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Want a chance for you to share your story with me!  Tell me about your first or favorite journal.  What did it look like? What were you writing about that made it so endearing?  What is your relationship with journaling today?

Here’s my story:

I started journaling in the 8th grade when my English teacher Mrs. Lyons made it a daily event in the classroom.  An old blue folder with three brads down the middle was as fancy as it got back then.  Inside were all the many dramas of my life, mostly which centered around a bad boy, Allen Kientz, that  my mother didn’t want me seeing. (Who I saw anyway….but mostly between the pages of the journal.)  Looking back years later, it was clear from the amount of writing that I did about that guy that 8th grade was the year I went boy-crazy.  It was also the year I fell in love with writing.  The boys came and went, but words have remained my closest friends. 

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Every once in awhile I have a craving to go deeper into the well of inner knowledge. Things like art, journaling, solitude, and highly engaging conversation with just the right person can take me there.  Recently I felt the call of the page. Paper bound with the purpose of helping me get found.

When the desire for writing in this way comes up, I go in search of a new blank book.  It has to feel just right.  I have been bored lately with off-the-shelf journals, so I decided to delve into the realm of handmade.  Now, I made a journal once.  It is pretty, but less than what I wanted for my inner-prize.  So I began perusing Etsy to see what I could see.

Etsy has some amazing book artists.  From tee-ninsie to gian-ormous!  Elegant, earthy, whimsical, or plain Jane.  With so many options, it could be overwhelming to choose. But, as is often the case in picking a world of pages for my musings, the perfect journal for me came forward and announced itself without a doubt!

 www.bindingbee.etsy.com

Binding Bee (www.bindingbee.etsy.com)  is a cute little shop with great books. Megan Winn, the book binder/artist, turned out to be as sweet as the work she does.  This journal is made with up-cycled leather and has pattern pieces incorporated into the pages. 

To understand the call of this particular journal, it is important to get a sense of what I want to explore with it.  In my last post, I talked about the metephoric knots I was presented with.  It is maybe a strange thing to describe “issues” this way, but that’s how it feels.  It is as if I have one big problem, but a closer look reveals interlocked, inter-related variables. I find it hard to determine what all is in the knot, but I know that it includes how I live with and in my body and the things that have influenced my relationship with my body.  So you see, the pattern pieces speak directly to the issues at hand.

 I think it is easy to start to feel uncomfortable when someone starts pointing to the things in life that don’t go quite right, but this knot is about something positive. It is about looking at the knot (every woman who has worn a necklace knows you have to put what’s tangled in front of you if you want to get it off your neck) so that I can loosen it up, throw out what is broken, fix what can be salvaged and supplement what is missing.  This is about opportunity and healing.  So if my vulnerability has you at all on edge, take a breath.  It’s all good. 

I hope you will enjoy hearing about my special little journal.  In the next week or two, you can expect my first artist interview. I had a great visit with the book-binder who whipped up this jewel, Megan Winn.  Her story inspires me to look at life with a new eye and to celebrate the gift of creative living in a more back-to-basics way. 

Until then…

I am creatively yours,

Rae

creatura1Yesterday, over coffee, my friend Elizabeth asked me if I meditate.  I didn’t know how to answer her because I wasn’t sure if she would agree that what I do is mediation.  I know there are lots of ways to meditate and sometimes I do these more traditional ways, but what I do most is not listed in meditation books. 

I dream on things. 

I might sit and consider possibilities or call a concern to my mind in the times between waking or sleeping.  I let go of my mind and watch it follow a thought from one place to another.  In this way I can pull together complicated ideas or expand on more simple concepts. 

I am able to get results from this which help me to be my personal best. For example, I will lay down and dream ona subject before Ibegin to write my term paper.  This practice feels very indulgent, but I find when I skip this process that I get stuck and frustrated.

I looked up the etimology of the word meditate on www.etymonline.com.  It is a dictionary which tells you the original use and meaning of words.  Some of the meanings I found relevant to the kind of meditation I have been describing come from med which is to think over or consider something. But my favorite derivitive of that root, mederi means to heal.

A more personal etymology for the term dreaming on comes from the movie The Missingwith Cate Blanchett and Tommy Lee Jones.  Jones plays the father of Blanchett.  He has spent a good portion of his adult life living with and as a Native American.  I believe the movie is set at the turn of the century.  The father sits with his granddaughter and appears to be sleeping or at least napping.  He is playing over in his mind the possibilities of the day to come. He explains to her that he is “dreaming on” what will happen.  Later, the little girl uses that  process to vision the life she and her family will have together. 

missing_ver3

I had discovered that tool for myself years ago but found Jones’ term gave a worthy name to it. 

Most recently, I have been dreaming on what feels like an intricate matrix of knots which are presenting themselves for untangling.  Every person has something that keeps them from living their fullest potential.  For me, I have a complicated series of inter-related events, beliefs, and responses having to do with my relationship to my body which keep me from being my best. 

In Gestalt therapy, there is a concept that talks about how an individual becomes mindful of disturbances which come to the forefront of their awareness.  The healthy individual has a dynamic interplay between the formation of these disturbances that come forward and the destruction of the disturbances.  My knots have come forward to be destroyed. I am hopeful that I have what it takes to heal that for myself.

As I contemplate what has come forward, I find images and metephors that are helping me make sense of how one thing is related to the other. I have been doing some art about this and talking about it a bit, but because of how complicated it all seems here in the beginning of the process, dreaming on the matrix is the least overwhelming thing to do.  It is a way of looking at the beast without touching it…so that I can discover its heart.

My Etsy Shop

http://laughinglane.etsy.com Photobucket

Robert Alan

The creative spirit is one of the most powerful driving forces in human history. Creativity in the arts can inspire new insights and understanding for generations. Inventive creativity has helped transform our society time and time again, helping to make life better for countless lives. Creativity helps bring meaning to one's life through unique self-expression. When focused on uplifting humanity, creativity can help to create a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. How will you use your creativity to help create a better world?

Henry David Thoreau

The world is but a canvas to the imagination.

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