Is Your Inner World a Giant Blank Page?





There are days when everything in life is uncertain. Periods of mysterious yearning when your inner story is a giant vanilla void.

Or, even worse, so completely cluttered with clunky words that you couldn’t possibly find your way forward.

Thankfully, when it comes to journals, certainty and ease are unnecessary to epic outcomes. Think…Frodo and Bilbo. The most confused and unlikely of adventurers ever to wind up heroes of their own story.

You don’t need a magic ring to step away from your cozy house in the Shire and find your inner wizard. Just one big confused “YES”.

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My blood is alive with many voices.

Telling me I am made of longing.

What mystery breaks over me now?

In it’s shadow I come alive

——Rilke’s Book of Hours, Translated by Anita Barrows & Joanna Macy



It’s time to gather tools.

While we each have our own unique set of empowering devices, it takes time, and courage, to discover them.

In the meantime, feel free to borrow mine.


Note that these steps are non sequential. DO mix it up. DO challenge yourself to try NEW every day. Layer wildly!





…should be a daily surprise.

It is not a follow-along art project.

In demonstrating, I simply offer a glimpse into what the process looks like for me.

My best advice? Quickly forget what you see. And follow your own flow.



  • Make a mess with your background. Slap some paint. Whip out a few stencils.

    Let it reveal the uneasiness of shifting patterns in your life. And the juggled chaos you fought so hard to contain.

  • Let go of all PLANS for a composed finish.

    It is in the disruption of habits and patterns that we find a new way.

  • Shout in your best Tolkien warrior voice, “Bring on the dragons!”

    What if your purpose is simply the process? If that was true, then you couldn’t get it wrong. And it wouldn’t be so scary after all.



Teachers arrive when we need them. My initial explorations of visual reflection came from Shelley Klammer at  EXPRESSIVE ART WORKSHOPS . I highly recommend her course, 100 Days of Art Journal Therapy for its thoroughness in bringing out stories hidden by emotional blocks.

Teachers arrive when we need them. My initial explorations of visual reflection came from Shelley Klammer at EXPRESSIVE ART WORKSHOPS. I highly recommend her course, 100 Days of Art Journal Therapy for its thoroughness in bringing out stories hidden by emotional blocks.

There is no roadmap for this journey.

Can you feel unease rising? And the familiar inner grasping for control?

Let the urge to “achieve” pass.

Things got a little weird for me as I pondered the unknown.

Eventually leading to a flow of liquified paint, a set of secret symbols, and a series of portals.

  • How will YOU represent the unknown in your life? Give it form.

    If you want to simplify the process, try collaging torn magazine images instead of drawing.

  • Drip watery paints and let them flow.

    The force of water can be destructive, but some of the most beautiful places on earth have been created by these very forces. It might get a little muddy or chaotic in the process, but the flow will always find its perfect path.


Second layers can be tempermental.

Lost is the spontaneity of paint slapping. And the hope of sudden artistic genius.

Enter weird. Enter ugly. Enter…the critic.

Fear not! For where there are cracks, the light may now enter. Take time to talk to the voice of judgment.

We each have something that we need to develop on a soul level in our lifetime. This is the source of our deepest fulfillment and our greatest challenge.
— Shelley Klammer


Squirming during the process is good. Because if you aren’t squirming, you’re probably playing it too safe. I know, because I scooted along neat and tidy boundaries for much of my life. That’s why I’m here now.

I truly believe that we are not here to play it safe. We are here to find REAL.

So you have a decision to make. Do you want to finish your image (and your day)…pretty? Smooth out the ouches and spout words of wisdom gained along the way? Or let it BE…raw and real?

It might take several days to decide. No hurry. Allow the light of inner understanding to mingle with words, colors, and images. You will be amazed at the synchronicities that arrive in the meantime.


The Final Layer

I chose the word WONDER.

A good reminder that the unknown doesn’t have to be fearful at all. It can also be a delightful surprise.

I love adding quotes! Today, from John O’Donohue’s Anam Cara. A book from which I literally copy entire pages of wisdom…daily. It’s that good.


Your Turn for Finishing Touches.

  • How will you represent your shifting understanding of the great mystery unfolding in your life? A phrase, a poem, a promise? In the window on the left, I offer myself a reminder. To stay aware of my senses to bring a bit of needed softness to an often overcommitted life.

  • What has the “UNKNOWN” felt like in your past?

    It’s okay to be frightened by the unknown. Instead of powering through this darkness…reveal it. Let it throw a tantrum on your page. My symbols are representative of the mystery. They feel both confusing, AND like some form of ancient wisdom known only by me.

  • Can you innovate a Creative New?

    When faced with the unknown, choosing one exciting course of action is known as The Creative New. What is one tiny step that you can take to discover what is waiting in the void?

    Don’t forget to decide how you prefer to feel in this new scene. Even science has to agree with the power of imagination.

    Through imagination, we are able not only to anticipate future events to a certain degree, but also to enrich our sense of the world and even conjure up alternative worlds…”

    Now, you’ve done it. Your inner world is no longer a giant blank page.