Diaries of thoughts, feelings, and experiences, have been most often kept in the form of the written word. But when it comes to exploring feelings, thoughts, dreams, and visions of the future, drawing, painting, or even creating collages can give voice to a much deeper voice.
Creative Journaling is a vehicle for emotional and spiritual expression and is a means to gain insight into one’s life. The emphasis is on the process and the inner journey, and not at all on the skilfulness of the result. Creative Journaling uses both images and words. It activates both sides of the brain: the verbal, linear, logical left brain and the visual, emotional, spiritual non-verbal right brain. The writing you do can be free association, a dialogue with elements of the creative work, you can write observations or insights, anything that feels right to you.
It is important to remember that even if you are a professional or a trained artist the art that you do as part of your therapeutic healing may be very different from the art you produce otherwise. It is important to be very accepting of whatever it is you produce, when the process is a therapeutic one, though you may find it hard not to criticise your art as not being skilled enough, too primitive, or unsettlingly surreal. You will be using this art to actually get into and give voice to things that maybe hitherto unarticulated, loosen the grip of the left brain on the process.
JOURNAL PROMPT 1: Draw how you currently feel. After the drawing is completed, write about what is in the picture, this can be on the same page or another page.
JOURNAL PROMPT 2: Create a drawing, painting or collage of “what life is like now”. Allow the critical part of your mind to take a back seat as you create a visual image, after you have created it allow the images to speak to you and really pay attention to what they are telling you. Write about what it is you have created.
JOURNAL PROMPT 3: Non-dominant hand-writing can be a powerful took for inner child healing and can be used alongside creative journaling.
Try writing with your non-dominant hand, write your name and how it feels to be writing in this different way. You can use this to create a two-handed dialogue approach that could be applied to can be applied to any questions in your life. The answers are always given with the non-dominant hand.
Creative Journal Guidelines
Keeping a journal is not a test, there is no pressure to write or create every day, however as with all therapeutic processes you will get from it what you put in. It might be an idea to set aside particular times of the day or days of the week when you are able to set aside time to do your journaling, a time that is peaceful and free from interruptions.
Taking time to do your therapeutic work is a powerful and loving gift to yourself. This work should be done without the pressure of potential judgement or critique, otherwise it will diminish in its effectiveness as a therapeutic tool.
Enjoy the journey!