Soul Growth

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Hi Everyone,

Have you ever heard the question “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” It’s a question that I try to ask myself every few months, especially when I am feeling complacent. Being a creature of habit, I think it is extremely important to remind myself that ‘soul growth’ (which I strive for) can only come when I have the opportunity to react to new situations and explore new ideas. Tonight I’d like to share a few of my ‘morning journal’ pages on this theme.

Give yourself permission to begin… over and over if necessary! If we don’t allow ourselves new experiences, we are denying the sacred responsibility we share: to continue to grow towards the light as we grow into the people we are striving to become. 


So I try to give myself permission to experiment, to try new things, and most importantly, permission to begin again. We can’t grow if we are so afraid of failing that we are unable to try something new. 

No matter where we are in our creative journey, it’s important to keep forging forward. We are each blessed with unique abilities… and discovering them is an essential part of the ‘soul growth’ process.


One of the best ways to do this is to give yourself not only permission— but the necessary time, space & tools— you need.


Listen to the ‘still, quiet voice’, then


I’m about to start working on my next Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern, Play book, which will be called Heartfelt Expressions, and before I start designing the pages, I need to decide what sentiments to include . As usual, I would welcome your comments letting me know to which journal pages you feel a special connection— and also which ones you think would make good coloring/patterning pages. I’d also like to know if you enjoy seeing ‘raw’ images, or prefer me to share designs which I have polished and colorized.

Thanks in advance for voicing your opinion… it means a lot to me!

Stay Zenspired,                      


PS I wasn’t able to finalize all the details for my upcoming book launch yet… so I may surprise you with one of my rare mid-week blog posts. 🙂

30 thoughts on “Soul Growth”

  1. Hi Joanne, I can't wait for "Heartfelt Expressions", each time I read your blog I find something very relevant to my life and my creativity. Speaking personally I like to keep my art and the computer well away from each other and would prefer to see your pictures "raw", the cleaned up versions are so perfect and it is nice to know that even you put the odd line or makr in the "wrong" place"! As for which quotes to keep, that it between you and your editor. I am not hugely religious so would prefer not to have actual bible quotes, rather those which can safely cross all religions and none. Thank you again for "Zenspiring" me. Maybe one day I will have the courage to actually post something on the FB page. x

  2. Hi Joanne. I like the saying "Embrace your flaws and…" and "create a sacred space…" I could relate to both of these. And I enjoy having a look at your colored designs/pages..they are far more pleasing to look at. (for me). Thanks!

  3. Hi Joanne, I was drawn instantly to the "Creative Spirit" one,,, maybe because I named my journey through all things colorful and creative – "Creative Spirits". ;o)

  4. Thank you Joanne for your beautiful inspiring and encouraging pictures. In particular your "Create a Sacred Space" really spoke to me reminding me of the importance of having that time out with God. Bless you xx

  5. Hi Joanne, I love seeing these unpolished pieces, it's good to see the simple origins of the beautiful pieces you publish in your books. I totally agree with Jane Barton's comment about finding that sacred space. Can't wait for the next book. X

  6. Joanne,

    I relate to the "You have been blessed with…" I find people all of the time, myself include that have one talent or another but due to humility do not outwardly promote those gifts in themselves. Often that may be due to them just not knowing how, but I know for myself it also has a lot to do with just not seeing the talent, or too often comparing that talent with what others have or do. I am finally just starting to hone my own talents and giving myself permission to believe I do have some gifts of talent in areas.

    I love seeing your raw images, to see how it all began is a blessing and helps me in my own learning.

    Fantastic post, and thank you for encouraging and allowing us to be a part of it all!


  7. Hi Joanne! I love your raw drawings! It's great to see how a beautiful piece of art begins! The idea of a sacred place is wonderful! I usually listen to relaxing music while I draw and color, so I guess having a special place to do what I love is a great idea to make it even more special. I love positive words and phrases! So it would be nice to have them everywhere as a reminder of the good things we have in our lives but also to remember the moments we had to be strong and overcome painful situations. Those reminders are always necessary and to be able to color them is wonderful!!!! Thank you for keeping us zenpired Joanne! God bless you!!!

  8. Love, love, love this new book you are doing! So many of us are hesitant to just dive in on things because of the possible repercussions. I decided a while back to do what makes my soul happy. I love to jump in and try new things, whether it be a new art form, food, or an outfit I normally wouldn't wear. It feels wonderful liberating yourself and doing what is unexpected of you! As long as it does no harm to yourself or others, go for it! Enjoy the experience and look for the next challenge!

    All of your work is so inspiring and your sayings are wonderful! I love the "Create A Sacred Space" and " Unleash Your Creative Spirit" sayings. Those two really stick with me.

    Thanks for all you do!


  9. I am new to your site and new to zentangle. It has come at a time when I am struggling emotionally and it has been my "quiet space"…thank you. I like all of the above but my heart seems to be drawn to the Embrace yourself….not only because this is what we need to be doing but because of the fluid, spontaneous, lively graphics. Thank you for using full scripture as He is leading you!

  10. I too love seeing how you begin the creative process with the raw drawings. The quotes you choose are an integral part of the entire piece whether they are biblical or not. Your faith is an integral part of who you are as a person and an artist. Your work touches so many people and I, for one, love your work "as is"!!

