Visual Journaling: Going Deeper than Words is the book I’m reading/working through now during my morning journaling sessions. I’m terrible about reading workbooks like this and then never actually doing any of the exercises, (and there’s several I’ve skipped over in this one, too) but I have found the “check-in” exercises useful and interesting.
You are directed to close your eyes, take several deep, calming breaths to relax, and essentially ask your body, “what’s up?” Then notice what part of your body your attention is being drawn to, think about how that feels, and then draw something that represents that feeling. As you progress through the book, first just getting used to the process, then working on identifying the meaning of the different parts of the image, you eventually open up a dialogue between yourself and the image you have produced.
The most interesting one in my journal so far came after I had done a color/chakra meditation prior to my journaling session, producing this:
In the “connection” part, my attention was drawn to my throat, which the chakra meditation advises is represented by the color blue. But at the bottom of my throat area, I felt a heaviness or a pulling, which I translated into the brown brace underneath. As I continued to play with the pastels, the brace became more pointed at the bottom, like it was being weighted down. In the chakra meditation, the heart chakra is represented by the color green, which became the green circle. But it felt guarded and restricted, and I added the darker green “protective barrier” around it.
Even as I was finishing the drawing and putting the chalks away, I was thinking about how guarded I am with my writing, afraid to give offense, afraid to expose myself, and how this image seemed to embody that, with my “voice” being weighted down by my guarded and heavy “heart”, and how in order to find my voice in my writing, I would first need to break through the formerly-protective-but-now-obstructive barrier that guards my innermost thoughts and feelings.
I’ll let you know how that goes….