Ritual de lo Habitual: Habit Transformation with Journaling

If you are anything like me, you may have a bad habit that you want to change.  Today I came up with a kicky cool art journal exercise to help transform bad habits into something better!

Ritual de lo Habitual

To create your journal page you will need some supplies.  Here are my suggestions, however feel free to use what you already have on hand.

A couple of craft paints or watercolors

Acrylic Ink

Permanent Markers


Art Journal or paper

First paint the backdrop for your journal page.  Next add some drawings of your bad habit, or find some magazine images to represent the habit and glue them onto the paper.  Write "Ritual de lo Habitual" across the top.  I used stencils however you could use bubble letters or any lettering style of your choice.  (Ritual de lo Habitual is the name of a Jane's Addiction album, I thought the title was fitting for the page.)  Put a few drops of acrylic ink or watercolor toward the center of the page on one side.  Then close the book and press together to create a mirror image.  

Take your own liberties and make the page your own.  Be sure to leave space for writing, and unless you have paint markers you will want to use a light backdrop so that you can write over the paint.

On the left side of the paper, write your top reasons why you want to change the habit.  Then on the right side list some healthy replacements for the habit.  Then when you get the itch to partake in the bad habit you can turn to the list and find a healthy substitute to try out instead.  

Enjoy transforming your bad habits to good with this fun exercise!  You can make one any time you want to change a habit.  Keep them out somewhere you can see them, or use a photo of the journal page as the backdrop on your computer to remind you of the healthy replacements for your habit.  Before you know it you will have transformed a bad habit into something much better!

Valentine's Day from the Heart

I created the above journal page because this Valentine's I'm focusing on giving some more heartfelt treasures.  I could buy some junk at the store, a gag gift or box of chocolate...however this year I'm reading Wayne Dyer's book "Discovering Your Sacred Self" and I wanted to apply some of the principles to my marriage.

My husband and I have been together for nearly 18 years now.  We've had some good times, some bad times, and have shared lots of laughs together over the years.  This year I am giving him more freedom to make mistakes, unconditional love and a year of tasty home cooked meals.  I'm devoted to having a fabulous marriage and I take so much joy in the day to day moments that make our life together special.  

So in your journal this week, perhaps contemplate what you can give to your relationships...beyond material gifts.  Maybe there is a relationship that you feel could use more joy, or a friendship that would benefit from some love and understanding.  Ponder how you show up in your relationships this Valentine's Week, and create a list of ways that you can better honor your relationships.


What does freedom mean to you?

This weekend is the first in my new weekend series of journal prompts.  During the week, approximately every Wednesday, I share a technique or idea for you to incorporate into your journal toolbox.  Then on the weekends I will share a journal prompt for you to explore in your journal.  

This week's prompt is a simple one, yet it could be highly charged for you.  With the political environment recently I've been doing a lot of thinking about rights and freedom.  So this week's prompt to explore is simple.  

What does freedom mean to you?  

I explored various aspects of freedom in my journal this week, the above image is what I came up with.  First write in your journal about what freedom means to you.  Then take some craft paint, and paint over the writing.  This helps you to work through what you want to say with your journal page.  It is a process of refining your message.  

So I challenge you to ponder what freedom means to you.  Everyone is coming from a unique place in life, with different experiences and life challenges.  Your vision of freedom will be very different from other people.  And that is beautiful!  It's important to understand the things you value in life in order to create a life you really love.  

Themes for your Art Journal

I tend to make my journals more "anything goes" however sometimes it is quite nice to create a themed journal.  Sticking to a theme can be fun because by the time the journal is done you will have an entire book all dedicated to a focus that you love.  You can also create themed journals to give to other people, or devote a blog to your theme. 

Here are a few ideas to get you started...

1.  Introspective Journal-this is what I tend to do most.  I am seriously way into personal growth and spirituality and love to create journals around the things I am learning.  You could create a journal about your spiritual path, or about ways that you witness Divine Presence showing up in your life.  

2.  Gratitude Journal-this is especially a good idea if you are having a rough time in life.  Creating a gratitude journal, and painting or drawing things you are grateful for each day can totally turn around your mood.  You can also take photos of things you are grateful for, print them out and use them as collage fodder for your journal.

3.  Dream Journal-Keeping a log of your night time dreams is another introspective practice.  A dream journal will be quite personal to you, so if you make one you may want to find a place to store it away from prying eyes.  Exploring your dreams can give you insight and answers to issues you face in day to day life.  Collage would be an amazing way to journal about dreams.

4.  Seasonal Journal-You can keep journals for each season, and document things you love about the different seasons in your area.  I am very into nature so including natural elements in a journal like this would be so lovely.  You can also work in seasonal recipes and document ways that you are celebrating the seasons.

5.  Travel Journal-If you have ever taken an epic road trip or traveled abroad, chances are you have tons of photos from that experience.  Making a travel journal is a fun way to honor trips from the past, or you can make one of new adventures and road trips.  Fun things to consider are collaging ticket stubs, wrappers from foods from the region you are staying in, etc.  It is fun to gather collage fodder from the places you visit and include them in a travel themed journal.

6.  Diary-Last but certainly not least is the diary journal.  Simply documenting your day to day experiences is fun because then at the end of the year you can look back over your journal to see how you spent the year.  It is a great way to remember how far you have come and all the wonderful things you did throughout the year.

I hope this list gives you some ideas for your journal adventures.  Come up with an idea that suits you, and your journal experience will be personal and so much fun!

Symmetry vs. Asymmetry

Happy Weekend!  I just wanted to hop on the blog, to share a little lesson in page layout with you. Dina Wakley, a keen art journal junkie, talks of symmetry vs. asymmetry in one of her books on art journaling.  Before I read it I honestly never gave the concepts that much thought.  I tend to appreciate asymmetry a lot, however I'm finding that symmetry is very comforting in my art journals.

The above journal page is an example of symmetry.  The design is fairly balanced on both sides.  I created the pattern in red by adding some water to the pages then placed a few drops of red acrylic ink onto the paper.  Next I closed the book and applied pressure to spread out the ink on the middle of each of the pages in a symmetrical way.  Similar to a rorschach, the design has an airy quality to it.  Adding a photo to each side of the image in a similar place on the two pages creates an extra element of symmetry.

Here is another example of a symmetrical page.  The pink rectangle is placed in the middle of the two pages, and then when I added the collage I made the two sides fairly even to create a symmetrical look.  

Now to asymmetry, which is fairly simple to achieve.  There are still things to consider in an asymmetrical composition.  You can add balance and harmony with the use of color.  In the actual art journal page the painted text is pink, which matches the platform sandal.  Red, black and blue also harmonize this work.

Play around with symmetry and asymmetry in your art journal.  Try out each layout and see which you like better.  Symmetry can evoke a sense of peace and calm, while asymmetry is often more energetic and can create tension.  Ok, I'm off to begin another art journal page!