A Quiet Anniversary & Peek Inside My 2002 MBA Visual Journal

Fifteen years ago today, I finally pressed the magic button that made my blog live on the world wide web.

It’s the same year I applied and got accepted into business school (as an artist! ha!). In the photo, above, I’m working in the visual journal I started keeping to document the unlikely detour of getting an MBA after an early mid-midlife crisis. (I think kids these days are calling them quarter-life crises.)


It didn’t occur to me that this 15 year blog anniversary was upon me until I was working in my 2018 planner, so I stopped what I was doing and made a quick video for you.

You see, this time of year is always my best productive creative time – especially the week between Christmas and New Years. I always plan a deep staycation in the studio and work day and night in such a satisfying way.

My studio is a MESS though, as a result, so please join me at my kitchen table, where I’m writing, planning and drinking a suitcase full of tea that I just brought home to Mexico from England.

I’m flipping through the visual journal I was working on at the time, and sharing what I am reflecting on in between working in the studio and working on a brand new free thing for you coming up in January.

It was so scary for me to start a blog…

15 years of blogging has changed my life in so many ways. I am reflecting on that and feel like a numbered list is in order.


Dare to Launch

This is a note of encouragement for you if you are wanting to launch something, or start a creative project and are too afraid. Or don’t feel ready.

I was both afraid, and not ready, and did it anyway.

I still don’t know what I’m doing, but that’s the nature of making something new.

And I still feel afraid every time I press publish.

Which reminds me of this story about the actor Henry Fonda – who threw up before every live performance.

Thank goodness my stage fright (PAGE fright) doesn’t manifest that way.

Here are some more photos from my visual journal — in case they went by too quickly in the video.

When I applied to business school, instead of doing a boring power point or resume type admissions statement, I instead created an entire visual journal. Answering all of their required questions, but doing it with word and image.

I also glued in leaves I collected at Emily Dickinson’s house that Fall, which helped me tell my story.

The MBA admissions visual journal was illustrated with photos of my other visual journals.

So what you’re seeing above, is a photocopy of one of the pages from the admissions journal glued in to visual journal from the video – with a bunch of stamps stuck on top.

I love to collect stamps – but don’t keep them in albums like a normal collector. I use them in my art.

Sadly – that whole MBA admissions visual journal went missing when I loaned it to someone who wanted to use the same idea to apply to graduate school and never gave it back. Mwah!

Back to my MBA visual journal: I added some brown paper grocery bag paper to the book – it’s one of my favorite kind of papers to work on – reminds me of cardboard, another favorite surface to paint on.

The paper bag page folds out. I love creating secret writing spaces within my journals.

As shown in the video, this visual journal is made inside a book from 1964 called, “THE WORKING GIRL in a Man’s World”.

I have much more to say about THAT, but there’s Georgia, with her GET BACK TO WORK face.

I’m getting back to work on a new free workshop for you for 2018.

If you’re a new reader here (welcome!) I’ve done a big free course every New Year for the last four years.

This year I’ve got something different for you (still FREE) but am going to release it a bit later.

If you pop your email into the form, below – you’ll get it.

It’s a whole FREE training course on video  — with a wonderFULL workbook.

The first video will float into your inbox on February 1st.

By the way…

This new thing I’m creating has me feeling just as nervous / excited as I did when I launched my blog.

So keep an eye out…

Meanwhile, I send you a warm cuppa tea, and the gentle nudge to think about what YOU would create next, even if still afraid, and even if you’re not ready.

And if you dare, tell me what it is — the comments await your courage!

2018 Live Workshop Update

Speaking of planning workshops and such for 2018, I want to let you know now that I am teaching just ONE in-person, live workshop in 2018.

It’s happening in March, at my place in Mexico and the details are here.

Moving forward, I will only rarely lead live workshops and instead working with the Guidesses in my facilitator training to teach my methods out in the world.

So if you want to come work with me in person, now is the time!

What My First Blog Post Looked Like

In the video, I mentioned that I would share a link to what my first blog post looked like.

It’s here:

What My First Blog Post Looked Like (peek inside my 2001 sketchbook)

29 Responses to A Quiet Anniversary & Peek Inside My 2002 MBA Visual Journal

  1. Margaret January 6, 2018 at 6:28 am #

    Congratulations Lisa. I am so glad you are still doing a new year event. Don’t be nervous- we got you. Your tribe awaits. Happy New Year

    • Lisa Sonora January 12, 2018 at 3:14 pm #

      Woo hoo, Margaret!
      We got you.
      Your tribe awaits.

      So wonderful to RECEIVE your message. So resonant and meaningful.

      Thank you!

  2. Mary Pressel Cline January 4, 2018 at 6:34 pm #

    Congratulations on 15 years. I love art journaling so much and I come to it late in life. Your quotes and questions really touched my heart. I thank you so much for igniting a spark in me that wasn’t there before. You really make a difference in this world.

    • Lisa Sonora January 12, 2018 at 3:13 pm #

      Wow, Mary!
      I am so touched. Thank you so very much for your warm words. Means so much to me! I am basking in appreciation!

