Uncovering a sense of Discipline
Nowhere is the phrase “easy does it” more useful than in the pursuit of our creative endeavors. Small and gentle daily actions build upon themselves to make large accomplishments. A novel is written a page at a time. A painting proceeds brushstroke by brushstroke. By thinking small, we are able to become large. As we exercise our creative gifts, we experience the joy of artistic rigor. Like athletes we keep ourselves in training.
Our Daily laps build stamina.
“Just start where you are” “Try to be positive,” “Try to show up and be of service.” Take an interest in other people not just in your own dilemma. Successful Careers in the arts develop one step at a time. When we keep our sights trained on the small doable, we are able to do the large and unthinkable. It is all a matter of breaking things down to a day by day practice: What can I manage today?
Julia shares, I believe in twenty-minute windows where we hurl ourselves at the page. These are the creative equivalent of sexual quickies-another practice that isn’t perfect but is still very good.
When we are focused on the possible, we are able to ignore the probable. We are able to set aside that tricky question of odds. In other words, when we can focus on what it is we are doing, and then what it is we could do becomes a logical progression and not a wild fantasy.
Divining Rod-Can you spend twenty minutes daily on your art?
Courage to Create
So often as artists the blocks that we feel to be ours alone can be dissolved by being shared. We have the opportunity to help one another and when we are willing to take it, great things can come to pass. The courage to create is a courage to make something out of what we are feeling. Julia thinks we have to admit that we do not own our art. It owns us. She thinks the sooner we admit that and try to relinquish control, the better off we are. Set our egos aside and stop letting it vote on everything that we do. The egos votes are so often incorrect. If only we could remember that.
Divining Rod-List five ways in which you could use your talents to be of service.
Resigning as Author
Simple put…the work comes through us. We don’t control it. Allowing the work to move through us without impediment means resigning as its author. The work must be allowed to author itself, to take on the shapes and colors that it prefers.
Art requires that we relinquish control. It asks us to move on faith. In this regard, art itself is always one step ahead of the artist, calling us forward. “Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know, you begin to die a little.
The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark” –Agnes de Mille
Divining Rod-It takes humility to not know. It takes courage to remain teachable by our art.
We must do what our art requires because, as the novelist noted, “without it we are truly miserable.”
Art is bourn moment by moment and day by day. We must be willing to go slowly because slow has its own velocity. “Easy does it” doesn’t mean, Oh calm down.” It means “easy accomplish it”
Give this a try…The reason I can’t let God author my work is________________.” Try it ten times.
What really brings you joy? A daily dose of joy can counter balance a little disappointment.
When fighting the depression or lethargy, a walk will make one feel better and yet it is hard to stir the muscles necessary. Julia prays at this point to be willing. The reward for putting the body into motion is some answered prayers.
Divining Rod-Make a list of 10 actions that bring you joy. Allow yourself some small creative actions this week.
There is a rhythm to a creative life. It expands and then contracts. We must learn to move with it, listening to our psyches for what is required at any given time. We much be the gatekeeper on the traffic of our life. Too much traffic and I grow overwhelmed. Too little and I grow stagnant. It’s a balance that I’m seeking and I must be attentive because my needs are always shifting.
Reminder- Artist Dates help fire the imagination, the spark whimsy. They encourage play. Since art is about the play of ideas, Artist dates feed our work.
Question to ask yourself this week possible in your morning pages.
1. Have you reorganized your living space? Write about it.
2. Have you thrown anything away? What was it?
3. Has your color sense shifted? From what to what?
4. Has your relationship to music shifted? To what?
5. Do you find yourself being more plainspoken?
6. Have there been any shifts in your intimate relationship?
7. Have you experienced any difference in your energy?
8. Have you experience a weight gain or weight loss?
9. Have you relinquished-or seriously thought about relinquishing any other bad habits”?
10. Are you conscious of having more choices in your daily life?
11. Has your relationship to a Higher Power altered?
12. Are you more comfortable with your spirituality?
13. Is it more a fact of your everyday life?
One more week to go....And then I found out that Julia Cameron has another book coming out.. It's never to late to begin again. I'm thinking about getting it...heck I've got all the other books and gone through them, why not.