Meet the Art Journal Enthusiast, Julie Jarvis.

The first in our "Journaling Affection" series, is an interview with Julie Jarvis. I met Julie more than ten years ago in a yoga class, and I'm happy to call her my friend. I interviewed her about her art journaling routine, to offer you a deeper look into her artistic life. 

Meet Julie Jarvis. You can follow her artistic journey on her Facebook page. 

1) What are your earliest memories of writing and art making as a child? What's the first time you remember feeling inspired?

"We had a beach house that was a one bedroom, one bathroom cabin. We spent our summers there. I was the youngest of five children and there was a spread of five years between me and the youngest brother - so I kind of grew up as an only child. My world was living in the middle of a bunch of people, but I didn't have anyone playing with me. Except - my pencils! I didn't feel lonely, but I felt alone. Drawing became my playmate, always there and always fun. The beach always inspired me to be in the present moment. I could never decide what I liked most: the view, the smells, the touch or the sounds. I would think hard about all the senses in detail. Digging in the sand to make castles, swimming and jumping in the waves, the constant wind forced me to feel my long hair, the seagulls calling and the ships blowing their horns. Learning to observe my surroundings has been the single biggest help in expressing my deepest feelings."

2) What are your favorite ways to express yourself?

Not necessarily in this order: drawing, painting, encaustics, jewelry making, printmaking, writing, photography, graphic arts, cooking, mothering, being a friend, being a lover, being a dog and cat owner, solving a problem, listening to a friend and giving my opinion. Whatever problem, whether a blank page in my journal, or a sick child, I try to approach a remedy or at least a path to follow, with several options. With several solutions to choose from, I begin to work until my gut is satisfied. When I please my inner voice then I go on to the next creative challenge.

3) If you've ever gone through a period of feeling unmotivated or that you don't have "permission" to journal, how do you find the courage to journal again?

Journaling is now a habit with me. I've done it for so many years that it doesn't take effort to pick up my pen or pencil. However, some days flow way better than other days. Those are the days I simply have more to say. Some days it's writing more than drawing, but always a doodle comes out somewhere! If I feel the need to ramp up inspiration, I get it from other artists. Looking at art online or a gallery or a museum always triggers my brain. For jewelry inspiration, I go to Sundance Catalog!

4) How is journaling a form of self care for you? Does it help you express yourself, cope or understand the world a little better? Can you explain your process and how you use it?

Having two psychologists for parents I learned long ago to get in touch with my intuition, my inner self. Understanding my human side in tandem with my spiritual side, I learned to see the world with two perspectives. Journaling has been a voice or outlet for all those inner feelings that don't speak English! Daily practice is the key to letting your spirit speak. After several months or years of writing or drawing, you begin to see patterns. When you objectively look at your expressions the information is not only revealing, but it then becomes healing and you move into a more peaceful and rich life.

5) What inspires your art?

Sometimes I'm inspired to make art because someone needs a necklace for a party. Co-creating is one of my favorite inspirations: when someone gives me a project or materials to turn into something. The act of working with someone is very inspirational. Just like travel and dancing can be done alone, but is so much better when you share. If I create a painting or drawing that someone buys for their home, that is just as rewarding. It completes the cycle. A bunch of art in a closet is a dead end. Sometimes my inspiration comes from a nature walk, a sunrise, a glass of wine or a good meal or a friend's friendship. I can get excited by seeing a rock in my path. Learning that this physical experience on Earth is temporary - brings joy in every moment. When we become mindful of the Present, our inner self starts dancing with the pencil in our hand.

Thank you Julie!

Inviting all Journal Enthusiasts

Good Morning,

I created a Facebook Group for the purpose of promoting and supporting journal enthusiasts, like me. If you have thought about starting a journal or if you have a journal but just don't use it very much, then please join the community. If you are an avid journal writer and already adore pens and papers, then please join the community.

We will talk about supplies, techniques, rituals, and making time to write. Everyone is welcome to share their pages and their experiences.

It's a supportive group of people who believe in the power of personal writing. In this Facebook group, I'll share daily prompts, tips, cues and pages that I've created. At any given time, I'm actively participating in at least 3 journals: my scheduler, my art journal and my insight journal.

