Tag Archives: Susan Fox

Hard pressed on every side but not crushed

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The answer to the question I asked before I started journaling surprised me.
In visual journaling we are asked to set an intention or ask a question before we start.. it kind of guides us as we journal.

I was surprised because it was a hard question and I kinda feared you know what would come out of the inside of me.

Hardest battle of my life to be honest and one I have felt most alone with. Like being just under the surface of a calm ocean but madly struggling.. but because everybody else only sees the surface they cannot see the struggles or the difficulty of it and some deny it is even a thing at all.. They go about their lives as if nothing was happening.

I am finally coming to peace with that. I have felt angry that I cannot share it with someone. Burden shared is a burden halved. Frustrated that I could not be supported or believed. I cannot survive though carrying around anger. Especially seeing I am mostly a peaceful person. In fact I would probably go so far as to say I don’t get angry. I cry rather then release things in anger. I am quick to forgive but I have learnt that this does not mean staying around to keep being hurt. Major change right here that I am proud of. But it has come at a cost. Not being understood but still I feel strong that I can stand up for what I believe in. You do not know how many times I have considered just slotting back in to how it used to be. Just so I was not on my own anymore and you are not ruffling up people’s feathers. Just to keep the peace. But see there is something about being true to yourself and at peace I am also learning. That it does not mean there is no conflicts. In fact I think the more you seek truth and peace the more conflicts you will find yourself in. But you have to learn to stand despite the conflicts. You have to learn that it will put you at odds with others who have settled and who just accept the way it is. They get jealous and they also will either fight you tooth and nail or completely close up to you. They cannot understand you and they will either fight or flee. I am not good at arguing. So if people do not agree with me they give up very easily and don’t stay around but I can survive it because I have found my peace within by being honest and being myself. I have nothing left to hide.

I have to learn to accept my own personal truth as not needing validation. Learning process for sure. I suppose all my life I have leaned on others for validation and been a follower. Learning now that I cannot do that and find inner peace because there just have been very few that I can follow or whom was able to understand where I am coming from or feel the same. So I have had to put my roots down deep where I am. Just like a tree where it finds all it needs by developing strong roots. The tree gains strength from finding its sustenance in the deep and it can stand solid through storms and the testings through time.

There are positives to this battle thankfully.

My question/intention was.. What is it about my sister that so upsets me?

The visual journaling I did was very positive for me to look at and if anyone is a deep truth seeker they should also clearly see where my heart/soul is on this. I can see growth in me. I can see gold and immense purpose in myself. Oh my goodness how powerful this piece of art is… no matter how simple it appears. I know exactly what it means too. I was actually excited today to sit down and do my writing here. I can feel a real inner pull on me to write. To share. To think about it. I love expressing how I feel. It is not till I do this that I can genuinely see just what has been happening in me even in times of what feels like ‘nothingness’. Long long periods of dormant and low activity which thanks to GOD are actually achieving something after all.

The green is growth. It looks like lungs. But it is more my gut that I was thinking about. Kidneys maybe even. But they are the deeper parts of me.
I think of the scripture. “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of water will flow within them.” John 7:38
I didn’t use blue though which is different to rivers of water. But water bring brings growth doesn’t it and believe me I have done years of crying which I can see now is bringing growth!!!!!
In fact it makes me think of the green of planet earth when seen from above and how it is surrounded by the beautiful aqua blue of the oceans of the world. In the very beginning of what we know as time. Spirit was hovering over the waters when HE started saying the very words that creation sprung forth from.

Blue to me also means tears, washing etc.. I love that I didn’t have in my journaling about this question anything relating to sadness.. That is so very encouraging because I do know it is always a fear that everything that has happened to me has made me a victim to depression but my art is NOT saying that at all. I could so easily be depressed because it has been SO DAMN HARD with my sister. She is a key person in my life. My sister. We are both single mothers. Both having gone through divorces. Both have teenagers. Both have disabilities. We both have and do rely on our parents for help. Because I house share with my parents and they help my sister so much it has been doubly hard the closeness of this battle and especially the cruelness of not being seen or rather feeling alone in it. I also will say in my families defense and the people around me who could have helped. That I am different to almost everyone I am related too or have had close contact with. I am created to share and NEED to share. I am a creative person and I think all of my life it was not something I was raised to do or was used to be surrounded with others who did. It was not encouraged, nurtured, talked about etc.. I was like an ugly duckling in the wrong family. Just a way to explain it.. not complaining about it or judging others. Just explaining that I have probably struggled all my life because I have not been able to be true to who I am in an environment where others were the same. I have relatives who are creative and sadly we don’t connect even though as I have been more creative I thought it would happen easily. Ways to go still in relating to others.

