January 28: “The Illustrated Discovery Journal”

“The key to loving how you live is in knowing what it is you truly love.”  Sarah Ban Breathnach

Profound, isn’t it?  As I am embarking on this journey, one thing I discovered about myself is that I didn’t know a whole lot about myself – my likes and dislikes, where I stand on some issues, etc.  I have spent so much of my life living to please others that I didn’t have a strong enough foundation in who I am and what I stand for.  One thing I do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that I have a God who loves me and has a plan for my life.  But He has blessed me with free will, so I decided it is time I figured out how I as an individual desire to use that free will outside of the influence of others and the desire to please them.

“To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to keep your soul alive.”  Robert Louis Stevenson

I love, love, love Robert’s quote.  I am going to try the illustrated discovery journal as Sarah suggests, but there will probably be more words, quotes, and articles than pictures, because defining who I am as a person is what I really need to discover.  As an artist, I know what pleases me visually.  Now my mission is to continue discovering what it is I want to stand for intellectually.  Love, kindness, honesty, integrity – these I know for sure.  But what about the complexities of an individual beyond that?

Maya Angelou will show someone the door if she hears so much as a whisper from them that is negative toward another human being.  Literally.  She will get them their coat and walk them right out.  She will not allow that negativity to permeate her walls.  Can you imagine?  Oh how I would love to have the strength of character to do that.  I worry so much about protecting family relationships, afraid to rock the boat, that I tend to say nothing.  I won’t participate in the negativity, but I don’t speak up against it, condoning it by omission.  That is one of my goals for this year, to become better at taking a stand on things and voicing my opinion.

I think as one’s identity is developed through the use of the illustrated discovery journal, it will help to create an inner confidence that supports this desire to take a stand more often.  What about you?  How will  you use the illustrated discovery journal?