I also explore travel journals, bullet journals, food journals and just making lists for running to the grocery store or mall.

Please follow the link here and request to join the group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/JournalEnthusiasts/
 

Little Lady Adventure: January 9, 2017

Living with Kennedy is like living in a charming novel. She has the role of the lively young girl on an infinite adventure, and I can be anyone I want to be along side her.

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This morning I was in Kennedy's bedroom while she was getting dressed for school. I sat on a brown leather chair made for a child and looked at the scenes set up on the floor. There was a doll on a couch across from a tv, surrounded by open dvd cases; she appeared to be watching a movie while eating popcorn. There was another doll hanging from a gymnastics bar, her long tangled hair barely above the mat. While I sat there anticipating Kennedy's outfit selection, I thought about what else I needed to get done before we walked out the door. I interrupted my own thoughts and I blurted out "Do you want to buy your lunch today or take your lunch box." I repeated myself several times in exchange for pure silence, as if I were asking the dolls in front of me.

Moments later, I heard her say softly from her closet, “Mom.”

“Yes, Kennedy.” I replied, now standing up so I could see her body in the door frame with a purple and pink striped shirt over her head but not yet over her arms.

“No Mom, look through here.” She said, and she moved to look through a slat on the side of her white bunk bed.

I found my way through the dolls and doll clothes to the opposite end of the bed from her. I crouched down and looked through the slat, across the white sheets printed with pink horses and through the other slat, where her bright blue eyes were focused on me.

“Oh Mom, I see a little cat next to you.” She said. I turned slightly to the left to see the tiniest little toy cat sitting on the bed right next to me. I smiled and faked a sneeze.

“Hey Kennedy, would you like to buy your lunch today or take a lunch box?” I asked again, but this time looking through the slats, as if there was nothing else in this world except my eyes and hers. 

“I’ll take my lunch.” She said contently with a big smile.

January 2, 2017

Happy New Year!

Dear Adrianne,

How about we live this year with full attention to every moment, every feeling and every experience that we find? What do we need right now to do this? I know you sometimes feel that your family's dinner or their clean clothes is more important than your own joy, but just imagine what it would be like to be filled with so much joy that nothing felt like a chore. Imagine if someone knocked on your door and delivered you a permission slip to live your most enthusiastic and true life (while still making dinner and doing laundry). What would that permission say to you, specifically?

Let's hold hands and skip through our days with our eyes wide open, shall we?

 

 

Journaling Tip: A letter to myself.

Lately, I've been into writing letters to myself. It's like my map to peace. I mean, when I write a letter to myself to preserve a memory of something hilarious that Kennedy said, I stay with the humor a little bit longer. And when I write a letter to myself to exhale tension, it offers me a place to get along with the not so friendly feelings. For me, it's quite therapeutic.  I thought I'd share today's letter with you. After all, it's about inclusivity. :)

Hello Adrianne. Hello You.
I see you feeling rejected. I see you wondering what exactly happened that someone you thought of as a friend isn't responding to your communication anymore. I see you wanting to pout and cry because it hurts to feel rejected. I see you wanting to call someone you trust and say negative things so that you feel better. I see you wanting to call a different friend so that she will tell you how loved and valued you are, hoping that will make you feel better too.
Hello feeling of rejection.
I see you here. Did you come alone or are you acting as a guard? Ah, I see you standing taller and bigger, in front of vulnerability. You can stay if you want, but you don't need to guard anymore.
Hello vulnerability.
I see you. I see you timid and barely able to show up. It's ok. You are welcome here, too. We will all be here together for a moment. Do you want to sit with me on the porch and feel nourished in the gentle sunshine? Do you want to listen to this song with me and soothe your heart ache with the buoyancy of the music? You are important too, and I'll hold you tenderly.
We are all here together. Hello peacefulness. Thank you for joining us. We are so happy to see you.

And now I don't feel the need to talk negatively on the phone about someone I once knew, and I don't need to hear from another friend that she loves me. In this letter to myself, in my beloved journal, I travel the layers of my feelings looking for what feels soothing.

I went to a funeral today.

