Visualisation and Visual Journaling

The Challenge of Daily Writing

Day 23 of a 31-day Writing/Blogging Challenge and it's been tricky last few days to keep committed to writing, with traveling, staying in Inverness and being assessed and interviewed for one of 8 x 2-Year Tree & Timber Apprenticeship positions with the Forestry Commission. I was one of the oldest that applied, from a large number of applicants, but I also already feel I have one of those 8 positions, delivered from the universe in a state of flow and using the power of visualisation.

I have visualised them discussing the applicants, talking in positive terms about my skills, both practical and the answers in the interview, imagined myself being ​the first on the shortlist of 8 to be picked, heard the phone call to offer me the role and even pictured myself packing and making plans to move. I've given plenty of positive affirmations and I left everything on the table yesterday, or rather in the forest, that I could possibly have done.

I realised last year when volunteering for the 2nd time with Trees For Life, that I wanted to work outdoors, I wanted to be in and with nature and work alongside people with a similar passion. All the teachers I met yesterday were around my age and older and still massively passionate about their work, despite some having been in the industry for 30+ years, that is a testament to the joy of working in Forestry.

I had initially applied for an HNC in Countryside and Environment Management but my instincts told me to defer that, again trusting in myself. Synchronicity followed a few months later when this particular opportunity, more practical and specific to the area I wanted to work in, came up. It's a reminder to not do something if it doesn't feel right - it's important to trust our intuition and not overthink things.

I'll get the call next week to offer me the position, so until then I plan on getting rid of a lot of my possessions, selling up the flat in Glasgow and stepping forward to a fresh and exciting opportunity, wherever in Scotland that may be. This part, giving up the last part of my previous relationship, is the COURAGE I have been holding back on stepping into.

​It's been a very interesting 23 days blogging. Some topics are those that I specialise in through Hypnotherapy and Coaching, others were quite personal, but one thing I did learn is to not edit, just let it all fall out onto the page/screen and not think too much about it. I have found that writing as early in the day as possible is really helpful to keep the habit going, last nights post was done at 23:59 for example, in the nick of time. However, it's also important to not beat myself up if I were to miss one day, because it's also about being kind to myself and getting a regular writing habit established.

VISUAL JOURNALING

When you were a child, you probably drew pictures showing how you felt about having a new baby brother/sister or playing in tress, drawing a house. Now that you’re grown up, you can still use art to process your emotions and reduce stress.

Many artists and therapists use visual journals to help them with their work. Whatever your personal goals, see how images can be part of your strategy for moving ahead.

Benefits of Visual Journaling

  • Articulate your feelings. When you’re struggling to put your emotions into words, it may be easier to sketch them out. The shapes and colors you choose could be revealing. 

    Increase your willpower. Each time you update your journal, you remind yourself about the positive changes you are trying to achieve. It’s a simple way to create triggers that reinforce new habits.

    • Manage stress. Protect your mind and body from the effects of chronic stress. A journal soothes you without any extra calories or extravagant expense. You may even want to carry it with you to the airport, dentist or in the forest, as I did yesterday.
    • Stimulate your creativity. Any art project can trigger innovative thinking. You’ll discover solutions to longstanding challenges at home or work

Techniques for Creating Your Visual Journal

  • Record your feelings. Let whatever you’ve been bottling up come pouring out. Ask yourself how you’re feeling, where do you feel that in your body, can you breathe into that area to allow it to soften and ease. The answer may surprise you.
  • Mark up a book. Find inspiration by searching for prompts in a children’s story or an advertising supplement. Look for inspirations on sides of buses or billboards. Alter the pictures or the text. Add your own illustrations.
  • Doodle a little. Even if your time is limited, you can see what appears spontaneously when you put pen to paper. Your free form doodling may uncover your subconscious concerns about your health or your family.
    • Assemble a collage. Browse through magazines for pictures or collect various types of items you can use. Paste them together according to your own design.
    • Dream on. Park your journal on your ​bedside tablee before you go to bed. You may be able to capture a snapshot of your dreams while your memory is fresh, upon awakening or through the night. Record your words and images.
    • Add text. Maybe you want your journal to combine words and images. Invent captions or drop in some favorite quotes. Turn your adventures with ​travel or dating into a graphic novel.
    • Note the date. Try keeping track of the day and time that you update your journal. An ongoing log will help you to see changes or patterns that develop over time. You may also notice how your mood or energy levels shift from morning to night.

Techniques for Using Your Visual Journal

  • Keep it private. You may decide that you want to keep your journal for your eyes only. Knowing that you’re the only person who will see it could help you to feel free to experiment and divulge your innermost thoughts.

    • Browse online. There are many websites and forums devoted to visual journaling and art therapy. Look at samples on Pinterest. Participate in a community and exchange support.

    • Collaborate with a friend. If you tell your friends and family about your journal, they may be interested in joining you. You could discuss each other’s work. You could also suggest themes or materials that you could both work on together. Start, or join, an existing meetup group.
    • Show it to your therapist. If you’re already seeing a counselor or plan to start therapy, you may want to incorporate your journal into your sessions. Mention your projects to your therapist and follow their recommendations.
 

Creative expression is good for your health and well-being. Lift your spirits and clarify your thinking by keeping a visual journal.

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