Thursday, March 21, 2013

Recovering a Sense of Identity

The following is a direct quote from the book The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.
"There is a recognizable ebb and flow to the process of recovering our creative selves. As we gain strength, we will some of the attacks of self-doubt. This is normal, and we can deal with these stronger attacks when we see them as a symptoms of recovery. Your artist, like a small child, is happiest when feeling a sense of security. We could wonder and worry about our arrogance instead of being humble enough to ask help to move through our fear. We could fantasize about art instead of doing the work. By not asking the Great Creator's help with our creativity, and by not seeing the Great Creator's hand in our creativity, we could proceed to righteously ignore our creativity and never have to take the risks of fulfilling it. Your blocked friends may still be indulging in all these comforting self-delusions." (pgs. 41-43)

These portions only provide a glimpse into the deep inner, spiritual connection working through our blocks can do for us as people, as artists, and as creative individuals. These words remind me of Romans 12:3 which says, "For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith."

A few last words from the book: "More than anything else, creative recovery is an exercise in open-mindedness. Attention is a way to connect and survive. Survival lies in sanity, and sanity lies in paying attention. The reward for attention is always healing."

Rules of the Road
In order to be an artist, I must:
     1. Show up at the page (or canvas). Use the page (canvas) to rest, to dream, to try.
     2. Fill the well by caring for my artist.
     3. Set small and gentle goals and meet them.
     4. Pray for guidance, courage, and humility.
     5. Remember that it is far harder and more painful to be a blocked artist than it is to do the work.
     6. Be alert, always, for the presence of the Great Creator leading and helping my artist.
     7. Choose companions who encourage me to do the work, not just talk about doing the work or why I am not doing the work.
     8. Remember that the Great Creator loves creativity.
     9. Remember that it is my job to do the work, not judge the work.
     10. Place this sin in my workplace: Great Creator, I will take care of the quantity. You take care of the quality.

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