Journaling workshop part 2- preparing, self-reflection

OK- it’s time for me to focus on organizing my current journal.  Its Saturday evening and the pets are fed and all asleep, the house is tidy (well, as tidy as my overly crowded but cozy small space can be) and there is a window of opportunity to get to work.  I’m sufficiently well enough (though still sick), sufficiently happy (though battling melancholy), sufficiently excited (though riding the wave of fear for the future), sufficiently content (though properly out of sorts), sufficiently clear (though breathing through my mouth), sufficiently confident (though anxious as always), sufficiently full of caffeine (though going to put on a pot of coffee) to work on my journal.

I try to connect to my journal every day- but it can be as little as throwing in a note into the basket of papers.  There are times when the mind is in need of deeper work and I am certainly in that frame of mind.  [Besides I really have to get back to practicing what I preach.  THE ART JOURNAL…  I have been “distracted” by my monkeys.  Yet, can a sock monkey be a type of journal- each stitch a thought?]  In all honesty, I have held back on starting a new journal as the current one was started when my mom passed away… Letting go is easier as a concept.

And so back to now.  Why am I so worried about the future?  Well, as always- there are big changes ahead as I enter a new chapter- financially, personally, career-wise.  I am embracing the change ahead, but can easily drown in the familiar anxiety- who doesn’t crave a predictable, content, and safe life?  Our school faces change and until we get the word, I find it hard to bite down on promoting myself.  I always worry about my worth.

I walked the dog earlier and was lost in thought, rattling to-do lists in my brain, acknowledging my restlessness; a young student yelled my name from a back porch in the lane.  She had her little son with her and she looked content and marvelous.  We chatted for awhile.  I feel at peace when I connect with “my youth, ” restlessness falling away… I was tired at the end of the school day yesterday, happy to be by myself at last after very crowded group sessions, cleaning up the graffiti room, when I heard a small voice.  A student asked me to fix the hole in the back of her sweatpants.  We shared a simple private moment, just sewing and chatting.  The trust humbled me [it was a profound moment] and again I felt the peace of connecting with “my youth”.  My worth lies in that trust.  Not in the amount of money earned (or not earned).  But in the art of connection.  The simplicity of using art to lift.  I need to use that simplicity now to lift myself!

But are you strong enough to point that high-powered perception at yourself? What about it? Why don’t you – why don’t you look at yourself and write down what you see? Or maybe you’re afraid to. – Clarice Starling

OK- that’s it- the basket has been spilled onto the floor, there is glue, scissors, news articles, journals, notes, ideas, lists, inspirations… I’m diving in!

Background noise while I journal- Woody Allen's Love and Death, my son's laugh, the dryer...

PS. I’ll probably print this entry out and glue it in the new journal- consider that today’s lesson

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