Monday, January 05, 2015

The Anti-journal Journal

My husband John bought this for my birthday. 

For many years I'd kept a journal as part of my anger management. Keeping a log of any patterns or triggers for what may be the cause of any negative thoughts and feelings that I'd been having. It had been very helpful, and I truly advocate others to keep a journal too. However, for the past year or so, I've slacked a little on writing things down and as a consequence, negative thoughts and feelings have built up a little. I'd much prefer to paint rather than write, but I've also neglected my personal painting time too. 

I paint professionally and I'm also a designer/maker for my gift boutique. When a client gives me their brief for a gift or painting, I know exactly what the finish product will look like and how I'm going to start it. 

It should be easy for me to just create emotionally for my own well-being. Although, when I set out to be creative on a personal level, I often experience a creative paralysis. Some of you may be able to relate to this and know it as 'artist's/writer's block'. 

When I'm presented with a nice clean, unmarked, fresh canvas board or plain piece of paper I'd find myself sitting there, wondering what to paint or write. Then an uneasy feeling emerges from deep within, and my thoughts become, I can't 'mess up' the new canvas board, thus triggering creative paralysis. 

I tell myself, 'just do it, paint something, anything!' But a sense of fear overwhelms me and the feelings turn into negative thoughts of 'what if I make a mistake?' 

Eventually, I rationalise my thoughts as I know there are no mistakes when expressing ourselves creatively, and I make a mark on the canvas. Now it has a blemish, time to transform it into something beautiful. 

I love the first page, it says to throw a tea bag at it, then frame the consequences. 

The anti-journal John gave me, is truly a fantastic tool to have for anger management, creative paralysis, emotional well-being and just to sit and have a little freeing and expressing time with yourself. 

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