Journal Friday #50: Gratitude

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I can't believe that the end of January is quickly approaching, and though I haven't worked in my journal everyday this week, I have found some studio time and some time watching tv to add to my pages. I've continued adding watercolor, watercolor pencil, ink, and collage to my pages as I continue to build layers and continue the accumulation process. Some of the pages are starting to become quite developed and are starting to take on direction.

Although I have been doing fairly mundane things in the journal, the layers are starting to build, ideas are beginning to emerge, and the power of the journal is completely evident. After 18 or 19 years of working in the journal, I am still utterly amazed at the power of the visual journal to reveal truths and change lives. And so it has been, as I have continued working on my Mapping the Journey spread.

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The journal is a place to reflect not just on art and what's happening in the journal. It's a place to reflect on life and the bigger issues and concerns. The idea behind the Mapping the Journey is to use yourself as a source for art making, and as I have been going through the process, I have discovered the enormous gratitude that I have for my life and all that I have accomplished. But I had to uncover that gratitude!

One of the things that became evident as I worked and reflected is that I have often lived my life with a rather pessimistic view, and much of the time, I find it hard to see the good in situations. A lot of it has to do with doubting myself and my abilities. It's easy to see the accomplishments of others and feel like you don't measure up. But as the new year began, I really wanted to change that outlook, and I even made and shared a video on Facebook about it. It really hit home for me as I reflected on the key moments of my life, and I began to see all of the amazing things that have happened in my life. I won't go into it too much here, but from coauthoring two books, to traveling all over North America, to working with tens of thousands of students and teachers, it has been quite amazing. It's been too easy to focus on the things that haven't happened and not see all that has. And to think that I get to live a life doing what I love to do. So many people never have that chance.

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So, it's with great gratitude that I say thank you to everyone who has supported this adventure in one way or another. I can't wait to see where the journey takes me!