I love to draw quick sketches of situations in my journal before I write my story. I don’t aim for perfect illustrations or artsy drawings. I simply do a very rough and quick sketch of what image I have in my mind and then spend a looooooong time adding colour. And while I put on that layer of colour with watercolour pencils, my mind wanders deeper into the story…and away from it…and back into it. It is not only relaxing, but it also helps me boil down my story to the limited amount of space I have left on my spread to write it down.

When things are going on in your life, working this way in your diary is so much better than just writing. Because while you draw and colour, the egdes are polished off the emotions so that you sink deeper back into yourself…so that you get more in tune with yourself beyond all the emotions. Colouring a page with a slow medium like watercolour pencil, and then needing more time for the layer of water to even it out is like meditating. But with a beautiful page as a result. (Headphones with music to match your mood is highly recommended and adds another dimension with even better result, although working in perfect silence sometimes does miracles.)

The trick with this kind of journaling, is not to expect art. The trick is to allow yourself to draw a situation quickly, even when it looks like a kindergarten drawing…just work with it. Leafing through your journal at a later point in life, this simple and naive drawing will bring you back to this point in your life instantly. If you feel stuck in the process because of self-criticism, then simply draw with your non-dominant hand. Yep, definitely no perfect picture. But you’re not supposed to draw a perfect picture persé. This is not about a perfect picture. This is about dealing with thoughts and emotions on paper. This is about meditating in your journal.

Last night I did such a journal page. It’s far from perfect, but I spent 2 hours drawing, coloring and writing my story. It put my mind at ease so that I could float off into a relaxed sleep.

My page is about moments in your life when you are facing challenges and when you think you have to fight the giant all on your own. But then unexpectedly, you run into somebody who’s facing the exact same giant. And even though the challenge doesn’t get any smaller, knowing you’re in the same boat, can make you feel twice as strong.