quickly and directly to the essence of what is happening inside me. At the least, it seems to work for me in the present moment.

45 comments:

soulbrush said...

how interesting, and what a great way to work through all of this. i so agree with you, suki, you deserve it 100%. but YOU have to know that and believe it. art therapy, what a wonderful medium. i have started a new challenge and have invited you to join me , see my post today, i think that this new collage thing may compliment what you are doing here perfectly. see what you think.

Natalya said...

i think drawing is a very therapeutic way of journaling... i enjoy it..

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

This book sounds like a perfect choice. A way to pinpoint what is happening in images...wonderful!

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Moving forward requires letting go. It sounds like you have some letting go to take care of so that those butterflies can pick you up and soar with you, teaching you to fly freely.

Color, paint, write, sing, dance . . . do it all, my firned. Spread your winds, shake off the dust of days gone by and labels affixed by you and others. Today is a new and fresh day . . . enJOY it as the gift our Lord intended.

I pray for you and delight in watching you reach out for more of life and less of fear. Hugs to you, sweet Suki girl. ; D

~Babs said...

I would think these journal pages would be very theraputic.
Kind of like writing out your worries and burying them, not allowing the negative to live,,a choosing of the positive.
I also enjoyed your video of the washing,,,it's perhaps very symbolic too.

Lynn said...

I love your drawings and I (under line "I" )would NOT burn them. I'd maybe draw some little flames at the bottom of the page for indicating letting go of the negative feelings...but I'd keep the journal as a map of my progress, working through stuff...but that is me and you do as you please of course. Brave of you to share such personal work!

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Great idea. I think you deserve a nice house too. I hope this helps you out a lot. I find drawing and writing therapeutic too. Just keep repeating good & positive things to your self.

katie jane said...

I think this book is the road you need to travel. Everyone processes their "stuff" in different ways and if this feels right for you, then do it. Years ago we used to write our fears on slips of paper, then attach them to balloons and let them fly away. Maybe burying them is more cathartic.

Britt-Arnhild said...

Good luck Suki.

Artist Unplugged said...

What a wonderful idea, no need for words, just working with the symbols, sometimes words are too hard to choose to fit your feelings I think. I hope you come to know you deserve a house, let those butterflies out and show you the way...

sukipoet said...

soulbrush, thanks. I checked out the soulcards site and like the idea but don't think I can fit into a challenge right now, though I might make a few cards.

Natalya, I like this focused kind of journal and have done them before. Although not sure they really move me through a block, they do outline things for me.

BSD, images seem to be my words of choice nowadays so we will see what happens.

Debbie, thanks. Letting go of money is what I must let go of and that goes against my family background and New England thriftiness. Thanks for your thoughts and prrayers.

sukipoet said...

babs, I hadnt thought of the washing video as symbolic. Thanks for that thought. Interesting.

Lynn, I havent burned the page and most likely will not. I can just do it in my thoughts.

Cris, I do try to keep repeating those positive things.

Katie Jane, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Releasing w/a balloon--actually there is a Shakti gawain meditation that enacts just that. I love balloons.

sukipoet said...

Britt-Arnhild, thank you.

Artist Unplugged, I like that--let the butterflies out to show me the way.

studio lolo said...

I love the way you're always doing 'inner' work. Cleaning house, getting clear. I think I have that book. Perhaps I should open it. I'm so bad about spending money on books and then plunking them on the shelf, unused. Such a waste. You make me want to dust it off and have a go at those journal pages myself!

I don't think I'd burn them either. I think I'd sit in my new house and reflect on my 'old fears.'
~Peace~

willow said...

Wonderful art therapy! I like your little drawing of your stomach and the butterflies.

I love raisin toast. Pop me in a slice and I'll be right over!

patti said...

A great way of showing yourself the things you need to see, making sense of your feelings.

I hope you allow yourself to take the leap into home ownership, you really do deserve your own space. It's interesting to discover the things that hold us back and liberating to finally move past them.

Sending you some courage x

Mim said...

My miss em has gotten me through alot of fears

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I think you will like this style of journaling and I hope it helps you with your decisions. Of course you deserved a house you love. One NEEDS a place of comfort and safety. A place of ones own.

CHEWY said...

Suki,
If drawing it out is cathartic for you, then draw, draw, draw. I like the burning process... letting go.

Teri C said...

Such an interestin approach to all that is going on in your life. Sounds like it will be a big help and you are so generous to share it with us.

Honour said...

That was my question - how did it work for you? It sounds like it did ... I once had a journal with no lines, and it seemed like it set me free. I started drawing / sketching in it .. and it forced me to express things differently. I liked it.

I suppose this is why you are an artist of two worlds, dear Suki!

Annie said...

What a great way to get to the heart of the matter. You do deserve a wonderful house and you will find it! Just think how lucky you are to be able to buy a home.
You are blessed :-).

Mary said...

very powerful stuff--and brave of you to share it here. good luck as you travel down this path ;-)

kj said...

i write in my moleskine all the time but rarely doodle or draw. hmmm, maybe i should change that.
hmmm, maybe i will.
hmmm, i'm going to!

kj said...

did blogger eat my comment?
:( XXE$###$@@@!

