She Chose to {Rise Above}

{Original Art Journaling by Jennifer LeBlanc 2013. All Rights Reserved}

Inspiration for my various creative interests hits intermittently. This week I was driven to the Mod Podge and messy art to hammer out a theme that was floating around in my thoughts for the last two weeks:

Rise Above

I don't know any women who aren't battling some kind of personal war. Maybe it's a health condition (I personally know women with Stage IV cancer, CFS/ME, Fibromyalgia, thyroid conditions, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Interstitial Cystitis, chronic debilitating dizziness, migraines, chronic pelvic pain, and the list goes on...). Maybe it's navigating the waters of divorce, single parenthood, raising a child with special needs. Maybe it's depression, anxiety, financial stress, job stress, toxic family members, going back to school, or loss and grief.

What's incredible is that most of the women I know consistently deal with more than one challenge at once. And they show incredible strength and courage as they do so.

{Rise Above} is a spread that wanted to show that process. How it looks in my life. Your Rise Above spread would likely have different stones of difficulty at the bottom, and different clouds of creatively rising above.

Some of the stones in my life are Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), miscarriage, multiple surgeries, pain, missing my child who never reached my arms, and severe fatigue.

What are your stones? What stones do you see women around you overcoming?

I love the layers of meaning in this spread. The lady has lassoed her dreams that are seemingly unattainable. She is holding them like balloons or flying them like kites. They are pulling her up, hot air balloon style, in her cage of difficulty, helping her soar above the stones that could trip her.

She's using her dreams to help her rise above. 

Another thought I had while working on this spread is that our stones of difficulty can either be stumbling blocks or stepping stones in life. Which are yours? 

You might use this as a prompt for journaling or an art project. What are your stones and how do you rise above? Or take a few minutes to jot a note to someone you see fighting to rise above. Tell her you admire her strength, offer help, or drop off flowers or cupcakes at her door. There is perhaps nothing more inspiring than women coming alongside other women. 


  1. I love this journal spread! Thank you for explaining the various elements. I hadn't understood about the stones and the bottom and clouds/dreams at the top. I love the layers and the variety in such a beautiful whole. It's a really great idea!

    I am inspired every day by my best friend and my sister especially. Each of them has experienced devastating loss, and each of them lives with debilitating physical problems, yet each of them seeks to reach out to others each day and live a life of gratitude. With all that they must survive on a daily basis, they are the most beautiful women I know, and they care about me and encourage me.

    It would be interesting to do a spread on this idea of Rise Above. I have a couple other spreads lined up and waiting at the moment, but I shall keep it in mind. Thank you for sharing!!! Thank you for inspiring!!!!!

  2. Artistically, it isn't always easy to rise above. I think a lot of times we move through it, use it, mold it into something that has form and substance. At least then we can get our hands around it. But rising above is always the goal.

  3. I love your page. I think I am going to look into art journaling. I have always done journaling and I've done altered art, but never art journalong.
    How inspiring!

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