So I'm sharing my notes from the artist way book-"Finding Water" the last time I did this book it was April 2008...so four years ago, I'm excited to see the growth and changes I've made. I know these books are made or created to help people unblock there creativity but for me I thoroughly enjoy working throw them to keep me focused and on task with life in general, which has to deal with living a more balanced life with my self, home, husband, family and my creative life. So if anyone has the book and wants to follow along please do..
Uncovering a sense of optimism
This week we will focus on discovering our creative endurance, the positive and begin. Now is the time for Optimism.
We have five sections in this week’s readings, I will begin at being a beginner… it’s so refreshing to know where ever we were last week or a month ago we can begin again. We are never too old to be young at heart. Being young at heart means simply being willing to be a beginner.
JC-shares, it’ took courage to allow myself to pursue something that I loved. I had to allow myself the luxury of learning. I had to focus on process and not on finished product. (The key here for me at less, though I love process I do have the focus on the end too.) One might try letting go of the distance and stick with learning to play.
To being at all I had to resign from competition. I had to stop comparing myself to my idols. (I don’t know about some of you but the word out there for us creative types in the business is to be aware of the competition, and then here it’s like don’t be….two worlds to live in or is it just me that does this because of being out there in the more competitive section of things, not all but some areas. Let’s say I’m aware I do this and I fight it, needing to find the happy medium is the struggle)
Saw this on face book a few days ago. Quote from Yoda- “Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”
This is interesting as JC shares..that on days when she is most resistance and a little rusty at her piano lessons they end up being her better lessons. Good writing and painting etc. and good moods do not necessarily go together. She add on some of her worst days is when some of her best work comes out. Have any of you experienced this before? I’ve heard some creative types say I can only create when the stars in alignment and the house is all clean blah..blah..blah..but I know for myself I’ve worked/played/created through all types of moods and yes some of my better works come from the most deepest places of emotion or mood.
Our Divining Rod task work- Don’t rob yourself of the opportunity to be a beginner. Being a beginner is very rewarding. It brings both excitement and self-respect. Pull out of the closet a Deferred Dream, possible answer some of her question or just let the stream flow with pen to paper and see what happens. Allow yourself to explore in your own behalf. For today all you need is the grace to begin beginning. Think and start very small.
All artists need coconspirators to cheer them on in their endeavors…what does an endeavor mean? To exert oneself to do or effect something; make an effort; strive: We must constantly endeavor if we are to succeed.
Well just needed to full understand the meaning..
JC shares about trying to count our blessings instead of the costs. Practicing optimism like a mantra. But for some of us myself included experience a let down, not sure if anyone else has had this feeling. But knowing that others go through this sort of situation is reassuring and staying the distance is what important, keeping the optimism and courage (heart) intact, sometimes one needs help. Not having only one soul things or creative endeavor but a few going is a key. I’m hearing not putting all the chickens in one basket might be the idea too, having a few scatter around or something else in the works. Keeping active in your creative endeavors in small ways seem to be the answer to left the anxiety a little and then allow for the Creative Waters to flow where they may flow..
JC shares from her friend Bruce, “it’s good that you’ve got more than one project to work on. The waiting is hard.
You keep the faith.
Divining Rod Task work- Pen in hand make a list “believing mirrors” You owe it to yourself to be in regular contact with these individuals. Try to pick up the phone and call someone you’ve not called in a long time. Be it the believing mirrors or sandwich calls we can’t do it alone.
Should we all get a stack of index cards and post an image of our artist date? Well if some of you want to and have time it might be fun and not to time consuming.
I just had this conversation with the art teacher about having to continually teach students to take the time to look, we get going with what we think it looks like and then before you know it we’ve forgotten to look and take it for granted and then we miss out.
JC shares, Artists/ us creative types must be schooled in the particular. It’s not healthy for me as an artist to be tuned to the inner movie, always watching the “what if, if only I had’s” As they unspool on the inner screen. (What if I’d keep my ranch in New Mexico?” “If only I still had my horses.”) What if and if only are poisons for any artist. They throw us into the past. They dull our lens on the passing world. And it is in the passing world that inspiration lies in wait for us. For an Artist to be vital, for the work to hold up, there must be primacy given to the here and now. She shares, I know this but lately must I must work to practice it. If I live in the “then” instead of in the “now,” the art dries up.
