Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Casting Out and Persevering

Chapter 12 - Uncovering a Sense of Perseverance, starts with this, "We are stronger than we know." I want to ring that sentence out to each of you like a mantra or send it out on a long fishing rod through this page, so that you take it in, breathe it in. And it's not just that each of us, individually, are stronger than we realize (which we are), but also as a group. Powerful things happen in communities, whether they be in a neighborhood, a family, a workplace, a knitting group, or a gathering of creative bloggers. All of our creative energies bounce around and off one another in amazing and unseen ways which tip the dominoes of our life in wild, unexpected directions. I don't know how to explain the phenomenon of group energy, but I feel it and it's exciting. Over the last twelve weeks, the shifts for you may have been tiny or large, but they will continue to ripple out as if in a huge lake, having an effect on the road you are headed down. I remember I had that experience with The Artist's Way, I was still feeling the effects for months and months after, as I took many creative leaps. So, keep an eye out for continued shifts.

The Divining Rod that asks us to look at what has changed over the last 12 weeks in this chapter (p260) and the one in the last chapter, were really helpful for me in seeing the shifts that have taken place. Sometimes shifts are so subtle that I don't recognize them. Through asking those questions I realized my sense of color has shifted, I'm doing better at seeking out connections with others, and in trusting myself. It's good to reflect, so if you haven't already, take some time to look back and see what shifts may have happened for you.

I've been resisting writing about the final chapter as I struggle a bit with endings. I know, every ending is a beginning though, and I'm ready to launch. The last chapter is loaded with good reminders, almost a gift bag of tools for the road. We are reminded to be consistent (whether we feel like it or not), to show up (often the hardest part), to self-nurture, to find inspiration everywhere and treat ourselves to experiences that fill our well, to give ourselves credit for what we have done, give ourselves permission to make art (writing, music, food, whatever) badly, to play regularly, and to enlist the support of others in our goals and dreams.

What I've learned through this twelve weeks, is that I feel much better when I'm working at my art, when I'm taking those next small steps, one bit at a time. It sounds so simple, so obvious, but sometimes I need to be reminded. By doing morning pages, I feel a sense of accomplishment, my head is cleared and I already feel productive, self-esteem increases and I am ready to work. I've sensed something new in my art. Cameron touched on it when she wrote, "When artists are working regularly, they are spiritually centered. The act of making art is a spiritual act and our daily exposure to this realm does have an impact on our personality. It does not matter what language we use to describe it..." Sometimes I have trouble relating to the form in which Cameron speaks about this connection. I think of it as spirituality, the Universe, intuition. But she's right, it doesn't matter what you call it. I do feel more centered. And when I'm away from creating, I feel less so. That's so good for me to recognize.

If you did not finish the book, if you got stalled along the way, don't let it get you down. Focus on what you did do and give yourself credit. There's no one perfect way to do this kind of work. Sometimes it's hard to contain everything you want in a week, sometimes the timing is off. Feel free to go back to chapters and exercises that you missed. Some people in the group started a little later and haven't quite finished, so feel free to keep checking in. I've met so many wonderful people through this group and I hope to stay in touch. I plan on continuing with my morning pages, artist dates and walks and soon my journey will continue as I lead an in person group through The Artist's Way this summer at the Wish Studio! I'm so excited for this opportunity to stand in as a guide and watch as others explore and expand their own creativity. I've worked through The Artist's Way numerous times now and have also gone through Walking in this World. The good thing about these books is that they are good to return to from time to time as there are always new insights to grasp as we are always at a new place on our path. It seems I've been on this path for a very long time and I'm always learning from others and from myself.

The chapter ends with Cameron writing about how she and her friends egg eachother on. I made a goal for the week with a friend of mine who is thinking of starting her own business. Just knowing I'm going to talk about it with her this week has me energized and focused. "We cannot make art by committee," Cameron writes, "but we can enlist eachother's support. We may work alone, but we are in it together." So, in this ending which is also a beginning, I want to encourage you to use the tools that have worked for you, keep taking that next small step, and reach out to eachother. We have such an amazing group of creative women surrounding us, if we just set out in the water with our wading boots or our little rowboats and cast our rods and go fishing! I can't wait to see all that you come up with!

Much luck and love on your creative journeys.
Creative EveryDay

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Week 11: Uncovering a Sense of Discipline

Hello Everyone!

Well, we are hereby half-way through Week 11 of Finding Water. Can you believe it?!

Last night I finally got a chance to sit down and read. I usually like to read the whole chapter at the beginning of the FW week, but I must admit that even though I was late in getting around to the reading, my timing couldn't have been better. Last night I had to unplug my computer because of a thunder storm. I had been sitting at my desk all day long trying to write an essay and, well, my levels of frustrated exhaustion were getting dangerously high. I think I needed the storm. Since all of my work is on the computer, I was forced to call it quits for the night.

With my long night of work thwarted, I instead headed upstairs to the bedroom with a cup of chamomile tea and my book. I lit candles and then nestled into our freshly laundered bed. Several windows were open--just enough to let the sound of the rain and a sweet, soft breeze fill the room. If there is one thing I love, it is rain. And even more? Spring rain.

Maybe it was the perfect reading conditions or the tea or the fact that I was just so relieved to be giving my project a short break for the night--but I really enjoyed this chapter. It felt good to read. And that is one of the things that I am going to miss at the end of this Finding Water journey: the time I spend each week to simply be. I don't know about you, but there are just too many facets of my life that are attached to a goal or an end result. But I don't feel that way with Finding Water. Sure, there is a goal and hopefully there will be an end result--but, I've been approaching this book (and our group) with a different attitude. Bettering ourselves is ongoing. There is no finish line. Like many of you, I think that some chapters of the book have been better than others--but each time I sit down to read, Cameron's words remind me that whatever the state of our mind, our schedule, our situation: we must persevere.

This week's chapter, "Uncovering a Sense of Discipline," spoke with special clarity to me. I'm sure that we all have our "favorite" chapters. I think it's pretty safe to say that the chapters that speak to us the most are the ones that best reflect the issues we are facing in our lives. In this chapter, there are several places that I've underlined, not once, but twice.

