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Lessons Learned through Art Journaling
The watercolour sketches that follow are from an illustrated journal that I kept during the last year or so of my mother’s life. It was the last year of a complicated, intense and often challenging relationship.
For as long as I could remember our family life had been heavily weighted down by mental health difficulties. For my mother, that culminated in chronic pain, extreme anxiety and depression. Inspired by Mary Pipher’s wonderful book, Another Country – Navigating the Emotional Terrain of our Elders, I made the choice to do whatever I could to love and support my mother during the last chapter of her life. My husband, a palliative care physician, would call this “The Path of Least Regret”. (It sounds like something out of the Princess Bride, doesn’t it?)
Books have been my great companions and guides throughout my life. These sketches represent my efforts to truly absorb and live out the lessons that I was learning from my reading during that difficult time. You may recognize some of the ideas and phrases that came from Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, Elizabeth Lesser’s The Seeker’s Guide, and also Michael A. Singer’s The Untethered Soul. Each morning I would spend an hour reading, and then, in an effort to really grasp the essence of the teaching, I would create a quick sketch that represented my understanding of the concept.
Today, more that 10 years later, I find that these sketches are still powerful reminders of the lessons that I learned that year. It is my hope that they might be helpful to others too. I am including my reflections on these drawings, but feel free to skip the text and to let the pictures speak for themselves.
Sent into the world with love,