Pictures of the soul

Can you imagine? I have an entire art gallery that fits in my purse. Every single picture in it is incredibly emotional and touching. I love surrounding myself with beautiful objects, and these are not just beautiful, but also allow me learn a lot about myself.

These are the best images of Deborah Koff-Chapin, which she personally selected among the thousands of her paintings. There are two decks of 60 images each, and it was so hard for me to decide which one I like the most that I ended up purchasing both. The images don’t have any ascribed meaning, interpretation, or commentary. What you do with them is ultimately up to you.

I’m still exploring and experimenting what kind of things I can do with my mobile art gallery. So far they turned out to be an incredible tool for journaling. I write down a question or a topic to focus on, pull out one or a few cards at random, then journal for 20-30 minutes about all the things each card evokes in me.

The same card can remind me of entirely different things when I’m thinking about self-care than it does when my focus is on work or creativity. That’s the best part of it. Each card is a mini Rorschach test, reflecting back what’s already in me. Images are a much better tool to convey feelings than words, and using these pictures gives me instant access to emotions and memories I might have long forgotten.

But feeling into each card is only the first step of the process. Then I get to describe it all on paper, in my own words. This can be a poem, a story, even a self-help tip. It can be a few sentences or a few pages, but I got to do the work. The point is to not only feel whatever a certain card triggers in me, but to make it my own, rewrite my own story, and let go of the feelings that no longer serve me.

I’ve only been doing this for a few weeks, but it’s already incredible. After a fuckup at work I don’t wallow in guilt and self-pity for days anymore, but get to tap into my emotions, feel them to the end, and write down all the lessons I took from this experience. When I was stuck with writing my wedding vows, I used the pictures to remind me of all the things I am grateful for and all the things I’d love us to build together. Even when I was feeling sick and completely unproductive earlier this week, the images helped me see this as a reminder to take better care of myself.

There’s no rocket science or magic in this. You will only see in the picture what you focus on, the things that are already inside you. The real magic happens if you give it your non-judgemental attention, and then choose to rewrite your story to include the pieces that were lost.

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