I went to a funeral today. The woman who died was the Vice President of the bank that I use. I went to her funeral because her death caused a pause in my life. It was a surprising diagnoses of a quick growing illness that ended her life, and that has highlighted, for me, the impermanence of all of our lives. Sure, I’ve always known that none of us are here forever, but right now our impermanence is in the bright spot light. I sat next to my sister, watching pictures of the bank VP and her family rotate on the screens at the front of the building. And as I watched them, I felt like I could barely breathe. It’s not because she and I had a close relationship, although, I will greatly miss working with her at the bank. I think I had to catch my breathe because I could feel the rawness of pain that comes from missing someone we love. We sang songs that she loved to sing at church, and I learned two new songs that I now love. We listened to stories about her life, and we heard advice, from her pastors and a close friend about how to live our own lives.

The pastor said we were celebrating her life today because it’s what her family wanted. So, I celebrate the kindness that this woman embodied, as she managed my loans and accounts. I also celebrate the friendliness she embodied with every interaction we had. I celebrate all of the parts of her that I didn't know but that I heard about today. I celebrate knowing her.

And now, as I’m getting ready to sleep, I am deeply grateful that I spent another day walking the earth at the same time as my mother, father, sisters, husband, children and friends. I am grateful that I lived under the sun today at the same time as my in laws, extended family and teachers.

Good night.

May the long time sun
Shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within you
Guide your way on.
 
kundalini yoga - farewell blessing

Self-care: A collaboration with the Laws of Nature.

Like all pilots, my self care flight started in flight school where I learned with my intellect how to operate this life of mine. I learned how to care for my body. I learned which behaviors resulted in negativity and which resulted in something positive.

I eventually felt confident in what I knew and requested my own plane. I acknowledged that something outside of me created the Laws of Nature, and I felt like I wanted to fly through the skies of Nature and participate in it's existence.

I gathered my knowledge; I boarded my plane all by myself, and then I sat on the run way. And I sat And I sat.

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A transparent view of my exploration of life.

If I was a painter, this post would be an open door to my studio where I work. You would see paint splattered across my work table surrounded by paint brushes in disarray. If I was a musician this post would be a behind the scenes video while rehearing countless takes of the same chorus. If I was a sculptor, you’d see a discarded pile of clay beneath the wheel that spins the master piece.

I’m not any of those types of artists, but I believe my life is a form of art. And this post is a transparent view of my exploration of life. I am a forty year old woman. I am a daughter, sister and aunt. I am a wife and mother. I am a writer. Just as artists create their work of art, I believe that there is potential in every day to create compassionate energy and collaborate with Life in it’s manifestation of love.

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My latest method of planning and journaling.

Have you heard of the people that love paper; the paper loving people? It’s a real thing. I am one of those people. I love paper that is bound together. I love to look at it, open it, write it in, read it, stack in on the shelf and keep looking at it. It can be either a book, a magazine, a planner or a journal.

On behalf of this corner of my personality, I have a lot of experience with planners. Some may think I’m not easy to please, but the truth is, I love them all. I can find beauty and purpose in each planner I see.

Planning Story of the Past

Back in the day when the smart phone was new and shiny, I used it to keep my appointments and notes. It synced with my computer at work, and I felt digitally savvy using my iPhone as a calendar.

I soon realized that I longed for the bound paper and had to go back to using my pen and paper, rather than the phone and computer. I like the way it feels. I like writing things down, rather than just typing. This is when, I used the weekly format Levenger Circa Notebook. It is very functional and diverse because the pages are removable.

Then my life changed in a big way, and I began managing the schedules of my children, as well as maintaining my own. This is when I started to use the MomAgenda. It is a weekly format, divided into sections so that it’s easy to keep schedules for several people. It comes in different sizes, and I liked the 10x12 because I could keep 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper in it also. I kept the kid’s official school calendars in the back pocket, for reference.

Then because I wanted to keep exploring new planners, I chose one with a daily format so that I had more space to write not only our schedule, but to do lists and gratitude entries. I used the Purposeful Planner for about a year. The color selections are beautiful, and the format is very satisfying. I used both the spiral bound and the Leatherette cover. 

