Saturday, February 17, 2007

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.


acumamakiki said...

Thank you for the words of wisdom. I have been asking myself why I joined, especially when I haven't been creative in years, my supplies sit with dust and in cupboards and I have no 'projects' in front of me. This is probably exactly why I SHOULD be doing this for myself, to find that creative spirit again. I'm scared and excited, a good place to be.

tammy vitale said...

Hi Jessie - I left a note, but here's another. I want to be listed! thanks!

martha said...

I am here tentatively. I am here. I am feeling overwhelmed and hope I can "keep up" maybe this is why I want to do this work, so that I can be more in the stream and less fighting against it. I need to move some habits around to do morning pages and I need to figure out how to do them in a way that makes me want to do them. I have so much resistance....feels like moving mountains-but isnt that what water does?

melba said...

I am excited for this process.

When dooing the Artist Way last year I got defensive over the 12 weeks because I felt that Julia assumes everyone has all this free time. As a Mother of two young children I felt...I don't know what the right word is...but I felt like some things she was asking were unrealistic for me. My crativity is VERY important to me, but my children come first. They are young, their need is great.

I am still dedicated to Finding Water, but this time around I am giving myself permission to tailor the exercises to our schedule AND not feel guilty when I have to make adjustments.

I would love to know if there are other Mother's of young children doing this along with us?

I would love to come up with creative solutions together!


Anonymous said...

Hi Melba, I think you will find that you are not alone at all. I am a mother to four and I know quit a few others here have small children.
Without a doubt you should tailor your needs to meet your comfort level. There should be no guilt in creating and loving art. Just fun and exciting new adventures. If you ever want to chat, just ask Amber (believing soul) for my email.

Dianne Mayne Forche said...

It took me an hour to read the first 30 pages (Basics) last night before going to sleep(slow reader here). Today I will start the first chapter and am already excited and inspired to moving forward. I think whatever time we can dedicate to this will be a benefit and making it a fun adventure.

suzie q said...

I'm here, too. Apprehensively! Martha, it sounds as though we're fighting the same battles here.. I do hope we'll be swimming calmly in 12 weeks' time! :)
I'm feeling better already for knowing that I'm not the only one feeling resistance here!

bella said...

Here I am! I'm journaling this book on my other blog. It links here and to my regular one. I'm so excited.

donna said...

A perfect post on Time Goes By to start our journey. Artist brothers still doing art in their 80s:

donna said...

Oops, shorter link to ronni's blog:

I'll also excerpt the post on my blog as well.

Caroline said...

I love that we are all doing this book together from scratch - I've no idea what to expect from this particular 12 weeks.

And I'm already worried about that word in the subtitle - Perseverance - I think I've tended to stick with things too long when I needed to let go sooner... especially relationships and jobs... but then maybe what I need to learn is when to Persevere and when to bail out.

Paula said...

*giggling with excitement* It´s like the first day of school (and I finished that stage of my life twenty years ago! :D )

Anonymous said...

I am so excited about this! You have no idea how much I need it. Thank you.

And IA with Melba, in that I am also worried about doing the Artist Dates and everything else while still taking care of Madam. But...I think I'll just have to be more creative about the idea of the Artist Date--even if its just a half hour a week. Madam is already used to me furiously scribbling my morning pages against the kitchen counter, so at least that time committment is down! :)

lia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mamalooper said...

Melba, another mother here with a 15 month old daughter!

The book is on the way and I hope to catch up with everyone this next Saturday. Did the AW a few times pre-baby and found it to be a wonderful boost to my creativity.

I have found that the decision to do Finding Water has itself whetted my desire to create, albeit on a scale commensurate with mommyhood. Making a handmade paper lampshade for a lamp that I have had for a zillion years, looking into amateur chamber music groups to play in, and considering how I can find some time to get rolling again with piano.

Please add me to your blogroll!

Creek Woman said...

Thank you for starting this blogging group! I ran right out and bought the book. Its time for me to "get with it" with my woodblock printmaking and physical exercise. Plus, what a perfect title and theme for a girl who likes to go Creek-Walking!

I opened up a new blog just for this. Its called "Creek Woman".


Jane said...

Yes! Please add me to the bogroll :)) I'm excited to participate!


Eileen The Dream said...

Hello Jessie - I am new to the blog world and less than 24 hours into Finding Water. I received the book yesterday and started reading last night. I began my day with Morning Pages. I realize I am a bit behind the group, but I would love to particpate. Hope it's not too late! Peace, Ei.

Eileen The Dream said...

Here is my info:
Thanks, Ei.

lila said...

I have the book and though I'm 6 days late from when you began, I would like to participate!

Looking forward to support and growth.

daisies said...

I'd love to be added : ) i started a wee bit late (last week) but am so excited :)