Do you think this could be true? Do you think flowers make everything better?
I remember when I wanted to buy my first bunch to treat myself to an expensive bouquet of Pink Roses, scattered with dainty little pops of pretty leafy things & the most delicate Baby's Breath fillers I had ever seen. They were perfect!
But, I felt so weird about it... What was this feeling? As I picked up another bunch in peachy colours, I felt it again. I 'quickly' put the bouquet back!? What on earth was this feeling!? I just hated it with every ounce of my being!
At this time, around summer 1995, I had no idea why these feelings existed in me... What I did know, was that flowers are supposed to bring us joy in the most surprising ways, right?
So, if this was true, what was going on with me?
The same thing happened when I wanted to get myself an expensive dress, it felt so “weird”!? I hated this gut wrenching empty hollow feeling. Somehow, I couldn’t bring up a feeling that would allow me to buy the dress, as if I wasn't worth having something so extravagant.
I kept thinking about what this thing was going on inside my mind & heart. Was that really over a dress or did it go deeper? The thing that was even more unclear to me at the time was that my heart wouldn’t allow me to approve, or shall we say 'justify' why I wanted that expensive dress in the first place. Who did I think I was to spend that much money on a little black dress? It was a gorgeous halter neck dress studded with hand sewn beads with an Italian Designer label. The lady at the counter even offered to give it to me on lay-buy for three months as she could see how much I desired it. And it wasn't the price, it was the whispers in my mind that kept me from buying it.
The year was 1997.
I figured that the dress maybe wasn’t meant to be or me, I would instead just make something myself. The two piece jacket & pants I ended up making was stunning! It had a black velvet floral print with sparkling bits shimmering as the light hit it.
But this feeling made me feel even worse than ever before. In fact, it made other feelings bubble up as well, because that day was a big win.
I won the trophy for Up & Coming L'Oreal Hair Stylist of the Year
You'd think I would look happier about it... Can yo guess what feelings were boiling in my gut?
The way I work through things start with a blank page. Whether it is a personal riddle, like the one above I wanted to solve or some new idea, I would grab my writing tools & sit down somewhere to write. Giving expression to these feelings is one of the most liberating things I’ve learned to do.
Some of those pages became ideas & others were torn out & burned… The bottom line is this >>> dealing with it was far better than suppressing it!
Nearly 10 years after the dress thing, something similar happened when I went out to buy myself a car. It was fun shopping around & test driving a few, but something felt off.
As soon as I sat down with the Salesman to fill in the forms I felt “it” again. In a matter of minutes, the fear & the same weird guilty feeling came over me. I recognized it as the same feeling from that day I wanted to buy myself the first bunch of flowers & when I looked at the dress I just could get myself to buy!!!
I suddenly had an epiphany; this personal riddle had turned into a solution.
Even though I felt the feelings I had before, I felt encouraged enough to move ahead & invest in the car I wanted. This was huge!!!!
“I bought a car that day... Jipeeeeeee for personal progress!"
So what happened? How did I go from where I was to where I could invest in such an expensive item? Was it a need that had to be filled or was it something else?
Fast forward a few years… here I am today with a heart filled with joy, living the life I want to live in & it all became a reality through my Sketchbook journal pages.
I’m telling you - it is a game-changer!!!
Having the power to deal with your own “shizz” is such a freeing thing. I wrote in my journal every day, read personal development books, learned self-hypnosis techniques & invested hours to talk to myself about what I could do to become my best version. I climbed the success ladder & continued to reach higher levels of personal growth. I couldn't believe how much my life had changed as I kept on building myself up with compassion.
I soon realised that it didn't matter how talented I became as a Hair Stylist, the ladies who cam to me had the same problem I had. They didn't feel good on the inside... Learning this profound truth early on in my career, I could use that to pivot towards their hearts & begin to heal them on a deeper level. My Hairdressing business was the perfect platform for this as I took the time to truly understand my clients needs with as much compassion for the trapped feelings they too had experienced in their lives.
You’ve often heard me saying the Sketchbooks are our Memory Keepers, but they are much more than that... They are my personal guides & the joy makers I so longed to have!
Listen, I’ll let you in on a little secret… this personal riddle thing was not an easy thing & it certainly isn’t easy to open up to you about it either. In fact, I almost didn’t reach this point where I was willing to share my experience with you. Again, hearing that little fear monster whispering doubt in my ear & elusively lurking in the background begging for attention…
This was not easy & I can assure you today, that if you are going through your Journey, now is good to hear this - "It doesn't go away, we just learn to live above the drama!"
In some miraculous way, I made it through three decades of self-imposed suffering to find a creative connection with myself & that came from daily mindfulness. It was a lonely journey that very few could go through, but somehow I figured it out. I'm not kidding when I say that living a conscious, mindful creative life is the most fun I've ever had. It all started when I discovered the magic of a Sketchbook practice. I'd figure things out, teach myself to cope & above all else, learn to love my life with all it's wonderful lessons.
The good news; I’ve gathered some of the most life-changing information that I could actually apply into my life. Little by little it all brought me here to a place in my life where I am able to fill my whole life with flowers.
Finally, I can be in a conscious place where self-acceptance & love remain within.
You see, if we don’t choose to make the changes & do something about our bottled-up emotions, NOTHING in our lives will work. Not a logical approach, neither a creative one…
We just have to start somewhere & do the work to improve ourselves. My entire creative approach was based on my Sketchbook Practices & that is what I've put together for you as I became my own Therapist with years of hands-on experiences to share! Are you ready to begin your own healing journey?
This Beautiful, Wild & sometimes heart-breaking Life we find ourselves in can be so profoundly complex that we need an escape from it from time to time. Sketchbooks, notebooks, diaries & creative practices opened my mind to become my best version & this is where a Mindful Sketchbook Practice comes in.
It is like having a friend there to guide us & ease some of life's stressors...
Within arm’s reach is a tool you can use right away… Your Sketchbook
A Sketchbook never judges what we pour into it at any point. I’m living proof that our Sketchbooks are the perfect companions to tell our stories to. They help us relieve the stressors of the day-to-day stuff we must learn to deal with at some point & it is just so much fun exploring not only our creativity, but also the journey of discovering more about yourself.
May today’s open-hearted conversation help you in some way to see that there are ways to open up & become your best version. Becoming conscious of what we face & then using our Sketchbooks to work through our emotions