  11. HI Joanne!

    It has been a while since I have commented, but today I liked a couple of the raw pieces that spoke to me…"Embrace yourself" and "You have been blessed with special gifts" I like seeing your raw pieces as well as the finished product. 🙂 As for a coloring and patterning page, I like the "create a sacred space" design. Looking forward to seeing the process of the next book coming out!!

    You simply amaze me of how you keep moving forward with all your works!! Most people would be satisfied with the books you just released and chill for awhile, but you are jumping right in to the next chapter of your life! All I can say is, YOU GO GIRL!!! 😀

    Thanks for all you do and keeping us Zenspired!


  12. Love everything you do! Share it all with us! If someone doesn't like a particular item, they can certainly scroll past it. Give it ALL to us Joanne! 😛

  13. All 3 of your raw entries spoke to me today. I have a Joanne Fink file and keep anything raw or finished that speaks to me in it. During this very difficult time I'm going through going back to read them has been so helpful.
    That said, it's my opinion to include both raw sayings and finished pictures in your weekly blogs.
    The gift you give to others is something I thank you for.
    I'm looking forward to "When you loose someone you love" to become available to everyone.


  14. You don't know how much I needed to read this! I see your beautiful work and I see everyone else's lovely pages and I know I can't even begin to do the same! I actually boxed up everything and put it away.

    But maybe I'll take the boxes out again and start over.

    Thanks so much for this wonderful post!

  15. I love all of the inspiring quotes.
    Raw or perfectly polished they are still beautiful.
    Swooning over the journaling Bible is filling up. LOL
    Keep up the great work- no passions.

  16. Hi Joanne, I like the "embrace"quote best and I think the raw images give us a sneak peek in your process, which is invaluable. Thank you again for sharing…

  17. I like the "Create a Sacred Space" page and the "You must start…" quote. Beautiful quotes and room to add your own Zentangle and color. I like both the raw and finished images you show. They are all inspiring.

  18. i have a zen calendar and it has some nice sort of daily meditation sayings. I like them because they are more secular and apply across a wide variety of personal experiences and beliefs. Given your zenspirations theme – it might be cool to turn to some of those sorts of sayings!!

  19. I love the first sentiment about starting where you are, but I also like some coloring/patterning space with the sentiments. I love your books!!!

  20. One of my latest favorite quotes that might fit in with your latest concept is "Be Yourself – Everyone Else Is Taken!" That and being as happy as a bird with a french fry are are my 2 positive mantras.

  21. The quote that speaks to me, is the first one….start where you are!! It's encouraging to me.

    I like the Sacred space one for a colouring book. Although I would prefer no writing on it, and make it my own.

    As always lovely, feel good and inspiring thoughts and pictures to ponder.


  22. I absolutely LOVE your art work and truly enjoy the inspiration. As an artist who loves to inspire as well – I would love to see your inspiration of the spiritual battle we are in. Prayer comes to mind – the armor we wear – these are thoughts that I would love to see illustrated
    may you be richly blessed in all you do to encourage and inspire others

  23. You must start where you are . . . really resonates with me right now as I'm trying to get back into a daily sketching habit and finding that self-criticism is making it difficult.

  24. Joanne,

    I'm finally getting around to reading your blog post and it hits so close to my heart. I have a beautiful daughter (the joy of my life) who has cerebral palsy and requires a lot of care and time. I have found over the 12 years of her life, that I have pretty much stopped taking time for all of the creative things that I love, especially drawing, painting and coloring. I started following your blog, purchased some of your books and have started to be creative again! Your writings above are inspiring me and guiding me to create a space and time for myself and my artwork. I know it will only make me a better mom. 🙂 Thank you so much!!

  25. JoAnn – I love the sentiments expresse in all of these, but "Embrace " and the "start where you are" are my favorites. Funny …when I was in school many moons ago, I was an average student & did well enough in art class to pass. I never considered myself artistic or creative. When I had daughters, I did everything I could to encourage creativity in them. They didn't own a single video game, but had a fully stocked art corner. I have always been a doodler, and would doodle in class or when I was bored, but really started trying more this year as a mental health tool. I was going through some things with family, and started drawing while I was on the phone listening to the woes of whichever family member I was talking to at that time, and started a Pinterest board called Art Therapy full of different drawing & lettering techniques to learn & inspire. That is how I discovered you & Zenspiratons. And I am so glad I did. The fb page and all the beautiful examples are so inspiring. I don't post much because I am still building my confidence level as far as my coloring and patterning, but I love this stuff. I suffer from depression, and losing myself in patterning and coloring one of your pages takes the focus off whatever is weighing me down & threatening to pull me under the waves of depression. Thank you for your beautiful work and for encouraging creativity in those of us who didn't think we were blessed with artistic ability.

  26. My favorite is "You Have Been Blessed w/Special Gifts." As a photographer, I often fall into the trap of thinking it's something 'anyone can do.' However, friends, family & strangers assure me that I have a 'special gift' of seeing things no one else can see. As my mother said, "you can shoot an ice tray & make it look beautiful." Lol. I'm new to your sight and loving every minute of it.

  27. I love all your work – I first saw your coloured italic in Lettering Arts many, many years ago which spoke to me big time.
    I am certainly just about to do something different for me….to letter foundational hand on paper which is not supposed to be for calligraphy but for printmaking…..and I'm not looking forward to it….but has to be done!
    Keep the scriptures coming, as someone says if it is not to their liking they can scroll on.
    You inspire me so much and I thank you for that.
    Joyce in Northern Ireland

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