Saturday, December 05, 2015

Continuing on with Finding Water, Ch. 4 Julia Cameron's book of Artist Way

Finding Water Week 4
Uncovering a sense of Balance
Pivotal to any creative journey is the ability to resist the cliff’s edge of drama. All of us are tempted to binge on negativity. It is the careful husbanding of optimism that allows us to move productively forward. This week’s spiritual toolkit is aimed at dismantling the hobgoblins of fear and distrust that poison your well. You will align yourself with a Higher Power that extends itself in benevolent ways on your behalf. Sketchbook in hand, you will practice being in the now, where there is always sufficient safety for you to experience balance.

The Rim of the Glass 1
Comment from Julia’s Friend Larry, “You’re wearing yourself out,” he said to me today. “There’s nothing wrong with you except your attitude.  Are you getting out?

Quote: When unhappy, one doubts everything; when happy one doubts nothing-Joseph Roux

Personal note: It seems that Julia is sharing a bit of fleeting despair and how she’s going to get through it this section.  How important is to have friends to turn to that will guide you through. Knowing it’s a sluggish period and wanting to throw in the towel she doesn’t.  Or the experience of having to do something you don’t want to do and know that you have to but still fight it in your process of creating.
Our job is to show up, and you’re doing your job. The rest is up to Good Orderly Direction, it actually really truly is. Just be you at the key board, in the hand of God, Universes, and Spirit etc.  Wait, Listen, love the silence, and eventually the silence will sing for you. As it always has and always will.”  Personal Note: it’s in the waiting of the silence that I can have the hardest time…but have done it and found it to be true as stated above that the silence will sing.
During these moments it might be best to avoid people who are too negative because we might be carrying enough negativity of our own to deal with. Why add more wood to the fire if it’s warm already?

Julia shares that during these times she must be vigilant at maintaining optimism. Seeking people who are optimistic, self-starting, and farseeing. Seeking out people who are experienced in the difficulty of trusting themselves and who have learned to do it against the odds. Learning to live with being “different” from their fellows. Learning how to keep our own counsel when what they saw-how much they saw differed from consensus reality. 
Personal Note: Ok not that I should hang on to every piece of word as gold here but I’ve heard we are special-us artists, creative types and then we’ve been hearing we are not and now that we are different…I’m not confused but am I silly when I say I understand what she talking about…the spectrum of emotion inner abuse one can go through to come out of a creative block and be in recovery is really traumatic and then to work at it so you don’t go back into a creative block. That is what these entire books that she’s been writing are about. Staying in reality here that’s all.
Julia shares that it’s through people that she normal hear what she needs to hear and it comes from older conversations she’s stored for times like this.  The Self Talk of “Your fine. Jet lag is just a biochemical event. It will pass. The words “It shall pass” are the touchstone of emotional sobriety.
Personal note: I know right now if I may explain this…as my monthly cycle decides to not show up (that stage in my life where it-monthly cycle is rearrange and has a mind of its own) there is a bus load of distorted thinking that slams it brakes at my so called door steps…and the words I know for me that work for self talk to keep me emotional sober are.. Honey, these are just feelings don’t act on them they will pass. I’ve heard Feelings just are. It’s what you do with them that matters.

Divining Rod Task work- Write yourself a evening prayer. 

Faith 2
As artists, we must be in it for the long haul, not just the showy seasons of success.
Optimism is the elected attitude, a form of emotional courage.
As artists we have a Vocation…love that word. If I may pull a dictionary description.
Somebody's job: somebody's work, job, or profession, especially a type of work demanding special commitment
Urge to follow specific career: a strong feeling of being destined or called to undertake a specific type of work, especially a sense of being chosen by God for religious work or a religious life.

Julia shares, as artists, we are subject to cycles of acceptance. There will be bleak seasons and fruitful seasons. There will be success and there will be failure. We cannot control the reception of our work. We must find our dignity in the doing. We must learn to say that our work, even if unsung, does count for something.

Julia shares she clings to her faith and turns aside the bitterness. Faith allows for a career to take detours Faith allows for a career to even grind to an apparent outward halt. Faith takes always the longer view. It divorces our creative practice from its current reception.   Personal note: I hear that the word passion means in sort, to have as said vocation and to be so dedicated to it that it hurts so much but you don’t’ give up when all seem to have done that to you and you turn to faith and ride it out and then the pure essences of it all shines through and you have experience passion. Not that I’ve experience it to this level but I can believe it.