These days I am attempting to piece the dangling threads of my thesis together. It has been an extremely long road, but finally I think I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have questioned and re-questioned myself a hundred-thousand times. Julia writes:

The courage to create is a courage to make something out of what we are feeling. Out of of the swirl of emotions comes some cogent form of expression. It may be a daub of paint. It may be a poem. It may be a few measures of music. Whatever it is, it is the distillate of our humane personality. We seek to express what it is that wants to be expressed through us. (232)
Whatever your art, creating from the heart takes great courage. You become vulnerable and this, at times, causes fear to rear its ugly head. I don't know about you, but fear makes me doubt myself. It makes me want to run for the hills. Starting over begins to sound like an easy solution--but, as Julia points out, even though starting over can be an option, sometimes it is more important that we try to trust. That is, after all, what perseverance is.

I think that the most important lesson that I am taking away from this week's reading is learning to trust. This is scary to me. I mean, what if everything that I am doing is crap? What if I'm just wasting my time? But better: What if everything I am doing is good? What if I just asked my ego to stand aside for a minute? What if I simply believed in myself and my project?

Of course, keeping up a constant stream of belief can be difficult (if not impossible)--and that is where discipline steps in. If I ask myself to sit down for just twenty minutes a day or an hour or whatever I can give myself--then I will move forward. It is inevitable. With forward movement comes belief and with belief comes trust. The more I trust, the more I accomplish. This is the positive cycle that I am trying to learn. And, through this book, I think it is the positive cycle that we are all trying to learn.

These days I feel like I am like the butterfly museum employee that Julia writes about in "Cycles" (240-243). I work in a quaint little garden shop and a truly magical children's bookstore. I don't make much money, but I am surrounded by beauty on a daily basis. I don't feel like I will stay at either of these jobs forever--but what these jobs offer me right now is a gentle cocoon in which to let the beauty of my own wings take shape.

We are all butterflies. And, as Julia reminds us: "Art is transformational."

On page 243 there is a Divining Rod that I invite all of you to spend some time with. Julia asks that you simply witness your own transformation. She's included a handful of questions to get you started, but don't hesitate to take it in your own direction. In sitting down to write this, I am beginning to realize just how transformative these past several months of blogging The Art of Perseverance have been. Many of the changes have been so subtle that I haven't noticed them at first. If you decide to do this divining rod on your blog, please leave a link in the comments. I think that this is an important exercise. It asks us to take a step back and acknowledge the progress we've made, even the little growth spurts and subtle changes that weren't obvious at first.

At the moment, I am looking out a window into the woods across the street. In just a matter of days my whole world has changed from brown to green. It is a welcome site. And after last night's rain my world has turned even more vibrant. As I write these words, there is a small white butterfly flitting around in the small clearing that acts as a doorway into miles of forest and trails. The sun dances on her pure white wings.

I want to be that butterfly. And, in a way, I am. I believe that we all are.

"Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark." ~Agnes de Mille


Monday, April 23, 2007

Week Ten - Safety

Week Ten. Unbelievable! At this point in the process, I'm always amazed at how quickly time does fly.

When I think of the word safety, I wonder, is that even possible? For one, there's today's world and all the dangers that lurk. And then there's just life in general, accidents happen, life is fragile, where is the sense of safety? And then as a creative person, we dont want to simply be "safe." We want to risk, and stretch, and move beyond safety into the exhilirating unknown! Right?

This past week I've been struggling with the idea of a benevolent Universe. As much as I feed on synchronicities in my own life and the life of others, as much as I can feel one day that the Universe is winking at me, on other days or even other moments, I feel like it's all a bunch of crapola. I think I'm only fooling myself into believing such nonsense. And then the following day, I'll hear such a beautiful story of synchronicity that my heart opens for the millionth time to the possibility. So, I suppose that once again, this chapter is well-timed. For, I could use a sense of this kind of safety. Not necessarily a safety from harm or from things going "wrong", but a sense of safety in the fact that I am surrounded by a net of support...support from family, friends, and yes, the Universe too. Throughout this chapter, Cameron shares stories of other artists experiencing their own version of this struggle. I feel slightly relieved in this. I feel so utterly grateful for all the good in my life right now Perhaps this is how I feel "safe", this waiting for the other shoe to drop, this too good to be true feeling. Perhaps what I desire, is to let that old belief go because it is no longer useful and open myself up to a new belief.

I do experience art as a mystery most of the time. I do feel, when I allow myself to get connected, led by my intuition in wild and unexpected ways. When I'm outside I constantly feel a sense of the sublime. I understand why Cameron suggests the walks, which in getting us outside, gives us the opportunity to connect with that feeling of being so small, that feeling of awe and wonderment. On Friday, I took a long walk and was thrilled to see my favorite trees, Magnolia trees, about to burst into flower. There was one on my street growing up and I was madly in love with it. Despite the timing for allergies, I am still so happy with the days in which the Magnolia trees bloom.

It's usually at this point in the process that I feel a sort of breaking point or a wall that I slam into. Heh, I just remembered that on my walk on Friday I nearly walked into a pole because I was walking and looking backwards at an old building that caught my eye. If you have hit that wall (or pole) in your own journey, don't give up. Even if you've had a "bad" week, brush it off and get back to it, write your pages, get out in the glorious sunshine, try those divining rods and be open to possibility. Me, I plan on opening myself up, as much as my heart can stand, letting the light in, and playing with the idea that as Rob Brezsny says, the whole world is conspiring to shower me with blessings.

How do you feel about synchronicity? What do you do when you doubt it all?

Some luscious linkage:

Article: Sharon Salzberg on Faith
Images: Stunning pictures of the Universe.
Poem: Wild Geese by Mary Oliver
Symbol: Lighthouses are known to be symbols of safety, comfort and hope.
Books: Comfortable with Uncertainty by Pema Chodron, Pronoia is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings by Rob Brezsny, The Red Book: A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark by Sera Beak.

Lots of love and creative juiciness,
Leah, Creative Everyday

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Truth and Perspective--Moving into Week 9

Lately, I've been reading a lot of Annie Dillard. It started with receiving an Advanced Copy of her forthcoming book, The Maytrees--and then progressed to a return to one of my old favorites, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Why am I writing about Annie Dillard, you ask? Frankly, I'm not sure except that her writing has been on my mind a lot. I read a chapter of her book titled "Seeing" the same night that I read Cameron's chapter "Uncovering a Sense of Truth"--and, together, they seemed to have planted similar seeds of thought.

