Week 11 Recovering a Sense of Autonomy- This week we focus on our artistic autonomy. We examine the ongoing ways in which we must nurture and accept ourselves as artists. We explore the behaviors that can strengthen our spiritual base and therefore, our creative power. We take a special look at the ways in which success must be handled in order that we not sabotage our freedom.
(again this is just short sections that stand out as I read Week 11, and sharing them here...)
Acceptance-I am an artist and finding what mix of stability and flow works, which many be different than others. Learning to accept curtain situations like
· Cash flow is typically erratic
· Might be broke some of the time but not all of the time.
· You will make a great piece but it won’t sell.
· People don’t pay promptly
One cannot control these factors. Being true to the inner artist often results in works that sells but not always. We have to free ourselves from determining our value and the value of my work by my work’s market value.
Shaking the idea that money validates our credibility is very hard. I must learn that as an artist my credibility lies with me, God and my work. In other words, if I have a poem to write, I need to write that poem-whether it will sell or not.
We need to create what wants to be created. Let our artist have quality time, knowing that if we let it do what it wants to it will cooperate with us in doing what we need to do.
I may be a good cook, a rotten housekeeper, and a strong artist. I am messy, disorganized except as pertains to writing a demon for creative detail, and not real interested in details like polished shoes or floors. Acceptance
If I don’t create, I get crabby. There is a connection between self-nurturing and self-respect.
Watch out! If you sabotage you artist you might be tempted to go on an eating binge, spending binge, drinking binge etc.
Creativity is oxygen for our souls. Cutting off our creativity makes us savage. We may react as if we are fighting for our lives-we are.
If you are happier writing than not writing, painting than not painting, singing than not singing, acting than not acting, directing than not directing, for God’s Sake (and Julia means this literally) let yourself do it.
Credibility lies with you and God-not with a vote of your friends and acquaintances.
The creator made us creative. Our creativity is our gift from God. Our use of it is our gift to God. Accepting this Bargain is the beginning of true self-acceptance.
Success- You don’t need to overturn a successful career in order to find creative fulfillment. It is necessary to overturn each day’s schedule slightly to allow for those small adjustments in daily trajectory that, over the long haul, alter the course and the satisfactions of our careers.
Protect your Creativity and do those morning pages and artists date especially when you busy.
Artists can and do responsibly meet the demands of their business partnerships. What is more difficult and more critical is for us as artists to continue to meet the inner demand of our own artistic growth.
As artists, we are spiritual sharks. The ruthless truth is that if we don’t keep moving, we sink to the bottom and die. The choice is very simple: we can insist on resting on our laurels, or we can begin anew. The stringent requirement of a sustained creative lies is the humility to start again, to begin anew.
Not all of us, always, can muster such creative courage in the face of fiscal temptation, but we can try. We can at least be willing. As Artists, we are travelers. Too heavily encumbered by our worldly dignity, too invested in our stations and positions, we are unable to yield to our spiritual leadings. We insist on a straight and narrow when the Artist’s Way is a spiral path. Invested in the outer trappings of a career, we can place that investment above our inner guidance. Deciding to play by the numbers, we lose our commitment to counting ourselves and our own goals worthy.
Creativity is not a business, although it may generate much business. An artist cannot replicate a prior success indefinitely. Those who attempt to work too long with formula, even their own formula, eventually leach themselves of their creative truths.
The Zen of Sports- in order to effect a real recovery, one that lasts, we need to move out of the head and into a body of work. To do this, we must first of all move into the body.
Again, this is matter that requires acceptance. Creativity requires action, and part of that action must be physical.
This is where walking comes in. What we are after here a moving meditation. This means one where the act of motion puts us into the now and helps us to stop spinning Twenty minutes a day is sufficient. The object is to stretch you mind more than your body, so there doesn't need to be an emphasis on fitness, although eventual fitness is a likely result.
The goal is to connect to a world outside of us, to lose the obsessive self-focus of self-exploration and simply, explore. One quickly notes that when the mind is focused on other, the self often comes into a far more accurate focus(Good thinking.)
To keep the body in good health is a duty… Otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear…Buddha
A better perspective on life. The things that begin to fall into place are not merely work associated. Ex: When she bicycles, Martha has a sense not only of her own motion but also of the motion of God through the universe.
Exercise teaches the rewards of process. It teaches the sense of satisfaction over small tasks well done. Exercise seems to call forth in other circumstances when we mistrust our personal strength. Rather that scotch a creative project when it’ frustrated us. We learn to move through the difficulty.
It is not only the sense of a communion with nature that creates singing in the heart. An endorphin-induced natural high is one of the by-products of exercise itself.
As an artists, walking offers the added benefit of sensory saturation. Things do not whiz by. We really see them in a sense, insight follows from sight. We fill the well and later tap it more easily.
Building Your Artist’s Altar-Morning pages are meditation, a practice that bring you to your creativity and you creator God. In order to stay easily and happily creative, we need to stay spiritually centered. This is easy to do if we allow ourselves centering rituals. It is important that we devise these ourselves from the elements that feel holy and happy to us.
Many blocked creative grew up in punitively religious homes. For us to stay happily and easily creative, we need to heal from this, becoming spiritually centered through creative rituals of our own. A spiritual room or even a spiritual corner is an excellent way to do this. I could be a corner of room, a nook under the stairs, even a window ledge. Fill it with things that make you happy. Remember that your artist is fed by images and sensory experience.
Small rituals, burning incenses, lighting candles, dancing to drum music, holding smooth rocks listening to chants.
Remember, the artist child speaks the language of the soul: music, dance, scent, shells…. Your artists alter to the creator should be fun to look at, even silly.