It’s nearly been a couple of weeks now since we, Olwen Wilson and myself, completed facilitating our online visual journaling retreat called Honouring Our Wholeness. For three sessions spread over six weeks, we created space for a self-care visual journaling retreat for women, feminine and non-binary people who are Black, Indigenous or a Person of Colour.
This was a unique and well-needed safe space for us to come together and just be. To let down our loads and know that we weren’t going to be judged but held. It was such a nourishing and nurturing space that without it, I feel a bit remiss. This space came along at the right time when I needed to take things slow and lean back into my visual journaling practice. What I need now is to remember what I learned from this experience and continue the journey; this healing journey I’ve been on for over six years now.
Six years ago, I started my visual journaling practice through a virtual course run by Lisa Sonora called Dreaming on Paper, at that point. It came into my life when I needed to explore my voice. When I needed time and space to get in touch, probably for the first time, with my true self. It provided me with an anchor when everything around me was disappearing, had been destroyed. Visual journaling kept me afloat, when I could have easily drown.
These are the things I need to remember when I do get a bit lost because of outside demands, or when I’m being far too critical on my own arse. Self-compassion. self-care and self-love are waiting for me when I open my journal and just play. Just try. Just turn up for me.
It was such an honour to be gather with these beautiful and generous people during Honouring Our Wholeness because that’s what we did for each other and ourselves, we showed up and offered ourselves compassion, care, grace and love.
The sun moves west. You walk the road out of town to meet it. Your progress is slow as you keep stopping to hold the moment. To wonder as the pinky peach light. In awe you question this reality. As the water lights up from within a golden glow that draws you closer. Close enough to touch. Something stirs inside you, deep within that sings in tune with this present.
A lonely concrete hut
rusty roof taste
metallic mixed with fear
“Fuck. It was bound to come up. Trust. I have issues with trust. Ever since I found out my dad was dying only when he was actually dead, I’ve had trouble with trust. My mum and dad thought it best not to tell us kids that our dad was dying. To protect us. So when I found out it was already too late. He was dead and I felt betrayed.
I do not give my trust lightly. You betray my trust and you’re gone out of my life. Simple as that. But it isn’t that simple. Trust is about feeling safe and putting yourself out there with someone else. It’s about being vulnerable, wanting to protect oneself at the same time as taking a risk, moving out of oneself. It’s leaning in and out at the same time.
I’ve always been able to say I can trust myself. Until now. Now I’m not too sure about myself. If my actions are carried out for the right reasons, with the right intentions?
I’m at the edge of an abyss. At the edge of my existence as I have known it. And I now I have to take the leap into the new but can I trust myself in the fall?
I know it’s about love. Love of myself. There has to be the space to allow myself to fall. To know in the fall that I can still breathe, still live and will find my footing again. It’s about accepting that I am not in control and probably never was or will be. It is about trusting in the unknown. Trusting that I will be alright, that everything will be all right. I just have to trust the process. I just have to trust in me.”