My favorite sentence of all time is found in that particular chapter of Dillard's book and it goes: "Night was knitting over my face an eyeless mask, and I still sat transfixed." It might not seem like the most earth-shattering of sentences, but I remember the moment that I first read it. I was sitting on the porch reading by the light of the setting sun and stopped to read it again...and again...and again. The idea of night knitting over my face an eyeless mask describes the perception of dusk so perfectly--I couldn't get over it. Even now, just at the thought of it, I can almost see the darkening threads weave themselves over my eyes. In the same chapter, she writes, "there is another way of seeing that involves a letting go." And isn't that when we are able to see the most clearly--when, finally, we are able to loosen the hold and let go?

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about truth in terms of a way (or ways) of seeing. I've also been thinking that what we perceive as TRUTH is based largely upon the PERSPECTIVE from which we view our lives and ourselves. Last week Julia talked about reaching out and creating new connections. She inspired me to step outside of my comfort zone and extend myself a little further. In the process, I've met a whole handful of new people in my neighborhood including Anne, the potter; Julie, the barista; Mary, the woman with two big dogs; and Kaji, the clothes designer. Of course, working at the neighborhood garden shop has offered me an incredible opportunity for new connections, but I've still had to extend the effort. And I'm glad I did--because it has resulted in a new and profound sense of belonging.

My current truth is that I am exactly where I should be at this time in my life. I have been so busy looking at the "big picture" that I forgot how important the little details in life are--and how much both of these elements effect the another. These days it is important for me to be outside, to write, to make new connections, to be physical, and to spend my time and energy on creative endeavors. By shifting my gaze I have started to see my life (and where I am at in terms of my life's path) in a whole new way. Sure, I still have my fair share of anxieties and struggles...but lately I've been feeling a shift towards the positive. It is a welcome relief that I attribute, largely, to a change of perspective. How fitting that Week 9 should be "Uncovering a Sense of Perspective."

This week Julia Cameron reminds us that "the Grand Canyon was carved a drop at a time" and that we must have faith in both ourselves and our art. A little at a time--we need to keep on keeping on--because it adds up. This week I'm going to pretend I'm an infant Grand Canyon. I'm going to try and let go of the tight grip I've had on my future and see what happens. I have a feeling that if I just allow the weather to work its magic, beauty is a distinct possibility. Anyway, as Henry David Thoreau once said:

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."

What do you see?

with love,

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Week 8 - Uncovering a Sense of Truth

What are heavy?
sea-sand and sorrow:
What are brief?
to-day and to-morrow:
What are frail?
Spring blossoms and youth:
What are deep?
the ocean and truth.
- Christina Rossetti, Sing-Song

This week we focus on tuning up our inner compass with more gentle grounding exercises to keep us on the steady path through all those things that threaten to knock us off the balance beam. Life seems to be constantly shifting between moments of my feet steady on the bar, to nearly losing my balance and catching myself with one leg and both arms flailing in the air, to gaining my balance again, to falling off all together, to getting back up again, to walking with ease and flow, to following one shaky step with another, all in constant flux. I like grounding exercises, I need them. I need to remember to do those bits of self-care, to fall back on the sensual delights of a hot bath, a foot rub with peppermint lotion, Aveda shampoo, fresh flowers in the windowsill.

I was grateful this week to read that Cameron's mental state was a bit brighter. I found myself getting frustrated with her darker chapters as I find myself susceptible to the energies of others. I'm usually able to take in what's helpful and leave the rest, but last week, I found myself annoyed. After venting about it a bit on my own blog, I realized that my annoyance might have less to do with Cameron and more to do with myself. When I get annoyed with someone, I've found that it usually relates to something going on within me. And a little reflection on this made me realize that, at least in part, my frustrations are centered around the annoyance I feel towards myself when I get depressed. There's that harsh voice in me that says to "just snap out of it!" That part of me just wants to shake myself and believes that if only I were smarter, better, something else, I would not feel so low, so sad, so useless. I think it's a combination of things, so I continue to be aware of that harsh voice and return to those self-nurturing activities and return to my art. Art is very grounding for me.

How do you ground yourself? What do you do to take care of yourself when that harsh voice makes an appearance?

"Art is a lie which makes us realize the truth."
- Pable Picasso

This week I painted a figure. It was somewhat planned in that it was inspired by a doodle in my sketchbook, but I always allow room for change in the final product. It never comes out exactly as I expect, and I like surprises. I hadn't pictured the figure as being blue when I started, I was going to make something more monochromatic in bright sunshiney colors. I painted in some blue shadows on her and added some highlights, but she remained very blue. Every time I adjusted the colors a bit, I came back to her being blue. I had imagined her being lit up by the spring's sunshine, so I was a bit confused about why she was so icey. But then I realized that she was still blue because she hadn't thawed yet. And it helped me realize that I was in a similar state, still slightly in winter-mode, still kinda blue, trying my best to soak in the sun and thaw myself out. This is one of the things I love about art, my subconscious comes to light there, it brings out of the shadows what I might have been hiding from my conscious mind (which doesn't like to admit depression factors into things). And I felt a sense of recognition and peace there, a feeling of acceptance for where I'm at in this moment. It's ok.

I keep thinking of that movie line, "You can't handle the truth!" when I read the title of this chapter. But I believe we all can handle the truth. Sometimes, it needs to come out in a more gentle format, such as in your writing, your poems, your morning pages, your collages, your paintings, your dreams and it's ok to open up and let it in.

Wishing you a week of feeling grounded and connected! I'd love to hear the ways in which you ground yourself.

-Leah, Creative Everyday

Saturday, March 31, 2007


This week focuses on resilience. How do you stay on course when you are full of self-doubt? How do you pick yourself up after a rejection? Are you able to see the silver lining?

I experienced a rejection this week. I might have taken it harder in the past, but I had this feeling that it just wasn't meant to be. I trusted, without knowing why, that something better would come along and amazingly enough, it did. Other times, I've felt completely rocked by a rejection. I have trouble shaking it off and I'll just stop working. That next small thing that Cameron talks about is helpful. And finding some way to get playful is also helpful for me. How do you find the strength to pick yourself up and get back to it?

Some resiliency linkage:
Books: Expecting Adam by Martha Beck (great book), The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (haven't read this one, but I've heard good things), The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo (love this one.)
Art: Sacred Resilience by Cheryl Tamborello, the mixed media art of Miranda Lake.
Symbol: In China, plum blossoms (that survive harsh cold) and bamboo (that bend in the wind without breaking) are seen as symbols of resilience.
Movie: Frida (one of my favorites. I love her art too.)