In relation to my sister as to the why ask this question now. I have chosen to distance myself from her. Something that is not my choice at all but I have felt is the only way for now. Too much more to it than is possible to explain for this days sharing but only here I will share why it has upset me so and my thoughts about my answer via visual journaling.

In short because I struggle to be myself with her and she has also said when we last sort of had it out.. when I tried to communicate more deeply.. ‘Your heart seems to be locked up tight.’

She felt that.

You can see that she is right that this is truth. But not that I want it to be locked up and that is where it runs into a wall because unless I can explain more and why.. she will not experience more. But I cannot seem to get any further because when I have overflowed lol.. And I can go on and on as you can see. Nothing comes back from her depths and I have felt defensive instead of myself and definitely not free flowing. I mean obviously we are not the same. But unless I can say some things and feel heard it all seems to stay with me and that is as far as we get. There is going to be a flow with two people who are communicating and free with each other and it is going to benefit both I believe. Not harmful or needing of either to hold back. We have not had freedom and I have not felt safe. Our hearts and souls are treasures after all which deserve respect, grace and the kind of love that allows us to be who we are with each other.. Warts and all.

So this green shows that I am wanting to flow despite our relationship in the past and currently. And I want deep. Which is why the black box appeared.. The black was not anything to do with me. Rather it is what has happened to us both when I cannot share naturally. When what I most desire which is obviously still huge to me runs into a wall..

I am so glad to see the flow is still there and does not seem diminished.. It has not stopped perse. Like I mean it is still there.. it has not dried up no matter what people think or even my sister thinks. I still want to share life with her. I have not always known that about myself. I have had anxiety even being around her. Strange because I am peace loving person and have a lay back personality. So when I consider all that our relationship has been and things said and not said. Anxiety rises up. So I am glad looking at this I am not seeing anxiety here in my art.

It is just I cannot and have not been able to flow with her. I am most comforted that I am not angry and I am not sad according to my journaling. I am still wanting relationship but I recognize that what I do want is healthy relationship. To be myself fully. To share deep things. Green signifies growth. But the fact that it is not blue. Blue symbolizes to me an exchange of relationship. I have all this growth inside but it only comes up to a point. It is not returned to fully complete the cycle I suppose you could say by looking at this art piece. It is not meant to be one way. One sided. It is meant to be for both my sister and me. To help each other. To be a safe place. A support. A confidant to each other. The pink symbolizes how my art and self expression helps me be who I am. A part of how I function. It is not that I do things I do to be different but rather it is who I am and being who I am helps me to bring up the deep things. Totally necessary. Shows that the way our relationship has been has hindered my whole self with my sister. So much more to say and so much more to be and so much more to contribute but its vitally important that I am free to communicate in my own unique way. That is where the treasure of me is.

The gold color I used is perhaps the most beautiful thing of all. I think of this scripture.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:7

It appears to be a GOD thing that this is who I am. This is how I am created.

Only recently I found a t-shirt at a op shop or you might call it a thrift store. It has the word ‘Power’ on it. The timing.. Lol I know immense hope for all that is NOT happening in my life when I bypass the very humanness of myself and concentrate on Spirit. GOD in me. GOD in this human body. If all my sister sees is the black.. Well she misses the treasure of me and she will only see the earthen vessel. If I cannot communicate my truth and be myself as I am to my sister she is going to miss the treasure. Anyone is.

Using art expression God has transformed my sadness to growth and given me abundant life within that desperately desires to be expressed to my sister and anyone else I am sharing life with. Some see art as just a very personal and intimate thing to help oneself. But I see art expression as my way to be who I am created to me. To shine my light/light of God who is working with me and a way to communicate as a deaf person too in this world. Spirit is what animates life itself after all.

