I will find my way back home

I will return when all begins anew When flame and rock primordially waltz When souls reoccur to restore all faults I will design a way back home to you

Whatever I become beyond the skin Shall drift and resonate in boundless ache Yet my determination shan't wear thin I will design a way back home to you

Whatever consciousness is will retake A vessel in love's predestination And though we'll take shape in another way I'll recognize your every rendition

Nirvana, nor heaven, could make me stay I will design a way back home

--- 13-5-2021, M.A. Tempels ©

Art journaling as self-management of your mental health

Journaling for personal care alleviates the distress inherent in mental illness as well as the stress of mental illness stigma for health and maintaining a delicate balance between medication, therapy and creating a positive support system. The blessings come from learning passionate self-care and finding expressive outlets for the sometimes overwhelming emotions and triggers. Journaling as a kind of self-care is easy, fun, unique, and most importantly, journaling is good for your mental health.

Journaling as a self-driving car increases your mental health awareness and recovery as it provides a safe place to hold your thoughts and emotions without fear of the reactions of others. It can also help in times when there is something to say but you can't find the words to express it clearly.

Journaling can take many forms: on paper (like a bullet journal), blogging, private digital journals, or with artistic journaling, which combines text, color, and a host of available media for self-expression (try zentangling ).

Journal of Emotion and Gratitude as Self-Care My first exposure to journaling was through a human relations course. The teacher asked us to keep 2 journals throughout the term: an emotions journal and a gratitude journal. The purpose of the Emotions Journal was to provide a safe place to capture intense emotions - anger, sadness, fear, etc. and just write for free. No editing, no self-censorship, curse if you will, but let go. The process allowed me to read the entries, identify negative thought patterns that were holding me back or to identify triggering events.

The Gratitude Journal is a place to write about "What's Right for Me". It takes no effort to find the things that bother us in our lives. The inner journey to find what is going right - even just "I'm here" - requires healing and loving soul-searching. I keep these two logs in a Google document so that they are password protected and are only for me.

Art Journaling for Self-Care and Mental Health Art journaling is another self-care tool that you can take with you in your mental health recovery toolkit. My foray into artistic journaling began 3 years ago when I had consecutive medical crises which each took 18 months to diagnose and resulted in emergency surgeries.

I bought a sketchbook, paints and pens and started splashing my frustration at going through 6 doctors, trying to find the right phone number for the right service and the feeling of betrayal by my body. The magic of art journaling is about tapping into the subconscious and bringing it to light. My 1st piece is called "Can you hear me now?"

Over time, I have learned to let the pages speak for themselves: inspired by color or a mental image, a sentence or a line, the composition is built. Recently I discovered zentangling which is a form of creative meditation in which the creator doesn't care about the final image. My last piece is a reflection of my thoughts on my mother's passing and is titled "Willow Cries For Me".

The Flowers (Learning to Love Again)

The human effigy leaves my brain Unfazed these days.

I have detached my self From its very nature Seeking inner quietude; an escape From the ever gnawing.

So did I become passionless, Desireless; void Of corporeal aching; Mechanical in visual interpretations.

Muscles, tendons, fat, flesh Bone structures, imaginarily Dissected; Witnessed apathetic; Unsignified, their radiation electromagnetic Reflected on photoreceptors.

Eyes Fill not with wonder, Solely perceive functionalistically.

Yet the only tragedy here Is that I’m not allowed to forget The existence of my own effigy.

This vessel, Requiring maintenance, Demanding Its own existence So pressingly I cannot withstand.

Basic wants, and basic needs Will so lead to desire’s revival.

I await its corruption Uneager And fatalistic.

For now, I cherish This unadulterated predisposition As I am the world's Witness.

I will love the flowers instead.

Experiencing the enrapturement Of true beauty In all its innocence.

--- 11-5-2021, M.A. Tempels ©