As artist we must be resilient. Delicate as we are, we must also be stalwart. Again I think this is true for all humans’ beings.  We must take our cue from the natural world and vow to be like the perennial flowers stubbornly reappearing season after season.  Now despair is the poisonous drink an artist cannot afford to even sip. An artist has to go forward and be willing to be small, not large. It does no good to demand to always be brilliant. We must be willing to do our creative work like we were doing service work.  From past experience with what is described about I know that the service work thinking can get you through if you know you’re in this way of thinking as of the Rim of the Glass.

Julia shares, so, too we are intended to flower in our art even if our art does not meet with a welcoming reception.

Divining Rod Task Work- write a list of ten things you have accomplished already you are proud of.

Keep It Simple 3

Julia shares, to ensure my productivity; I must be protective of this inner innocent. This means I need to keep things very simple. I cannot control the outer world, but I can control the inner world I create in. Be gentle and fair.  As an artist, I do best when reaching for humility. I must be willing to be just a worker among workers, just an artist among artists. Competition has no place in this scenario Competition creates stress. Stress creates constriction and constriction creates blocks. 

 A little self-coaching with words like doable small acts daily just a little done daily adds up to quite a lot. 
Personal note: now I’ll sound old but in this age of technology we have fallen victim to having it now all things and everything. And to expect the same out of our creative endeavors is really setting one of for big disappointment. So I’m seeing for myself making the effort to break things down to manageable small acts is a challenge but once put in to practice it seem more natural then force quick have to have it now.  For me it’s in the process and I fight with the quick got to have it done thinking that can so easily sneak in without a notice.

Learning the tricks that work for us and using them helps keep the drama on the page. So many things our out of our control, but making art is in our control. There is always a small and doable creative something we can do if we are willing to move ahead without a guarantee. We may not be able to work at our art on the level that we wish we could, but we can always do something.

Extending our selves in love toward our art nurtures feelings of dignity. When we commit ourselves to the process of art and not to the need to produce a saleable product, we begin to experience the joy of creation. 

Divining Rod Task work- find your calm oasis and listen, enjoy a sense of communion with a power greater than yourself.

No Regrets 4
Julia shares about being in a dinner party with people she see she’ll have a hard time relating to.  And she shares; I didn’t know anybody “important.” What I knew I knew, was how to write-and that often felt in question.
JC’s shares her quick self-talk about knowing there is something bigger than all the people there at this party from the New York times and how with it out this source of something bigger as she calls it God, she feels helpless and against odds. “Anything that kills my enthusiasm is the enemy,” As an artist, we need to believe we have a chance. As artists we all need to believe we have a chance…I feel this goes for all human beings, because we do.   She believes that the Great Creator loves other artists and is active on our behalf to find us a break. JC’s shares, I believe this not only because I have to believe this, but also because it is my experience.

When we compare ourselves to others, there will always be someone who is doing better than we are. There will always be someone who is more successful, who has played his or her cards “right” while we have bungled ours. When we compare ourselves to other, there will always be people who are one “up” to our one “down.”
When we meet them we feel discouraged. When we feel discouraged, we shut down. Shut down, we “block” and our productivity dwindles. 
Personal note: I’m recognizing some key things; competition and comparing are areas we have to put up the Orange or Yellow caution sign, ah? The thing is it’s there in the line of work and we need to fight against or at least the detour sign till we can handle what just happens with our emotional sobriety at any given point of encountering a side swipe like these strong words that can mess up and cause that state of distorted thinking and lead to a road block. 

Question she’s ask of us… How am I developing as an artist? Am I doing the work necessary for me to mature?  Did I work today? Yes? Well, that’s good. Working today is what gives us currency and self-respect. It is what cannot be taken away from us. There is dignity in work.  I wear a bracelet with this words on it, “Let it begin with me” so what I’m gathering is when these feelings of comparing come upon us we are to stop and bring it down to a manage sober thought of asking ourselves how are we doing and go from there.. Keeping it real for us, grounded, or humble.

JC shares, In order to go forward, we must live in the now. Personal note:  If you want to meet you higher power then you best be in the now, because that’s where he is.” We must take the day that we have been given and make of it what we can. We cannot change the past. We can only regret it, and such dwelling leaches optimism from the day at hand. It is one more way to be blocked and sadly effective one-if only…If Only things were different, but they’re not. 

Work against the distorted thinking.   Each day, I must find something to love in my day at hand.

Divining Rod task work- be an amateur Sketcher… carry around a sketch book and see what happens, Illustrate your life. “Let it begin with you”

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