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Today is my sister's birthday! Happy birthday, M!

"Write and mail an encouraging letter to your inner artist. That sounds silly and feels very, very good to receive. Remember that your artist is a child and loves praise and encouragement and festive plans," says Cameron. If your artist isn't that kind of child, or isn't a child at all, include the things your artist will like.

If you do this exercise, do send this one through the post so you can open it later. If you don't have the postage or time, you can PM me with your letter and address and I'll mail it to you.

Don't forget the morning pages!
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**Pre-posted**

Copy a favorite poem, quotation, prayer or song that you find encouraging. It can be the one from Tuesday, or a different one; it can be by you or by someone else. Fold it up, or if it's small enough, copy it onto a business card. Carry it with you for a while.

Did you do your morning pages?
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*Hey, Artist's Wayfarers -- I'm pre-posting Friday and Saturday because I'll be away from the Internet all weekend. Sorry for the inconvenience!*

In your new notebook (or your old one, whatever) plan one week's worth of nurturing actions -- one concrete loving thing you can do for yourself every day for the next seven days. For this one, you want to be realistic, and stick to your schedule.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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How have you changed since beginning this workshop? If you did the Life Pie exercise, you can review it to see if it's shaped the same, or use your own criteria to inventory for yourself how you've changed and not changed.

List five ways you may change as you continue.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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Acquire or set aside for yourself "a special creativity notebook." If you're tired of buying things, it's ok to set aside a stack of paper and maybe put some stickers on it if you want. Number the first 5-10 pages. If you did the Life Pie exercise in Week 2, give one page to each category. If you didn't, devote each page to an area of your life that is important to you.

"With no thought as to practicality, list ten wishes in each area. All right, it's a lot. Let yourself dream al little here."

Did you do your morning pages today?
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To be an artist is to acknowledge the astonishing. It is to allow the wrong piece in a room if we like it. It is to hang on to a weird coat that makes us happy. It is to not keep trying to be something that we aren't.

If you are happier writing than not writing, painting than not painting, singing than not singing, acting than not acting, directing than not directing, for God's sake (and I mean that literally) let yourself do it.


To kill your dreams because they are irresponsible is to be irresponsible to yourself )

Building your Artist's Altar )

Some exercises for Week 11:

Write out in longhand, your Artist's Prayer from Week Four. Place it in your wallet.
(p. 190)

[R]eexamine your God concept. Does your belief system limit or support your creative expansion? Are you open minded about altering your concept of God?
(p. 191)
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For this week, Cameron suggests that you record your own voice reading the Basic Principles (see Spiritual Path Week 00) and a favorite essay from her book. You might prefer to select your own favorite poem or essay from a wider library of sources. You can make several recordings of favorites or just one. Cameron's idea here is that you can use this recording for meditation.

I can't really stand the sound of my voice. so I might have a friend record some favorite poems and an essay for me instead, if I were going to do this task. If you like it, go for it.

Did you do your morning pages today?
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Some themes for Week 11 are: accepting your artist self, accepting the importance of creativity, the pitfalls of success (again, it's easy to self-sabotage after a small success; big ones have the same risk magnified), work-life balance, the usefulness of physical activity.

It's heavy on the anecdotes, but the ideas are simple. Don't discount creativity because it's not "practical;" acknowledge it as an important part of your life. This can mean accepting the risks and complications of being an artist, and it also means accepting yourself (whether or not you fit the Cameronian ideal of a creative person).

The exercise section (predictably called "The Zen of Sports") is interesting, if not always clear. The main ideas here are that creativity is an embodied action and unblocking requires moving from the "head" into the body (please feel free to ignore my compulsion to point out that the head is part of the body), and that physical activity causes us to live in and pay attention to the present as a form of meditation. She encourages her readers to run around, take long walks, go swimming, or otherwise engage the whole body. Cameron doesn't offer alternatives for people with limited mobility, but the exercise stuff seems to be operating on more or less the same principle as the "filling the well" idea, where any attention-requiring repetitive action can help replenish creative resources.

The final section describes creating an artist's altar and reiterates the idea of making tactile and sensory changes to your creative space as a way of reinforcing enthusiasm, protection, and enjoyment.

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

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Twelve-week creativity workshop!

August 2014

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