Over the years, my creative practices become simpler and simpler - sometimes to the point of sometimes just picking one image from a magazine a day, and meditating upon what it means to me.
The Simplicity of Gluebooks
Have you heard of gluebooks? I have been making gluebooks for over 20 years - before I knew that they were called gluebooks! Gluebooks are different from collage journals in that they are simply a book that you glue things that you like into.
If you would like to cut, collage and glue in a more elaborate way, I have written an article on How to Create an Intuitive Collage HERE.
I like to create "visionary gluebooks" in a very simple way. I choose just imagery that helps me lean into something that helps me to feel wonderful.
Anything can be turned into a gluebook. You can use a new blank sketchbook. You can also use an old book and glue on top of the pages. Your gluebook is a place to honour your fascinations and interests.
As I mentioned, you can simply choose an image or two that inspires you each day, and meditate upon it. If you want to document your life through personal photographs, fun stickers, concert tickets, random pretty papers, napkin, and anything else that inspires you in your daily life.
A glue book is not a collage journal, it is a diary of what inspires and intrigues you. It is a collection of visual items that bring you joy.
Here is a guide on what kinds of images to look for:
- What intrigues you?
- What is beautiful to you?
- What do you long for?
- What do you wish you could have, be or do?
How to Deepen Your Positive Feelings
Choose at least one "good-feeling" picture from a magazine per day, and glue it into your gluebook. Spend time with your image to anchor the goodness you feel deeper into your brain and nervous system. This practice is inspired by neuroscientist Rick Hanson. See my full article called: How to Deepen Positive Feelings >>>HERE.
Look For The Good: Find at least one image a day that helps you to feel wonderful, and glue it into your journal. Sense into the good feeling-tone of your image. Take in the good a little deeper than you normally might. Try to look at your good-feeling image at least ten times a day. Each time takes just a few seconds to do. You can do this throughout your day when washing dishes or driving in your car. Or look at it at specific times, such as just before falling asleep or upon waking up, when your brain is especially receptive.
Savour the Good. Most of the time, a good feeling or experience passes by in a blink. But this savouring practice invites you to sustain or stay with what is good for 30 seconds in a row instead of getting distracted by something else.
An easy way to do this is to find something to appreciate in your chosen image, and feel the appreciation intensify in your body, mind and emotions for 30 seconds. Encourage your appreciation to flood your body, making it a deep, rich and beautiful experience for 30 seconds.
Research has proven that the longer something is held in awareness and the more emotionally amplified and stimulating it is - the more the neurons fire and wire together.
Soak in the Good: Now, let your good experiences - real or imagined - register more deeply in your emotional body for ten minutes or more. You can do this in various ways. You might feel a good experience as a warm glow spreading through your chest. And with practice, you might choose to bring this warm glow into old places of hurt or old holes of loss and grief.
As you do this extended practice of bringing your good feelings of warmth, safety, happiness or joy into old wounds, your neurons are firing and gradually wiring together to create more happiness in your brain and body. Every time you practice taking in and extending the good, it will make a small cumulative difference. And, over time small differences in your brain add up, reshaping you into a happier person!