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I just finished up week 2 of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way: Recovering a sense of identity.

The way we define ourselves is a major component of creative recovery and discovery. This week’s chapter revolves around carving out new boundaries for yourself as you identify your personal needs, interests and desires.

“The essential element in nurturing our creativity lies in nurturing ourselves.”

                - Julia Cameron

 Allow yourself to be what you want to be, do and create what you want to while making sure that you don’t sabotage yourself or permit others to do so either. Trust in your creativity and that you are on the right track. Use affirmations to neutralize self-doubt. Safeguard your recovering/discovering artist by focusing on your responsibilities to yourself. Cameron suggests drawing a sacred circle around your recovery – give yourself the permission, the space, the safety and the opportunity to grow creatively.

 “We need to be willing to let our intuition guide us, and then be willing to follow that guidance directly and fearlessly.”

                - Shakti Gawain

 Here are some pointers from Cameron on how to achieve this:

-          don’t let drama sap your creativity

-          surrender your need to control the result

-          explore your feelings of self-doubt but don’t allow them to derail you

-          be open minded – don’t let your skepticism (or that of others) hold you back

-          avoid external sources that undermine your creative confidence – don’t allow criticism to reactivate your doubts

 Along with the homework at the end of the chapter, I’ve continued with the morning pages on an almost daily basis, even on days when there’s no time for writing in my schedule. The morning pages really help to organize my thoughts as well as my day. Nobody could be more surprised than I, seeing as I was a huge skeptic regarding the benefits (and where I’d find the time to actually do them) of morning pages.

 “Setting your skepticism aside, even briefly, can make for very interesting explorations.”

                - Julia Cameron

For my artist date this week, I grabbed a picnic blanket and headed out into my back garden. It was early enough in the day that the humidity hadn’t quite kicked in and the sunshine was lemony-gentle. I lay down in the dappled shade and stared up at the sky through the tree tops high up above me. Clouds, butterflies and birds flittered by. The neighborhood landscaping services hadn’t arrived yet, so the morning was quiet and still. Well, sort of. The longer I lay there, the quieter my thoughts became and so the louder the sounds of nature grew. Bella, my golden retriever, came over to find out what the heck I was doing lying down in the middle of the lawn instead of throwing the ball for her. She finally settled down next to me, her head on my chest, and we enjoyed half an hour of solitude. As I lay there, listening to the birds chattering, the squirrels nattering, the leaves whispering and my best friend softly snoring, I felt so content that I wanted to cry. That’s a gift I intend to give to myself again sometime soon.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 15th, 2011 12:17 pm (UTC)
So right. And it's been easier than I thought to find/make the time for these moments of stillness. Added bonus - I love cuddling with my Bella.
Jul. 21st, 2011 10:10 pm (UTC)
Awww . . . how sweet is your puppy? I mean, the rest of the post was great, don't get me wrong, but Bella is such a sweet girl. I'm glad you had her for company!
Jul. 22nd, 2011 11:15 am (UTC)
That's my favorite artist date so far - Bella is a very special friend.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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