:)

Kim said...

Suki,

This is truly wonderful. I think it is interesting how we can switch back and forth between words and images to help us break through the things which consume us in sometimes an unhealthy way. I know sometimes it is right for me to get the emotion out with paint and the words then flow like water. Other times, it takes much longer and if I am having a particular issue with painting, then it is the words which help me to go deeper to find out what the problem might be.

This is good stuff. Thanks for the suggestion of the book, too. I will be eager to see how it helps you move forward. Right now if it has helped you to understand you have all you need inside to do what you want and deserve to do, it is working great!

You are such a wonderful, generous person to share so much with us. Keep going...the house is just around the corner!

Hugs!

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

what a way for an artist to work through things, with this therapy. And to visually see your fears and hopes on paper would seem more healing and enabling to help you move forward than mulling swirling thoughts just in your head...something I used to do a lot with no progress...but lately I feel I am avoiding moving forward for whatever reason...

sukipoet said...

ok for the third time i will respond. the other two times the responses would not upload and i got discourages.

Lolo, the books is only fairly good,.repetitive and with lists of questions one might ask oneself being to constraining to my mind and not ones i would really use though i did for the first things i drew.

sukipoet said...

willow, the tea and toast awaits your arrival!

sukipoet said...

patti, i do hope i come to understand what it is that is holding me back. i dont yet.

Mim, yes, maybe i should be drawing my own alter ego whose name i seem to have forgotten. oh yes, Blaize.

Lisa, well i know many in the world do not have places of their own so it is a luxury, to my mind, for me to be potentially able to have one.

sukipoet said...

chewy, not just cathartic but maybe what i can do right now although i am finding i am using a lot of words and journal type writings on the page too.

teri, thanks.

Honor, whether i will write or draw i do like journals with no lines often. so far though nothing earthshaking has arisen by this process.

sukipoet said...

annie you are right. i am blessed.

mary, i am almost always open to sharing either my writings or drawings even this sort of therapeutic drawing.

kj i have had a terrible time with blogger and ocmments recently. yes, a little sketching in the moleskin might be a fun change. doodle.

sukipoet said...

kim thanks for your encouraging words. I have used a process similar to this one from the book Creative Journaling, in the long ago past. I rarely see the direct benefits, but no doubt there are subtle benefits to it all.

sukipoet said...

teri, sometimes our selves pace us in a way we think should be faster. In other words our selves slow us down whereas our thoughts are whipping us up to do more. Maybe this is good. We all need fallow times and times to just be without obvious evidence of "moving forward." Also, we are always moving, whether we see it or not, there are invisible movings happening.

Wild Somerset Child said...

Suki, how good to DRAW your fears rather than write about them; an excellent idea. I, too, really wouldn't burn what you draw - hide it in a cupboard to bring out one day when all your current fear has been resolved. All the best.

marianne said...

How good to be your own therapist like this......
I love the second drawing and the words you wrote there I felt it in my heart....
You take care please!
Interesting that drawing works better than words since you are so good with words also.
For me pictures would work better also since I am not good with language....
Interesting subject for me to think about. You always seem to do that to me, make me think, I like that

Have a nice weekend and I hop Spring will arrive there soon as well!
warm hug!

Elizabeth said...

Wishing you well on your journey - light and peace! x

sukipoet said...

Ann, ok i am convinced not to burn. actually the last drawing i did evoked a lot of words too so i guess i am doing both.

marianne, i wonder if at some point we become our own everything. I was in one on one therapy for YEARS. Also a year or so of group therapy. Now, I can be my own therapist. I got born. But also, I now am to be my own parents, they both in actuality being gone. I must be my own mother and father. also, I sometimes think since I havent had a husband for years, that i am in some ways my own husband. I take out the garbage and do the dishes. I mow the lawn and take the trash to the dump. And do the laundry. the only thing i cant do by myself is shovel/plow the snow but i guess if i bought a truck and a plow attatchment I oould do that too

sukipoet said...

thanks Elizabeth

Cynthia said...

Hi Suki, I so understand your process. I've used visual journals to connect but you are so expressive in this form-exceptionally connected. What a deep process you are involved in, I feel inspired to confront some of my fears, too. Thanks for sharing your soul work with us. <3

kikipotamus said...

This is such good work. It reminds me of the "Feeding Your Demons" work I have done recently with Tsultrim Allione's book. I love your colorful drawing of the angel and the earth encircled by OM OM OM. Looking at it brings me peace.

sukipoet said...

cynthia, it is good to face the fears i know, but so hard sometimes.

thanks Kelly. I should look at the books. It sounds good. As I said, i read her first book of many years ago but not this one.

marianne said...

That would be a perfect booktitle!
"How to be your own everything"
These books should be given to young girls and women!

San said...

Wow, what a great process for self-healing. Thank you for sharing the author's ideas and giving us a glimpse of your personal journal/journey.

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