Sunday, January 03, 2016

Finding Water Chapter 8-Artist Way

Uncovering a sense of truth

Each of us bears with in us an inner compass, a sort of spiritual dowsing wand. When our actions match our values, this compass points true north. This week you are asked to focus on personal grounding. As you plan and execute ritual that both sooth and enliven you, your compass will become more steady. Reaching out to others is another means by which we gauge our own position. As we extend ourselves in empathy towards our friends, we experience ourselves as generous and compassionate.

As artists, when we encounter change, we often react as the dogs do… (A bit aggressive or protective of the unknown) No matter that the change is “for our own good” change is still change and it is hard for us.
Julia share about her experience with new partnership or new environments such as her dogs experienced. And having cool feet or questioning the new partner and our own ability to size them up. Might she be sharing about the loss of control that when she was in a situation without a partner there was a sense of safety? Didn’t have to worry about getting hurt or miss trusting. And now venturing into a new endeavors she is sharing the sense that it’s all going to fall apart, when in fact it’s coming together and it’s falling in the right direction…This feeling of out of control when things are going right is scary too. Are things moving too fast?

Personal thought:I know myself and I would want to control the change…give me the reins…I tell this horse where to go…being silly of course one can never control an animal on guide with mutual respect. But my instinct for survival would be to get some control before I would got out of control.

She shares about the feeling of vulnerability, it’s like opening up a spot to get hurt, who would want to do that intentional. But what is happen as she describes it, as being nudged awake. But then the possibility to have one more of our dreams break our hearts.
No matter that the change we are undergoing is a change for the positive.

Divining Rod-When we are fatigued or over stressed from too much change we frequently view the world as a hostile place. We brace ourselves for the shock of impending doom. We grid ourselves against the worst. But what if the best is about to happen? What if despite our fears, we are being handed a resounding success? Are we ready to face that eventuality as well?
Change for the better is still change, and so we need to ready ourselves for the good that comes our way as well as the bad.  Take pen to page. List five rituals that are sensory and can move you to a sense of safety and expansion. Ex: burn a stick of incense, light a candle, buy fresh flowers. When stressed, you need to woo yourself a little. Ex: Nice dinner out, a change of fresh sheets, good bath salts. The psyche speaks in symbols. Tell yourself symbolically that you will be fine.

The Eyes Have it 

As artists, we run a risk of staleness if we close ourselves off to fresh experiences. Each day must remain an exploratory expedition. We must remain tourist on our home terrain. We must hold on to a sense of adventure. To do this we must keep our curiosity alive and gently feed it. Walking the world moves towards us at a manageable rate.

Personal thoughts…. Where I’m at personal or with some experience walking is an act of moving forward and it’s Me that is doing it, though I walk with that eddie thing…love that word…Eddie reminds me of being a wanderer…exploring at whim anything that strikes my fancy. When I walk in the woods I come across people out there doing the same things walking for their health and or adventure to see what nature has for us to view and experience. All these people I see in the woods might be call surface relationship but I would say it’s a bit deeper than that…we are experiencing the same area of land and time. Though we could get more acquainted it’s good where it’s at. There is something to be said though about the daily encounters we meet. Can’t I dare to say those little encounters make our day? 

How are some of your daily friendly encounters with human beings going for you?

Oh what is it with Pink in this Chapter? Must be all the trees and flowers blooming not one of my favorite colors to wear, but I surely can visualize what she is experiencing… Julia shares about the spring blossom bellowing all over in New York City.
How do we connect? First off it’s not by comparing, or pulling judgment that would disconnect us.

