Friday, November 4, 2011

Chapter 7 The Artist's Way

Chapter 7-Recovering a Sense of Connection
" is not about thinking something up. It is about the opposite- getting something down." -Julia Cameron

A lot of times I feel this way about art. I think that is largely why I am scared to paint. I feel like I have to have a masterpiece instead of just putting something down. Cameron,the author, suggests that art is about tapping into a world that lies just under our normal consciousness. I don't know exactly what this means, but she alludes to the idea of resting and listening to ourselves.

For years now I have tried to learn to listen, meditate, and be connected to my body. When I say tried I really mean for about 5 minutes I may sit with the intention of clearing my mind from all the clutter. Needless to say I found this chapter a bit daunting. It is easy to allow myself to feel defeated but I am determined to possess this type of inner peace. Learning to listen to my inner creativity will take time but I believe it is a process that will come with more discipline and practice.

"Perfectionism is a refusal to let yourself move ahead."

"...perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough- that we should try again." She says letting go is part of creativity because we never finish our art we just reach stopping points.

I have to be willing to risk in order to create and with risk comes the potential of failure. This not only affects my creativity but bleeds into other areas of my life as well. I have wanted to learn Spanish for years, but when it comes to speaking I get scared of looking dumb. It seems I often prefer comfort to accomplishing my goal.

"Usually when we say we can't do something, what we mean is that we won't do something unless we can guarantee that we'll do it perfectly." GUILTY!

The crazy thing is I want more than anything to risk because it is what makes me feel alive. One of my biggest fears is to settle for the mundane and forget that life is about what you are willing to do.Cameron asks the the question:  If you didn't have to do it perfectly what would you try?
There are several things that come to mind: acting, painting, photography, and/or writing.

"My jealousy had actually been a mask for my fear of doing something I really wanted to do but was not yet brave enough to take action toward"

Can anyone say blog envy? This happens more than I would like to admit. Sometimes I have to put myself on blog restriction. I can get so wrapped up in what others are doing that I feel zapped creatively.  I also find that I start putting myself down and I don't like this side of me. I want to be able to see the beauty that we all offer collectively and still feel good about my own creativity.

Exercise jealousy map-write down who, why, and my action against the jealousy.
I do not like admitting that I am jealous but it is true...we all are. This was a good exercise. It not only helped me identify jealousy, but it also helped me to take action against my jealousy. I have noticed that jealousy robs me of my confidence, but when I take action it seems to disspate and I begin to feel like my old self again.

{All quotes and subject matter comes from Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way}

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