Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Week 4: The Artist's Way


Recovering a Sense of Integrity

This is the week we start sorting through the differences between our real feelings (how we really feel) and our official feelings (what we project publicly). Julia Cameron warns this may be exciting or really difficult, or both. Uh, yeah. This week was hell.

When someone asks how we are, we usually answer, "I'm fine," or "All good," or some other innocuous answer. But inside, are we really fine? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Our morning pages help us get to the root of how and what we are truly feeling, not just about our art and creativity, but about our lives. 

Life has been a struggle for me and my family lately. My husband has battled unemployment and now cancer. People are always asking me how we're doing, how I'm doing. I always say, "I'm fine. It's all fine. We'll get through this." I do believe we'll get through this, but am I fine? Oh, hell no. Inside my head, I'm curled up in a fetal position wanting to ignore the world because it's all so overwhelming. I've been writing down my thoughts in my morning pages, unraveling how I'm really feeling rather than the way I project myself to the outside world. I didn't expect The Artist's Way to help me get a handle on this most difficult time in my life, but it is. You can't hide in the morning pages. 

Thanks to this program, I'm trying to find more alone time--time to think, cry, write my pages, do my weekly tasks, whatever. I feel like I'm nearing a break-thru, that I'll be able to write again soon. Every time I try, I just stare at the blinking cursor and no words come. But I really don't feel stuck anymore; I just don't quite know where I am at the moment. Cameron says that's normal. . 

This is also a week where we work on our changing self-definition. It encouraged me to finally start working on my goals for the year, in my writing business, health and fitness. I've been redefining what health and fitness means to me. Before my husband's diagnosis, it was all about losing those extra pounds I've gained, upping my workouts, achieving new feats of physical fitness. Now, it's about my general health and that of my family. I want to eat healthier and work out more consistently to be healthier, live longer and feel better, rather than to lose weight or look better in my jeans. 

On a lighter note...Ugh. This was the week of reading deprivation. Luckily, it took me 3 days into the week to read the chapter, so I *only* had 4 days of this special kind of hell. According to Cameron, reading deprivation "casts us into our inner silence." Even though reading is vital to a writer, by depriving ourselves of this inflow of someone else's words, new words will begin to form inside of us. Hmm, didn't really happen like that for me. I kept forgetting and would find myself accidentally reading. Oops. Instead of reading, I watched more Criminal Minds reruns, listened to some podcasts, and almost shot myself out of boredom as I walked on my treadmill with nothing to read. 

Still, Cameron insists it's a powerful tool--"and a very frightening one. Even thinking about it can bring up enormous rage." Yep, that was me. Rage-aholic for the the last four days. LOL

All in all, it was an... interesting week. Glad it's over. Ready to move ahead.

Weekly Check-in:

Morning pages--Did these daily. I start the pages with 10 things I'm grateful for. Monday, #1 was "I'm grateful I'm allowed to read today." LOL

Tasks--I did most of them.

Artist Date--Nope. Why do I resist this? I have no idea.


How's the program going for you? Any breakthroughs?