The following is part of a series of posts detailing the information in my free download 26 Ways to Prepare Your Heart for Birth.
I have never kept an art journal before! Have you?
I really love the idea.
While I was scanning Pintrest for inspiration I was bombarded with gorgeous, inspiring art journals. I imagined myself in a sunlit studio...., every art supply waiting at my fingertips...available for wherever my fancy leads.... huge chunks of time on a regular basis.... lots of inspiration everywhere....and creativity flowing right out of me!
The truth of the matter is, as much as I would like to live in this daydream, I don't. I homeschool my 9 and 5 year old. I do laundry, clean up after my cat who decided to use the potted house plant as a litter box, cook a meal, clean up after meal, make snacks, eat snacks, sweep the floors because I can't stand the crud under my feet, make another meal, clean up said meal... and on and on. Finding time to create is tough. Making time to create is tough. But I think I'm going to do it. I'm going to carve out some time to keep an art journal. I don't know how often I'll do it, I don't know how it will turn out, but I'm going to start. Wanna join me?
What in the world does keeping an art journal have to do with labor preparation?
It is simply a place to practice turning off your analytical, logical brain, and activating your creative, intuitive, and feminine brain. Often when we give ourselves the space to create, new insights arise and surface which leads us to a deeper awareness of ourselves. Be curious with your art. Let it flow. See what happens. See what arises. See how you feel.
How do I begin?
I'll tell you how I'm going to start. I got a couple of these journals at the local craft store. You can use whatever you want and don' t have to spend a small fortune. Gather whatever art supplies you've got on hand. I've got watercolors, chalk pastels, good ol' Crayola markers, colored pencils, crayons, and decorative paper. You don't have to buy all of these supplies. If you don' t have anything on had, then I recommend starting with these chalk pastels. (Pastels are very fun, messy and forgiving. If you haven't used them, you'll fall in love immediately!)
Now just start. Don't think too much about it, just start creating. You can visit my Pinterest board here for inspiration. The possibilities are endless: watercoloring, sketching, doodling, lettering, zentangle, etc. Try a little bit of everything. Find your own stye. Your art journal can be shared with those you love, or it can be your private expression of you heart. It doesn't even have to be pretty. Don't be afraid. Just do it!
It's not about the product!
If the thought of creating art causes you some anxiety, you are not alone! Many of you might be saying to yourself, "But I'm NOT an artist, or, "I'm not very creative". This is quite normal, especially if you haven't done any real art since you were in elementary school. I encourage you to create as though you were back in grade school, when every kid thought of themselves as an artist! Again, don't worry about how it turns out, just let yourself go and be surprised!
Some questions to ask yourself along the way
If you decide to start an art journal, or if you have already kept one, let me know how it goes. What surprised you as you went along? How does this relate to you as you prepare for labor?
Check back here and I'll let you know how it's going with my art journal, too!
The following is part of a series of posts detailing the information in my free download: 26 Ways to Prepare Your Heart for Birth.
How often do you just sit and be still?
It's hard. There is so much to do. So many distractions. So many Shoulds. You know the Soulds: I should be doing this right now... I should pick up that.... I should... I should.... I should.... Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! If the Shoulds speak to you loud and clear, than this mindfulness practice will be perfect for you.
If you do find this challenging, I recommend a simple timer. Set it for 5 minutes. You can do anything for 5 minutes, right? So when it goes off... you can get back to all those Shoulds if you want.
Find a comfortable place to sit. I enjoy being outside because there is so much to take in.. the sounds, the smell, the fresh air.... (Plus, when I'm inside my house, the temptation to pick something up or put something away is too great for me.)
As you settle into your space, begin to notice your breath. Is it fast? Slow? Shallow? Take a few deep breaths here and notice your body relaxing.
Now just sit. Breathe. Listen. You may want to allow your eyes to soften on one focal point. You may want to close them.
Whatever you hear.... breathe it in...... then out.
Whatever you see.... breathe it in.... then out.
Whatever you feel... breathe it in....then out.
Now bring your attention to your baby. Breathe her/him in... and out.
Send all your love to the being in your womb.
Sit here as long as you like. When you're ready..... take a deep breath and get back to your day.
It is still there waiting for you. I promise!