The theme for last week’s The Documented Life Project prompt was “selfie“. We were encouraged to incorporate a selfie into the page, along with our word of the year, if we pick one. I loved this prompt, even though I feel like my pages could use some work (to be nice).
It’s been interesting to read the comments on the Facebook group, as there is a whole contingent of members who are uncomfortable with taking selfies at all. Personally, I feel like selfies are my jam. My Instagram features a lot of selfies. Like a lot a lot. After taking a self-portrait class from Liz Lameroux last year, I use selfies as a way to check in with myself, see myself in a new life, and document my life. It was a transformative experience for me, to learn how to feel comfortable enough in my skin to see myself through self-portraiture.
When making my page, I used a guiding phrase that I wrote while taking my selfies for this prompt on Instagram:
“When I try to embody my word of the year, I plant my feet on the ground and I cover my heart with my hands, because my center comes from both places.”
This phrase is incorporated into my the front of my extension, hovering over each leaf. There are elements of this page that I really like – the color scheme, the layers of techniques that I use, and of course, the guiding phrase. But, I found while making this page that I got sucked into over making. I couldn’t put down the paint and I covered or obscured elements that I really liked.
However, I don’t want to focus on this part of the page. Instead, I want to focus on what I learned from this process. I learned a lot about art journaling, just by going a little too far and acting too quickly. But, what I learned most while making this page is that my word of the year – CENTER – is something that I feel in my body. I know when I’m centered, I can feel it in the set of my shoulders. I can feel it in the way I breathe. I can feel it in the way that my feet connect with the floor. As I work through this year finding my center, I can keep myself true by checking in with my body. How do I feel in my day to day life, disjointed and itchy or stable and grounded?
So far, I’ve found that engaging in this project has helped me to feel more centered. By spending my snatches of time writing, taking pictures, and making art (even if imperfectly), I am connecting with a central part of who I am. At my center, I am someone who thrives on making things. I need this background hum of creativity in my daily life, in order to feel more like my self.