The Creative Diary in Quarantine 07 – A dialogue with nature
Nature really helps when life is difficult. Sometimes it is not possible to get to nature, then there is nature in the house (houseplants), but sometimes there is not even that. Then look out the window or close your eyes, relax your breath and face nature in your imagination …
Drawing and writing
- Today we are going to take a breath of nature. Either literally or in the imagination. Go outside with your diary, 2 ballpoint pens of different colors and some color supplies.
- Go out in your garden (or house) and contact an element from nature. That can be a plant, a flower, a tree, the grass, … Choose something that you are attracted to.
- Sit down. Close your eyes for a moment and be attentive to that natural element.
- When you are ready, write a dialogue with that element. One colored marker represents you, the other color is the natural element. Ask questions about the natural element, introduce yourself. Let the answers of that element bubble up within yourself. No answer is wrong or crazy. Let your intuition and imagination work. Stand still and feel … feel what to write down as an answer. Let go of the ‘logical’.
- Leave a trace of the natural element with which you spoke. Draw in shape, line and color.
- When you come back in, read your conversation again. Which word stays the most from that conversation? Write it down on a separate piece of paper and stick it on / with the conversation.
“In every walk in nature, one receives far more than one seeks.” – J. Muir
What if … you can’t go out? Making contact through a window with nature around you is a solution, but your houseplants are also nature OR you can relax on the couch and look for nature in your imagination. Do not be enclosed by 4 walls, they are only ‘illusion’ if it depends on our imagination.
What if … you don’t know what questions to ask? Here are some suggestions: How are you doing? Do you have a message for me? What do you feel? What does your life look like?
What if … you can’t write? Then you have the conversation in mind and draw elements of the conversation in your journal.
TIP: Sometimes we wonder whether it is our brains that come up with an answer or our intuition that was speaking. Try to see it this way: if your answer gives you satisfaction, makes you calm and fills your heart, then it is your intuition; if your answer feels artificial, then it is your ratio.
Important to know:
Working in a Creative Diary is NOT about results, it’s about expressing you inner self. It is NOT about techniques, techniques only help you to express yourself in more different ways. The exercises I give are an INVITATION, not an obligation. You can do the exercise, or not, you can do it differently, it’s at your choosing. The most important thing to remember is that you’re putting yourself and your (inner) world on paper, you are NOT making art. So feel inspired by images, but don’t compare yourself ! Fun and self-expression come first.
What do you need?
- coloured pencils
- writing materials
- soft pastels
- oil pastels
- some magazines
And of course: a journal/diary. I recommend an 8,3 inches x 11,7 inches notebook (A4 format) with blank paper, but take whatever you find in your house. Blank papier is good too.
The exercises used in this Creative Diary are based on a method described by Lucia Capacchione, American art-therapist and author of the book The Creative Journal, by Anne-Marie Jobin, Canadian art-therapist and author of the soon to be coming book The New Creative Journal, and myself, Sarah Timmermans, Belgian art-therapist and psychologist (Dutch book: Het Creatieve Dagboek). The method blends knowledge from writing therapy, art-therapy, psychology and basic creativity. It’s a simple method that doesn’t requires any artistic skills and has been used with many ages, many individuals and many groups of people. More questions? Please write me.
Who am I?
I’m Sarah Timmermans, Belgian art-therapist, naturopath and psychologist. I’m trained by Jungian art-therapist/psychologist Csilla Kemenzcei. I work with individuals and with groups. I’m specialised in using diaries, tarot (archetypes) and dreams.