Uncovering a Sense of Autonomy
Essential to any creative unfolding is sense of self-direction. We are the “origin” in “original.” The tasks of this week will help you to specify exactly who and where you are, locating the powerful currents that trace through your life. Listing your loves will allow you to move closer to them. Listing your fears will allow you to move beyond them. God lives in the details, the concrete, knowable facts of your life. As you explore you psyche and tis place in you environment, you compass will become ever more accurate in pointing you true north.
Doctor’s Advice 1
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.-Mahatma Gandhi
A key- Whenever I’m not writing (sculpting, drawing, collaging, sewing, cooking) enough, I feel overwhelmed. And when things take large chunks of time out our time earmarked for it…we might have a Hissy fit- Well I should speak for myself, I know I can do that.
The plan for Optimistic balance had been sought, though life was a bit out of whack JC comments. And she shares if she could just write through it things would calm down, again the words-“Keep the drama on the page,” lecturing herself.
At this point she’s talking from experience but she shares about the Drama that follow’s her around and spill over into her life, other people’s drama that is.
I so relate to this statement JC makes- Before emotional Sobriety, the simple grid of a positive life lived one day at a time is all that is needed. Such a life must be free of frenzy, free of the frantic rushing here and there that cannibalizes tranquility. Setting a gentle pace for your is what the doctor ordered, the world has been too much to handle. Just keep it simple and guard yourself against despair.
Divining Rod Task work- Create a gratitude list 1-25 and see how you feel afterwards.
The Abyss 2
Human life begins on the far side of despair. Jean-Paul Sartre
Change is not made without inconvenience, eve from worse to better- Samuel Johnson
JC in this section has shared about her moment, and how she uses what she knows can help her work off the edge of the rim of the glass, as of talking about the days newly sober and how she made it through. She had to become willing to work through it. Small steps…phone calls etc. She shares about writing something small and something centered in the day that she was in. Staying in the Now, and asks herself what is it that has her so frightened. Julia had latched on to the string of despair and was being dragged along, and taken on someone else drama which could feel like being in the Abyss I could imagine.
Divining Rod Task work- When large fears overrun us, we must turn to tiny yet revolutionary actions. When the chips are down it’s time to rent a comedy. Invite some humor in. Knowing that the abyss that you feel you’re in will pass. It is not time to get serious about becoming a better person. You are already a fine person, you have just lost the perspective that tells you so!
Going back to Basics 3
Julia Cameron has shared her despair or the emotional bender of terror she just went through. From my understanding she knows what to do but still needs help from friends. Taking some sound advice she goes back to the sane and steadiness, and knows enough to be gentle with herself. All this is a perspective adjustment from my gathering. Going back to basics doesn’t mean we invite more drama in can’t afford that. Going to daily habits, like a few simple things and keep doing them. Morning pages, artist dates and walking. The picking up of the first doubt and allowing it to slip in lead to a downward spiral of her own deep despair. “When one is on an emotional binge the anxiety is like a drink. Your system is drunk with anxiety. You need to do tiny things to move yourself back from the chasm” As basic as this sounds, wash your hair, clean your room, fold clothes, and straighten sheets. Do concrete actions in the life that I actually have not in the terrible life that I imagine as coming toward me, she shares. So what are the facts? Facts, unlike fears, are sober.
Divining Rod Task work- Sticking to our grid of positive actions adds to our shaky self-esteem. There is power to be found in perseverance. “Don’t quit five minutes before the miracle” Write a letter to God, and be humble and ask for help. Asking God to meet us exactly where we are, we are practicing compassion towards ourselves. Compassion like humor begins our healing.
Focusing on the Positive 4
In times of despair it is said that we cut ourselves off from our higher source, god, and good orderly directions. God is in the details, the concrete facts of our lives.
Divining Rod Task work-When joy is elusive; we must actively seek it out. List 50 things you love. Use this list as a resource list; plan a week in which you allow yourself to be near what you love. As you list will quickly show you, there are many small ways in which we can fill our lives with those things that bring us happiness.
The Bagel Scrap
When we have an obsessive fear, we hold on to it like Julia’s dog Tiger Lily and her bagel..not letting go of it for nothing. It is a question of being open-minded, but when our mind is trained on the bagel scrap, nothing can help us. This is when we must learn to let go and let God. How do we do that?
Tiny things catch our attention and tiny changes begin to happen along our neural pathways. We have something to chew over besides our bagel. In a moment of distraction, we drop the scrap.
What happens when we drop the scrap? We may have a moment of free-floating panic. We may dive wildly to our feel looking for another scrap to hold on to. Freedom is disorienting. What do we do when we have so many choices? This is when the walk helps.
So much of being sane and happy begins with the doing of things that are sane and happy. This means that we must train ourselves to think small rather than large. Walking is a potent form of prayer. “Guide me, Show me,” we pray as we walk, and as we walk we are guided and we are shown.
We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are. The Talmud.
Divining Rod Task work- Take a walk at a different time than normal. By venturing out at an odd time you will experience a more vivid focus. You are being urged to experience yourself as a character. Your thoughts and perceptions are interesting. What do you notice that is new and interesting to you in our habitual habitat?