I can see HIM working especially in my hard times, despite my humanness it is the most powerful thing on earth because when you really see SPIRIT is working so intimately within you, it is a very deep and soul satisfying message of life and hope. Seen crystal clear even in the simplest of things like visual journaling.

I am comforted for all that my life has been and all that my life has not been.. The difficulties only shine HIS greater purposes to me even brighter. I am finding joy right now in sharing this.

HE appears to me in midst my art obsession of collecting and hoarding art supplies because they are what I use to tell my truth and GOD meets me here within my humanness and hoarding art supplies.. And God IS involved in my art no matter how simple, despite how my outer circumstances do not make sense and how disconnected I might appear. Despite how many relationships I struggle with and the blackness that shows to the world. The introvert that I can be. The differences to others. The struggle with my sister.

There is still treasure to be found.

Bypassing my rational brain using visual art journaling I am able to speak from my heart not my head that likes to worry about things and wonder why this has happened the way it has and which struggles to communicate like the rest of the world does. I do shut down and lose focus when I think about how my outward life is and do not concentrate on the power and presence of SPIRIT. Flesh is weak. Spirit is strong.

Art expression shows what I truly feel inside it shows my super power :).
It is the truth after all and yes I too am surprised by how pure my heart is here. Glory to GOD!!!

Despite the black displayed in my art. The hardship.
(2 corinthians 4:8.. We are hard pressed on every side but not crushed.. Perplexed but not in despair; )
I am filled with gold.
My struggle to express myself has had incredible internal benefits because I need GODS help to keep my inward focus.
That’s how I found abundant life within. (Kingdom of Heaven is within)
I see enormous growth and flow which is a miracle even if its very different to how it looks on the outside.
(GOD looks not at the outward appearance but at the heart)
I am not filled with anger or sadness or lack or even blackness..
I am filled with light..
His power is best shown when I am sharing powerful truth even from within my own difficulties.

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Why am I so disheartened…?

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Deep speaks to deep… wow the above heading is part of my intention for Visual Journaling today.  And woah what has come up from the depths of my soul is so empowering to me and no matter what I will share it because it appears a message for more than just me..

Like a burning in my bones I cannot keep it in.

My Intention was.. “Why was I so disheartened when nobody saw my blog/writing/art?”.. referring to my last blog post..

The art today I’ve done is based on this intention but also what flows out of me as I work on this exercise and think about how I’m feeling currently…

Something for SO LONG which has not been easy for me. I would liken it to a crack in a wall that has till this point only leaked a small flow.. yet has a full reservoir of water welled up behind it that desperately needs to run free. I really haven’t got to the deeper core yet.. only skimmed the surface but it’s moving now. Thank YOU LORD!!

I put so much of my heart and soul into my last blog and I have not been able to do that for a long long long time and it was powerful to put that into the world.

I suppose I think and was hoping it would be seen and read.. Such a break through personally.. so amazing to me…but very little if nothing came back and it was disheartening. Invisibility to the world.. Like you win the jackpot but there’s no one to tell even though you desperately want too..

I added words too to today’s art as I was led. It all speaks..

This is simply what comes up. Not judging myself. Not thinking why did I say that NO.. I am just flowing and it is amazing me what comes up and how it comes and the depth of meaning to it I can so easily understand.

I sometimes feel so shut down.. Like I have literally nothing to contribute of value. But I feel real treasure here and depth even I didn’t know was there..

When I started to relax into this I could sense my mind, my brain is hurting. I cannot understand why I am so invisible when I am being my most authentic ever. I cannot fathom why. It seems so cruel.. I want my light to shine not be hidden..

I think the pink blob which is created with gelatos.. I also used a paint brush with water because it activates and blends the consistency of colour.. Doing so the water took away the sharp edges I originally drew. I was visualising the colour coral as I began to settle into this excercise. All my expressions referring to myself or art that I do or faith that I have lately has been symbolised by the colour pink.

But this time pink with a sort of flesh colour..

