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


Anonymous said...

Hey there Leah!!
This is a great post. I learn so much from you & Jessie and the others following this journey.
(Are we doing another book after this?....maybe the Artist's Way??)

I've done all the divining rod questions and answers on my blog.
It completely blows my mind how these changes snuck up on me and I didn't realize any of it..until I read this chapter!

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah...and KUDO's to you for teaching The Artist's Way at "Wish Studio"!!!
You must be so excited! Good luck, keep visiting my blog and stay creative. You are a beautiful soul, a generous spirit!
I still have Ch. 12 to do!

acumamakiki said...

I wish I could come be a part of your group at Wish Studio - that would be a dream.
I got all teary-eyed by this post - I'm not good with endings and yes, this group has been cathartic for me with small, subtle changes. I love that. It's just like acupunture - the effects are subtle and profound and it's often after you've taken a break, a step back that you realize how much benefit there has been.

Thank you Leah and Jessie for a truly rewarding experience - love to you both. xo

donna said...

Thanks Leah and Jessie.

I quit about halfway through the book - couldn't persevere with all the talk of the New York artist's lifestyle anymore, it was getting a bit galling to me. I liked Artist's Way so much better.

Anyway, I have found some wonderful blogs to read and admired the lovely art I've seen everyone working on. I'm hoping to get back to my own art when I'm at a better place for it myself. My own 12 weeks have been spent enjoying watching my new puppy Darwin grow up and working on his training to be a therapy dog. Perhaps I"ll find my own art in working with these lovely goldens I'm so addicted to...


Betty Branco Martins said...

PHONE IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION (+00351)289 884 500; (+00351)282 405 400; (+00351)218 641 00; (+00351)112 (This is the Portuguese Emergency Phone Number).

This english girl is missing. She disappeared from her bedroom in Algarve (Portugal) on May 3rd where she was with her parents on vacation. She may face international illegal adoption or sexual exploitation. She might be out of portuguese borders already. Help finding her spreading this message and Maddie’s photos on your blogs.
Voilà les numéros de téléphone, du Portugal, si vous avez quelque information: (+00351) 289 884 500; (+00351)282 405 400; (+00351)218 641 00, ainsi que (+00351)112 (ou votre numéro d'urgence européen).
Cette petite fille anglaise est disparue au 3 Mai de l’Algarve (Portugal) où elle était avec les parents en vacances. Probablement elle est déjà dehors la frontière portugaise. Si vous avez d’informations appelez les numéros de téléphone. Aide Maddie ! Mettez le message et photos dans vos blogs.

Desde Portugal piden por el Paradero de esta niña que está desaparecida.
En el caso que alguién sepa algo, más arriba tienen todos los datos para comunicarse.
Todos necesitamos de todos. Muchas gracias. (colaboración de: ADAL)

Menina inglesa desaparecida a 3 de Maio do Algarve(Portugal) onde estava de férias com os pais.Provavelmente já se encontra fora de Portugal.Se tiver informações telefone para os números acima.Ajude Maddie! Coloque esta mensagem e fotos no seu blog!
Dieses kleine Mädchen wird vermisst!Sie ist von ihrem Hotelzimmer an der Algarve (Praia da Luz- Portugal) am 3. Mai, wo sie Ferien mit ihrem Eltern gemacht hat, verschwunden .Es ist möglich, dass sie für illegale Adoption oder sexuell Mißbrauch entführt worden ist.Vielleicht hat sie Portugal schon verlassen.Wenn Sie Informationen oder Hinweise haben, rufen Sie, bitte, die gegebene Telefonnummer an.Helfen Sie Maddie!Posten Sie, bitte, diese Nachricht mit fotos in ihre Blogs!

Translate this to other languages please! Italian, Greek, Russian etc.
I'll had it here!
This is a post for foreign bloggers that might visit portuguese bloggers.
Thank you!

Melba said...

Thank you Leah and Jessie for having this blog...this space for us to share our creative journey.

I just finished Finding Water last night. The Artist Way really lingered for me and I know that is what is happening too with Finding Water. I did many of the Artist Way exercises after the 12 weeks. I plan to do the same thing with the Diving Rods in Finding Water. I like to go at my own pace with questions like these.

I wish everyone well with their Creative Endevours!


Poetry said...

Feather brained clouds off on rain's errand.

Insects mating furiously in flight--They call them love bugs.

Cleaving to one another as oblivion approaches.

Working their wings in the morning breeze.

Marguerite said...

Ah, but what has happened since May 9? I have come in at the end of it all. What next?

Shelby said...

Thank you so much for you very kind comment on my post today. I enjoyed my visit here.. and will read more and more.. and, of course, write.

Take care!

Maithri said...

Thank you for the rich loam of peace which you have created here, for us all to indulge in...

It is a thing of great beauty,

Soft light and the tender blessings of the winged life to you,


Eve said...

So, this is the learning place. I loved this post. I am a creative person. It is not a hobby as much as a drive. I have to be making something, painting something, getting in the dirt.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this blog. It provides the opportunity for much learning.
btw, you have been given an award at enlightened horsemanship through touch. Please visit to pick it up.
I look forward to more of your posts.

Sharmila said...

This is beautiful Leah! I was first drawn to your blog by Jessie's post on mine. However, as I browsed back and saw 'Finding Water' - I thought of Julia Cameron's book which I love and was delighted to see it is actually about this book! ;) Very cool! I loved these parts you resurfaced for us!:
"Sometimes shifts are so subtle that I don't recognize them."
"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..."
Blessings to you on your creative journey! ~luv Jen

web lol said...

kul post