Keep on keepin on,
Leah, Creative Every Day

Saturday, March 24, 2007

shared beauty.

I thought it might be nice to begin Week 6 with a little bit of beauty.

What sorts of beauty have you savored today?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Autonomy. I'm embarrassed to say that "autonomy" is a word that I recognize, but always forget the meaning of. Why is that? Why is the word "autonomy" such a slippery little fish in my mental vocabulary? It's not even that difficult of a word and, well, having an English degree under my belt I often feel obligated to know the meaning of most words under four syllables (ha!)--and so it probably isn't very surprising that next to this week's chapter heading I wrote a note to myself in the margin saying: "Look up this word!"

Just in case there's anyone else out there sharing a similar mental glitch over the word "autonomy," I thought I would share this little bit o' knowledge:

au·ton·o·my {noun}
from dictionary.com:

1.independence or freedom, as of the will or one's actions: the autonomy of the individual.
2.the condition of being autonomous; self-government, or the right of self-government; independence: The rebels demanded autonomy from Spain.
3.a self-governing community.

Or my favorite definition from Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary:
  1. the quality or state of being independent, free, and self-directing
  2. independence from the organism as a whole in the capacity of a part for growth, reactivity, or responsiveness
1623, from Gk. autonomia, noun of quality from autonomos "independent, living by one's own laws," from auto- "self" (comb. form) + nomos "custom, law." Autonomous is recorded from 1800 (from etymology.com).

It's one thing to know the definition of autonomy--but it's another thing entirely, to understand it.

In many ways, Week 5 is about finding our "true north." What are we grateful for? What do we love most? Julia writes that "freedom is disorienting" and that "so much of being sane and happy begins with the doing of things that are sane and happy" (133). Knowing what we are grateful for is what helps us keep our lives in perspective. Knowing what we love, and seeking those things out, can often be the antidote to an otherwise fuglie day. Doing this week's Divining Rods, I have begun to notice that gratitude and love are often made up of the same things and that getting out of the crumb-dumbs often requires little more than partaking in a loving action towards one's self. Why is that sometimes so hard to remember?

For me, going back to the basics means putting on comfortable clothes, taking my wolfie for a walk, and then sitting down with a good cup of coffee and getting to work. But it also means giving my fears a rest and offering myself a chance to just breath (this is the part I am still working on). I feel best when I am writing or creating something that, in some way, authenticates my true and autonomous Self. However, sitting down to write or taking time to paint is only part of it. My whole day (my entire existence) is made up of small actions--each leading up to the next.

One small action that I've started to take towards a more autonomous Self is stopping to do nothing. This is a very hard thing for me to do, but it is something that is having a profoundly positive impact on my attitude and perspective. Every day I walk out in the woods with my dog. It has become a habit. But, recently, I have started to include the habit of stopping to sit on a bench, a bridge, a log, a swing set...and do nothing but quietly observe and breathe. My dog doesn't know what to make of this non-action, but eventually she settles in next to me and we content ourselves with watching the antics of a squirrel or the passing of a cloud. Sometimes I sit there for 10 minutes, sometimes only for 1 or 2 or 3. But, for me, the length of time doesn't matter so much as the act of doing nothing--even if only for a moment.

In Week 5, Julia Cameron includes a quote by The Talmud:
"We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are."

For some reason, these words speak deeply to me. In the end, how I experience the world is largely up to me. In "Focusing on the Positive," Cameron writes that, for her, God lives in the tapping of her typewriter keys or in stacks of snowy white paper or cleaning supplies or the joyous leaps of a young dog. She writes, "God lives in the details, the concrete, the knowable facts of your life" (130). If "God" is a difficult word for you, consider substituting with whatever word does work for you. My point is that uncovering a sense of autonomy means to find ways of locating a sense of independence, enjoying a heightened level of artistic freedom, and benefiting from self-directed growth. I think it's safe to say that becoming autonomous is a process.

As Mahatma Gandhi once said:
"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."

Things I've been thinking about this week:
  • What brings you peace?
  • Where does God live for you?
  • What do you love?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • How do you escape the dull-drum fuglies?
  • What part of your life and yourSelf could use a little more compassion?
  • Where does your "true North" point to?

What is your definition of autonomy?

Feel free to share your thoughts.

Peace and happiness to you on this (yes, for real!) SPRING day,

Friday, March 16, 2007

Week 4 Into Week 5

Wow, week 4 really flew by for me. So, what have we all been up to? Well, we have been:
Stretching, Getting excellent Self-Care, Finding Joy, Remembering our own Value, Reveling in Excitement, Noticing the details, Finding beauty, Recognizing our accomplishments, Encouraging ourselves, Naming our critics, and so much more. I'm really thrilled to be part of such an amazing group. You are all such brave, talented, fascinating, creative souls (and yes, that means you!) So, my deepest gratitude for all you've shared, the support you've doled out, the risks and baby steps you've taken. Remember to celebrate what you have done instead of beating yourself up for what you didn't!

This week we worked on a sense of balance. I did find a bit more balance in my life this week as I've been incorporating some art into each day and I also managed to do some walking and some yoga. Once again, this week's theme, Uncovering a Sense of Autonomy, seems to have such serendipitous timing. It just so happens that Wednesday is my last day at a job I've been at for 6 years. I'm about to undergo a major career shift, one that requires a lot of self-discipline and self-direction (something that doesn't come easy to me.) There are things that make it easier, such as knowing what works for me and what doesn't. Learning what works for us and doesn't is so important. For me, that takes some time to figure out, so I want to pass on a couple of things I've learned doing Cameron's books, in the hopes that it will help you find what works best for you. I've tried it both ways, reading the chapter over the course of the week and reading the whole thing the first day and I've found that it's better for me to finish the chapter early, so that I can process the information and work with it throughout the week. If I don't have time to read the new chapter during the weekend, then I at least like to read the divining rods. Some of them take a little planning, so it's good to know what they are ahead of time.