Personal thoughts… I remember working with our elementary school on a yearlong project called Common Landscapes, what a year it was working with like minded creative moms feeding off of each other, still to this day the teach talk about the group we had together and how the parents, students, teacher and rest of the educational staff all worked together so smoothly. So to get to the point here about connection, we had to look at what was in common with people that lived in Africa especially around the Sierra Leone area and Tanzania. What we did is looked at what was the common and not that it was the same but an area that we could relate to. Example Chairs…well it seems that living on the land there were chairs that people sat on, not just the ground and these chairs where made especially for two purposes, one to rest their head and one to sit on. They were custom made by the person themselves and decorated with carvings and embellishments. We all looked at pictures of them and then the older 6th grade students did assemblages and paint in groups to found chairs, us mothers gathered on trash day. We had them displayed at the end of the year when we did this big celebration for all that we experience that year. Food, writing of stories, what people wore and how the create art etc.

So back to connection in this section…Julia shares about blooming where you are planted. What does that have to do with finding your true north I ask? Dare I say is it part of a process and not an end result? She share’s she must do some self-talk and lecturing to open her eyes to the beauty all around. It takes discipline to find the glory hidden in these concrete canyons. Or is this a way of coming out of yourself and seeing the bigger picture when in turn helps one possibly balance into the life they have now?
Remember seeing is believing find an image that speaks to you of your life and one that you believe will speak to others. In reaching out to others, we remind ourselves that we too are beloved and missed… 

Keeping on
Today Julia Cameron shares, this is one of those days, “just-to-be-gotten-through days” Even the Vendor at the corner newsstand, normally an inveterate flirt, is subdued. Today is a day just for keeping on.

Personal thought…. I’ve realized through watching my children growing up that you have to teach them this skill…yes I see it as a skill. Not every day or  all day will it  look to be high energy and hunky dory. That there are things that can happen and change our moods and then there just is a day that feels sluggish and you just have to know that This all too Shall pass and it’s not going to stay this way always it can’t, and why it can’t is because of change…it will always happen whether we like it or not. So what do you do? You teach them to do self-care and be kind and gentle and know it won’t last.
 Divining Rod Sometimes we need credit for a job well done, even if there is no one at hand to offer us their praise. We  must lean to praise ourselves, to take pride in our abilities to keep on keeping on. Pen in hand, List five things that which you have preserved. 

Fear of Success
If you’ve come this far with the all the books of the Artist Way, at least two before and not this one you know we are repeating some topic again, as of the fear of success.

We are used to soldiering on. We are accustomed to doing our work against the odds and against the tide. When the tide turns, when the odds are suddenly in our favor, we need to find our sea legs. It finally has happened it is our turn to bat.

In making transition from bystander to player, it helps if we take with us some of our daily routines. Morning pages, walks, artists dates etc. helps us stay ground.

Personal thought…The morning pages are ever so much more important at this point of the game for me. I know I still need to face my own reality, dare I say face my truth about the situation.

On the days when we are just soldiering on, it seems impossible that any project could come to fruition too fast. Haven’t we already been waiting “forever”? But breaks when they come seem to come just as we can barely handle them.

Now that the light is green, the terrain seems threatening. Stick with what’s been working I say. Keep up the Morning pages, the walking and especially the artist date.

Personal thoughts….I know when I was up there in WI for the week teaching the workshop. It was perfect, I could barely believe it and I almost felt guilty for how smooth it all went.  I made sure I did my morning pages and walked almost every day that walk was a wonderful gift to myself like Julia shares it’s the dose of regular life that I was needing to keep me ground even in the good times.

I was just sharing with a person the other day and how when going thought tough times working with the basic, like staying in the now and living in this day and knowing that changes happens and that it will pass whatever is going on that is hard to handle…it's true for me at least is the good times or the lucky breaks. I still need grounding, a place that I can get a dose of regular life. No matter how good it is I still need to live in the now and living in this day.

There is nothing like success to bring on a misery-inducing bout of self-centered fears. Julia share at this point she tries to move from her head to her heart. By reaching out she would call a friend that might be in a tighter situation and be a good listener to them. This was a way for her also to get a dose of regular life that there are still going to be life and we have to learn how to life it. And the best reminder is we are all in this together.

On to week 9-Uncovering a Sense of Perspective.

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