Why its OK to Get Messy

One of the most beautiful things about keeping a Visual Journal, is that it doesn’t need to be beautiful!  A journal is meant as a private place for processing life – the good, the challenging, the joy, the pain.

This week I want to remind you that it is OK to get messy in your journal.  In fact, it is more than OK! There is no safer place to let the ugly out.  Rip it, shred it, smear it with thick gloppy paint, let loose on the page. When you allow yourself to actually feel what you are feeling, without it needing to be pretty, you can begin to process ALL of LIFE.  As you sit with what is and acknowledge it without judgement (as much as possible), you actually create the space to heal it.  You can unleash sticky thoughts, dig in shadowy corners and use the page as a place to process and release.

I share this personal page created several years ago as an example of getting messy. The process began by first writing out my thoughts on lined notebook paper. I will admit that they weren’t pretty thoughts, but they were ideas I needed to sit with at the time this was created.

I then tore the page into big chunks and set it aside. I scribbled the tree and background into my journal with water soluble pastels. While I scribbled and wet the image down, my mind was processing what I had written. I turned the fears and worry over to Spirit in silent prayer as I worked. I tore the writing into smaller leaf shapes, glued them onto the bare tree then slathered them with brown paint. Some where during the process I remember feeling calmer about my situation. I wiped red paint onto the surface and using the back end of a paint brush scratched an affirmation into the wet paint. “It’s all only temporary. Breathe through the seasons. They will pass.”

Perhaps the process took me an hour or two, but it was time well spent! In that time I was able to process my fears and claim the guidance of inner wisdom.  You too have a wellspring of inner wisdom that you can tap into.  All it takes is creating the space to process, to be present, and to listen.

Blessings on your Creative Journey,

Rev. Jen

If you enjoy keeping a Visual Journal, please consider joining our free FB group dedicated to Visual Journals.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/VisualJournalCommunity/

For those of you who live in the Kansas City, MO area, I would also like to invite you to join me for our weekly Visual Journal program held at Unity Village.  For more details and a map to our meeting room visit our events page.


“Everything suddenly made so much sense. It was like a ton of weight was taken off my shoulders. It was okay being me and understanding what being enough is. THANK YOU SO MUCH for this experience.” -Linn, Visual Journal Workshop Participant

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