We’ve all heard that creativity can lead to self-discovery, healing, stress reduction, and more. But how?
How do you get to that point of being able to create so freely, your soul is able to speak clearly through art?
I guess it comes naturally to some. But it wasn’t that so for me.
Years ago, I had the need to have a sense of control. I needed life to be predictable. Not only in life, but in my creative process as well. When I created, each step was planned out.
And this way of life served me quite well – I built a successful business selling my art, and was even featured in magazines and on television. But it ran me dry. Until eventually I was feeling completely lost and empty.
Long story short, I quit and went on a mission for freedom.
I floundered, found my way, and floundered some more. Through following my inner guidance, I was able to release some of my perfectionism and comparison and step bravely into art journaling.
But it wasn’t until I started working with a life coach that I was able to truly speak to my soul through art.
Having my own personal coach, as well as training to sharpen my skills as a life coach has stretched me in so many ways I didn’t know was possible.
Here’s just a few ways coaching has helped to deepen my creative practice:
It Showed Me What I Was Missing
I had recently moved to a new town. My mother had just passed away. I grew up painfully shy. What I’m really trying to say is – I didn’t have anyone in my life to really talk to. Coaching showed me what it was like to connect with someone on a deep, soul level. It awakened me to how on the surface I was living. It showed me what was possible. It led me to wanting a deeper relationship with others and with myself. And so, the journey of getting to know my soul began.
It Broke Me Open
Before life coaching, I didn’t realize how closed down I was. It felt like life was fine. But really, my emotions were shut down. I was still slightly stuck in that “autopilot” way of living. Coaching gently pushed me to open my heart. It gave me a safe space to be vulnerable. Naturally, it spilled out into my life – beginning with my own safe space: my art journal.
It Peeled the Layers Back
From being so closed down, my ego naturally built walls around me – carefully constructed masks of a person I thought society wanted me to be. Coaching helped me begin the process of peeling those layers back one by one; until eventually I started to see who I really am without society’s labels and expectations. Each time I got a glimpse of this beautiful soul within, I let her spill onto my journal page with paint. And the more I saw her, the more easily I was able to connect with her.
It Removed the Guilt
Changes were happening all around me. Good changes. I began to see the effect coaching was having not only on me, but to my family as well. It taught me the importance of taking time for myself, so I can better serve those I love. With this new understanding, I was able to develop a more regular practice of having personal time with my journal – without the usual guilt.
It Taught Me How to Separate
As with any new beginning, my mind was full of negative chatter when I first started art journaling. Ugh, that’s so ugly! You’re doing it wrong! At first, I didn’t even recognize these voices within. I was so used to them playing in the background of my mind, I couldn’t even hear them clearly anymore. All I knew was that I struggled with fully expressing myself. Through working with a life coach, I learned to recognize which voices were coming from my pre-programmed ego, and which were coming from the real me – my soul. In turn, I was finally able to start seeing those negative thoughts as separate from myself. As something I can actually tangibly work with and transform; allowing me to finally let my soul lead the way in life, and in my journal.
It Showed Me the Beauty in Imperfection
Through coaching, I was learning to be more present in life. To view myself, others, and the world around me with a new set of eyes. It led me to see how we are all perfectly imperfect. This was especially evident when I began coaching my own clients. I saw how raw, vulnerable, messy, yet oh so beautiful each one of us really are. I fell in love with them not because they were perfect, but because of their imperfections. And through this new view on life, I began to embrace and even love the imperfections in my art. My perfectionism and comparison simply slipped away.
Our lives and our art are more intertwined than I ever would have imagined.
When beginning my coaching training back in January of 2014, I was simply curious with a passion to help people. But through my journey, I see now the misconception from society that creating is all about producing a result or product.
Our creativity is part of our innate magic.
It’s a gift we all possess that allows us to weave our souls into the tangible world. It’s bringing our essence to life. It’s making the invisible real – giving it a reality in this tangible, visual world.
The more that we can see and nurture our true selves, the deeper our creative practices become. And the deeper our practices become, the more we are able to heal, see, and love our soul – our true beautiful selves.
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Colleen Kehler says
I would love to receive information on using art journaling together with lift coach training. Exactly what I’m looking for!
Amy Maricle says
I so appreciate you sharing about how important it was to peel the layers back and give some acceptance and kindness to yourself. I too find that I need to create that space for imperfection in my journal.
Denise Herman says
Krystal, I just have to say that it is so wonderful and very inspiring to watch you transform! I started art journaling about the same time you did, I believe – several years ago now – and I love your work as it does in fact deepen. Thanks for your honesty and modeling! Such a service!
Thank you for your story, it’s inspiring. You are inspiring.