To Plan or Not To Plan. It’s not a Question!

Art-journalling is about creating without a ‘plan’. It’s about allowing myself to be free of ‘intention’ or a destination and to simply be present to whatever the heart is yearning to set free.

Yesterday, when I started, I kind of blew it before I began.

I had an idea. That idea flowed into a plan. I was ready to execute on it when I sat down at my studio table. I was going to paint the rest of the faces of my paper dolls.


As I settled at my worktable to begin, I felt the stirrings of the wise woman within me. “Be still,” she whispered. “Be still.”

Now, being still is great in meditation. it doesn’t get paint on a page.

She kept whispering. “Be still.”

I stopped, took a deep breath. Closed my eyes and listened deeply.

And that’s when I heard her question. “What if it’s not about painting their faces but cutting the ties that bind?”


Not paint the faces? But that was my plan.

I felt her amused smile tingle all the way down to my baby toes. “Your plans are so… enchanting,” she said. “What’s even more enchanting is to let go of your plans and listen deeply to your heart.”

Oh. Listen deeply to my heart.

I bustled around my studio for awhile, tidying up, watering the plants, filling Beaumont’s water dish. You know, doing the things we humans do when we’re trying to avoid doing the things our heart is calling us to do. Facebook scrolling. Instagram — looking for inspiration.

Right? Yeah. I know. Busted.

Except, the scrolling helped. I re-read the quote I’d written from my art journal page on Friday,

"In every heart there is a song of love yearning to be sung. 
Listen deeply to the yearnings of your heart."

The heart knows.

I picked up the paper doll chain I had planned on painting, took a breath and cut the paper connecting the first two dolls. The ones whose faces were already painted.

I breathed again.

A lovely whiff of flowery-scented air caressed my face. My heart expanded with delight at its touch.

Ahhh… I felt free!

The symbolism is not lost on me.

The import not unnoticed.

I began to paint.

In the end, the painted dolls I’d planned on collaging into whatever I created didn’t get collaged in.

Instead, I went with the wildness dancing in my heart. I let go of my plan and found myself breathing deeply into the radical gift of creative self-kindness – letting everything go, holding onto nothing except the art of creative expression.

And as I cast paint upon the page like seeds floating upon a gentle spring breeze, I felt the child within smile and run off to play amongst a field of wildflowers blowing in the wind.

Life is such a beautiful gift. Joy is such a delightful companion. And self-kindness is such a loving force of nature it can heal all wounds, even those we don’t know we carry.

I hope you spread a little kindness on yourself today — better yet — a lot!

I hope your joy ripples out into the world in rivers of delight creating gardens of Love wherever you go.


10 thoughts on “To Plan or Not To Plan. It’s not a Question!

  1. Louise- this line is pure brilliance. 🙂
    Life is such a beautiful gift. Joy is such a delightful companion. And self-kindness is such a loving force of nature it can heal all wounds, even those we don’t know we carry.

    Liked by 1 person

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