Friday, January 19, 2007

Illustrated journals


There is something curious and fascinating about drawings enclosed with text. Its like a peek into someone's private life and I guess it is in many ways. Illustrated journals have always been around for a long time but are more in the forefront now since the reintroduction of Moleskine sketchbooks. Danny Gregory's lavish books and website feed ideas and generate more interest in creative journaling. Aleta Karstad has created some simply exquisite naturalist journals.

I want to challenge myself to create an illustrated journal for a month to start with and see if I can keep up the momentum. It will include aspects of life in writing and drawing. Nothing will be torn out or censored. Nothing will be erased or corrected. It will be truly illustrated life.

What if?

What if it truly doesn't matter what you do but how you do whatever you do?

How would this change what you choose to do with your life?

What if you could be more present and openhearted with each person you met if you were working as a cashier in a corner store, or as a parking lot attendant, than you could if you were doing a job you think is more important?

How would this change how you want to spend your precious time on this earth?

What if your contribution to the world and the fulfillment of your own happiness is not dependent upon discovering a better method of prayer or technique of meditation, not dependent upon reading the right book or attending the right seminar, but upon really seeing and deeply appreciating yourself and the world as they are right now?

How would this affect your search for spiritual development?

What if there is no need to change, no need to try to transform yourself into someone who is more compassionate, more present, more loving or wise?

How would this affect all the places in your life where you are endlessly trying to be better?

What if the task is simply to unfold, to become who you already are in your essential nature - gentle, compassionate, and capable of living fully and passionately present?

How would this affect how you feel when you wake up in the morning?

What if who you essentially are right now is all that you are ever going to be?

How would this affect how you feel about your future?

What if the essence of who you are and always have been is enough?

How would this affect how you see and feel about your past?

What if the question is not why am I so infrequently the person I really want to be, but why do I so infrequently want to be the person I really am?

How would this change what you think you have to learn?

What if becoming who and what we truly are happens not through striving and trying but by recognizing and receiving the people and places and practices that offer us the warmth of encouragement we need to unfold?

How would this shape the choices you make about how to spend today?

What if you knew that the impulse to move in a way that creates beauty in the world will arise from deep within and guide you every time you simply pay attention and wait?

How would this shape your stillness, your movement, your willingness to follow this impulse, to just let go and dance?

2 comments:

Robin Neudorfer said...

We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.

-Arthur Schopenhauer

(really liked this post Jeanette)

Jeanette Jobson said...

That quote is so true Robin. And so unfortunate too. Why do we do this?