My Current Planning Story

Now, my forty year old self migrated to the Bullet Journal system of planning, and it feels fabulous. First, let me show you how I organize this endeavor. My bags vary, but I always carry my Papermate pens, washi tape and accessories with me.

Now, let me explain how I approach the entries.

  1. I add the date and day of the week to the top of the page. I chose a banner or style of writing that feels fun each day.
  2. I draw something that feels aligned with my mood.
  3. **** Before I do anything else, I make a written conscious connection to my soul. I write down either what I feel grateful for, or what I’m willing to discover throughout the day, or an affirmation of what already exists. This is the most powerful part of the whole process. It offers me the opportunity to feel my own Soul and make a statement about “I AM” before I list what I need “TO DO.” I am before I do! This allows me to show up for my to do list in the most prepared way. *****

  4. I list either appointments or items on my to do list.
  5. I decorate, according to my mood. (Sometimes, I like the washi tape and stickers to match my outfit.

In this same journal, I write down my thoughts as I want to preserve them throughout the day. I write down inspiration for either my blog or my book as it shows up.

At the beginning of each month, I create a monthly calendar to keep track of things like which camp Kennedy will attend or school holidays.

I feel like the romance I’m cultivating with bullet journaling could easily turn into a long term relationship. It feels invigorating to start my days this way. What invigorates you?

Please comment below about your planning system, what works for you and any suggestions you have. I'd love to meet other Paper Lovers :).

The most profound invitation I've ever received.

I have an invitation for you.” Life shouted when I was 18 years old.

“I’m not interested; I have this under control.” I responded arrogantly.

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I have an invitation for you.” Life shouted when I was 25 years old.

“I’m not interested; I know what I’m doing.” I responded hastily.

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I have an invitation for you.” Life shouted when I was 29 years old.

“I heard you, and I might consider accepting this elusive invitation, but I just don't have time right now”. I responded with exhaustion.

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I have an invitation for you, and someone has built a bridge that will compassionately support you on your way.” Life whispered when I was 33, a brand new step mother and a brand new mother.

The bridge is called, Conscious Parenting, and through the reflection I see in my children, I see myself and connect to Life in a much richer way than I imagined..

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A 7 year old's feelings about playing, and how I have it all wrong.

I’ve written before about how playing the ispy game in the car brings me the same feelings as balancing on one foot while reading a book. It’s just not easy for me to concentrate solely on finding something that starts with the letter G, at the same time that I’m driving and wanting to drift off into a day dream about hours at the coffee shop reading a book. My day dreams beg for alone time with me, and I want desperately to show up for them.

Yesterday, Sam and I agreed to play another game of ispy with Kennedy on our way home from dinner. We went through something that started with the letter R, something that is the same shape as a circle, and something that is green. We pulled up to the house, and I felt relieved it was over.

“Wait, it’s your turn Mom! You have to go next. Can we please please play when we get inside?” Kennedy begged me.

“Sure, let me put the laundry away and then we’ll play.” I replied. I think she can hear the difference between genuine and fake enthusiasm, but sometimes faking enthusiasm is how I keep from saying “No way, I’d rather poke a fork in my arm pit than mindlessly list off everything that is blue in our living room.” I wondered if Sam noticed how much I sacrificed just to stay in the game. I wondered if anyone else felt that it was a sacrifice to play ispy again. I decided that I’m going to acknowledge other moms more often for playing games with their children.

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Can a forty year old woman play?

“Mama will you play with me?” My daughter asks me at least thirteen times in one day.

“Sure” I reply as I sit down on our living room rug and pick up a Shopkin. “Can we play the game where we categorize the Shopkins and put them in the collector’s case?”

“No Mom, that’s not playing.” She educates me, and I struggle to understand why not.

“Like this,” she says “Hi, I’m Delish Donut…” and she bounces around a tiny plastic donut with a bite taken out of it.

I adore time with my children, yet these six words “Mama will you play with me,” resemble a mix up at the post office. I believe this six word invitation, written in the fanciest calligraphy implying unquestionable importance, was addressed to my soul and accidentally got delivered to my impatience.

