Q: One of the central themes of The Artist Way is the link between creativity and spirituality. How are they connected?
A: Creativity is a spiritual force. Because creation is always an act of faith, and faith is a spiritual issue, so is creativity. As we strive for our highest selves, our spiritual selves, we cannot help but be more aware, more proactive, and more creative.
Q: Tell me more about the two central exercises in the book--the morning pages and the artist dates.
A: The morning pages are three pages of stream-of-consciousness longhand morning writing. You should think of them not as "art" but as an active form of meditation for Westerners. In the morning pages we declare to the world--and ourselves--what we like, what we dislike what we wish, what we hope, what we regret, and what we plan.
By contrast, the artist dates are times for receptivity, pre-planned solitary hours of pleasurable activity aimed at nurturing the creative consciousness. Used together, these tools build, in effect, a radio set. The morning pages notify and clarity--they send signals into the verdant void; and the solitude of the artist dates allows for the answer to be received.
The morning pages and the artist dates must be experienced in order to be explained, just as reading a book about jogging is not the same as putting on your Nikes and heading out to the running tract. Map is not territory, and without reference points from within your own experience, you cannot extrapolate what the morning pages and artist dates can do for you.
Work in ProgressLet's hit the running track now with your morning pages and artist dates, once a week, if possible. If you write each morning just what you're thinking, how you feel, what you're stressed about, etc., eventually you will reach inward deeper and reveal some hidden truths within you that are buried. I look forward to the journey together. This is a personal journey, but we'll share some, too. I plan on holding a Paint-Out with women in my area in March, so let me know if you're up to the challenge! Don't worry, I'll walk you through each step of the painting and you'll walk away with a "masterpiece."
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