Y is for Yesterday: Visual Journal Your Memories

art journaling pages

One of my favorite ways to create visual journal pages is to capture memories of my past. Childhood experiences of my own, travel adventures with my hubby or other favorite moments are perfect for visual journaling. That is why Y is for Yesterday.

If you missed my first post on the ABCs of visual journaling yesterday, you can read it here. I’m meandering my way from Z to A and exploring the many avenues of approaching visual journaling.

Today’s post will be short and sweet! In the image above, I created a page called Memories that reflects a moment when I was diving deeply into some of the swirling emotions I was feeling about my childhood, sadness, loss, grief and also nostalgia.

Visual journaling is a creative process for pouring onto the page the emotions, feelings, and stories of our past. I find this process healing and a way to release past trauma. It’s also a way to recapture the joy and magic, which is equally healing and affirming.

In the spread featured above I started by writing out how I was feeling. I didn’t know where the page would take me and it was quite an emotional journey. At the end, I felt better, more grounded. I’m not sure I even knew I was sad to begin. This process of allowing our writing to take us into the depths of our feelings is a powerful way to begin a page. Then adding paint and images allows the story to unfold and makes what is unconscious conscious.

Healing begins when we can see, feel and hear what is happening in our hearts.

Dr. Minette Riordan

Capture Your Yesterdays

To get started capturing your yesterdays in your visual journal is easy. Here are a few ideas for making lists of memories that you would like to explore.

Start by writing a few lists in your journal:

  • Favorite memories from childhood
  • Travel memories
  • Marriage or other romantic memories
  • Memories of parenthood
  • Trips and experiences with friends
  • What are you passionate about
  • What is on your dream list of adventures

You can also make lists of feelings or experiences that you want to explore, heal or release*:

  • Loss of a loved one, human or furry
  • Childhood experiences that are sad
  • Events happening in the world that making you angry or sad

*Visual journaling can bring up a variety of emotions. Please do this only if you are comfortable working with your own emotions or feelings or if you have someone close to you that can support you on this journey, a friend, mentor or therapist.

Start with the happy memories if you are newer to this type of inner, personal growth work.

I’d love to hear in the comments below more about your approach to capturing memories on the page. And if you need help getting started, check out my free mini-course Paint Your Way to More Confidence. In this mini-course I share playful ways to approach the page and how to befriend your Inner Critic so you it can get out of your way and allow your Inner Artist to shine.

Thanks for joining me on this journey through the ABCs of Visual Journaling.

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  1. Janet Miles on November 4, 2021 at 9:15 am

    I love the idea of writing and then covering it up. It is a great way to release the bad stuff. I also love lists. Wonderful way to capture old memories.

    • minette on November 6, 2021 at 5:25 am

      I love lists too!! Great way to start a page.

  2. Dominique Walton Brooks on November 4, 2021 at 10:19 am

    That’s an interesting way to get your feelings out in your journal. I like it — I hadn’t ever thought about that. Thanks for sharing!

    • minette on November 6, 2021 at 5:25 am

      Thank you Dominique! I was just leading a retreat yesterday and we were talking about how words can get in our way and when we go straight to images it allows our unconscious to spill forth. It’s beautiful and meaninful work that I love.

  3. Denise on November 4, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    I love this Minette! Great way to bring clarify to memories in a fun way.

    • minette on November 6, 2021 at 5:23 am

      Thanks Denise, love seeing you here on my blog! Art journaling is so fun!

  4. Lily Leung on November 4, 2021 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks for your post, Minette. I will try out your ideas. I’ve only used my journals for Inktober drawings.

    • minette on November 6, 2021 at 5:22 am

      Hi Lily, I love doing Inktober too, fun to mix it all up!

  5. Larada Horner-Miller on November 4, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    Wow! Art therapy was a key part to my healing years ago. Thanks for reminding me of the power of art! I love this idea to take it to a positive side. Mine was dealing with trauma.

    • minette on November 6, 2021 at 5:22 am

      Thanks for sharing Larada, art therapy is so powerful for healing and dealing with trauma and it can be powerful for reminding us of our moments of joy!

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