Saturday, February 24, 2007

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!

Namaste,
Jessie

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

16 comments:

The Dream said...

Being only two days in and devoting the time and effort to catching up with the group, I am feeling ... really feeling ... quite positive. Morning Pages are a challenge, as I am not a morning person, but I'm doing it. The exercises are amazing ... and I thought working The Steps on a daily basis was big! Definitely progress, not perfection.

melba said...

A wonderful post Jessie. I could see you snuggled up waiting for snow. We still have yet to get more than an inch. I am mostly happy about this. Still I miss the anticipation of snow (not the shoveling!)
I like this book (so far) better than the Artist Way. I can relate to Cameron's words more.

lila said...

I have just finished doing my Morning Pages. I agree taht Julia's writing about her immediate world helps us to be "with" her. As the first chapter mentions the new moon in early March and crocus blooming...I feel that it is a very good time to begin!

lila said...

Oh, I left a comment yesterday on a previous post (Feb. 17th..my wedding anniversary) and would like you to add me to your list of participants!

Endment said...

Jesse,
thanks for a great and encouraging post!
We have six inches of snow still on the ground here - and it is cold! Would love to send some snow your way:)

acumamakiki said...

I loved reading this, although everything I read these days makes me teary, this post included. This week has been something for me too, just not sure what I want to call it......I'm ready for the next chapter and I need to go do my writing.

donna said...

I have to admit, I didn't get too into week one. I've been wrapped up in health matters and doctor's visits all week. Reality is in full force for me. My "artist's date" was coloring my hair - RED! I haven't gone red for a long time, it's been blonde forever. But now it's a real red...

Spring is nearly here in SoCal. Everything is budding out with new growth, just about to burst open.
My jonquils and iris and freesias are coming into bloom and the seedlings are popping up everywhere...

suzie q said...

Gorgeous, reassuring post Jessie. Thank You. Week 1 has tipped me upside down and given me a good shaking, to say the least. A week of morning pages has been as effective as a year of counselling, and I have been blown away by the kindness shown to me by some of my fellow bloggers.
No wonder I was so nervous of beginning this process - so much negativity to shift out of the way to make room for those positive changes that I can feel are on their way...
So glad to have this group to ground me. I am feeling more positive than I have in a long time and am looking forward to whatever the next chapter may bring, knowing that I have people to share the journey with makes such a difference.

Thank You.

Enjoy the snow when it gets there, Jessie! I love that cosy quietness, but not the cold! ;) Keep warm & well xXx

Georgia said...

This week has been good, and rough too. Morning pages have been a bit of a struggle to get done, I usually did them in the afternoon, or a couple days not at all... I was emotional as all get out too... but I am also feeling a drive to "DO". to get off my butt and just DO SOMETHING. I did get a walk or two in, although i had the kids all in tow, and no artists date last week... but i have a massage scheduled in for tomorrow and I am really loooking forward to that. :) This is going to be a great 12 weeks I can feel it!

xoxo
Georgia

bella said...

I really enjoyed week 1. It was, for me, a beautiful beginning.

Laura said...

Once again, Jessie, I am amazed at not only your writing talent but this incredible insight you have. Thanks for helping me think of the first chapter in another way.

Kristine said...

This was a wild week indeed! I just wrote a little check - in over at my blog. I hope everyone had a good week. I am glad to be a part of such a powerfully creative group!

Paula said...

Quote from your post: "so if this was Week 1, what is Week 2 going to do to me?!"
I wrote exactly the same question in my morning pages today!

GeL (Over the Rainbow) said...

Terrific observation about Julia's weather woven into her work. Reading that makes it feel more like we're right there with her. Love the quote you ended this post with. Ironically, that is one I was going to use on my site, so I'll link back to you when I use it.

I finally posted, but have several posts to catch up on the exercises I've done or at least condense them. (I had been visited a slew of people while reading and doing the exercises. I'm still behind but gaining ground, while *not stressing*.) In fact, I'm grounded. Love that feeling and Julia's suggestions for that! Went on another artist date- oh WOW- can't wait to post about that.
The support you and Leah have fostered for this group is a gift.

I created a different blog just for journaling Finding Water, so my link addy changed from Emerald Eyes to this one: "Over the Rainbow". I hope it comes through on the top of this comment when you click. If not, I have an announcement on my "Emerald Eyes" blog. Thank you both!

Riggwelter said...

I am now officially with you all, as I have now got the book, it took a while! It's been interesting so far, laughter and tear at the same time, I feel this is going to be a great journey and am honoured to be with you all.

Mousie said...

there's a tribe somewhere...don't remember where exactly, around Nepal or Tibet? where people embroider the inside of their collars and the linings of clothes...
that's nice...beauty for beauty...not to show off...
Mousie