When I pick up a Shopkin or a plastic horse or a doll, my thoughts literally race, competing with each other for who will distract me the quickest. And I cringe. This invitation to play is the most innocent and precious request for my attention than I’ve ever received. It feels like an honor and yet an inconvenience at the same time.

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Reflections about Oprah's "Super Soul Sessions" April 2016

This past weekend my husband and I flew to Los Angeles, California. We went to Oprah’s “Super Soul Sessions,” at the UCLA Royce Auditorium. When I heard that this event was happening, I really wanted to go. I get super excited about being with souls that do the serious work to stay connected to Life, and those that share their work with other people.

And my most revered wisdom teacher, Dr. Shefali Tsabary, exceeded my expectations. After all the writing I’ve read by her, after all of the talks I’ve heard by her, she still reached right into the heart of my soul and expanded it even further. She reminded me that conscious parenting is the way back to my authentic being. It reminds me of my areas of growth, of my abundance and my connection to Life. While deepening my own inner connection, conscious parenting, also sustains a connection with my children. It then becomes a life cycle of it’s own. When my children feel a genuine connection with me (the authentic soul with me), they learn to trust their own inner connection with Life and they grow experiencing endless possibilities.

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Forensic Psychology Training

There are candy wrappers and plastic Easter eggs on every horizontal surface in our family room. The bench in front of our couch is covered with wrappers, eggs, and jelly beans. The chairs of the love seat are full of baskets, more wrappers and a half eaten chocolate bunny. The drawing table and the console table also hold trash and open plastic eggs. The day of Easter always feels colorful and bright with a sense of rejuvenation, yet the day after looks trashy and feels like an insulin coma. I want to clean up the mess, but a little voice inside my head is saying “Let them enjoy the gifts they received. What’s the hurry?” So I scoop up the trash and leave the candy, eggs and crayons scattered around the room.

It was earlier than normal, but it still felt like the right time for Kennedy to start falling asleep. As I walked into the room, she was in bed, already under the covers. I snuggled up next to her with my arm around her neck.

I could see that she was intently thinking about something. It was a school holiday and she spent the day at my parents house, and I guessed that she was about to tell me something about their day. 

“Mom, I wish it wasn’t a school day tomorrow. I want to spend every day with you. I wish I didn’t go to Grammie’s today. Why did I choose Grammie’s instead of going to work with you?” Kennedy’s voice was heading towards a familiar high pitch.

“It’s ok, sugar. It might be a fun day at school. And I’ll be there at 3:00 to pick you up.” I reply.

Click through to read more....

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In a Relationship

This is my 60th published blog post, and I want to write what I’ve learned about inspiration. 

If inspiration was on Facebook, we would have changed our status a year ago to “In a Relationship.” The relationship I’ve developed with inspiration is seductive and flirtatious. Inspiration arrives in different forms, and if I’m not paying attention, it leaves in a moment’s notice. It requires engagement, and if I don’t meet it with enthusiastic flirtation, it will change form until it eventually grabs my attention. (It reminds me of my husband, this way - persistent in getting my attention). Once it has my attention, I have to hold on to it and stay engaged or it won’t stay with me in that mom

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Confessions February 2, 2016

I am not Catholic, and I have never been to a confessional inside a church. I've been to church, just not a Catholic confessional. I imagine the experience to be like what I see in the movies, a booth with a window and a Priest inside wearing a Vestment. On the outside of the booth is a place for people to sit and confess their sins. I am respectfully curious about what the Priest offers in exchange for the confessions. Do you get a free Rosary when you are done? Yet again, I leave it to my imagination, which has me believe that the Priest says a prayer asking God for forgiveness on behalf of the person in the seat.

Even though I’m not Catholic, I believe that acknowledging our mistakes is powerful. I try to live aligned with the way that I believe Creation lives. I want there to be more moments when I am aligned than not; however, when I make a mistake, I want to connect with other people who live imperfectly perfect lives. I want to connect with people who understand and honor our humanness in all of its’ messy glory. 

So I am starting this weekly online confessional where I will admit the moments when I am fully human, not reaching far enough into my connection with Life. I won’t admit every error on this blog; I’m not crazy. I'll ease into my online vulnerability.

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