“Watch out don’t get sucked down the Rabbit hole”
Lately, the inner movie has been compelling; I have felt an undertow pulling me out of my daily life and into a twilight world of fears and regrets. JC shares that she’s been having trouble holding on to her optimism. And felt she’s slipping away from life.
“Mundane keeps you sane”
JC shares, I must work to husband my own optimism. I must cling to the small and positive: walking the dogs, putting words to page, paint to canvas, thread to fabric, etc. I must not entertain the large and overwhelming for me that is romancing trouble.
Julia shares about her breakdowns and depressive moments. And she shares I have had to learn to live each day very carefully, keeping to a required daily maintenance. For her self-pity is the rim of the glass. Can’t afford to think “poor me, poor me. I know what this feels like I’ve had my own personal demon with the drink, drugs and for me it’s the sugar tub, bread or pasta… I only share this because of moments that still rear its ugly head…lesser then before but I just wish I didn’t go there. I have found out though keeping the mundane task going, they will pull me out of a funk a lot faster if I stick to it. I think for myself it mainly has to deal with the emotional sobriety that I seek.
Divining Rod Task- We choose to focus on the positive or on the negative, we can choose beautiful or the ugly. We’re at a point now where we can train our eyes on focusing in areas that reward us with grace and beauty.
If you decided to use the index cards add five things to a page a night that is beautiful in your life. You might try to write it nightly.
Have you ever had that feeling…you sense it, almost like an animal senses a storm coming in? We are on the verge or many things/endeavors are pending. We are told to keep the faith while things unfold. Unfortunately, Spirit is vague about timing. I relate this feeling she’s sharing to an in between stage…not stagnant but between knowing and unknowing and knowing again. I love this “don’t quit right before the miracle” You can’t give up just because the goring is tough right now. “Soon there will be more interest. Being ready to receive that interest by having kept the faith myself. This means I must buck the tide of discouragement or disheartening.
I’ve heard this many times lately…Ours is a youth-oriented culture. We are trained by television and the media to focus on those who are young. Wow did that all happen? I’m probably a product of it and didn’t even realize it.. I’m sure we could hang out on this topic for a while.
This is the part that I think of Lynn sharing the words from Cher saying “Snap out if it” but it’s a part of us that has to realize that we are the ones that have to care for ourselves and the better the self-talk is the better off we will be. Realizing that when the crap comes in…not to take it serious, almost you have to take the step back and do the childhood saying…Stop Look and Listen. Be an adult artist about it and consider the bigger picture.
This is when a walk might be in store for you…as JC shares walk for guidance. “One thing that I didn’t anticipate when I was younger is how often the going gets rough. “Oh learning to live on life’s terms is not easy.”
What are your spiritual practices? What works for you in a case like this of needing to be grounded or find grounding when life throws you a curve ball or spills bean out all over the floor?
Fatigue can make it hard to have faith. Too much busyness can make it hard to have faith. Too much or too little solitude can impact faith. For that matter, so can a bout of hunger or overwork, anything carried to an extreme. Faith thrives on routine. Faith keeps on keeping on.
What I’m hearing is if I don’t’ keep to a good spiritual routine then what happens is I’m toying with my faith and then when that happens I do feel that separation from a proper position, my own of course.
So have any of you had this happen to you where your creativity turns on you? I’m brought to mind that creative takes on many forms, as of how you clean your home, or prepare to go to work, to creating a wonderful grilled cheese with a pickle and some mixed fruit.
And JC shares, the doing of something productive regardless of the outcome is an act of faith. The doing of a small something when a large something is too much for us is perhaps especially an act of faith. Faith means going forward by whatever means we can. “Just do the next right things”
Divining Rod tasks
List five acts that keep you grounded.
Oh to our four legged loves, JC’s Tiger Lily is a perfect artist dog, always chasing something that is just out of reach-a possibility.
Here’s where Yoda saying comes in “Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try” …and I question it as of JC has us try…As artist, we must learn to try. We must learn to act affirmatively. Wherever creativity is afoot, so is blossoming. All creative acts are acts of initiative. We start with nothing-“the verdant void”- and impregnate it with our own creative spark. Art is born, but not without labor on our part. In order to make art, we must be willing to labor, reach inside and draw forth. But it begins with where you are and what you are. It begins with possibility.
Change what you can with positive thinking.
I can... I think I can… I will.
Push forward into growth…like the weed through the concrete floor..
Divining Rod task work
Don’t be your own wet blanket,
Give it a try…write 10 I could try….sentences and see what happens.