Journaling Assignments

Visual Journal – Calm Place

When anxiety, urges and triggers appear in your life, creating a calm place image can have release this stress and bring relief….  Imagine yourself sitting under the tree…  What do you hear?  What you do smell? What do you see?  Finally what do you feel?


Journaling Assignments

Visual Journaling – What does Anxiety look like?

Journaling is a great way to express emotions that can be uncomfortable to share…  What does anxiety look like? 


Art Therapy, Creative Living - Reflections, Journaling Assignments

Found Poetry-tree

Stranger in a hostile world… Mysterious…. Language haltingly… Belonged… Understood… Despite the warnings… Risk of death… Music… Curiously… Turn her eyes… Struck by… Passionate absorption… Out of breath… Ecstasy… Crowding dreams… Little sob broke… Her lips… Lovely eyes… Peculiarly gentle… Instinctive sympathy… Smile… Smile was charming… Music, it’s strangely thrilling… Tears one’s heart to pieces… I want you listen…


Art Therapy, Creative Living - Reflections, Journaling Assignments, Mindfulness


The art of meditative drawing… Mindfulness for the soul… Yoga for the brain. I felt so relaxed after creating this piece.


Art Therapy, Creative Living - Reflections, Journaling Assignments

Found Poetry

Monsters we have met… Villains of undersea myth… We have met all… Which lives beyond our depth range… Still puzzled… Thoroughly harmless… Curious about us… Frightened… Perhaps the monsters… Have been tamed… Wild ones live in your ocean… Owes most of its notoriety… You enter in the beast… Can only devour you… Draws you to him… Bound and helpless… Emptied into this frightful sac… To be drunk alive is inexpressible… Countless occasions… Natural revulsion against touching.


Art Therapy, Journaling Assignments, Mindfulness

Arts and Health

Calm Down and Get Your Zentangle On


Zentangle is a self-help art therapy practice to enhance relaxation and focus.






Zentangle® is known to many artists and craftivistas as a way to create structured designs through drawing various patterns. Sometimes mistakenly called “Zendoodling” or “tangle doodling,” Zentangling or tangling is actually a formalized process that defines itself as something other than mere doodling because of its theory and approach. Rick Roberts and Mary Thomas [] are the originators of the trademarked Zentangle method. Basically, it’s a specific way to draw images, most often in black pen on white paper. Zentangle has become an international phenomenon that now has applications in stress reduction, education, therapy and even motivational training.

Zentangle itself may be relatively new, but the basic principles involved are as old as the history of art. It includes ritual [a core practice in ancient and contemporary arts] and mirrors the symbols, designs and patterns of numerous cultures [Mayan, Maori, Celtic, and American Indian, for example] from ancient through present times. And like “doodling” it is based on a human behavior in which one refrains from planning and allows lines and shapes to unintentionally emerge.

There are numerous books on the formal method of Zentangle that will help you get started; these books provide numerous designs and show you how to create various patterns, step-by-step. Or simply search the Internet [especially Pinterest] to find instructions and inspiration for designs—then make up your own once you practice a few patterns. You really only need a few materials to create your designs: a pencil [used to mark out guidelines and to shade areas of designs], a black pen [Micron® pens are recommended, but you can also use the ubiquitous extra fine Sharpie® pen], and heavy white drawing paper or cardstock. The traditional practice of Zentangling uses 3 ½ inch square tiles made of special paper, but you can cut your own choice of paper into squares or completely “break the rules” and tangle on whatever type of paper you want to. If your children want to Zentangle along with you, they will find it easier to draw larger designs with bigger pens such as a fine point Sharpie® or large felt pens.

Why am I interested in Zentangle? While the process may look intricate, it is a deceptively simple pathway to relaxation and inner focus. In fact, proponents of the practice note that it has multiple benefits including calming an anxious mind, increasing self-confidence, and cultivating moment-to-moment awareness in a similar way as mindfulness meditation. Here are some other benefits:

Continue Reading… on Psychology Today.

Creative Living - Reflections, Human Storytelling in Art of Living, Journaling Assignments

Grief and loss of beloved pets

Losing a loved one is hard.  Many discount the intense connection one makes with their furry companions.  Animals have a special relationship with their humans.  Animal companions provide unconditional love, do not pass judgment and witness our lives through thick and thin.  Losing a special animal companion is like losing a member of the family.  They may have left your physical side but the love that you feel is real and will be forever in your heart.  Feel free to share your good memories and stories in honor of the love you share.

Personal art journaling task: Create an image of your favorite memory of a beloved companion animal that has passed.


Image above is of Ceri our family dog.  Our favorite memory of her was the endless cold winter nights that she would sit on top of the hill in the backyard, watching the woods for deer, coyotes and listening for the owls.  She would sit as if in a trance.  Then coming in for a snuggle hug to warm up just before bedtime.