  3. Jodi January 1, 2018 at 12:34 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this Lisa! This year during the break between Christmas and New Years I was wishing i was in Oaxaca again like last year- I got so much out of our goal-setting exercises and the warm, artsy vibes of your place. I’m excited to see what you are launching this year- congrats!

    • Lisa Sonora January 12, 2018 at 3:12 pm #

      Hi Jodi!
      I loved having you here in Oaxaca! Maybe you can join in when we do it again in 2018! xoxo

  4. Marjanne December 31, 2017 at 8:39 pm #

    Happy anniversary and happy new year!
    What I’m still afraid to do is starting a blog for my art (‘nothing interesting to say to the world’) and/or studying to become an art therapist (‘I’m not the right kind of person to be a therapist’). I did however sign up for Instagram and posted 3 pictures of my art. It’s a start…

    • Lisa Sonora January 12, 2018 at 3:12 pm #

      Thanks for sharing, Marjanne – I once had the very same voices in my head as you. Do it anyway!

  5. Sharon December 31, 2017 at 9:43 am #

    Hi Lisa,
    Thanks so much for sharing your video and allowing us to celebrate and create with you. I’ve been doing the 30 day journal project for couple of years and excited to see what your next thing will be.
    I’ve been going through a difficult period in my life and your posts inspire me to keep going anyway…
    Happy New Year

    • Lisa Sonora December 31, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

      Sharon – YES! Keep going anyway! That’s a good mantra for us all.

  6. Monica December 31, 2017 at 7:50 am #

    Congratulations and Happy New Year! I am hoping to able to enjoy one of your travel workshops in the coming year. Wishing you well!
    – Monica

  7. Tammy December 31, 2017 at 2:03 am #

    I will be 52 in February so am curious to learn more about the Zapotec calendar. I enjoy seeing your journaling and artwork and hope we will see more videos in the new year.

  8. Gloria December 31, 2017 at 1:20 am #

    Happy Anniversary, Lisa. As always, your words, thoughts, and work are inspiring. Spending those days with you in Oaxaca in 2016 changed my life so I often think of you as one of my “spirit animals.” Keep up living your good life.

    • Lisa Sonora December 31, 2017 at 8:16 am #

      Gloria – How delightful to be considered a spirit animal! You know how much I love animals, so a supreme compliment! 🙂
      So wonderful to have you here in Oaxaca – and so glad it “changed your life”. I certainly know the feeling!

  9. Jackie December 30, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

    As the saying goes, ” you have come a long way baby!” What a wonderful inspiring creative journey Thanks for sharing. Love it

    • Lisa Sonora December 31, 2017 at 8:09 am #

      Jackie – Thank you – I’m smiling! That saying is something I remember from 1970s cigarette commercials. 🙂

  10. Patricia December 30, 2017 at 5:52 pm #

    Congrats on 15 Years! Your posts are always so inspiring! I have loved your “30 days of journaling in the past so I am looking forward to your new offering! Your 7 Creative Powers Class is one of my all time faves too. Thank you for sharing what’s on your creative table for 2018!
    XO, Patricia

  11. Michelle Casserley December 30, 2017 at 5:32 pm #

    Oh thanks for the video Lisa! After reading your email I decided to do a video flipthrough video of one of my journals. Just seeing yours reminded me how much I love seeing others so filmed it!

    • Lisa Sonora December 30, 2017 at 6:30 pm #

      I’m so glad this inspired you, Michelle! And thanks for watching! It turned out to be a longer video than planned. 🙂

  12. Fenna December 30, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

    Thank you for sharing so much of you. I love the way you are and the way the way you work. From those 15 years I have followed you 5. I do not recall how I found you on the internet but there you where, speaking to my heart about how you journal etc. I have always been keeping journals but before I “found” you I had discovered art journaling for two years. I made this strange distinction between those two and thus had two books, one for writing and one for art with a small quote or something. Seeing your work opened up a whole new world. I congratulate you with your 15 years of blogging and bringing inspiration into the world. I also want to thank you for “root”, “flow” and “journey”. I did all three and they helped me grow more into me. So thank you Lisa from the bottom of my heart. Fenna from the Netherlands.

    • Lisa Sonora December 30, 2017 at 6:31 pm #

      Wow, Fenna! Thanks so much for reading, participating in the workshops, and for so generously sharing your experience with my work. This means so much!

  13. Anne Barlow December 30, 2017 at 5:09 pm #

    Congratulations on being visible for 15 years! Love your video and words. Winter blessings from Canada.

    • Lisa Sonora December 30, 2017 at 6:31 pm #

      Thank you, Anne! There is so much to reflect on in these 15 years!

  14. Briana December 30, 2017 at 3:07 pm #

    Congrats on your 15 year bloggiversary, Lisa!
    Thanks for sharing your video, your thoughts, and your plans for 2018.
    You inspire me, and I appreciate your encouragement to be BRAVE, hit publish, etc.

    Sending Blessings from Minnesota, USA

    • Lisa Sonora December 30, 2017 at 6:32 pm #

      This means a lot, Briana – you are so inspiring yourself!

      Here’s to bravely being visible!

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