Doing this work in such a big group, it can be hard to keep up with what everyone else is up to. After the first week or so, I decided to make a bloglines folder for all the Finding Water blogs. This way I knew when people had updated and I wasn't wasting my time, clicking on all the blogs when maybe only a couple had a new post. (I heart bloglines.) It takes some time to set up, but once that's done it makes life much easier. While I'm speaking about the blogroll, Jessie and I have removed a few people who have said they can not continue with the book for various reasons and some who it seemed were not participating. If we have taken your blog off and you are still participating, please say so and we'll add you back immediately! Or if you are on the list and know you are not continuing with the group, feel free to comment or email and we'll take you off the list. I figure it's easier to remove links of blogs who aren't doing the book, so there will be fewer blogs to check in on! I'm not upset if people are not continuing on with the group, I believe Jessie said that this was to be expected in her initial post. This book won't be for everyone and for some the timing will be all wrong. That's ok. For those of us that are getting something out of it and are struggling a bit, hang in there, keep trying, don't give up. You will get out of this process what you put into it, whether that's a little or a lot, it's all good. I've enjoyed seeing the connections made, making new connections, and being inspired by all of you.

I think this process, particularly the artist's dates and morning pages are about building self-integrity. You are committing to treating yourself as the beautiful, creative soul you are and from that space, it's so much easier to bloom. It's snowing here in Massachusetts, big wet flakes, but my art is all about spring this week. I think it has to do with the growth I'm feeling under the surface of my own skin and all around me, in you. Remember to take especially good care of yourself!

Creative Every Day

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

finding balance...and a few side-notes

Whew! First of all I want to apologize for my absence from the Finding Water blogosphere. Where has time run off to? Lately, I've been playing a game of catch-up in my personal life and, in the process, seemed to have accrued a growing dose of guilt for not touching base with all of you.

Luckily, Week 4 is about "Uncovering a Sense of Balance." I can't help but agree (whole-heartedly!) with Leah that this week's focus on faith, simplicity, and forward movement comes with perfect timing. Sometimes I find myself wondering if Julia Cameron is reading my mind, or if we're just that predictable! I don't know and I don't care--because, either way, I'm left feeling a little bit amazed!

I also want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you for participating in Finding Water. We have grown into a very large and very wonderful group! I feel a powerful sense of support radiating out of this community of creative thinkers and, even though I've yet to figure out a way to keep up with everyone on a regular basis, I am so incredibly grateful for all of you!

An image that struck a chord with me from this week's reading was one of a fruit tree. Julia Cameron writes:

We are creations and we are intended, in turn, to be creative ourselves. Like the fruit trees, we are intended to blossom. The trees put forth their froth whether there will be admiring eyes or not. So, too, we are intended to flower in our art even if our art does not meet with a welcoming reception. We must make art for the sheer sake of making art. That is being true to our nature. That is being true to our path. (107)
I like to think of us as a forest of fruit trees. I like to imagine all of our roots and our branches overlapping, gently touching as we grow higher into the sky and deeper into the earth. In this way we become a network of growth and inspiration for one another. We are each connected to the next, simply by being true to our own inherent nature.

And so, thank you for that. From my heart, thank you.

* * *

A note on adding new Finding Water participants:

Now that we have entered Week 4, we will no longer be adding new participants to the blogroll. Why? Well, mostly because we feel that by beginning this late in the game it would be too hard for new individuals to catch up with the rest of the group. Anyway, rushing through it is only doing a disservice to yourself. There is something to be said for experiencing all 12 weeks of Finding Water in their entirety. Each week's experiences build upon the next--and between the readings, morning pages, artist's dates, walks, and unexpected synchronicity, you just never know what you might discover!

If you have just now stumbled upon this community of bloggers and hope to embark on the Finding Water journey, by all means, we invite you to do so! We won't be adding more participants to the blogroll, but if helps you to read posts here, visit other Finding Water blogs, or begin blogging your own experience, you are more than welcome to do so! You might be surprised by how much it helps to read about the experiences of others--even if that means digging through a few archives of fellow Finding Water participants. We are a community of creative thinkers who are blogging The Art of Perseverance; we're a circle of support, but our circle is not closed. Although we won't be adding any more people to the blogroll, please, feel free to stop by for inspiration any time.

If you've left a comment prior to this post then, yes, you should have been added. However, if anyone has already asked to be added to the list and you don't see your name, PLEASE let me know and I will add you! I've been doing my best to keep it all organized but I'm afraid that, with this many people, I'm bound to have missed someone!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Encouragement for the Road

Peering around the nooks and crannies of the Finding Water group this week, I noticed that some of us are struggling a little bit. Me too! This is actually quite normal. If you're like me, you start up a project all gung-ho and then a little time passes and it's not new anymore and it takes some extra motivation to do the work. Here's the thing, it's easy to give up. But here in this uneasy space is where you build your self-trust by following through with the commitment you made to yourself at the beginning of this journey. It's fine to fall, we all do from time to time, but we can get up and we feel better when we do. It's worth it. If you feel guilty over what you haven't done, let that go and give yourself credit for what you have done and then get back to it. I know beating myself up can sometimes freeze me in place. There's no need for that. We're all human beings here, perfectly imperfect beings. I'm sending loads of love out to each of you. I've been so inspired by the creative souls in this group. Be sure to keep checkin' in on your fellow FW-ers. I bet you will be inspired by the stories you read.

This week's "Uncovering a Sense of Balance" feels perfectly timed as I'm feeling the need for some balance along with a greater sense of the big picture. It's easy for me to get caught up in the details of the big changes happening in my life. I want to take a big step back and take it one day at a time. As Julia Cameron says, "Easy does it." Part of this finding balance piece for me will be to infuse more art-making into my everyday. I know that the mood I'm in doesn't matter, but I've been letting it. This daily art doesn't always have to be something "finished", something to post, or even something good, just something where I'm moving my hand across the blank paper/canvas. Just a half hour per day. I'm taking that "Diving Rod" on page 85 to heart. I am willing to make art in the time that I have. Even though I haven't finished this full time job, there's no need to wait. So, even though I felt like I had a rough week, this is a big step for me. Thinking about this gives me a better feeling about my week. Perhaps, if you look back, you will see the steps (even if they are baby steps) you have taken. Don't discount them! Celebrate what you did accomplish instead of stressing over what you didn't.

You are doing beautifully, we all are, in our own perfectly imperfect way.

