Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Widsom in Dreams

"The dream is a little hidden door into the innermost and most secret recesses of the soul..."
~C.G. Jung

There are so many dichotomy's in the every day pursuit of our dreams. Setting goals, navigating the unexpected, recalibrating, facing the reality. To make sense of our changing selves we need to find ways to reach into our unconscious, clear away the fog and expose those aspects of ourselves that are yet unknown. Once we have access to these deep parts of ourselves, we need to find way to integrate them into our understanding of who we are and what we want. It's probably what draws so many people toward art journaling.  Art journaling in not about the end result, its about the processes, the experience, and the journey. Woven into these processes are deeply personal, of oftentimes very powerful experiences.

The time we take for ourselves is never enough.  We need to step our of our busy, cluttered everyday lives and stop.  We need to make each of our precious self-nurturing moments count, we need to find ways to let our minds rest on beautiful thoughts, let our energy recharge, and our passion reignite.  Many of us do this effectively through yoga, meditation, journal writing, and creative expression. But we also need to find time for the inner process of rejuvenation.  One way to do this is by noticing our dreams, finding ways to express them, and then in turn, understand them. By understanding our own dreams, we not only find solutions to everyday problems, we also find new paths to self-discovery. Clarity often comes to us once we wake from a dream. The psychologist Carl Jung believed that the psyche speaks to us through dream images, and if we take the time to explore these images, we find a natural path to healing and growth.

"The Circle has been universally accepted as a religious image of perfection, a shape of total symmetry, hermetically closed off from its surroundings. It is the most general shape, possessing the fewest individual features but serving at the same time as the matrix of all possible shapes." 
~Rudolf Arnheim.

There are many ways to explore our dreams, but for me, one of the most powerful ways in through the art of making mandalas. Symbols, images, and color all hold personal meaning for me, and to place these methodically, and meditatively within the confnes of the circle, helps me to find meaning and clarity. Throughout the ages, Mandalas have been used to communicate nonverbal messages. The circle organizes and safely contains symbolic imagery that acts as a bridge to our unconscious, helping us to safely regain our sense of balance and harmony.

Creating mandalas is also a very ancient and spiritual form or art journaling, and because mandalas are symbolic, they are able to contain many layers of meaning that help us integrate our sense of identity with our desires, thereby giving us a clearer path to future growth. There are many ways to create mandalas, and many ways to weave our dreams into them.  In "Wisdom Circles", my portion of the "21 Secrets" program,  I use storytelling and visualization as a way to help you explore your own dreams and desires. We create circles of wisdom through our own symbols, color, and images. It's a powerful art journaling secret, and one I've been practicing for many years.

This page was my expression of fear.  It was created during a time of great adversity for me, in the year my infant son was born 16 weeks premature. During that time I struggled to make sense of anything, my life went into a holding pattern and I had no platform on which to rest my creative soul. I created hundreds of mandalas in many many journals while sitting for five months beside his NICU bed. Today, when I feel discombobulated and overwhelmed, unable to think clearly, I sit down with my journal and let my dreams and anxieties spill out into the circle.

I'm giving away a place on this wonderful program to one lucky person. Click here for more information and to enter.

Thanks for checking in. xx