Sunday, February 02, 2014

Back in the Artists Way book...Monday class,

Just so you know I've taken parts that speak to me and I bring these to the class and we read it and discuss it each week..never enough time but what time we have is so rich.  Last week we were asked to go back into our morning pages with two highlighters looking for who we've been consistently been complaining about?  Time to take stock... and highlight areas to Take Heart with.. as looking at our black and white thinking. No judgement just observation for knowing ourselves on this creative spiritual path of unblocking. 

Week 10 Recovering a Sense of Self-Protection This week explores the perils that can ambush us on our creative path. Because creativity is a spiritual issue, many of the perils are spiritual perils. In the essays, tasks and exercise of this week, we search out the toxic patterns we cling to that block our creative flow.

Dangers of the Trails-
When we are clear about who we are and what we are doing, the energy flows freely and we experience no strain.  When we resist what that energy might show us or where it might takes us, we often experience a shaky, out of control feeling. We may even slam on the psychic brakes.

Our personal toxic creative blocks, we each favor one or two.
·        Food, sugar, alcohol, drugs, sex or work
·        Busy, busy, busy…grabbing for tasks to numb.
·        So invest in painful thoughts, they become victims rather than feel their own considerable power.
·        Obsessive thoughts which drown out small forward movement steps.
Knowing yourself as an artist means acknowledging which of these you abuse when you want to block yourself.  When we pick up one of toxic creative blocks it’s like pinching the straw and stopping the flow.

We begin to sense our real potential and the wide range of possibilities open to us. That scares us. So we all reach for block to slow our growth.

The object of all this blocking is to alleviate fear. We turn to our drug of choice to block our creativity when every we experience the anxiety of our inner emptiness.

The choice to block is a creative U-turn. We turn back on ourselves.
Blocking is essentially an issue of faith. Rather than trust our intuition, our talent, our skill, our desire, we fear where our creator is taking us with this creativity. Rather than paint, write, dance, audition, and see where it takes us, we pick up a block.
              
Anxiety is fuel….Anger is fuel
Workaholism
Is an addiction, and like all addictions it blocks creative energy. In fact, it could be argued that the desire to block the fierce flow of creative energy is an underlying reason for addiction. If people are too busy to write morning pages or too busy to take an artist date, they are probably too busy to hear the voice of authentic creative urges.

Are you working to avoid yourself, your spouse, and your real feelings?
Play can make a workaholic very nervous. Fun is scary. Fun leads to creativity. It leads to rebellion. It leads to feeling our own power, and that is scary.
·        Share the Workaholism Quiz Tally Seldoms, Oftens and Nevers.

In order to recover our creativity, we must learn to see workaholism as a block instead of a building block.

We may not think we over work until we look at the hours we put in.  

One might try to keep a daily checklist and record time spent; even creative work/play can go a long way towards offsetting the sense of workaholic desperation that keeps our dream at bay.

Hard to tell but a workaholic gets sober by abstaining from overwork, the trick is to define over work.

Set some boundaries, Bear in mind, however that this is your problem. No one can police you into recovery.

Drought
In any creative life there are dry seasons. They may appear from nowhere. Life loses its sweetness; our work feels mechanical, empty forced. We feel we have nothing to say, and we are tempted to say nothing. These are times when morning pages are most difficult and most valuable.

·        What do we do? We stumble on. How do we do that/ we stay on the morning pages. This is not a rule for writers only. (The pages have nothing to do with writing, although they may facilitate it as they do all art forms.)
·        For all creative beings, the morning pages are the lifeline-the trail we explore and the trail home to ourselves.
·        During a drought the morning pages many seem painful, and foolish. Our consciousness is parched.
·        The drought becomes our doubts, we are fight with Good Orderly Direction.
·        Keep writing…because we must….keep writing…Droughts are terrible, Droughts hurt. Droughts are long airless season of doubt that make us grow, give us compassion, and blossom as unexpectedly as the desert with sudden flowers.
·        Droughts do end.
·        In a creative life, droughts are necessity. The time in the desert brings us clarity and charity.
·        When you are in a drought, know that it is to a purpose. 
·        To write is to right things.
·        The morning pages are both our wilderness and our trail.

Fame
Fame is addictive, and it always leaves us hungry. Fame is a spiritual drug. Fame, the desire to attain it, the desire to hold on to it, can produce the “How am I doing?” syndrome. This question is no, “is the work going well?” this question is “How does it look to them?”
Comparing, and are we getting enough, creates a continual feeling of lack.  There is never enough of the fame drug. Wanting more will always snap at our heels, discredit our accomplishments, and erode our joy at another’s accomplishment.  
·        When you have been toxified by the fame drug, you need to detox by coddling yourself, be gentle and add some behaviors that make you like yourself.
·        When the fame drug hits go to your laptop, camera, clay, paints, easel and begin to do just a little creative play.
·        Only when we are being joyfully creative can we release the obsession with others and how they are doing.

Competition
When we are ogling the accomplishments of others, we take our eye away from our own through line. We ask ourselves the wrong questions, and those wrong questions give us the wrong answers.
·        Why do I have such rotten luck? Why did he get his movie/article/play out before I got mine out? Is it because of sexism? What’s the use? What do I have to offer? We often ask these questions as we try to talk ourselves out of creating. Question like these allow us to ignore more useful question. Did I work on my play today? Did I make the deadline to mail it off where it needed to go? Have I done any networking on its behalf?”
·        It can be hard to focus on these questions. Keep the focus on your Through Line.
·        Competition lies at the root of much creative blockage. As Artists we must go within.
·        We must attend to what it is our inner guidance is nudging us toward. We cannot afford to worry about what is in or out.
·        The desire to be better than can choke off the simple desire to be.
·        As artists we cannot afford this thinking. It leads us away from our own voices and choices and into a defensive game that centers outside ourselves and our sphere of influences.
·        It asks us to define our own creativity in terms of someone else’s.
Let us concern ourselves first and foremost with what it is within us that is struggling to be born.
The footrace mentality is always the ego’s demand to be not just good but also first and best. All work is influenced by other work. All people are influenced by other people. No man is an island and not piece of art is a continent unto itself.

Remain true to yourself. Be willing to paint badly while your ego yelps resistance. Your bad works may be the syntactical breakdown necessary for a shift in your style. You never know your lousy painting maybe pointing you in a new direction. Art needs time to incubate, to sprawl a little to be ungainly and misshapen and finally emerge as itself.

Task work-there is plenty more to do but this was short and to the point.
Task #2.  Make a quick list of things you love.
1. I love big and little rock, boulders and river stones.
2. I love to see a family of crow fly over
3. I love to see the coyotes 
4. I love to walk and hike in the woods
5. I love my freedom and space
6. I love my studio
7. I love my husband and family
8. I love my four legged friends, Hank, Carl and Sophie, wish I had more. 
9. I love time in the morning to write in my journal next to candle light. 
10. I love my job and pray that I can continue it. 

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Thank you for stopping by and viewing my collage chatter, many creative blessings and peace to you and yours
~v~Laura