-Leah (Creative Every Day)

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Week 3: Believing Mirrors

I wasn't too excited about the title of this chapter, "Uncovering a Sense of Support," when I saw it a couple weeks ago. I am a bit of a loner. I've never thought to blame it on my artistic sensibilities, I'm simply on the introverted end of the spectrum and need a lot of quiet time in order to function well. There's that and there's the part of me that wants to "do it myself." I have always had trouble asking for help, showing my vulnerabilities, showing that I'm struggling. I came face to face with this when my depression hit an all time low about 6 years ago. The silver lining in that rock-bottom-hitting experience was that I was forced to ask for help or give up all together. I chose to ask for help. And then I wondered why I'd waited so long. The support I received from family and friends was wonderful and it lifted me up in a way that was a huge revelation. I didn't have to face life alone. Yes, it's great to be able to take care of yourself, to know that you can depend on yourself when the going gets tough. But life is so much richer with people to share it with, to share both the successes and the failures. I've worked hard since then to ask for help when I need it, it's still a bit of a struggle, but when I forget, life usually reminds me (with a kick in the ass) how important it is to reach out (and how worthwhile.)

Blogging has also showed me how vital support can be. When I was recovering from the criticisms of past teachers and dipping my toes into the waters of making art again, the support of fellow bloggers was *huge* in encouraging me to keep going. Hearing from people who weren't family or long-time friends, cheering me on, gave me the push I needed to keep going with what was coming from my heart and be unafraid if it wasn't what I thought "real art" was supposed to look like. I don't know if I would have come so far without the support I found here in the blogging world and later in my first (in person) Artist's Way group. It was with this support, I found the courage to seek out places to show my art and have my first art shows in alternative spaces about 4 years ago.

I have continued to find great support and community through other groups online and in my day-to-day life. I still have trouble reaching out, showing my vulnerabilities, asking for help, but I work at it because it's important to my well-being and it often leads to wonderful, unexpected places. Julia Cameron calls these supportive people in your life, Believing Mirrors. They reflect back to you the beautiful being that you are when you are unable to see it yourself. Through their own beauty they inspire and speak the words you were thinking, but hadn't formed yet. And you in turn, without hardly any effort, will reflect the amazing creative beings that they are. And this just multiplies in a group. I agree with Cameron when she says that "creativity occurs in clusters." And here we are, a lovely cluster of believing mirrors. Feel free to ask for support if you need it and reflect back to others the creativity that you see.

I have seen some wonderful things happening in our group this week. Exciting leaps, small steps forward, and wonderful new adventures. I love to see the risks being taken, the support that lifts up a talented person who has been doubting themself, and all the small steps that move us forward day to day and add up to something great. Keep doing the work, remember to take care of yourself (remember you agreed to take excellent care of yourself these 12 weeks!), ask for support when you need it, and send some support out. I'm sending loads of love out to all you, sparkling creative souls. Thank you for being along on this journey with me!

-Leah (Creative Every Day)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Artist's Dates

Welcome to week 2! Jessie has written a wonderful post about the week ahead along with some gentle encouragement. I don't have much to add, but Melba has asked for some inspiration for her Artist's Dates, so I decided to tackle that topic.

This group has grown large!! It's wonderful and inspiring, however, it also means that it takes a lot of time to visit everyone's blog in a day (which would be very hard to keep up with on a daily basis and get anything done!) Jessie and I decided from the start that we wouldn't let this overwhelm us, so I want to ask for your help. Not that you really need to be asked, I've seen already that you have been visiting the other blogs in this group and leaving supportive comments. That's awesome! We *all* need encouragement and support. So, if you have time, I ask that you pick a few blogs (perhaps ones you've never been to before?) and stop in for a visit. Leave some encouraging words if you are inspired to do so, but it's not required. I think just being a witness is very powerful. Do this when you can; the circle of support we've formed in this group is a huge part of what will keep us on track through the next twelve weeks.

Ok, I got off topic there a little bit, but that just popped into my head because I just clicked through every blog in this beautiful group of creative souls, looking for artist's date inspiration and these aren't all of them, but here are some great places to start looking for ideas!

I'd love to hear YOUR ideas! Put a link to a post about your artist date here in the comments (when you do yours this week or about last week's date or future dates) or just leave a comment with artist date ideas. I'm going to put an older post here that I wrote for the Artist's Way group last year because it was helpful for me to re-read and it has a bunch of artist date ideas. I hope it's helpful for you too! At the end there are ideas for ad's when you can't leave your house. This can be particularly helpful if you have small children (or you're snowed in or sick) and really can't get out alone. So, any other ideas for at home artist's dates would be great! One of my favorite artist dates to do it home is to have an art picnic, which I wrote about for CaC and I know some of you have tried and enjoyed. Whatever you do, have fun. Invite your creative spirit to play!


One of the basic tools in The Artist's Way is the Arist's Date (I may refer to artist dates as ads and morning pages as mps.) For some this is no big thing, in fact it may sound wonderful!...What? I get to go out by myself and do something fun? Sweet!!...For others, it's scarier...Go out by myself? How boring. or What will people think of me? or What the heck will I do? or I really don't have the time. Either way, the ads are a wonderful way to get to know your creative self better. That part of you deserves a treat, take yourself out as if you were a hot date. ;-)

What constitutes an Artist's Date? Well, it has to be done alone. You can't take your hubby, your mom, your friends. As for what you do on your date, well, sky's the limit. I recommend being playful, being adventurous and daring and creative, listen to that small voice inside you, ask it what it would most like to do, what sounds like fun? If it helps, schedule your date in advance and write in on your calendar, so you won't forget.

Sure, you could do something artsy, like go to a gallery or a museum (many museums have a free night, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is free from 4-9:45 every Wednesday night. You can often get museum passes at your local library. Galleries are also free and a fun way to see a variety of art.) But you don't need to do something that you "think" is what a creative outing should be. One of my favorite ads was a trip to a local greehouse. I spent about 45 minutes just wandering through the lush greenness, taking in the smells, giggling at the ancient bonsais, admiring the orchids. In the end I walked away with a sad little plant from the clearance area. Turns out it was a prayer plant, very cool synchronicity I thought. Your ads don't need to be expensive, I think almost all of mine were free.

Julia talks about Artist's Dates as being a way to fill your creative well, or stocking the pond. And it's interesting how effective this can be. Plus it's a fabulous self-nurturing tool that everyone could use a little more of.

