Introduction to Creative Inquiry Journaling with Jeanette Amlie
A Self-Guided mini-course to assist you in discovering the wisdom you hold within you.
Creative Inquiry journaling invites you to explore your inner terrain and discover the Divine Wisdom that lies within you using intuitive drawing and painting, uncensored writing and somatic awareness. This is a simple, yet potent process with the capacity to penetrate your own defenses to reveal the shining brilliance that is your true nature.
- Creative expression is the birthright of us all and is not restricted to those who have been labeled artistic or talented. Images, colors and shapes access our intuitive wisdom in the right hemisphere of our brain.
- Uncensored writing accesses the analytical and linguistic capacities of our left brain, which help us make meaning of our lives and our world. This allows us to inquire and glean the meaning of the images that flow forth from our unconscious mind.
- Somatic awareness invites the stored wisdom and experience in our bodies to become available to stand in our truth with courage and compassion. We learn how to work with the energy and emotions we hold within us.
- Self Inquiry is a spiritual practice of inquiring within to hear the clear, quiet voice of our Souls.
Materials & Supplies - You will need 3 basic things:
- Journal or Paper - It is ideal to have a spiral bound, sketching or painting journal that lies flat when you open it, but any journal or paper will do.
- Drawing Material - The simplest materials to draw with are charcoal, crayons or markers, but oil pastels, chalk pastels and colored pencils work too. Start with what you have and you can go from there.
- Painting Supplies - Paints are wonderful because they are fluid and harder to control, which make them great for letting the unconscious mind come through. The easiest are tempera paints or watercolors, but my favorite are cheap, craft acrylics that come in little bottles in a wide variety of colors.
Here is a downloadable, materials & supplies list. I prefer a spiral-bound artist journal, craft acrylic paints, charcoal and water-soluble pastels, but you can really use whatever you have available.
Try drawing some random marks without worrying what they look like. You might also try using your non-dominant hand and just noticing how it feels to let it have permission to express itself freely. Try making different marks that are straight or circular, long or short. Try it with your eyes shut and your eyes open. Mostly just experiment without any intention of making "art". Just let the energy flow and see where it takes you.
Now try a little painting. Using a brush or your fingers, start spreading paint around the page. Again, don't worry about what it looks like, just try feeling into the process itself. Try using both hands and noticing how it feels. Try mixing layers and seeing what happens when the wet colors mingle. You can also try putting paint over the drawn lines and shapes.
Try and keep a curious mind and focus on experimentation. Notice if your inner critic jumps in and tell it that you have permission to just experiment without making anything. You are loosening up your intuitive, right brain, that is all. See where this takes you!
Spontaneous writing accesses the left hemisphere of our brain and our cognitive knowledge as well as our deeper wisdom. One of the most useful resources I have found for uncensored, creative writing has come from Natalie Goldberg. Her book Wild Mind encourages a spontaneous form of writing that I have drawn 4 guidelines from for this process.
Somatic Awareness is noticing the inner sensations you feel within your body and is a fundamental tool used in somatically based therapeutic practices to help people re-pattern their automatic responses to experiences that trigger unconscious conditioning. With regular practice we begin to increase our capacity to be consciously embodied.
Begin by noticing what you feel in your body during or after the visual and written journaling exercises. Use compassionate curiosity to be with whatever arises. Try focusing on your breath or your feet. If you feel any sense of discomfort, pause and allow the wisdom of your body & soul to guide you.
Often we have been conditioned not to notice how our body feels on the inside, but great wisdom and energy is stored here that can be utilized for your own growth and healing. Most of all, be gentle with yourself in this process of discovery.
Go slowly with this part of the process and focus on a comforting resource, like a pet, if it feels distressing at any time.
Introduction to Creative Inquiry
Journal Flip Through & Demo of a Page
Excerpt from my stream-of-consciousness writing:
"Color, shape & line express so much, especially when I'm feeling uncertain about something in my life. Orange ball, sun spiral, immersed in a pool of blue water. How I need the cool water to soothe my fiery nature. The sun gives me energy and the water gives me peace.”...
...Sound waves or energy waves seem to be radiating out from the marriage of these elements. As if the alchemical combination sends a resonant signal to all the souls that can feel it. These heartfelt actions of creative expression have consequences beyond our conscious comprehension. The intelligent Universe connects our souls on a path of Awakening to the Truth that Unites us all!"
I invite you to give it a try. You can focus on a specific topic or just do a daily check-in. Contact me if you are interested in joining an intimate, online group.