Artist’s Way

“Morning pages map our own interior. Without them, our dreams may remain terra incognita. I know mine did. Using them, the light of insight is coupled with the power for expansive change. It is very difficult to complain about a situation morning after morning, month after month, without being moved to constructive action. The pages lead us out of despair and into undreamed-of solutions.” –The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron

I often find myself asking the questions, “Who am I? What the hell do I want? Who do I want to be?” The questions feel especially pertinent as I am unemployed and am in the process of finding a job. As I schedule coffee dates, (because that’s that you’re supposed to do to find a job, right? Networking?), the person across the table invariably asks, “So what are you looking for?”

I don’t know, so I fall back to old habits. Habits that were instilled in me as a young child, instincts to soften myself until I fit the mold of whatever the other person is looking for. I find myself shaping my answers around what I think they want to hear, what I think will help me seem more marketable, hirable.

Answers that will make me likable.

But my soul is parched and lost. I’ve decided to embark on Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I got a copy from the library and it’s 12 weeks of exercises and who knows what else. I’ll try to document my journey and path in here. I hope that somewhere in the process, I’ll find my creative voice again. I define creativity as the conviction to create something because you feel it must be created, regardless of external criticism or praise. So mucho f my being feels defined by the external. I hope to find a truer, sturdier inner self.

At the beginning of the book, Julia Cameron encourages readers to make a contract with themselves:

I, Christine, understand that I am undertaking an intensive, guided encounter with my own creativity. I commit myself to the twelve week duration of the course. I, Christine, commit to weekly reading, daily morning pages, a weekly artist date, and the fulfillment of each week’s tasks.

I, Christine, further understand that this course will raise issues and emotions for me to deal with. I, Christine, commit myself to excellent self-care – adequate sleep, diet, exercise, and pampering – for the duration of the course.

-Christine

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