The heart we share with ourselves

Christie Tomlinson art journaling“A woman has three hearts… one that she shares with the world, one that she shares with her family, and one that she shares only with herself.”  It’s an old Chinese proverb.  I’m taking Christy Tomlinson‘s She Had Three Hearts workshop, which is about sharing those hearts differently with different people.  Sometimes we hold them in and not share them.  Each of the three weeks of the workshop covers one part of the proverb through art journaling.  (Read my post about the heart I share with the world and this one about the heart I share with my family.)

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Christy has really gotten my creative juices flowing in this class.  I love that I have recognized the ways I share different parts of myself with certain people.  This week was a very personal week about the heart we share ONLY with ourselves.

The heart we share with ourselves is sometimes the hardest to talk about.  It’s the one we are either afraid to share or feel it’s too sacred to share.   Sometimes we are scared that others won’t understand or appreciate what we have to share.

So I’ll share some of my dreams: I used to dream of being an editor in NYC, living in a loft and having lots of friends in the literature, music, and art communities.  I also hoped to go to a writing in residency program someday… the kind where you live in a cabin for 6 weeks and write all day and collaborate with others.  I hoped to be a teacher of literature at a small liberal arts college.  Maybe some of these dreams will still materialize.  I don’t feel at all like my choices are over.  At almost 38, I feel I’m just beginning.

I would like to be more transparent in general.  I would like to be more comfortable sharing my imperfections here on the blog and being REAL.  I’d like to feel more OK in my own skin, like it’s perfectly ok to simply be me – the me that sometimes gets caught in a spiral of sadness, sometimes gets wound up in an organizing frenzy, who is addicted to craft supplies and who appreciates my own creative imagination.

Like Christy mentions in one of her class videos, I have a strong belief in God and believe God is with me in everything, so I don’t think this heart is only for myself.  There is always God there to understand me and be with me.

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OK so on to the art! I took myself on an artist date last week, the first in a long while.  Nothing fancy either… I went to the Salvation Army and then to Goodwill.  I was on the hunt for surfaces on which I could paint and doodle.  I was really just looking for something different from a canvas.  I struck gold, peeps.  I’ll share all of my finds in another post in case you’re worried.  🙂

For this week’s “heart I share with myself” project, I used one of my finds.  Here’s the before and after:

Heart board before and after


I quite like it much more! The little board was $1.99.  How could I not buy it?

Heart board

I began by covering it with gesso.

Heart gesso

 I don’t know if you can tell by the picture, but the original image still showed through.  So I painted it again with black gesso and then chose a page of poetry from another Salvation Army find, a book of literature from the Romantics for $3.

Heart black gesso


The rest is pretty much layering scrapbook and tissue papers and adding various transparent paints.

Heart 4 Heart 5 Heart 6 SHINE Heart 7 Heart 8 finalI’m 95% happy with how it turned out.  It was very fun to play around with stamps, bubble wrap, markers, washi tape, and to draw the birdie.

heart birdie Heart music

What do you think? Share in the comments if you like about YOUR heart and who you share it with.  I’d love to hear!

You can see more “Behind the Art” posts here.

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13 Responses to The heart we share with ourselves

  1. Lori says:

    Love reading about your vision for yourself and the fact that you still have lots of time to bring your dreams to fulfillment. You are young and wise. Love the risk you take with your art and your heart. Go Na!!!

  2. stacie says:

    So awesome that you are willing and interested in learning about yourself and discovering more about you with your art. Your recreation artwork looks great.

  3. Anne Camille says:

    Love the art. Thanks for sharing your heART with us.
    Anne Camille recently posted…A view through the treesMy Profile

  4. Eydie says:

    I LOVE how YOU are creating space and time for your creative self.
    So much beauty and wisdom is seeping through.

    I’m so grateful for you and all the inspiration you bring to my world.


  5. Janet says:

    “She decided to love herself deeply and shine brightly.” I am practicing this as I would like to improve. I have a post along similar lines that might interest you: (I hope this is okay blog etiquette to share it here.) I have protected my heart for a long time, and am learning about becoming more vulnerable. Thank you for this post.
    Janet recently posted…How are you in the cosmos?My Profile

  6. RnR says:

    Thanks for sharing pictures of the process of creating – I would have no idea where to start!

  7. These are wonderful and I love that you shared your process. Sounds like a really empowering workshop you took. I need more of these types of activities in my life 🙂
    Michele Bergh recently posted…KISS – Why Can’t I Remember This?My Profile

  8. Loved reading about your artist date, what you have found and created such a beautiful piece of art from. Lovely ideas. Thanks for sharing with us.
    Suzanne McRae recently posted…More inspiration from Oprah!!My Profile

  9. Naomi says:

    Thanks so much, Suzanne!

  10. Naomi says:

    I figured that out for myself too recently, Michele. When it’s just the right balance of inspiration and time to create, I am at peace.

  11. Naomi says:

    Of course it’s ok and I’m glad you shared this post, Janet. It’s so difficult knowing where to place boundaries. Some people seem to have none!

  12. Naomi says:

    Thank you, Lori! I hope it’s true there’s lots of time ahead because I have so many ideas!

  13. Pingback: Trash to treasure |

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