Embracing a Soulful Life
by Lucia Capacchione, Ph.D., A.T.R.
Embracing a soulful life began with life-threatening illness. I found myself in a sick bed with a mysterious condition the doctors could not diagnose correctly much less treat. Unable to function due to severe fatigue and other symptoms, I was forced inward. My soul’s journey was launched, and so was my healing.
My refuge became a sketch pad which transformed into a personal journal, a record of my inner search to find a reason to live. I had been a professional artist and designer for almost fifteen years up to this time. I had survived five years of constant crisis: family illness, a divorce, dissolution of my business partnership, many changes of residence and jobs. The world, as I had known it, had fallen apart. And so had I.
As an artist, it was as natural for me to draw as it was to write, so I did both in my journal. Free-wheeling explosions of color, symbolic images, and poetic words meandered across the page. Through words and images, I recorded my dreams, drew my feelings, wrote about memories, and created visions of a possible future. My inner world came tumbling out on paper for me to see, examine and embrace. I was speaking the language of symbols, the soul’s native tongue.
Slowly I began to feel better. As I listened more closely to my soul, it suddenly began speaking through a child’s voice within, a child who had been long buried, my feeling self. And a voice of immense creativity came bursting out on its heels, followed by images of an inner wisdom figure who spoke with elegant simplicity, guiding me each step of the way. My body began to heal and within a few weeks I was on the road to full health.
What was birthed was a new life, a new career as an art therapist, and later my work as an author of books about this immensely expansive approach to journaling. I called it the Creative Journal Method and have used it to guide my life ever since. I ascribe my healing without drugs or medical treatment (from what was later diagnosed as a collagen disease) to journal work combined with a brief time in psychotherapy.
The most important aspect of my journal explorations were written dialogues with my body, my inner child, my inner wisdom voice. I discovered that if I asked questions with my dominant hand, and answered with my non-dominant hand (the hand I don’t normally write with), guidance would come from a very deep soul place. It is an understatement to say that this tool changed my life forever. And it has changed the lives of countless others who have found it in my books or learned it in workshops.
I found my soul’s voice at the scariest and most painful time of my life. But by listening, truly listening to what it said, I began living a soulful life every day, not just in a time of crisis.