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Heart to Art Journal: After the Launch

Heart to Art Journal: 1 Year After the Launch
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Heart to Art Journal: After the Launch

It will be about one year since I published my first book. Heart to Art: A 30-Day Art Journaling Experience. Here’s what happened within that year. 

This journal was a combination of the work I did with clients while working in Mental Health facilities, and in Special education, as well as things that helped me with my own personal healing journey. I saw the necessity of a book like this right around the time the Covid_19 pandemic started and the world went on lockdown. In a time when everyone was rushing to buy bulk toilet paper and other hygiene products, my family stocked up on art supplies. 

Heart to art to de-stress

During lockdown art was a great tool for my entire family; my husband – as an educator teaching virtually, and our two little girls, who at the time were still in pre-school. It was such a helpful way to de-stress, especially in light of the unknowns and nerves caused by the current events and tension we’re seeing or hearing about in the local media and worldwide. 

As I talked with others processing things happening in their personal lives as well as in the world around them, the more I saw the need to release the book. Today I’m celebrating one year of the book being published. Since then, I have heard from people who use it for themselves, or for women’s groups, or with their teens, and others. That was the goal, to help others. It has made me so happy to hear from them and how it’s helping them.

A whirlwind of emotions

I will let you in on a little secret though. It wasn’t all highs if I’m being really honest. A few months after the book launch, I fell into a pretty major low. My mind began racing with what was next, and questions about how can I help people more. Do I have another book in me? Is it another art journal or something different? My family was also adjusting to changes and other needs so I had to take a step back from social media and the ministry for a bit.

Personally, I was filled with a whirlwind of emotions, with my anxiety and depression at their peak. During that time I turned to the journal to do probably one of my favorite go-to prompts “Day 7 – Emotions Heart.” Simply the prompt is to draw a heart, and in the heart draw, sketch, or paint your emotions, using only pictures, symbols, or colors. 

Instead of illustrating a variety of emotions I wanted to try and capture specifically what my anxiety might look like. Often it feels like a storm, even a tornado, causing chaos and wreaking havoc inside me, and affecting those closest to me. 

Heart to Art Journal: Heart in Chaos
Heart in Chaos

It was good to put a visual into my feelings. It was also useful in helping me explain when I began seeing a counselor again. As I began to process my emotions better, learn what may be triggering them, and gain tools to help me manage them, I returned to the prompt another time and drew this.

Heart to Art Journal: Peace in the storm
Peace in the midst of a storm

God in the storms

Even though we will still face storms in life, and sometimes make my emotions feel chaotic, I have learned to find peace in the midst of the storm. Much of where my help, peace, and hope come from is in learning to trust in God in the midst of the storm.

So in this second drawing of the “Emotions Heart” prompt, God is much like the red umbrella; we may still get caught in the storm, but he is the shelter that helps us stand in the midst of it. In the year since publishing the book, I have had highs and lows, good days and bad. In the midst of it all, God has shown himself faithful. I am learning more and more how to hold on to him, instead of holding on to my fears or worries, and completely trust him.

If you’re trying to make your way through the storm, trust in God, let him be your shelter, and peach in the midst of it. I hope you will come to see how I did, how trustworthy He is, and how much He cares for you and your healing journey.

What’s next?

In case you were wondering what’s next after the Heart to Art Journal, I am working on a couple of writing projects. One will be a follow-up to the Heart to Art Journal – a special edition for teachers and parents. So stay tuned