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Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way, p. 50-51

One of the things most worth noting in a creative recovery is our reluctance to take seriously the possibility that the universe just might be cooperating with our new and expanded plans. We've gotten brave enough to try recovery, but we don't want the universe to really pay attention. We still feel too much like frauds to handle some success. When it comes, we want to go.


Of course we do! )
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I'm sorry I don't have a task for today; I've unfortunately been swamped by work. Posting will resume tomorrow. Instead, please enjoy this dance troupe led by a baby.



I hope you've all done your morning pages anyway!
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Your task today, if you're up to it (and as always, no need to say what you've done or whether you've done it), is to list ten changes you'd like to make for yourself. They can be very large or very small. I would like to get out of debt. I would like to read books more often. I would like a clean desk. Etc.

Now, pick a small item off that list and make it a goal for the next week. If it's very small, or moderate but feasible, like “I would like to bake more often,” do it today if you can.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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This one is kind of complicated. I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Draw a circle on a piece of paper (it doesn't have to be perfect). Divide it into six slices, like a pie.

Each slice represents one of six important areas of your life. Camerons's categories are Spirituality, Exercise, Romance/Adventure, Friends, Work, Play. Use your own labels to make the pie accurate to yourself.

For me, the biggest benefit of this task was in figuring out what to put in the slices and what to call them -- since I don't have a spiritual life, I made writing its own category; "exercise" doesn't loom large enough in my life to merit a whole slice, so I made one for “recreation” instead, and so on. I did several pies before I got one that seemed accurate. Don't feel like you have to put a lot of time into it, though, unless you want to. The pie doesn't have to be exclusive – use the categories that come to mind.

Now make a dot in each slice to show the degree to which you are currently "fulfilled" in that area, however you want to define that. If you don't like fulfilled you can think in terms of general satisfaction or living up to your potential -- whatever appeals to you and feels accurate. Place a dot on the outer rim for areas where you're doing great, further inside for less great, right in the middle where the segments meet for "totally lacking." Connect the dots to see where you're lopsided or shrunken.

If there are areas in your life that feel impoverished, pick one and resolve to give it a little extra attention in the next few hours and days. If you have a “spirituality” slice that looks bashed-in, Cameron suggests listening to drum music or visiting a greenhouse. If “reading” is a neglected slice, take ten minutes to read a couple short poems, an essay, or a short story.

List a few small things you could do for each sunken slice. Even a tiny amount of attention can help replenish the pie.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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List twenty things you enjoy doing.

Dancing, cooking, hiking, concerts, picking up weird-looking rocks, it doesn't matter how big or small the activities are, just write them down. They can be related to creativity or not.

When was the last time you did them? Next to each item, write the date.

Don't be surprised if it has been a very long time since you did some of these things. Keep this list as a resource for artist's dates.

Don't forget to do your morning pages!
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Today's task, if you're up to it (and as always, no need to say what you've done or even whether you've done it), is to list where your time goes.

What were your five major activities this past week, and how much time did you spend on each one? How many were things that you 'want to do' and how many were 'should do'?

Did you do your morning pages today? Don't forget about the affirmations!
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Draw a circle of protection around your creative life – you can write “morning pages” “artist date” “working on my painting” “reading poetry” “sewing” or anything else that needs protection on a sheet of paper and draw a generous circle around it.

You can include champions, collaborators, or any sustaining thing within the circle, or connect them with vines.

If there are people or things you specifically need protection from -- destructive friends or self-sabotaging tendencies, job encroachment, fear, or anything else you can think of, write them down, too -- outside the circle of protection. Things that are especially destructive or persistent can have forcefields of their own. Make the forcefields nice and thick if you're a visual thinker-- you can use markers or colored pencils to make thick, bright or dark membranes. Don't let the bubbles touch!

If that doesn't work for you, try other ways of visualizing a form of protection or sustenance for your creative life. As always, there's no need to post about this task or even to say whether you've done it.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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If you've spent a whole week recovering your creative self, it's normal to find yourself attacked by stronger doubt and self-doubt. Like ideas and bacteria, our creative blocks adapt. Some common attacks include worries about doing morning pages the wrong way, anxiety about being selfish or self-indulgent, or the need to start a big new project right away. Cameron encourages us to keep doing affirmations, and to make new affirmations out of any new attacks. It's also important not to show your morning pages to anyone, even yourself.

This week, we'll work on separating ourselves from the attackers.

Cameron's common attacks )

This week, try using physical cues to help give yourself the space you need. Give yourself an hour every day of protected time. Turn off the phone, turn off the computer (or use Zenwriter, TextRoom, or another simplifier), and don't respond to messages during that time. Put on music, change the lighting, or burn incense if those things are effective for you. If you can spare a whole hour at once, then do it. If you can only manage fifteen-minute blocks of time, use those instead.

Please feel free to use these weekly posts as an open thread for thoughts, issues, and observations regarding last week, plans for this one, or anything else you want to talk about that hasn't been addressed.

Don't forget to do your morning pages, and to schedule a date with your artist sometime this week.
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
Your task today, if you're up to it (and as always, no need to say what you've done or whether you've done it), is to list ten changes you'd like to make for yourself, from the tiny to the tremendous or the other way around. I would like to get out of debt. I would like to read books more often. I would like a clean desk. Etc.

Now, pick a small item off that list and make it this week's goal.

Did you do your morning pages today?
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
Your task today, if you're up to it (and as always, no need to say what you've done or whether you've done it), is to list twenty things you enjoy doing (she gives as examples rock-climbing, baking, sex, bike-riding, reading poetry, etc), then write the last time you did each thing next to the thing. It may have been years in some cases; this is not a surprise. This list, Cameron adds, is an excellent resource for artist dates.

Did you do your morning pages today?
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
Today's task, if you're up to it (and as always, no need to say what you've done or even whether you've done it), is to list where your time goes. What were your five major activities this past week, and how much time did you spend on each one? How many were 'want to do' and how many were 'should do'?

Did you do your morning pages today? Don't forget about the affirmations!
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
The noun of self becomes a verb. This flashpoint of creation in the present moment is where work and play merge. —Stephen Nachmanovitch

The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. —Jackson Pollock

After a week of recovering our creative selves, Cameron says, it's normal and expected to be attacked by stronger doubt and self-doubt. "I probably did the morning pages wrong" or "Okay, now I need to plan something big and do it right away" or "This is never going to work" are common attacks, and attacks like them can come from ourselves or from those around us. Affirmations, Cameron suggests, affirmations affirmations. And don't show your morning pages to anyone, really; she warns that getting them critiqued is a common form of self-sabotage.

This week's task is to separate ourselves from the attackers.

external attackers )

internal attackers )

Finally, Cameron says that one of the major misconceptions about artistic life is that people think artists don't pay attention. The truth is, artists need to pay attention. Look at that dragonfly, look at that vividly blue butterfly. Feel the silken softness of sunshine, listen to the soft drumbeat of raindrops. If you're not paying attention, you could easily miss those sources of inspiration, of delight, of art.

(I saw a blue butterfly the other day. I wish I'd had a camera on me; it was gorgeous.)

Don't forget to go on a date with your artist sometime this week, and do your morning pages every day!

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Twelve-week creativity workshop!

August 2014

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