Female, flesh.. rock like but unseen hidden beneath an ocean appears to really symbolize how I feel. Yet as I was scribbling this I was not intentionally thinking coral, ocean or what not. But just letting colours and feelings and soul and spirit and frustrations tumble out of me. This is what came. Blue and green background that was intentional to blend.. looks like water.. symbolising my world.. frame of my world.. blue is expanse of sky or even God everywhere to me, flow of spirit.. depth of endless ocean, its peaceful even being alone so much.. green for growth and learning.. Because I am growing in this art adventure..

Art is life to me. It is health to me.. It is beautiful and deep and spirit is where it is at for me. Not boxed in at all.. freedom.. but it is lonely too because not a lot of people around me live wholly from their spirits or notice mine. So the largeness of the singular shape really expresses my own little world doesn’t it.

The water over the colours does soften the coral edges so maybe it means my tears (releasing emotions) keeps me softer..

So that is how what I created made me think of my feminine brain which turned into coral in an ocean.. Very calming to me is my art expression but then I added a black barbed wire fence because I feel angry and hurt and discouraged that this beauty in my life which I so love to express.. being my heart through art into the world is mainly unseen and I do not want it to be a selfish thing .. And even those closest to me don’t take notice, recognise what I do or appear to care how important this is to me and maybe more than just me. A few do.. ❤

I feel frustrated.. stifled. I see that art piece and I feel angry. This beautiful piece of unique coral in the ocean is fenced in.. Is blocked.. the natural ebb and flow is disrupted.. Although it may look guarded it doesn’t feel that way to me.. I see in this art piece a kind of similarity with the way the world around us is being damaged too..

How that oceans are being polluted.. and that we all need to more deeply look at our natural world and wake up to the damage being done to it.. realise what is happening.

I think it’s the same with the spiritual world too. People need to wake up!!

We need to acknowledge the beauty of life and preciousness of the world around us and cherish it but not with fences or hemming it in or caging it in, but by being aware of its importance to all of us.

How each of us suffers when only one part is ignored. There is a bible verse about that. About how we have to care for the whole body, every part is significant. To not want everyone to be the same but see and appreciate the different parts and how each part is valuable and we are supposed to come together and yet need to work as one.

Jagged edges of my soul, my life, my uniqueness; indeed every soul.. It makes us each one so very precious doesn’t it..

Why do we want to stop growth, disrupt peace, destroy the natural beauty of life by ignoring, by not seeing and not appreciating every soul.. each beautiful soul and talent. It is beyond me.. making one more important than another.. All is precious..

Environmentalists have to be louder and find more bold ways to protect our world. They need to keep sharing information all the time. They need to always be aware of the world around them.. Especially telling the truth about the dangers to wildlife and our eco system so that we can change the way we treat the world in which we live. But also sharing ways to help and heal our world too!!!

I feel I too have to be louder and bolder. I have to see these trials and difficulties I face and let them stir me up to action. Not give up..

Being overlooked. Being unseen. Being fenced in. Being ignored. I need to work all the more within this barrier and beyond and be even louder, more persistent with my soul truths.

I truly believe that even one person can make a difference who speaks their truth and tells their story and shines their brave soul light.. and it will benefit every other soul to do the same but first they’ve got to see it..

Finding my voice again..

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Oh my haven’t been here in ages. But it is so good to be expressing myself again. Been a long period of no motivation for art and expressing myself. 😦

I bought ANOTHER book lol I am a bit of a hoarder of books. But I have had needs in myself that I cannot fill with anything I have already. So I have been searching and yearning for something more I suppose you could say. I don’t always know what that is mind you. But search I do nevertheless.

As always its about getting stuff out of me because I tend to close up shop if I cannot express myself. Oh boy sit like a rock you know for days, months and onwards. You know when I am good I am expressing myself and when I am not I consider it a bad state.

The book I bought is Visual Journaling.. Going Deeper than Words. Barbara Ganim and Susan Fox. I have been working through it now about 6 days. Using art to reduce stress, get in touch with feelings and give voice to Soul. With simple images and colours and its quite amazing how these can speak and express just how you feel.. I am flabbergasted actually by how easy it is to do this but it is powerful at the very same time.

Bypasses the rational side of your brain somehow and I can quite confidently tell you that what you draw on a blank page from the get go is how you are feeling. Following along with guided questions you are able to then journal what it means and boy do I love it. I have found myself writing very easily.

