Here is the first in a series of five posts that aim to show you how creative journaling as a daily habit can become the foundation of your creative work!
Are you one of us or one of them? When we look up, we see a mama whale and her calf swimming across the sky. They see clouds. When we look down, we see an ant carrying his fishing pole. They see a bug. We see five happy turtles having a picnic. They see some rocks.
For us, everything is alive. Everything is symbolic. Everything is a story. People like us carry our journal everywhere we go. Waiting at the dentist office, you will see us scribbling away. At the coffee shop, you find us busy with our journal notes and doodles.
Here's the secret. It's easy to make journaling an everyday habit because that's what people like us do. We need to belong and feel connected to our community, our tribe, our culture of journals and sketchbooks.
In the overwhelming avalanche of life circumstances, sometimes, who we are gets muddled-up. But once we get it clear again, we have this very comfortable feeling of belonging and fitting in with our tribe that embraces journaling as an everyday practice.
Once we get back on track with our journal, the unexpected happens. There is an eclectic collision and mix-up of lines and forms that begin to emerge through a jumble of smudges and a superimposed layer of notes. What used to be a messy juxtaposition of disassociated scribbles, doodles, and text, now, somehow relate. It is clearly suggestive of a story begging to be told. It is the whale in the clouds that has come to the surface of the page to stir the juices of our imagination.
For more about the psychology of 'people like us', read Seth Godin's article People Like Us.
What can the Creative Journaling Habit do for you?
Turn your journal into an engine of inspiration and a go-to source of new ideas and visual assets.
The answer lies in creative journaling as an everyday habit. Everyday? Yep, everyday.
Hi, Chris here. I'm your Artist's Kayak host and guide. I want to show you the five secrets that can lock-in an inspired daily journaling routine. For me, it is the foundation of my creative work.
Please stay tuned! For the first five posts of 2019, I will introduce each of the five secrets one at a time. Let me show you how the creative journaling habit can become the foundation of your creative work as well!
We loaded up the truck and proceeded to 'hookie the Cookie' - our little 19 foot travel trailer. We climbed in the cab, and took a swig of coffee. On cue, Linda said, 'All clear. Ready for takeoff. The sky is yours, captain.'
I grabbed the wheel, put it in gear, and headed our rig southwest out of Henderson, Nevada. It was the morning of June 28th. We pulled onto Interstate 15 and rolled comfortably along. We drove about 40 minutes and got as far as Primm, Nevada located on the Nevada/California border (Stateline, the locals call it). Just past Primm, suddenly the wind began to pick up.
Within a few minutes the wind became downright ferocious. I'd say it was gusting to 40 mph. With our 17 foot kayak lashed to the rack on top, the wind gusts seemed pretty severe and knocked our little truck around. It felt like our trailer was fishtailing a little. We got to the Needles exit and pulled off the road.
The wind was really howling. It was so strong, I didn't think we could take the boat down off the top without it flying off across the desert. Linda and I sat there on the side of the road and talked over what to do. I was discouraged. Forty minutes into our big trip and already a major obstacle. Is this a healing journey?
A day or two before, I used one of my favorite apps, Windfinder, to check conditions along our route plan. The weather for the week looked great. No significant wind in sight. Well, the Mojave is not that predictable.
I told Linda that I didn't want to pull the Cookie through an endless windstorm and maybe we should head back. Our plan was to take the boat down somehow and then test drive the rig in the windy conditions (without the boat on top) on a side-road. After that, we'd make our decision whether to push on, wait out the storm, or go home.
We struggled to wrestle the boat down to the ground. It was difficult but somehow we prevailed. Fortunately, our kayak is a fold-up type so we could take it apart and pack it into the truck bed. We pulled out onto the road, and without the boat on top, we discovered the truck/trailer handled so much better. And away we went.
Sneaker winds can come out of nowhere in the Mojave, especially during sunrise. Within an hour, the heavy gusting winds subsided. A couple of hours later we climbed out of the desert and up the mountain. We made it to our first stop near Tehachapi pass, famous for windmills and sailplanes. We discovered a beautiful Summer day in Tehachapi with only a soft breeze that made it just perfect (See photo below).
By this time, all the doubts and worries related to morning events had faded. I said, 'You know, maybe this trip will turn out to be a fun adventure and a healing journey after all.' And right on cue, Linda chirped, 'All clear. Ready for takeoff. The sky is yours, captain!'
Photo: Loading the truck, preparing to head out on the road with kayak on top and a travel trailer behind.
Photo: A soft, gentle breeze welcomes us at Mountain Valley RV Park, site #12.
Map: For us, Tehachapi Pass is the connecting tissue between the Mojave desert (home base in Henderson, Nevada) and the California central valley. If all goes well, we can leave from Henderson and get out of the hot desert and up the mountain to our favorite little Tehachapi RV park in about five hours (250 miles).
Photo: Chris shares his recent phone pics with Linda while waiting for breakfast at the Raven's Nest Cafe. From this table, we can look out over the airfield and watch the airplanes take off.
Photo: Linda rides back to the RV park after breakfast.
Photo: Where do I go from here? Linda has to decide whether to jump back on her bicycle or climb into the sailplane!
When a butterfly lands on a paperclip, it does not ponder over the practical use of the object. When it comes to stuff like paperclips, the butterfly fails to recognize or comprehend anything meaningful or relevant. How can the instantly recognizable structure and symmetries of a wire paperclip go unnoticed? It is a thing to us. We name it. We give it meaning. But for the butterfly it is no more than part of a glistening dust cloud of flotsam and jetsam. And paperclips will remain an impenetrable abstraction for all butterflies for all time.
I am a butterfly searching for paperclips. We humans think we know everything. But you see, humans are very limited creatures just like butterflies. We are surrounded by paperclips and other stuff. But we have not learned to see it. It is too abstract. But it is out there. When you believe it is there and you reach for it ...you will find it.
When we draw the unknown, we discover the unknown. Over time, that unknown thing becomes recognizable as something. We give it a name. It becomes known. It becomes known to have its use, value, and meaning. I draw these unknown things. They are not really there but they might be. I don't know. I push myself to believe. I draw the unmade bed, so to speak. I am a butterfly hoping to land on a paperclip.
Below is a page turn video that goes through my book. Available at Amazon ($2.99) at this link.
5 out of 5 stars Great Books
By David Robinson on April 30, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
Awesome and interesting book by an OREGON author. Also the use of a kayak is a great idea as he has his equipped. Very interesting perspective on the use of black and ultra black.
Chris kayaks among reeds and songbirds at Eagle Lake, California.
Hi, Chris here. I’m the author of the Artist's Kayak blog. Besides Artist's Kayak, I have several other authoring and publishing ventures going. To see what other things I'm up to, check out my hub site here.
Enjoy some of the most relaxing and inspiring bicycling, hiking, and kayaking on easy-going waterways and trails.
Step into your kayak and push off. Breath. Let go. Reawaken into the moment. Appreciate. Reconnect. Revitalize. Mind. Body. Spirit. Rediscover your sense of touch. This is your healing journey.
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