Welcome back dear readers, I am a little on a roll currently and that is why I did not do a break week anymore. Sorry but I just love what I am doing and couldn’t stop myself 😉
This way though we are finished with “The Artist’s Way” on December 31st and can start the new year with something new. I find that very exciting. And nothing stops you from doing the tasks and reading the posts that cover the book later on. You are welcome anytime!!!!
So with no further ado over to the check-in questions
taken from Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” chapter 9
1. How many days this week did you do your morning pages? Regarding your U-turns, have you allowed yourself a shift toward compassion, at least on the page?
2. Did you do your artist date this week? Have you kept the emphasis on fun? What did you do? How did it feel?
3. Did you experience any synchronicity this week? What was it?
4. Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? Describe them.
Self-care Explorer’s experiences
Where are you????!
Well, I have started to look back on 2018 and to plan for 2019. For the first time, I actually take the time to break my yearly goals down to monthly and daily goals in advance. This will probably take the rest of the month but that is fine. It was one of the tasks of last weeks post and I was surprised that I started it before the book suggested it.
Also, I found several of my old “The Artist’s Way” posts and will re-post some of them over the next couple of weeks. It is so interesting to see how I have changed within 6 years and where I am choosing to head now.
One big change in 2018 certainly is that I allow myself to actually achieve my goals. Not all have worked out but the majority has and I can say I truly am happy and feel more healed than at the beginning of the year. Still lots of work to be done but I get there one step at a time.
My music choices for last week were on two ends of extremes. I was both listening to Disturbed songs and Pentatonix’s Christmas songs. So I made a little playlist with my favourites for you 🙂
Recovering a Sense of Self-Protection
Yes, we are in week 10! How time flies. But I am excited that we have come that far and I hope my posts and Julia Cameron’s words and tasks have given you some insights in the blocks that hold you back both in your creativity but also in your self-care.
So let’s get on with it. Julia Cameron promises us to figure out dangers on our creative, self-care and spiritual path by looking at the toxic patterns that we love to cling to.
Dangers of the trail
Julia Cameron points out that we all have “poisons” we use to block our creative and in my opinion also self-care development. She mentions love/sex, workaholism, food and drugs. But I believe deep down we all know which actions and things make us feel like victims and make us abandon our creative and self-care dreams.
Mine I would say are my mental health issues, my traumatic experiences and workaholism. But I am self-aware enough of recognising them and have started to work around them. what do you think are yours?
Julia Cameron explains here the workaholism is a difficult “addiction” to deal with as in western society “I am working/I have a job/ I have an income” is an important part of “being grown-up” and a good member of society. And I definitely know what I am talking about… Just in case we think we are not overworking she offers a workaholic test. I quote from Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” chapter 10
The Workaholism quiz
- I work outside of office hours: seldom, often, never?
- I cancel dates with loved ones to do more work: seldom, often, never?
- I postpone outings until the deadline os over: seldom, often, never?
- I take work with me on weekends: seldom, often, never?
- I take work with me on vacations: seldom, often, never?
- I take vacations: seldom, often, never?
- My intimates complain I always work: seldom, often, never?
- I try to do two things at once: seldom, often, never?
- I allow myself free time between projects: seldom, often, never?
- I allow myself to achieve closure on tasks: seldom, often, never?
- I procrastinate in finishing p the last loose ends: seldom, often, never?
- I set out to do one job and start on three more at the same time: seldom, often, never?
- I work in the evenings during family time: seldom, often, never?
- I allow calls to interrupt – and lengthen – my work day: seldom, often, never?
- I prioritise my day to include an hour of creative work/play: seldom, often, never?
- I place my creative dreams before my work: seldom, often, never?
- I fall in with other’s plans and fill my free time with their agendas: seldom, often, never?
- I allow myself downtime to do nothing: seldom, often, never?
- I use the word deadline to describe and rationalise my workload: seldom, often, never?
- Going somewhere, even to dinner, with a notebook or my work numbers is something I do: seldom, often never?
She also says that “overwork” is different for everybody. So we need to find our basic line: The line that stands between work and creativity/self-care at which we stop working and start playing creating, self-caring.
She suggests changing our view of work from building block to block. A block that stops us from creating and self-caring.
Here Julia Cameron explains that in every creative/self-caring life droughts emerge out of nowhere where we suddenly can’t create anymore. She says these times are terrible and feel like we will never create again but serve a purpose if we allow ourselves to keep on doing the morning pages. There we will find clarity and a new path to follow. Just like moving through a desert one step at a time we emerge at the other end. And insight will emerge and guide us the right way.
Julia Cameron considers fame another drug that distracts us from our creative work. When we look at famous peoples work it leaves us feeling not worthy of anything because we do not have fame. We just have our work. But the creative work is what counts and what gets us through the times when we feel we haven’t achieved anything because no one knows about our creations.
This part of the chapter links in with the previous about fame. The need to gain acknowledgement first and over others is in her eyes another poison. If we concentrate on how our work can gain over someone else’s we might often abort a piece of art because it is not “in style” or “en vogue” and no one seems to be interested in it. However, I have watched a lot of programs about musicians and filmmakers lately and their greatest hits and what most of them said was: “I did not think it would be a great hit. I did it anyway because this person or that person said to go on with it but I never expected it to last that long”
This is amazing in my eyes because we always think that great artists know what works and what doesn’t but it looks like Julia Cameron is right: They just do the job. They do their work, the work their souls long for no matter how their ego’s rebel and how out of date their work is. They just do it. They allow themselves to do crap work too. they move on and use that bad work to learn and create more and master that masterpiece.
