Willing to Embark

I thought I knew what I was going to write about tonight. However, the idea never quite settled in, or locked into place as the day progressed. I stayed open, and early in the evening, just as I was about to prepare dinner, I suddenly thought about my altered book, the one I am using as an art journal. I have not created a new page in it for several months.

As potatoes roasted in the oven, I flipped through my journal, waiting for the tap of inspiration that whispered here…create on this page. The book is called Captivating…Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul by Stasi Eldredge. This is a duplicate copy of the book that I have read several times. I stopped on page 19, captured by these words mid page :

You can find that life—if you are willing to embark on a great adventure.

I had found my inspiration.

Willing to Embark

Before that sentence, Stasi writes that most women end up living two lives. Outwardly we are busy, efficient, professional, getting by. Inwardly, we lose ourselves in a fantasy world or give ourselves over to food or other addictions to numb the aches of our hearts. But our hearts are still there, longing to be set free, to find the life our desires are hinting at.

You can find that life—if you are willing to embark on a great adventure.

As soon as I read those words, an image popped into my mind. Two years ago my word for the year was Surrender, and my symbol was the River. I learned much that year about surrendering to the flow of life, and going where that flow took me. I could easily compare Life to a Great River, and imagine myself in a canoe, being swept along from adventure to adventure. I didn’t try to resist the River’s current, or take up an oar to navigate. I trusted in Divine guidance, knowing the Dream Giver was just around the River Bend, calling to me.

I knew what to create on this journal page.

Willing to Embark

I used a sketching pencil to quickly outline a rising sun, full of promise, and a canoe being carried down a river. I am riding in the canoe. Those lessons in the manga workbook are paying off! The sketch came together easily, and drawing from my imagination used to be difficult for me.

A black gel pen with a fine tip defined the components of the drawing. I was ready to color. This is the part of art journaling that I most enjoy. I gathered 100 colored pencils, Crayola and Prismacolor brands, and created a color palette that relied on blues for the river and yellows, golds and pinks for the sunrise.

Coloring is meditative for me, soothing and relaxing. As I colored and shaded, I thought about my journey. I have lived as two people…the quiet, correct, do-what-others-expect woman…and the wild spirit who kept her desires hidden deep within her heart. I reached the point of being willing to embark on a great adventure, which first involved an inward journey, to rescue and free my heart.

The outward expression of who I have become has been, and continues to be, the greatest of adventures! It truly is about living as the woman I am and embarking wholeheartedly on that journey called Life.

I just looked up the word embark. It originates from the French word embarque, literally meaning in a ship. My illustration is amazing, in light of that definition. And the unexpected connection between the word and the image that came to me is itself symbolic of my magical journey. Yes, I was so willing. I have embarked.

Willing to Embark

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