creativity containers

wild, creative force…quote by Clarissa Pinkola Estes for FLOW: 30 Day Journal Project

“The creative force flows over the terrain of our psyches looking for the natural hollows,    

the arroyos, the channels that exist in us.

We become its tributaries, its basins; we are its pools, ponds, streams, and sanctuaries.

The wild creative force flows into whatever beds we have,

those we are born with as well as those we dig with our own hands.

We don’t have to fill them, we only have to build them.”

— Clarissa Pinkola Estés, in Women Who Run with the Wolves

Creativity Containers

Keeping a journal is a way of making a container that can hold anything.

All feelings, experiences, dreams, and ideas find their place on the waiting page.

Having a container at the ready makes it possible for whatever wants to emerge from within us to find a place to land.

Otherwise, we are walking around with so much going on inside, and no real way to express it, process it, look at it. Or remember all those good ideas that float in.

At least that’s been my experience.

When I haven’t journaled in a while, when I’ve dropped my creative practice, I start feeling out of sorts.

I barely notice it, until there is some kind of build up: I get a migraine that lasts for days, I’m not sleeping well for several nights in a row, I’m cranky for no reason, or it’s hard to find my energy and focus. Or all of the above!

Time and again, even after decades of practice and getting out of practice, I am astonished at what happens when I come back to my creative container: my journal / sketchbook / and the practices I do within the blank pages.

It’s not about doing anything perfectly, or having rigid expectations about the “right” way to journal, or how often we “should” be doing it.

As you journal, you’ll naturally find a rhythm and flow that works best for you. And this will change from time to time, to match the contours of your life experience as it, too, changes.

Travel, having a baby, a new relationship, moving house and having all of your notebooks and supplies backed up, starting a new job or career, going back to school, as well as prolonged illness, caretaking others, and death…all of these things alter our rhythm and flow.

Especially if we’ve been gobsmacked with a handful of those high-stress events all at once. That’s what my 2014 was like, by the way. (No, I didn’t have a baby).

It’s natural to depart from whatever our old routine was and then find our way into another. This is a natural part of creative practice. It has to adapt and change the way we do, the way life does.

Having a creative container at the ready is like having a nice, big bucket or ceramic vessel ready to catch that wild creative force within that Dr. Estés so poetically describes in today’s quote.

Traditional pottery from Oaxaca

Traditional pottery from Oaxaca, Mexico at one of the markets near where I live. These at the bottom are for cooking hot chocolate. But I also have several to store my paint brushes.

My hope for you is that this 30 Day Journal Project has given you some ideas and inspiration to try this out for yourself.

Today’s Journal Prompts:

My wild creative force looks like…

My wild creative force feels like…

My wild creative force is asking me to…

My wild creative force wants me to experience…

Explore More

If you liked today’s quote, I wrote about it here, too: The Wild Creative Force. It includes an example of how I used the quote in one of my sketchbooks.

Demystifiying art supplies, and keeping everything accessible and portable are three are my top tips for being more effortlessly creative in your everyday life. I share how to do all of this (and much more) in the upcoming Dreaming on Paper course, described below.

Dreaming on Paper: The Creative Sketchbook – Starts August 5

I want to helpDreaming on Paper: The Creative Sketchbook, pretty badge you give voice to your creativity. That’s why I do what I do.

You, too, can create freely in your own beautiful style.

When we create freely, whole new worlds of possibility open up for us. In ways we cannot plan or expect.

Dreaming On Paper helps you excavate your own true desires, innate wisdom, and intuition, with ease, gentleness and joy.

This workshop is one of the foundational, prerequisite courses for the facilitator training.

In A Manifesto for the Hesitant Dreamer I share more about what Dreaming on Paper is all about, and what we do.

Why bother keeping an art journal or sketchbook? Yeah, I used to ask myself that from time to time, too.

Bundle Up & Save 50% on the 3 workshop package

Last Chance for Workshop Bundle

Right now you can get Dreaming on Paper at a nice discount with Bundle Up special over on my workshops page. This offer expires Friday, July 31.

Every once in a while, I do something really crazy with pricing, and this is an example.

Pretty Graphic: FLOW: 30 Day Journal Project at lisasonora.comThis post is part of the 30 Day Journal Project.

Our theme for this year is: FLOW.

Just discovered this project? Great! You can begin right now.

Pop your email into the box below, and you’ll each day’s prompts delivered to you:

You’ll get Day 1 immediately when you sign up, and a new prompt each day after for 30 days.

Don’t want to receive prompts by email – or did your daily email go missing?

No worries, we’ve got options:

1. Every day for 30 days, a brand new set of  journaling prompts is posted right here on my blog. Creative journaling is my number one tool as an artist and creative entrepreneur.

2. You can get printables of ALL 30 days of prompts here >

Beauty & Connection

You may join our closed FB Group for this project here:

Each inspirational quote for the 30 Day Journal Project has a pretty visual graphic for you to print out and paste your journal, add to your Pinterest gallery, or share as you wish.

You are invited to share your experience in the comments—the dream is to collect your stories for an upcoming book about this project.

Use the hashtag #30DAYJOURNAL in your blog and social media posts so we can find each other and build our creative community.

No more blank page. No more writer’s block.


Last year when I offered the first 30 Day Journal Project, I found that having the prompts printed out in advance helped me get right into my journaling for the day.

I think of this as lazy journaling. :)

Fill in the blank, and you’re done!

After I made these for myself, I prettied up the design (and added another layout) so you could use them, too.

This is what I’m using for my own journaling.

See a sample of some of my pages here 

There is another layout for cutting and pasting into an existing journal. I’ll share photos or a video of these at some point this month.

Get ALL 30 days of prompts & quotes (plus one bonus day) with 2 different layout designs.


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Stay in Touch

What happens after the 30 Day Journal Project? So much!

The thing is, people are finding out and joining this project all of the time, even after our July month together.

Others join me in online or in-person workshops, or subscribe to my blog for more inspiration on creativity, travel and courage.

I’ll do a brand new 30 Day Journal Project in January, 2016.

If you want to get involved, I’m looking for:

1. 30 Day Journal Project Evangelists to help spread the word

2. Suggestions for guests featured in the Explore More section of each post

3. Quote hunters for our next theme on the creative fire

4. Journalers who want to make an illustrated journal page of the inspirational quote that will be featured with that day’s set of journaling prompts

5. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest project leaders

To join the 30 Day Journal Project Planning Team, simply pop your name and email into the form below, and Tiffiney and I will be in touch with you in September with details, dates, and…first dibs on some cool 30 Day Journal Project opportunities.

Share Your Experience

You can use the following journal prompts as jumping off points to share about your experience in the comments. Just like we do the quick writes, answer as quickly as possible – one, all or whichever resonate most.

These are also great prompts to add to your journal and respond to over the next few days or weeks. This helps us integrate the learnings that happened as a result of showing up at the blank page, and brings forth more of inner wisdom from the subconscious to the conscious mind. Enjoy!

The 30 Day Journal Project helped me…

I especially loved…

One of the fears / trepidations I had about this project was…

Something  new / different/ surprising I experienced was…

Because I allowed myself to:                     I am taking away…

I discovered…

It’s not over…just yet…

Watch this space tomorrow for a bonus prompt, for Day “31”. I couldn’t resist!

by Lisa Sonora // share your thoughts... in the Comments { 4 }