I quote Julia Cameron from “The Artist’s Way” chapter 10:
…Never, ever, judge a fledgeling piece of work too quickly. Be willing to paint or write badly while your ego yelps resistance. Your bad writing may be the syntactical breakdown necessary fr a shift in your style. Your louse painting may be pointing you in a new direction. Art needs time to incubate, to sprawl a little, to be ungainly and misshapen and finally emerge as itself. The ego hates this fact. The ego wants instant gratification and the addictive hit of an acknowledged win.
The need to win – now! – is a need to win approval from others. As an antidote, we must learn to approve of ourselves. showing up for the work is the win that matters…
(quoted from Julia Cameron “The Artist’s Way”)
- The dead lies: Take a piece of paper and cut seven small strips from it. On each strip write one of the following words: alcohol, drugs, sex, work, money, food, family/friends. Fold these strips of paper and place them in an envelope. We call these folded slips the dead lies. You’ll see why in a minute. Now draw one of the dead lies from the envelope and write five ways in which it has had a negative impact on your life. (If the one you choose seems difficult or inapplicable to you, consider this resistance.) You will do this seven times, each time putting back the previous slip of paper so that you are always drawing from seven possible choices. Yes, you may draw the same deadly repeatedly. Yes, this is significant. Very often, it is the last impact on the final list of an annoying “Oh no, not again” that yields a break, through denial, into clarity.
- Touchstones: make a quick list of things you love, happiness touchstones for you. River rocks worn smooth, willow trees, cornflowers, chicory, real Italian bread, homemade vegetable oup, the Bo Deans music, black beans and rice, the smell of new-mown grass, blue velvet (the cloth and the song), Aunt Minnie’s crumb pie… Post this list where it can console you and remind you for your own personal touchstones. You may want to draw one of the items on your list – or acquire it. If you love blue velvet, get a remnant and use it as a runner on a sideboard or dresser, or tack it to the wall and mount images on it. Play a little.
- The Awful Truth: Answer the following questions: ~ Tell the truth. What habit do you have that gets in the way of your creativity? ~ Tell the truth. What do you think might be a problem? It is. ~ What do you plan to do about the habit or problem? ~ What is your payoff in holding on to this block? ~ If you can’t figure out your payoff, ask a trusted friend. ~ Tell the truth. Which friends make you doubt yourself? (The self-doubt is yours already, but they trigger it.) ~ Tell the truth. Which friends believed in you and your talent? (The talent is yours, but they make you feel it.) ~ What is the payoff in keeping your destructive friends? If the answer is, “I like them,” the next question is, “Why?” ~ Which destructive habits do your destructive friends share with your destructive self?
- Setting a bottom line: Working with your answers to the questions above, try setting a bottom line for yourself. Begin with five of your most painful behaviours. You can always add more later. ~ If you notice that your evenings are typically gobbled by your boss’s extra assignments, then a rule must come into play: no work after six. ~ if you wake at six and could write for an hour if you were not interrupted to look for socks and make breakfast and do ironing, the rules might be “No interrupting Mommy before 7:00 AM” ~ If you are working too many jobs and too many hours, you may need to look at your billing. Are you pricing yourself appropriately? Do some footwork. What are others in your field receiving? Raise your prices and lower your workload. …
- Cherishing: 1. List five small victories. 2. List three nurturing actions you took for your artist. 3. List three actions you could take to comfort your artist. 4. Make three nice promises to yourself. Keep them. 5. Do one lovely thing for yourself each day this week.
I think for the rest of the course I let you choose which song, playlist or instrumental support your recovery. Go on…
JULIA CAMERON “THE ARTIST’S WAY”
As I said in the first post I wrote to “The Artist’s Way” I am just giving you a short rundown of each chapter with my thoughts added plus the tasks she suggests. However, I believe to understand her way of thinking it is important to actually read the book. Many libraries have it on offer but you can also buy it here or at your prefered bookshop and bookseller. And you can also take part in her video course on her page.
And just to remember how to take part
SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO TAKE PART IN MUSIC MONDAY CARE & LOVE
- ~ We invite you to appreciate yourself with a cup of your favourite beverage at the beginning of each week!
- ~Additionally Music Monday Care & Love offers exercises and ideas to increase self-care and self-love
- ~ We invite you to try them out and do this with music.
- ~ Feel free to write a blog post about your experiences and link them to the weekly Music Monday Care & Love posts.
- ~ But it is perfectly fine if you just explore our self-care suggestions for yourself and/or share your experiences in the comments
- ~ Go and visit your fellow self-care explorer’s posts & blogs and cheer them on so they can come and cheer you on too
- ~ I’ll share a round-up & invitation post with a self-care activity & suggestion on what sort of music to share on Monday Mornings.
NOW MY DEAR READERS,
GO, FIND A SENSE OF SElf-Protection
AND HAVE LOTS OF FUN
I am not a health professional. My posts describe my thoughts, my experiences and my conclusions about life, mental health and self-improvement. My described actions always go alongside therapy and do not substitute professional advice from a health professional be it a doctor, therapist or counsellor.
I invite you to try out self-care tools, however, if any of these make you feel uncomfortable please stop and do not go further ahead. Also, if any of the tools suggested bring up issues that need dealing with do not hesitate to reach out for professional help.
To recognise when you need to stop and when to reach out for professional or any other help is one important part to learn when it comes to self-care.
Please look here if you need further guidance: