Pictures + Stories: What I learned in 30 days of Creative Journaling

Creative Emergence finished yesterday.

While it was on, I was sharing my pictures and thoughts each day on Instagram.? I wanted to compile them here, all together, so you can see the journey.? Some days were rough, some days were awesome – it’s kind of beautiful how they all string together to tell the story of one girl and her dream.

I decided to keep [my secret intention] for Creative Emergence a secret.? Normally I share ALL of the details about my dreams-in-process but this one wanted a quieter space to germinate in.

I can tell you that [my secret intention] felt kind of big and scary.? I had NO CLUE what to do to help it become a real live thing.? I felt small and it felt big.? I felt unsure and inadequate.

This is pretty much always how I feel at the start.

And then I look around at my life, and all the “impossible dreams” I live with every day. And I remember that I have infinite power within me.? Infinite creativity.? Infinite resources.

I remember that my dream is a lighthouse – it’s my soul calling me home, guiding me along the path of my potential.

My dream is no accident.? My dream is my purpose.

And that’s why I start anyway, even though I feel shaky and unsure.

(And, not to give away the big ending for you or anything, but I feel the opposite of that now… at the end of those post I’ll share more about what changed and where I’m at with my dream now)

So day one was filled with with lots of quiet contemplation and connection with my dream, including taking my journal and my dream to the beach.


I want [my secret intention] because: Delight! Freedom! Inspired by the magic of the beach I journaled about releasing all the things that stop me from receiving more of these qualities right now (as I realized that no, I am not totally ready to receive [my secret intention] just yet).

And so I swarm with the qualities of trust and flow and soaked up the qualities of radiance and love.

It felt like a bit of a shaky start, seeing all the places where I didn’t feel ready to actually receive my dream.

But I felt ready to start to change this, and I was looking forward to the journey.

Day 2: iced coffee + journaling for breakfast.? I have some big insights about how my people-pleasing and approval-seeking patterns make it hard for me to hold my intentions. And how holding my intention anyway transforms those patterns which helps me in other parts of my life too. Journaling as a daily practice is magic!

Day 3. Learning so much about where my patterns get in the way of my dreams.

Day 3 (later): I learned that I want to be BOLDER in how I work with my intention. I explored my ambivalence and looked at ways to transform it. So much good stuff happened on day 3! The main message I got was: allow your ambivalence to explode into delight.


Day 4: I’m not able to do today’s assignment yet because I’m cranky today, the cranky makes it so I don’t have clear space to meet my dream in. This is a part of the process! So I’m meeting myself where I am. Lots of cranky journaling today for me. Hope your journaling is going better!

#creativeemergence day 4: I'm not able to do today's assignment yet because I'm cranky today, the cranky makes it so I don't have clear space to meet my dream in. This is a part of the process! So I'm meeting myself where I am. Lots if cranky journaling t

Day 5: Not a lot of words today after yesterday’s flurry of cranky journaling. Mostly silently connecting with the heart and soul of my dream.

Day 6. Latte + journaling while my sweetie plays guitar. Beautiful Sunday morning in the dream loft. Really feeling the stronger foundation I am building for my dreams and feeling jazzed about new possibilities for changing my inner responses to external stresses.

Day 7: Sitting with today’s question I find I really do want to avoid the things I want to avoid! Exploring ways to be gentle about taking small steps… Kind of magic what happens as I open up to REALLY looking in the dark places. So much magic there!

Day 8: connecting to my dream is starting to feel more solid. Painting/doodling as I connect with the essence of my dream I start to notice how much I growing into it already. Day 1 my dream felt much bigger and hard to connect to. Day 8 I feel strong enough to hold it. It’s happening!

Day 9: This is so cool! The qualities of my dream are very different from what I thought they were. Learning so much about what my dream needs, and about what I need to grow it.

Day 10: Quality time with my dream. I’m learning how to build the foundation for it to grow. Feeling inspired + enthusiastic about doing the work.

Day 11: Today’s post about enthusiasm brought up a lot to explore about how I tend to approach dreams, and life, quite cautiously and how that does not always serve me.

(I did take a short break over the 30 days when I went canoeing for a weekend)

Epic weekend. Canoe trip was amazing and we even got to sleep in a screen tent under the dancing northern lights.

Day 14: After such a great weekend re-entry is going kind of slow. Spending some time catching up on my journaling this morning.

Day 14 (later): colouring + doodling + exploring. My dream wants me to play with it more.

Day 15: Oh my gosh so much has changed in only 15 days. My inner relationship with my dream has totally changed which changes what I see as possible in front of me. It’s like fireworks of inspiration exploding everywhere. So much inspiration that I need to go take a nap to process this.

Day 16: After yesterday’s burst of expansion and inspiration today I’ve got a lot of self-doubt and frustration with my dream. This is normal!

Day 17: re-organizing the Dream Loft. Because today’s journaling session showed me that this is the next step on my path. On yesterday’s call we talked about how to know when to do inner work versus when to do outer work. This is how it works.

Day 18: Really struggling with self doubt and hopelessness today. After some journaling I came to this: I am willing to wait for the deeper message here. Not comfortable but I want to give my feelings the space they need.

Day 18 (later): Cranky picnic lunch on a really gorgeous day. Taking the time to be with the uncomfortable feelings that come up while doing this kind of work is the hardest part. We want to push them away or solve them or change them and just figure out how to be happy again. But there is so much to discover in just being with your feelings. Also: the path that leads to where you want to be goes right through the thing you don’t want to face. The only way out is through.

Day 18 (later): Doing some mandala magic. Totally helping.

Day 19: What’s been bothering me lately is that through Creative Emergence I’ve become more clear on where I want things to change. Simple course correction. But I got caught up in the sadness of noticing that my dream is not yet here.

