Today I began the Daily Devotions: A 40 Day Journey with Art Journaling program (#DailyArtDevotions) led by Elizabeth Foley who also led The Art of Spiritual Living Retreat. For today’s #artjournal practice, we spent time creating the container that would hold all of our art journal pages. For the container, we had the option to repurpose an old book. I was at first hesitant, since I am the kind of person who has only just recently started to write in my books (with pencil so I can erase it). But, I found an old book that has been collecting dust in my garage for many, many years, and decided it would be the perfect container for this 40-day journey. I had a great time gluing pages together and adding in watercolor paper. As I was putting it together, I had an idea that I could leave some of the pages as is and create found poetry as a unique addition to the art journal. I am looking forward to getting back the momentum I had built up with Karen Abend’s Sketchbook Revival and Find Your Flow program. I have decided to follow my heart and refocus on my artistic development and set my writing aside again…for a while.
My intention for this next 40 days is to grow as an artist who is committed to discovering and developing her craft and unique style on a daily basis.
Below: A few pages from my new repurposed art journal (drawings are from the original book and are not mine) and a visit from a hummingbird while I was working on it.
Today began my journey back into the world of novel writing. It was no ordinary day, though. It was my son’s first day of eighth grade, which for so many reasons is such a huge milestone for him and for me. It was also a time to try to settle my nerves and return to writing the novel I’ve been working on for many, many, many years.
With my writing practice, I started out differently than I usually do, spending the first hour getting a scene in my head out on the page even though I have no idea where it might fit into the novel. I usually try to write chronologically, leading to a lot of stuckness. I then took a break for lunch (which is unusual for me), and decided to return to the beginning of the novel that had to be rewritten to fit the new direction I am taking the novel in. And the scenes…they just flowed, and all the fear I had felt while staring at the blank screen earlier had melted away. There were a few times where I had to redirect myself when I tried to go back to edit, or spent to much time trying to get the right word, telling myself gently that I could fix it later, to just get the idea itself down on the page. And it worked!
When I had completed my writing for the day, I received notice that my grandmother, who is experiencing late stage congestive heart failure had slipped into the world of non-responsiveness, the world between here and what is waiting for her. I am conflicted because I had a near death experience seven years ago, and I know the beauty that awaits her, but I also am grieving the loss of her in this physical world.
In the midst of a day with so many conflicting emotions, I turned to Karen Abend’s Journey of the HeArt session with the #spirituallivingretreat held by Elizabeth Foley. I’ve been slowing working my way through the sessions, and how fortuitous that Karen’s session was the next one on the schedule. Below is my #HeArt from the session that represents how I’m feeling today, and the words that remind me that letting go is the ultimate freedom.
My son goes back to school on the 22nd, and at that time, I am going to begin work on my novel once again. My intention is to work on my novel during the week, and then continue my art development journey on the weekends. My intention is to have a polished draft completed by December 31, 2018. I’m posting that here as a way to keep myself accountable.
It’s interesting how quickly I have already gotten myself out of the habit of creating daily, and how much longer it takes me to complete an art project because my days are filled up with other things now. But, I’ve made a lot of progress on a personal level integrating meditation and journaling back into my daily routine. I’ve also incorporated some dancing into my daily routine. It has become quite clear as of late that I have not been including fun as a daily requirement. Even those things that were fun, I have hijacked and made into something serious. I’m working on changing that.
For the past couple of days, I’ve been working my way through Elizabeth Foley’s Art of Spiritual Living Online Retreat session with Tamara Laporte. The session was to create a self-portrait in a mindful and meditative way, and I loved it. I used a slightly altered quote from Anne Lamott’s book Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith which I just finished reading for a second time. It was even better the second time around!