Book Friends, The Seeker, whimsy

Collect Yourself

August 10, 2010

“I can’t remember the last time I really worried about being appealing… it was a really long time ago.” – Meryl Streep


vision boardingI am in the middle of a life-long love affair with books.  As I type, I am surrounded by a riotous bookshelf, a shorter cubby-hole of precious volumes, and at least three piles of books on the floor of my office that have not yet found permanent homes.  I’m so obsessed that my husband had to intervene a few years ago when the postman started making cracks about us keeping Amazon afloat.

There is one book, however, that I value above all others, and it is one that I have created myself.  In 1995 I read the book Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  This book inspired me to start keeping an illustrated journal – really a massive, ongoing vision board – and I have kept at it for 15 years.  In some ways it is a lovely reminder of who I have been, but lately it has had a well-needed edit.  While gleefully ripping things out or covering things up that no longer represent who I am or where I want to be, I’ve been engaged in an unusual visualization.  As I tear out the photos of the women I no longer want to imitate and add photos full of colour and juice and vibrancy, I am claiming the woman that I have become, and it feels good.

Colour, bookshelves, teacups, rooms with floorboards instead of carpets, artist studios, rustic kitchens, flowers, quotes, quirks, peace, whimsy, treehouses, laughter, honesty and beauty – that is what my book is full of.  If I were to write a role profile to fill the position of the best me there is, it would look pretty much like the contents of this journal.  I’ve read in at least a dozen places that one of the best ways to know yourself is to collect what you love.  Well, I don’t know much for sure, but I can agree with that prescription.  All you need is an empty book, magazines, scissors and glue and your life will change.

Collect what you love and understanding will follow.  I promise.

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  • darlene August 10, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    love this and i have that book sitting unread on a bookshelf .. i think i will pick it up while on vacation and perhaps start my own collection … love you, xo

  • ABCcreativity August 11, 2010 at 2:32 am

    <3 <3 <3
    i could kind of see your book while reading this….

  • Kel August 11, 2010 at 10:27 am

    there is such power in visual journalling
    i like your description of it as a perpetual vision board

  • marina August 11, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Megg!!!
    This is also MY favourite book!
    I bought it 11 years ago and did the illustrated discovery journal as well… it was so enlightening and a few years later I did another journal,to see how things had changed. Even tho things had changed, there were still elements that remained the same…interesting.
    I was 28 when I bought it and that was the age I began to really accept who I was.Learning that it was ok to have a voice…learning that you could and should say no at times…learning that it was ok to have time to yourself without feeling guilty…learning that ‘life isn’t about finding yourself~life is about creating yourself’ … ( a quote I found a while ago now by an unknown author, but it holds such promise.)
    Another book that I own from Sarah is … ‘ Romancing the Ordinary’ … O, I know you’ll just love that read as well 🙂
    Loving your posts as always Megg!
    Luv Min

  • Amber August 18, 2010 at 2:41 am

    Guess what book sits on top of one of the piles by my bed? Go ahead. It is simple. 🙂


  • Milena August 22, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Thank you so much for the book recommendation, it looks like just what I need – I am about to order it now 🙂 Really pleased for you that your visual journal is so life affirming for you.
    Milena xxx