Have you ever had a moment of perfect clarity? A moment that stops you in your tracks and makes you think that you might be either crazy or just stuck in a situation that isn’t good for you? Sadly, I had that moment tonight.
This semester I’ve pulled many all nighters. I can’t imagine my life without caffeine and I’ve officially saved the numbers of anywhere that will deliver food after midnight into my favorite contacts. None of this seemed horribly concerning until I stopped to think about what I’m doing to my body as I was working in my art journal. The realization of these things was probably aided by the fact that I was journaling at 4 o’clock in the morning as a break from studying.
I came across this great art therapy directive that takes a whole new spin on the general journal prompt “What’s on your mind today?” Instead of beginning with an intimidating blank space, start with a silhouette. I would have loved to use my own silhouette, but extra time is scarce in my life lately, so I copied one from the internet.
With my question in mind I began to draw in my favorite colorful Sharpies. As I filled in the space, I began to recognize how I was feeling about everything I would put down.
It wouldn’t take an expert to tell you that I was overwhelmed, but seeing my concerns on paper made me realize the extent to which I was overwhelmed. I am concerned about my family, my grades, my own physical well being, and my faith in God. All of these concerns could be manageable, but together they leave my mind a jumbled mess. As I kept drawing, my picture of myself began to transform into a realization about what I need and what I am putting out into the world. I am so overloaded with stress that I have been pushing it onto those around me, which has been negatively affecting my relationships.
Seeing my own thoughts on paper made me realize that I can’t continue living as I am. I need to make a change. And I need sleep. Oh goodness gracious do I need sleep.
So what can you realize? Begin with a silhouette on a piece of paper. You can trace your own silhouette or copy one from the internet. Then sit in a calm, quiet place and begin to write and draw out how you are feeling. Let yourself freely draw and worry about interpreting it after you finish.
Once you finish, consider your own use of color, words, symbols, and repeating themes. Did you place things in a certain way that is important to you? Is there something that keeps coming up? How do the things you have drawn affect your life? Maybe you’ll have a moment of clarity like me and realize some changes that need to be made in your life. Good luck!