Hello friends! Today I am excited to share with you my practice of sketching and journaling. I use my sketchbook for journaling, drawing and doodling. It is a huge source of stress release for me, as well as being a wonderful creative outlet. Some of my favorite journaling techniques to battle fear and anxiety are writing a list of affirmations like, “I am good,” “I am healthy,” and “I trust that everything will be exactly as it is meant to be,” etc. Sometimes I write love letters to myself, which are especially helpful when I’m being really hard on myself. You can see this in the photo with the rainbow spiral text with a heart in the center is a love letter to myself. I also try to write a daily gratitude list, or I just let loose and have basic ranting sessions!
For drawing, when I’m really angry, I like to use a technique that I learned from an art therapist where I just scribble circles. It helps my brain stop the “hamster wheel” of negative self-talk and find my center. Sometimes it can be so easy to let your brain spiral down into negativity–no good! Silly as it seems, scribbling and re-scribbling shapes are quite effective. I also enjoy transferring images that come to me during meditation into my sketchbook, the photo with the rainbow hands came from a chakra meditation I encountered.
My true love is drawing from life, so when I have the opportunity and time to sit and create a beautiful drawing, I do just that. The drawing of my hand with the mala beads is from my recent plane trip to Minnesota.
In this sketching and journaling practice, I have found that even just sitting for 15 minutes and doodling or writing down my thoughts can really help relieve my anxieties and move me to a better, more positive mind space, which then, in turn, fuels my creativity! I encourage you to take just a take a moment and connect with your feelings, close your eyes, and then draw what comes to mind.
Other ideas for sketching and journaling might be to paste/tape together a collage of photos, images and words. Or, pick an inspirational quote and design it–this is an excellent method for meditating on positive thoughts and help you develop a life mantra or mission, such as “Choose Love, Follow Your Heart, Let Go,” etc. I also find that writing down little goals for the week helps me refocus, whether it is to cook a new recipe or go for a walk with a friend–write it down and then do it! Whatever you choose to sketch or journal, it is always so rewarding–whether simply in the moment or if you look back at past entries and see what you have accomplished, and to remind yourself that the anxieties and struggles you were dealing with at the time will pass and you are stronger because of them!
Cassie Uhl is the author of five books and two card decks, an artist, intuitive energy healer, and death doula. Her lineage and practices are rooted in pagan earth-based spiritual practices of Northern Europe. She approaches her work and clients with trauma-informed support through all phases of life. She currently resides on the land of the Myaamia people in so-called Indiana of the US.