Unlike the past I have not needed to share like I always have not sure what that means though but I suppose maybe I am happier to the point I am peace to share or not to share. Today I will. I do so because it has so helped me that I just know others may need this kind of therapy as desperately as I have. I am feeling more centred. More at peace. More able to talk about everything with gusto. I am not shut down like I have been. It is a lovely experience.

Todays art expression was based on using sound, in the form of humming, I used my voice too because being a deaf person I cannot use music. Though the activity seemed more about humming a tune within our selves.

I sang/hummed the song “Wind Beneath My Wings”… for my visual journaling. Its funny you know my register of songs and music is limited to what I have heard in my past. I started losing my hearing when I was in my early 20’s and its gradually got less and less as the years have gone by. So I only know and think upon music I know from my hearing years. So its dated music. But this song is one of my favourites. I try not to subconsciously think on what I am going to visually express in my art.. Let what comes come.

I have to set an intention at the beginning of every session but it is not something I am musing over rather it guides me. My intention for this was.  Finding My Voice Again..

That it was set to humming/singing music is a very deep issue for me being that I truly miss music. To the point where I am sure not being able to hear music has contributed to my shutting down and losing my voice.

As I hummed along to the song and sang it I just let my pen which was a gold ink signo broad pen (love love love these pens) sort of flow along with my experience. Visualising it on my page. The intitial wave form with the gold pen is not easily seen when you look at this art. It is in the background and we were encouraged to notice any images coming through our scribbles or wave patterns. The color of blue and gold are the themes for this piece. What I was feeling. Turned into tears and gold mountains. Because as I looked on my expressions that is what I thought about. Again I just let what comes come.

Obviously as I contemplate this exercise there is a lot of sadness associated with my feelings. I miss music. I miss getting lost in the song and lyrics and for me singing I got so carried away when I sang.. you know I would belt out songs lol usually. It’s emotionally charging when you sing and there is a letting go I think of emotions when you sing from your depths. Its a very sad time for me not to sing and listen and be moved by the power of music. But also it wasn’t just about the sadness. It was about emotions I was feeling as I hummed and sang. I was feeling the feelings about.. singing the words.. enjoying it and remembering the past and why I loved that song and times I sang it etc or listened to it. Of course it reminds me of my past and back when I was younger and a hearing person and a different sort of person because I had not gone through as much grief and trials as I have since.

Even as I write this the whole experience of this Visual Journaling has brought so much more to the surface and along with it.. much more meaning to what has flowed out of me. It is way more than just the song it is connected to my past, present and I am hungrily connecting the visual representations to all that my life is. Oh my how deliciously deep is this!!!!

Way more than just this exercise. I felt like my story, my past, perhaps even the last decade of my life was flowing up out of me and I can understand it and its not locked up inside anymore. YAY!!!!

Thinking of how my faith and God has lifted me up on wings and I see my story here on the page and that telling my story is giving me my voice back. That it has been a lonely journey, fraught with tears, many tears. Losing my voice the hardest. It’s when you start to feel what is my purpose. Why am I even here in this world?

This shows I am always aware of Gods presence even though it’s been hard. The wings of God carrying me through all of it. Sound carried my emotions onto this page. Hard place, lots of sadness and emotion along the way. I know and am aware that HE God was undergirding me. Aware of importance of telling it truthfully. Not being afraid. Everything is important. It is beautifully personal and about ‘ME’ as opposed to many messages I have heard which say contrary. God cares about me…. every tear and emotion I feel and why.

Psalm 56:8 David prays to God.. “Thou tellst my wanderings, put thou my tears in Thy bottle; are they not in Thy book?”..

Long period. Preciousness of my personal journey and my journaling tells you I have not always seen or known what was going on and I have had to use my faith, stubbornly believe God with me not always seeing or knowing.. But faith carried me when I was unsure, alone, rejected, seeking and not finding.

Importance of each individual tear. Emotions have their purpose. Important to document. Tell it. Express it. Music/Sound even when I cannot hear it, perhaps in this case shows it has not disappeared but now shows its ultimate power..  by bringing up my very heart/soul depths. How I’ve missed so much and indeed desperately needed my emotional outflow.

My voice. Your voice. Our voices..  are vitally important.