Need some ideas? How bout: going to a flea market, browsing through gorgeous fabrics at a fabric store, going to a dollar store and buying something silly, going to a stationary store to pick out stickers to decorate your journal with, people watching, take your camera on a walk, take a bubble bath with candles and no reading material, draw in a coloring book, go to a bead store, check out the walking trails around your area and pick a new one to check out, make a chalk drawing outside your home or in a public place...maybe write an inspiring quote, go to a poetry reading, try a new restaurant, see an independent film. The idea is to think about what intrigues you, what fascinates you, and then go explore! What if you're stuck at home? Well, a bath is one of my favorite ways to have a date without leaving the house. But you can get creative with it, look through old photos, go on a treasure hunt in your attic, paint your toenails different colors. Play, explore, get silly, amuse yourself, stock your pond, have fun!

So you see, imagination needs moodling--long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling, and puttering. -Brenda Ueland

Week 2: Uncovering a Sense of Reality.

I love the way Julia Cameron begins each section of this book with a weather report. I've always liked this about her writing--and I'm attracted to it because it offers me a sense of "place." This week's chapter begins: "A fierce wind rattles the windows. The sky is a glowering gray."

It seems that nothing can be trusted this time of year--and maybe even more so when you start reading one of Cameron's books! Already, things are shifting and changing--both internally and externally. Outside my own windows the wind rages. There is a winter storm warning in effect and I have been waiting for it to hit all day. This afternoon, I even started a fire in the fireplace to welcome the 15-18 inches of snow that have been forecasted for our area. And, although the fire was nice, I am still waiting impatiently for the weather to do her thing. I want to get snowed in. I want the world outside to become a little bit more quiet so that I might hunker down and continue this interior exploration.

I don't know about the rest of you, but this past week felt slightly larger than life. The time went by quickly but, looking back, it feels like last Saturday was an eon ago. I am amazed by what a single week can hold. The first week, for me, was something of a roller coaster ride. It was mostly good, but contained a few rough patches as well. Or maybe it was the other way around? In the end, I guess it doesn't matter--because right now I am simply grateful to be moving forward.

Week 1 was about being a beginner; it was about encouragement, focus, grounding, and making room for possibilities. Mostly, it was about taking that first step--and (for me) that was the most important action of all. Cameron writes: "As artists, we must learn to try. We must learn to act affirmatively. We must learn to act as though spring is at hand--because it is." And when she says this, I believe her. Even though there is a storm on its way, I know that soon enough the snow will melt and warmer weather will return. Despite any struggles I might have had, this week felt good because it reminded me of the potential I am capable of when I have trust in the Universe. I think this happened somewhere between a shift in my work situation on Tuesday and my first Artist's Date on Wednesday. It dawned on me that I am capable of more than I sometimes give myself credit for and that the solution is often as simple as #1) giving myself a break and #2) being honest about what I really want.

I haven't been able to keep up with all of your blogs as much as I wish I could, but from what I've read so far it seems as though I'm not the only one undergoing this peculiar transformation. It's a bit confusing--like the weather. But it's also exciting and scary and downright amazing! Morning Pages alone feel a little bit like opening Pandora's Box! In my life and in my writing, I feel like I have just taken a giant leap. My arms are flailing and my legs kicking. I have no idea where or how I'm going to land--but, I admit, I'm enjoying the feeling of flying. In many ways, this week has taught me to loosen the reigns in some areas of my life and to take action in others.

Ok...so if this was Week 1, what is Week 2 going to do to me?! If Week 1 was rough on you, I hope you'll continue anyway. Maybe you missed some morning pages or didn't go for a walk or maybe you even stood yourself up for your first Artist's Date. Well, I'm going to suggest that you forgive yourself right now. Anyway, this is no time to expect perfection.

Week 2 is about facing, not only imagined barriers, but real ones, too. While Week 1 might have sent some of us flying, Week 2 is about becoming more grounded and farseeing. It's also about letting go of perfectionism, seeking out support, and teaching ourselves how to take action.

Here's to continuing on this strange journey...

Now show me some snow!


An artist is someone who turns his coat inside out and falls in love with the color of the lining. ~Jeanne Tardiveau

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Buttons, anyone?

If you are participating in Finding Water and would like to display a button...well, it's your lucky day because we have TWO to choose from!

This little beauty was created by the amazing Leah!


And this peaceful looking masterpiece was created by the fantabulous Krista!

If you need instructions on how to add a button to your template...
  • Leah wrote a brief tutorial here.
  • And (the very gracious) Olivia, from happyluau, wrote a Blogger-specific tutorial here.

Please give these ladies a round of applause. They are much more computer savvy than I!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Diving In

I haven't made a peep here yet, waiting patiently for the first day and here it is! It seemed so far away when Jessie and I first picked this date, one she suggested and I was particularly drawn to because 17 is my lucky number. Last year, I helped facilitate a group of about 100 bloggers through the Artist's Way and it was a wonderful experience. This feels so very different because I'm going through this book for the first time along with everyone, which is wonderful and exciting. Once again, I am so thrilled to be part of such an amazing group. If you haven't already, be sure to check in with all the blogs of the incredibly creative women we have riding along this journey with us. I'm am awed and honored to be a part of such a powerful group. Powerful things happen in groups, the energy is swirling, so very exciting.

Having done the Artist's Way multiple times and worked through Cameron's other books, clearly I believe in this process. And this particular book came at such a wonderful time. I'll be writing more about my process on my blog, but I wanted to leave a few tips for my fellow travelers as we step across the threshold.

The first time I did the Artist's Way I did it alone. I didn't do all the exercises, I only made it through 10 out of the 12 weeks, and I definitely didn't take all the artist's dates. Yet, I still got something out of it. It was sort of like dipping my toes in the water, I wasn't quite ready and I wasn't in the right place in my life to dive in. It was still wonderful and the work helped me through a particularly rough spot in my life. Years later, I did the book again with a group of 5 women and I was so ready, I dove in head first. All 5 women approached the book differently and got different things from it. Working through the book had a profound effect on me that time around, I really committed to the process and the effects rippled out over the next couple years of my life, opening doors and pushing me to make changes that were huge in my life. I'm forever grateful. So, I want to say, yes, work through the book in a way that feels best for you, no matter what way you approach it, you will benefit, but I also want to encourage you, if you can, do dive in head first. Doing the work in a group is amazing, yes, in fact I credit the support of the small group I was in to keeping me on the path, but the biggest benefits are reaped from the work you put into it. It's worth it, really. (And I'm just realizing all the water analogies I'm putting in here. Heh.)