Day 20: Coffee+ journaling in the park before heading out of town to celebrate my mom’s birthday. Taking everything I’ve learned in facing some hard stuff over the past few days and using it to create a new plan. Feeling excited about what’s next.



Day 20: Hotel room journaling. Carving out just a few minutes from my family retreat (celebrating my mom’s 70th) to journal about what inspires me. Came up with a few brilliant ideas for how to integrate more of what inspires me into my daily routines, and how to replace some of my bad habits with inspiration-furling habits.

Day 22: A little journaling and a LOT of re-arranging my space to fit my new possibilities and ideas and dreams. Having been struggling with a lot of self-doubt recently, I’m now finding the gifts in it and feeling renewed purpose, clarity and enthusiasm for my intention for Creative Emergence. This is how the magic works!

Day 23: Exploring what supports me and what supports my dream. Experiencing a lot of resistance to looking at this. Leaving it at that for today, which is something I love about daily practice – teeny tiny steps are more than enough!

Day 23 (later): Just discovered why I was so stuck with my journaling today. It’s because I’m on the last page of this journal. I started this journal in January for Grow Your Depth, Nurture Your Brilliance (the year-long advanced journaling class I’m doing this year). This journal has held so much and brought me so much, I actually don’t want to say goodbye. Silly but true.

Day 24: So glad today is the Hello Day exercise! Using it do a Hello Journal page, exploring what qualities I want to fill this new journal with. My dreams are happy for new space to grow in.

Day 24: Still working on the first page of my new journal. Throwing a lot of paint around, covering up my journaling from earlier today. Feels like I’m filling this page with secret love letters to my journal.

Day 25: Doing a little collage in my journal, inspired by @thephoenixsoul ‘s Creative Emergence interview today. After a kind of tumultuous few weeks, my dream feels ready to be released into the world. This feels amazing. So in love with the Creative Emergence process

Day 26. (Day 26? Already?) Gorgeous meeting with my dream this morning. The energy is buzzing and alive, the path is clear, I’ve done so much invisible foundation-building this month. I am frustrated with how slow the visible actual-building is going, and my journal is reminding me to honour my natural rhythms. I’ll get there.

Day 27: Sitting with my journal, but nothing’s really coming to me today. Some days are like this.

Day 28: Oh man! Over the month my dream has changed from fuzzy + impossible to clear + real + ready. But now I feel fuzzy + impossible, overwhelmed + exhausted looking at the clear path in front of me. That part where the path is revealed can feel very intimidating. No more excuses – am I really ready? So I used the Un-Sticking Station in the Creative Dream Circle to relax and soften my resistance. Taking a break now, hope to come back to this later today.

Day 28. Taking the beautiful (overwhelmingly) big plan my dream gave me this month and breaking in down into do-able steps that fit into my schedule over the next few months. Dreams are not bound by time and space, so making dream-plans fit into calendar-time can be trickier than it seems like ti “should” be, but this is a part of how you ground your dreams in your life which helps them grow big and strong. Practical magic.


Day 29. Kind of amazing how it’s all coming together. My dream has grown from fuzzy impossible blob of unknowns to a clear and bright and walkable path. I have grown from unsure + not ready to overwhelmed + afraid to ready + inspired. My dream and I are ready to dance together. This has been an incredible adventure.

Day 30. Had a special morning planned, starting with journaling in the park for our last day of Creative Emergence. Instead a spoke in my bike tire snapped, the wheel jammed against the brake and my wheels would only go backwards, not forwards. Not the kind of symbolism I’m looking for! But 3 different people stopped to help, and got me mobile again, though I’ve got to go kind of slow until I can replace the tire. My dream whispers that the symbolism is perfect: it’s about upgrading. So I just stopped at the nearest coffee shop and here I am. Looking forward to our last live call for Creative Emergence later today.

Day 30 (later): Getting ready for our last #creativeemergence tele-class. So excited about sharing this one!

So, at the end of the 30 days, this is where I’m at now:

I’m writing this just after our last live call (you can still listen to it here, it was GORGEOUS).

I’m feeling so happy and proud of this.? So many beautiful and amazing things happened for so many beautiful and amazing people.

And, in this moment, I’m exhausted.

Letting go of of the energy circle of Creative Emergence, sitting here all alone but surrounded by the many gifts and treasures of this process, I’m exhausted, as I should be.? It was a beautiful and long journey and now it’s time to rest a bit.

In this moment, I am excited that I just found a can of hickory smoked vegetarian baked beans in my cupboard because that means I don’t have to go out and find something to eat.? So I’m going to eat beans and drink tea and rest and work on my papier-mache (I’m covering a 20′ x 20′ wall in my loft with these):


In other words: NOURISH, REST, PLAY.

My dream was all fuzzy and impossible when I started this.? Now I have a clear plan, a do-able plan, and enjoyable plan.? Now I believe in myself and I believe in this dream.? Now I feel inspired and ready to start taking it step by step.? In fact I have a plan worked out for the next few months of what I want to do and how I want to do it.

I feel clear and ready and like I just need to take one step and then another one.? All the fog and mystery and uncertainty are gone.? (Though, I’m sure they’ll be back at some point and I’m also sure I’ll work through them again)

That’s the magic of this process.

It’s not about waving a magic wand and having everything you want appear.? It’s about trusting yourself enough to be who you want to be and to create the life you want to be living.

That’s what I want for me, and that’s what I want for you.

So, for me the journey continues inside the Creative Dream Circle where I’m creating + planning new goodies and events for 2016.? If you enjoyed Creative Emergence you will ADORE being a part of the Circle.

Get a free class to feel more CLEAR + SURE about your next steps:

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Your Next Steps: A journaling + meditation class to help you be more CLEAR and SURE of your next steps
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