How to Break Through Emotional Blocks by Journaling The Small Stuff


The Journey of Life is Revealed in Layers


Step Away

As I dismantle this wall

Stone by stone

Layer by layer

Until all that is left

Is me facing you

We are Builders of Walls

Complex, creative, and often well hidden. Our walls are layered over time…through the unconscious act of looking away.

CREATIVE DISRUPTION is the powerful choice to look toward instead. Arriving with pen, paint, and page ready to reveal That Which Wants to Be Known.

But be warned. For the art of being you can get a bit messy. As inner secrets spill out, and new realities are crafted.

creative disruption 5 steps.png

Where does the journey begin?

Always with awareness. Some days will be easy. Raging emotions begging for relief. Played out with wild and violent colors, transferring rage to page. Other days, we may note nothing more than a slight discomfort. A soft whisper…something we might prefer to call curiosity. Regardless, we follow.

My own journey this week began with a conversation at the gym. Where my ex-military take-no-crap weight circuit instructor extolled her love for pink, in all its fluffy and sickeningly sweet forms. An angel in a sports bra, wringing Pepto Bismol hues and backdoor reflections from this pink hater. Me, the minority 4%, who associate pink with a feeling of disgust.

Played out in five unplanned layers which I share with you now. Why not grab your blank pages and follow along? Remember, this isn’t an art lesson. It is a loose process guided by your own intuition. Feel free to deviate wildly according to your own discomfort…or curiosity.





Art Journal Background Layer. Pink and green.



Color preferences aren’t likely to lead me to ruin, I mused.

So why bother taking minor annoyances to a page dedicated to the deeper questions of life?

For the very reason that I remember writing about orange in the same hateful way about eight years ago. Slamming an ex-boyfriend’s car collection. Ruminating over childhood guilt for hating my friend’s Easter outfit. And then releasing the topic forevermore.


Until I realized five years later, that ORANGE was now my favorite color.

So it is clear that we aren’t born with a gene for color hatred. Or any hatred for that matter. We choose it along the way, based on life experiences.

But more importantly, we can choose to release discomfort, and create entirely new realities, regardless of color or form.

My new reality didn’t happen in Layer 1. Because the only thing worse than pink is pink and green together. Colors best enjoyed slightly desaturated…and poured into an Easter basket.

What was I to do with this mess?



  • What color is calling for your attention today?

  • Spread it in random streaks with a credit card or a small bit of cardboard. No plan.

  • What would happen if you went a bit wild and combined colors that DON’T match?

  • Can you feel the discomfort starting to rise?

  • Can you you sense a desperation to flee that discomfort?



Art journal texture layer. Neutral over pink.

Continue layering the depth of your life with stencils, medium, or additional text.

Perhaps you will call it avoidance. I call it texture. I slathered on the most neutral color I could find, just to calm the scene of my color crime. And then, because I was still feeling testy over the whole thing, I scratched deep gouges into the surface. Take that! I don’t need no stinkin’ pink!

Ummm….yeh…still not facing my hatred for this color. Still approaching with hostility, instead of compassion.


With two days already under my belt, the word pink finally began to work its way into my journal. Feminine. Cringeworthy. Why?

Stories tumbled out. Days of comparison when my curly haired mop could never compete with 1970s sleek-straight beauties. And years of being trained in a home devoid of womanly models for pretty or girly…or anything but self-sufficient.

Oh, I get it. Pink is a feeling of unworthiness. By comparison.

And maybe more. Maybe it’s a flashing sign… pre-#metoo. Indicating, TARGET.



  • What color brings out the little child in you? The one who is vulnerable.

  • How has your innocence been covered with scars?

  • Does it feel wrong to waste the colors beneath Layer 2? Is pain always a waste?



Collage scraps.

I hurled my emerging transformation into tearing collage bits and splattering paint. Perhaps I didn’t see it then, but my pink hatred was already softening.

As is the way when looking toward discomfort instead of away.

In fact, we struck a deal. I would allow it in the next layer, but only if it was disguised as mauve and purple. And of course, joined by plenty of neutrals.

  • Find a magazine or other paper product and rip away. Spatter and streak with colors from your background. Or surprise yourself with a new color!



Abstract wall collage. Blue, pink, black.

Did I know I was building a wall when I started gluing? No.

I simply flowed with the energy moving through me. It is always the case that art and life in the moment are more alive than any of our locked-in goals.


  • Do any of us know when we are building walls?

  • Where are your walls? Who or what is on the other side?




Is the initial inquiry asking your to stay in the REAL NOW, or morph into the CREATIVE NEW?

A poem about how we build walls to separate from one another and self.


I used to hate poetry. But now it emerges with all the free spirit of Lady Godiva, riding wild haired and naked through the streets of Coventry. At last proclaiming her voice.

The funny thing is, this poem started as an ode to the perils of technology. An infectious plague in this nature lover’s life. And another full-face look at discomfort. “Why do I spend so much time writing and researching when I would rather be outside?”

THAT is a question for another day. And I guarantee it will be visited.

In the meantime, how my digital love-hate poem wound up on a journal spread revisiting femininity, I cannot say. But when the muses speak. I listen.

In the end, I’m bound to declare the wisdom of the muse’s choice. For I am the builder of walls. The kind that keep me from looking at pink unworthiness. And the kind that keep me from spending more time outside in nature.


We all have our dents, details that make us different, inadequate, or even ugly. We want to hide from them and hide them from the world, but they’re our best parts. People are attracted to imperfections.
— James Victore, Feck Perfuction

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.