Art Journaling for Spiritual Growth
Art journaling for spiritual growth is fulfilling. In my Soul Artist Experience program, you use an art journal to deeply know yourself and explore how to live an amplified life.
Self-limiting beliefs dissolve, and insights emerge from each exercise.
The natural expression of joy, love, and creativity begins to blossom and grow in your life. With each new topic, your connection to your inner guidance deepens.
Meditation and gratitude are two simple ways to art journal for growth and inner development.
You learn and practice several types of meditation. For example, the beautiful Lovingkindness or Metta practice. Art journal pages inspired by this type of meditation are meaningful because they are filled with names and images of people you love and those who love you.
Metta meditation uses words, images, and feelings to evoke lovingkindness and friendliness toward oneself and others.
With each recitation of the phrases, you express an intention, planting the seeds of loving wishes over and over in your heart.
Using pens, pencils, or a paintbrush and whatever colors and mediums call you, you journal words, images, or colors on your paper. You may want to put the word ‘lovingkindness’ right on your paper and the words ‘happy, healthy, safe, strong, and live easily.’
While you add color and words to your paper, you also send yourself positive blessings of lovingkindness.
May I be happy, healthy, safe, strong, and live easily.
Send yourself words and loving images. Find colors that seem to represent that feeling of sending love to yourself.
You will practice guided mantra meditation using some beautiful Sanskrit mantras I learned from Deepak Chopra. These mantras almost seem magical in opening us up to affirm new ways of seeing ourselves.
We learn the Sanskrit words and also the beautiful meaning behind the mantras. The mantras and the meaning behind them make beautiful art journal pages. For example, a soul artist might choose to make an art journal page that pays homage to the notion that
‘I always have access to my inner creativity.’
Finding joy in creative living and drawing from the wellspring of your inner creativity are other examples of journal inspiration.
Gratitude practice is another source of endless inspiration for art journaling.
We learn that we can always cultivate a grateful response in order to uplift our mood and get to greater positivity.
“Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.” ~ Rumi
Another journal idea is to create art journal pages on the benefits of gratitude.
The Greater Good Science Center outlines several benefits to gratitude practice including:
Increased happiness and positive mood
More satisfaction with life
Becoming less materialistic
Less likely to experience burnout
Better physical and psychological health
Lower levels of cellular inflammation
The development of patience, humility, and wisdom
A written gratitude practice (like keeping an art journal) does four things:
1. Disconnects us from negative emotions and ruminating
2. Cultivates greater happiness and satisfaction with life
3. The positive effects of gratitude journaling accumulate as we look back on our positive experiences and re-live them.
4. A gratitude practice trains the brain to be more in tune with experiencing gratitude and seeking positivity
Martin Seligman says “If a person could do only one thing to increase their health and happiness, expressing gratitude might be it.”
Every time you express or receive gratitude, dopamine releases in your brain. Thus, you make a connection between the behavior and feeling good. The more you practice gratitude, the more often dopamine releases.
Noticing small things to be grateful for is the key.
When you intentionally think about what you’re grateful for every day, you become aware of slivers of life that you are thankful for: such as noticing the beauty of a sunny day which makes you decide to go for a walk.
Journaling about gratitude with intention and mindfulness, help you see the gifts in your life and you experience much greater daily joy.
Creating art journal pages connects you to your deeper feelings, beliefs, desires, and visions.
As you create an art journal page about the things you’re grateful for and take time to decorate your page, you deeply experience your thankful feelings. This, in itself, is a type of mindfulness meditation. You are spending time in the present moment focusing on the things you are grateful for and celebrating by creating art around them.
Each time you revisit your gratitude journal, those good feelings re-emerge and the positivity lingers.
As you cultivate the habit of chronicling things you are thankful for, you begin to develop more of an appreciative mindset. You begin to notice even more things that are good in your life.
In this way, your art journal becomes a home for your deepest thoughts and your view about your life.
Soul Artists take many innovative approaches in their journals. You can use photography, take pictures of things you are grateful for, print them, and paste them into your journal.
You could create a gratitude mandala or series of collages showing things you love and appreciate using colors and images that bring about that sense of thankfulness.
I love turning to a fresh art journal page and letting paint and images flow.
The feel of paper, playing around with color, text, and images, centers my mind and acts as a cathartic release.
In an art journal, all you create is safely contained within your book. It’s a private space where you can let loose and explore with colors, shapes, lines, and words.
My journal pages often contain a lot of text and bold colors. But I always have the choice to create one with muted colors and more symbology than words.
At each step in your art journal, you are making choices.
You can add a layer of paint or a layer of texture. Assemblage and collage allow you to create a new pattern from papers or images you have collected.
You can decorate your pages with mandalas and Zentangles (you will learn how in class). You can doodle, add meaningful words or sayings, add interesting marks or use a stencil or markers. Whatever choice you make is perfect.
All of these methods and creative paths are fun to experiment with, and they are perfect – because your art journal is YOURS, and it can evolve as you do.
I love seeing the many ideas expressed and how Soul Artists add interest to their pages. Washi tape, doodling, and collaging with paper torn from magazines are mixed media details that add uniqueness to journals.
There’s no wrong way to journal. As a Soul Artist, you learn mixed media techniques to create your original designs.
Adding poetry, beloved quotes, vintage stamps, old calendar pages, ticket stubs, playbills, and saved cards and letters are other art journal ideas that showcase meaningful moments in life.
Let yourself play. Art journal ideas come from everywhere, and we all inspire one another. Whether you are using a stencil, drawing organic shapes, or using primary colors or pastels, it’s all your creation.
The Soul Artist Experience course is offered on The Wellness Universe in 2023
Enroll using this link As part of the Wellness for All Programming offered by the Wellness Universe; I offer a year-long Soul Artist Experience program beginning January 8, 2023.
You can join The Wellness Universe for free. We meet once a month on the second Sunday at 1 pm Eastern, 10 am Pacific. What is the cost of the program? It’s donation based. All are welcome. If you can’t afford to pay right now or can only afford a little, that’s fine; if you want to pay the recommended amount, that’s fine too.
All the sessions will be recorded so you continue to have access even if you can’t attend every session live.
The Soul Artist courses help you express yourself and connect with your innate wisdom to awaken personally, creatively, and spiritually.
Feel your creative juices flowing, and find more passion and connection with life. Clarify your purpose so you experience more meaning and fulfillment.
No prior art experience is needed. I look forward to seeing you on the Wellness Universe.
Thank you for reading this post. Feel free to share it. Thanks to Soul Artists Teresa Henke, Kathy Kellum, and Cheryl Thompson for the art images.
Read how Creativity is like Meditation here.
Watch this video to see what experienced Soul Artists say about the program.
Afraid to make art? Watch this.
Master-level soul artists give advice to new soul artists.