So, what do I mean by diving in exactly? I mean, do those morning pages! A lot of people, myself included struggle with these. They can seem meaningless and time-consuming and a sure fire way to cramp up your hand, but they do powerful things, so do give them a try. Do your artist's dates. They don't have to be elaborate outings, they could be something as simple as a candle-lit bath once a week, a trip to the library, a stop into a gardening supply shop just to browse or stopping into the coffee and tea shop to smell the teas. Just a half hour alone to carve out for yourself. I know many of you have young children, so don't beat yourself up if you can't do this, but I think it would be lovely to shoot for this small amount of time with your creative self, once a week for the next 12 weeks. And the walks, I totally struggle with this one, especially in this nasty weather in the northeast, but I'm going to go for it. Keep an open mind and an open heart. The author isn't perfect, you may not agree with everything she says, but I assure you, that there is a lot of good here.

One of the most powerful parts of doing this work in a group is feeling a sense of connection to others, to feeling like you're not alone on your journey, and the sense of feeling heard. I want to reiterate what Jessie said about not trying to fix anyone when/if you leave a comment on their blog. My group facilitator encouraged us to speak to what resonated with us when another person spoke instead of giving advice. Sometimes, just knowing that someone is listening is much more powerful than any advice you could give.

If you haven't already, read Jessie's post for today, it's beautifully written and says so much. Thank you for taking this leap of faith, beautiful things await.

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:

Whatever you can do,
Or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius,
Power and magic in it.

-W.H. Murray

Leah, Creative Every Day

p.s. Here's an icon you can use on your page to link to this blog if you'd like!

new beginnings!

Finally! Week 1: Uncovering a Sense of Optimism.

I've spent the past week slowly reading "The Basics" and "Week 1: Uncovering a Sense of Optimism." And well...let me just say that I am looking forward to this! For the past several weeks I have been thinking about and preparing myself for the extra time I will need for things like morning pages and artist's dates and long walks. Since I already have a lot on my plate right now, I have (quite a few times!) doubted my sanity in taking on another commitment, let alone one that is 12 weeks long! But, the more I read of Cameron's book, the more I look forward to whatever this experience might have in store for me. Intuition tells me that this might be just the thing that helps me to accomplish the things I've already set out to do.

I suppose we have all had our share of doubt and excitement when thinking about the creative journey we are about to embark on. We are a community of fellow bloggers, together, adventuring into the creative unknown. Seek one another out for support, but don't be afraid to make this journey your own. There is no set method and no rigid rules. But, in case you are looking for some direction, here are some of the (abridged) guidelines, offered by Julia Cameron:
  • Do your Morning Pages and Artist's Dates.
  • Do not share you Morning Pages with anyone else.
  • Do not reread your Morning Pages until later in the course.
  • As a group, each person is equally a part of the collective, no one more than another. This is dialectic rather than a monologue--an egalitarian group process rather than a hierarchical one.
  • Listen. We each get what we need from the group process by sharing our own material and listening to others. We don't need to comment on another person's sharing in order to help that person. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so, but refrain from trying to "fix" someone else.
  • Respect one another. Each person must be able to speak her or his own wounds and dreams. This is a deep and powerful internal process. There is no one right way to do this. Love is important. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to one another.
  • Expect change in the group makeup. Many people will--some will not--fulfill the twelve-week process.
  • Be autonomous. You cannot control your own process, let alone anyone else's. Know that you will feel rebellious occasionally--that you won't want to do all of your Morning Pages and exercises at times in the twelve weeks. Relapse is okay. You cannot do this process perfectly, so relax, be kind to yourself, and hold onto your hat. Even when you feel nothing is happening, you will be changing at great velocity. This change is deepening into your own intuition, your own creative self. The structure of the course is about safely getting across the bridge into new realms of creative spiritual awareness.
  • Be self-loving. Continually seek your own inner guidance rather than outer guidance. You are seeking to form an artist-to-artist relationship with the Great Creator. You have your own answers within you.
The complete version of this can be found in the "Creative Cluster Guide" at the back of the book (pages 272-276).

Cameron writes: "Creativity is like breathing--pointers may help, but we do the process ourselves. Creative clusters [like this one], where we gather as peers to develop our strength, are best regarded as tribal gatherings, where creative beings raise, celebrate, and actualize the creative power which runs through us all."

In the end, do what feels most comfortable to you. The content and quantity of what you share on your blog is up to your discretion. And so...

Here's to new beginnings!
I wish you the best!


If you have not been added to the Blogroll yet, but would like to be, please leave a comment including your blog title and URL. If I've accidently left anyone out that has already left a comment, please let me know so that I can add you! Anyone is welcome to join in.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Sense of Community.

Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but
ripening like a tree, which doesn't force its sap, and stands
confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that
afterwards summer may not come.

~Rainer Maria Rilke

This blog has been created as a space to gather; it's a meeting place of sorts...a place to find and connect with others who are blogging their thoughts and feelings, struggles and revelations, ideas and inspirations as we journey together through the pages of Finding Water: the Art of Perseverance.

As an online community, we will begin on
Saturday, February 17th, 2007

Finding Water is a 12-week commitment. Please feel free to read the "Prologue" and "The Basics" as soon as you want (pages 1-29)...and hey, while you're at it, you might even want to go ahead and find a journal or notebook for your morning pages. We'll start "Week 1: Uncovering a Sense of Optimism" on Saturday, Feb. 17th.

If you would like to have your name added to our list, please leave the title of your blog along with your URL (blog address) in the comment section. We'll update the blogroll on a regular basis until things get underway.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm really looking forward to this! Although Leah and I will do most of our reflecting on our own blogs, this space will serve as a common ground for the Finding Water Blogroll (and maybe even a sundry mix of haphazard thoughts and announcements).

From the dust jacket:
Finding Water completes Julia Cameron’s bestselling trilogy on the creative process—beginning with The Artist’s Way and Walking in This World—to offer guidance on weathering the periods in an artist’s life when inspiration appears to have run dry. This book offers advice and wisdom about tackling the greatest challenges you may face, such as:
  • making the decision to begin a new project;
  • persevering when a new approach to your art does not bear immediate fruit;
  • staying focused when other parts of your life threaten to distract you from your art; and
  • spotting possibilities for artistic inspiration in the most unlikely places.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Welcome to our new blog--a place for bloggers to connect as we journey together through Julia Cameron's new book, Finding Water: the Art of Perseverance.