Why work with words and pictures?

There is no limit to the things you can write about in your journal. You can describe your dream house, express gratitude for the most delicious soup you’ve ever eaten, or write the first draft of your story about the miniature people who live inside your computer.

(Someone has to make all that magic happen, right?)

Your journal is the place to tell the story of what happened, is happening, or what you want to happen.

When you write about your life, you learn about your life.

Your perception can change. You can process some important stuff. And you can just plain ol’ feel better.

You can decide what you want the story of your future to be. You can write about what you want and even make a plan to get there.

Writing it all out is a powerful way to make your future feel possible. When you immerse yourself in the details of all that you dream of being, doing, and having, you are absolutely sending a message to the universe, training your subconscious, or communicating with the divine – whatever you want to call it – about what you want to experience in this life.

It is a beautiful gift to use this tool. To pick up your pen, or to tap the keyboard, and to get it all down.

But there are other tools too.

One of them is the super popular vision board.

A vision board is a tool for gaining clarity on what you want too.

It is especially useful during times of transition, or maybe just when writing isn’t your thing or you can’t get into it.

There are a lot great resources about vision boards out there. I like Christine Kane’s blog post (click here to read it) on what they are, why they’re important, and how to make one. In it she notes the process of sitting down to make a vision board forces you to get in touch with what it is you want from life. Sounds like something that can happen in my journal too.

Personally, I like the narrowing down process that can happen when working with images. The initial search for images may result in a pile of six dream houses or four climates for a destination wedding. The next step is taking the time to connect with each image and determine of the six or four I really like, which one am I in love with? That one goes on my board.

Being a bit picky is a sign of clarity. And it pays to be clear with what you want.

The idea of the vision board is to have your images hanging in some place where you see it regularly, ideally every day, and tap into the power of your own intention. Or desire.

The journal writer in me wants a combination of the two tools. So, why not bring the images into my journal? It’s another place I can see them everyday and I have pages to write on conveniently next to my images.

Taking the vision board process a step farther by using it as a focal point in my journal has proven to be a powerful exercise. The image itself acts as a prompt for motivation to write. The writing flows into something deeper with the encouragement of the image. And before you know it, plane tickets are booked, you are in more control of your time, and the trips to the gym are actually happening.
When we decide to use both words and images, we stand to gain even more clarity about what it is we want.

Clarity really is everything.

When we know what we want, and even more so, why we want it, we send the message that we are ready.

That clarity is one of the most powerful tools we could have in our arsenal. Powerful because it gets us moving forward. Powerful because bumps in the road come along and when they do, one of the fastest ways to get over those bumps is to reconnect with your clarity.

When this happens over and over – when we get clear, take a step or two, stumble, get clear again, take a few more steps – forward movement becomes a regular part of life. And that is how epic shit gets done.

Words and pictures…pictures and words…and so it goes. I would love to hear what your experience has been working with images and words – leave a comment for me and let’s chat about it!
Like this article? Please feel free to use it on your own blog or newsletter. I simply ask that you please include this blurb:
Sara Marchessault is a coach, writer, and mom who is on a mission to increase joy on the planet. Through the practice of self-reflection, we become aware of what brings us joy and what does not, and we make choices to move forward or stand still. Journal writing is a powerful reflection tool that can help any of us move forward, even in the darkest of times. To learn more about Sara and her work in the world, please visit saramarchessault.com.

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