September 11th will forever be a day of reflection.
It forces us to reflect on the past, the present, and what is in store for us in the future.
Many times there aren’t words that describe the way we feel about something. Or at times we feel several emotions at once and it is difficult to articulate them all. This reminded me of what I often do to relax and reflect on the present moment. I create what I call a “Reflection Board” in my visual journal or on a separate piece of paper. These boards are direct reflections and extensions of ourselves and can give us a great insight that words don’t seem to be able to do. And the bonus is that the process can be done in just 15 minutes with things you already have around the house!
I call it my:
It is something you can do by yourself alone or with the entire family. I have found teenagers to really enjoy it and have a lot to express this way.
The best part is all you need are old magazines, paper, scissors, and some sort of adhesive.
Then, without thinking too much (remember try to keep it around 15 minutes) spend about 5 to 7 minutes cutting out images, or words that speak to you. You don’t have to know the reason why you like that image…just grab it. Try your hardest to not be intential about what images you choose. Just go with whatever images you notice you have a reaction to and place it in your pile. Remember, you don’t have to use ALL the images you gather- just grab images to your heart’s content…well with in the 15 minutes of course.
Then, I usually begin to arrange and glue them on my page usually with the larger images in the background first. Again, I try not to think too hard on how to place them… I just go with whatever feels right.
And I keep adding images.
and more images…
Until I feel like it is complete.
Then I stop.
Then, if I have extra time, I will take a step back and observe and reflect about my page. You will be amazed how simple phrases or photos really seem to describe how you are feeling at that particular moment. It is as if they symbolize your inner confessions, whether you knew they were there or not. Sometimes, I will then write on the opposite side or on another sheet of paper about feelings or thoughts that come to mind right then. Sometimes, I don’t feel like there is anything else to say because it somehow spoke for me. The crazy part to me is that I can look at any one of these reflection boards and still remember exactly how I was feeling during different parts of my life- even if I didn’t spend time writing about it.
Time Saving Tips: Try using a smaller piece of paper so you don’t feel like you have to fill up the whole page. Also, set a timer and come back to it later- who says you have to finish it all in one sitting?
I also have images already cut and ready to go. I use images in a lot of my art therapy work and with my visual journal and before I throw out a magazine- I cut out any possible image or phrase and organize it for a later date like this:
But that is not all.
Another way I have used collaging is to make a “15 Minutes to Sanity Box” where I took an old box I already had and collaged on it using the same guidelines I mentioned before.
Then, I filled it up with things that make my heart sing.
Chocolate, love notes, photographs, music, smelly good markers, and some essential oils are all a must in my box.