We’re looking now at Week 1 the course. I will only be touching on some concepts and ideas and would urge you to buy the book to get the whole picture.
Week 1 – Recovering A Sense Of Safety
This week we focus on realizing how our inner artist needs to recover. Perhaps, down the years our creativity has not been encouraged sufficiently. Often our family of origin has allowed us to pursue our creative interests as hobbies, but told us to be practical when it came to our careers, etc. We’ve often heard expressions like: ‘Stop dreaming! Your head is in the clouds!’ ‘Be practical’, ‘Grow up’. Slowly, we learn to suppress our creative instincts. But we’ve got to realize someday that we’ve been conned.
It’s never too late to start over and we must.
This week give our inner artist the space to begin flourishing again. Some of the exercises recommended in the book include:
1. Identifying our core negative beliefs and countering them with affirmations.
Our creativity is often blocked because we feel safer that way. Our psyche equips us with negative beliefs that keep us from feeling threatened. Some of these beliefs might be:
– I’ll never be good as other artists.
– I can’t make a living this way.
– I may not be as good as I think I am.
– I’ll embarrass myself and my family.
The only way to counter these negative beliefs is to use affirmations. It’s funny how we are so comfortable with thinking and saying negative things about ourselves, but the moment we try to use affirmations, we feel uncomfortable. For example, take the affirmation, ‘I am a fantastic writer’ and say that aloud. You’ll find that negative voice in your head saying, ‘Who are you trying to fool?’ or ‘There are so many better writers than you’. Try to find the source of that voice – when did the comparisons start, who said those negative things, how did you pick them up. I can assure you that this is hard work, but totally worth it.
2. Identifying our Hall of Monsters and sending them for a walk.
Think of 3 people who, intentionally or not, said negative things about your creativity when you were growing up. Three specific people. Write down their names. Now select one of these individuals and attempt to recall all the details about what happened. Write it down. The more details you can recall about the situation- the setting, their words, how you felt, what others said etc – the better. Now counter these by writing a letter in your defense stating how you felt and why s/he should have known better than to put you down. Post the letter to yourself, email it yourself, or put it under your pillow to read the next day.
There are many more such exercises in the book. They are in addition to the daily Morning Pages and the weekly Artist Date prescribed. The important thing in this week is to feel safe – don’t stress, obsess, but don’t skip either.
Daily Morning Pages. Three pages of free writing without thinking. Do not read them. Do not share them. Do not judge them. You can write to-do lists, describe how you big toes hurts, write why you hate to write, write your dreams, write an imaginary letter to an alien. But keep writing those three pages.
Artist’s Date. Take yourself out for a treat – just one hour every week.
Artist Dates are assigned play.The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore
something that interests you. The Artist Date need not be overtly “artistic” — think mischief more than mastery. Artist Dates fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play. Since art is about the play of ideas, they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner well of images and inspiration. When choosing an Artist Date, it is good to ask yourself, “what sounds fun?” — and then allow yourself to try it. – Julia Cameron
Do let me know how you’re getting on.
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Write Your Heart Out #wyho is weekly feature that appears every Thursday here with a linky that will be open from Thursday to Sunday.
- I would encourage you to write a new post in which you free write.
- You’re also welcome to write on the prompts offered in this post and/or add links from your posts from the week.
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This week’s prompts are :
- This I promise you.
- A list of things you’ll never do again.
- “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.” ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
- And we found _________ in a trunk in the attic…….
Image of woman jumping in the mountains via Shutterstock