Nothing makes me happier than being in my happy place. On Friday’s that means art journaling with some of my favorite people in Kel Rohlf’s Souldare Art Studio.
Beginning each class with a journaling prompt, Kel leads us on a journey to deeper understanding and purpose in our time of playing with paint, paper, glue and scissors. Often relief and joy are the end results of our time at play. A therapy of sorts.
After taking a moment to close our eyes and set the mood by imagining we were on a walk through the woods with the sun on our face, the wintered trees offering a view of the bright blue sky and fluffy white clouds, winding our way to a pond. We took a rock from our hand and threw it in the pond and ripples went out, out from there. It was a relaxing way to begin. Then we moved on with an offered choice of writing prompts.
I chose the prompt to dialogue with my word of the year. (You may recall, my word is “curare,” meaning to take care. I happened upon it when I was considering the word curator. Curare is the latin root word for curator. Viola! A perfect word for me this year as I am on the heels of recovering from my third bout of cancer, breast cancer this last time!)
So, here I dialogue with Curare.
Curare: “What do you want from me today?”
Curare: “You already have hope.”
Me: “I know I do, but sometimes it plays hide and seek, it is hard to find or remember.”
Curare: “Well, you just have to ask for it. You know, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find.”
Me: “I admit I have grown weary of asking and seeking. I am tired of trying, yet somehow still I remain hopeful.”
Curare: “Well then, it seems to me that you already have hope.”
Me: “Yes, it seems I have, yet…”
Curare: “Have you forgotten to knock?”
Me: ” I didn’t think so. Well, maybe. Let me try. Knock knock.”
Curare: “Who’s there?”
Me: “It’s me! Remember me!!”
Curare: “Of course I remember you. Welcome home! So glad you have returned. I have been waiting for you for too long. Come, stay with me.”
Wow! I have asked, I have seeked, but I have not entered! That is what this exercise demonstrated to me. Go all the way! Go knock on the door, and enter into real peace, real hope, real strength, real joy. The care I long for is right in front of me, I need only go in!
After journaling for a few minutes, we went on to choose a shape to repeat and paint. I randomly chose a little person and was so surprised by the end result! It looked to me as if I had expressed myself floating in a pond as the ripples went out. It affirmed to me my need to relax and recover what I have lost to illness, stress and worry, so that my renewed spirit can once again be one that ripples of love, peace, joy and hope to others.
Upon further reflection, I realized that I cannot give what I do not have. I must take care of myself first in order to give my best to others. Taking care of myself looks like eating well, exercising, resting, writing, knitting, art journaling, praying, time in God’s word, and taking time to play with my people.
What does taking care of yourself look like to you? Have you chosen a word for the year? What is it? I challenge you to take a few minutes to dialogue with your word. If you are so led, share it on your own blog, or keep it in your journal to return to when you need it most. It is a sacred journey, this art journaling. I invite you to give it a try. Let me know how it goes.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7 (NASB)