When I started The Artist’s Way program at the library about a month ago, I expected I would be in for an adventure. I needed an adventure. I needed something that would dilute the anxiety-filled rut I’d dug myself into with some positive energy and challenge. The Artist’s Way is a program that is designed to be a spiritual path in creativity. The philosophy, and one which I wholeheartedly believe from personal experience, is that we are all creative, and creativity is born through God. We are merely a channel that opens into the creative flow of the Universe. I have felt it when I’ve written my best stuff. Some days I just write. I’m more of a ditch than a channel. Other days, I’m not writing. There is something bigger and more expansive than me that takes control of the keyboard and literally blows me away. I’m left breathless when it is over.
One of the key tools of the journey is The Morning Pages. The Pages are three hand-written pages of composition book-sized paper each and every morning. There have been a few times I’ve done Afternoon or Evening Pages, but, for the most part, I’ve done Morning Pages. Our facilitator says it doesn’t matter when you do them, just do them. The theory is that the free-form writing will clean out your head of the garbage rolling around in there so you can clear the channel. I know how powerful journaling is. I’ve experienced it before. But, I love the fact that I have to do 3 pages every day. Many times I find myself writing “I don’t have anything else to write. This is frustrating.” Other times, I can hardly believe I’ve filled up 3 pages so quickly. Mostly I write about what’s happening in my life until I’ve exhausted the external stimuli. It is only then that I get to how I really feel. I imagine this is a small micro-cosm of my reality. I let the events of my life overshadow what I bring to the table. The exercise has been empowering.
Everything that I’ve been procrastinating for the last year has been marked off the list in the last month. I finish my pages, and I’m energized. My house is cleaner than it’s been in a long time, and my bathroom literally sparkles. In my writing, I realized that I WANTED my bathroom to be clean. It wasn’t something that I should do; it was something that I wanted to do for myself. And, I got up one day and did it. I met a guy I like, and I’m dating. I took my vacuum cleaner apart and cleaned out the whole thing. I planned a trip to Tulsa to see Jessica. I signed up for a workshop at The Red Shoes. I’ve been meditating every day. My running program is on track. I’m sleeping like a dead person. I’m dreaming. And I’ve begun to tolerate the negative events in my life with a lot more acceptance. I’m even finding a few writing topics that interest me again.
Synchronicities increase when I’m getting seated as the channel. What others may say are coincidence I see as confirmations that the Universe is blessing my path. When I met a new guy for lunch the first time, there was a lot of laughter. I drove up, and the restaurant was on fire. He was standing in front of the fire truck talking to me on his cell phone. He jumped in my car which, of course, was a mess. I normally would have been horrified, but we were laughing, and it was fun. We went to a Mexican restaurant where the waiter promptly tripped and threw chips all over us. I felt like God was kidding around with me getting me to lighten up and pay attention. I have no idea if this will ever turn into anything serious, but it was fun, and it gave me hope that God does care about those little things that matter to me. And He’s willing to show up with His uncanny sense of humor and play.
I’ve been percolating a business idea for a long time but have been stalled because I just couldn’t see how to make the time or get the energy to launch it. I contacted an old friend to say hi, and he’s been percolating the same idea and was needing a partner in crime as well. We are already moving ahead with some ideas to tip our toes in the water to see if this might be a fit. I was stunned when I realized that this was falling into my lap. In this morning’s reading in The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron described my feelings exactly, “It’s my experience that we’re much more afraid that there might be a God than we are that there might not be.” My first reaction was one of fear that this might actually be supported and happening. Be careful what you ask for … you just might get it.
This program is asking me questions about what I enjoy, what sounds interesting and what things might interest me but I know I will never do. A picture is emerging of an adventurous gal with a thirst for learning new things. At the same time, I’m watching my nephews hit growth spurts where they are rapidly becoming young men. Tall and lanky physiques are replacing little boy builds. Every time I see them I am stunned by how much they have grown. I feel like I’m growing like that inside. I’m changing internally rapidly. I feel like I’m holding on for dear life with an emotional helmet secured on my head. I keep looking down to make sure my seat-belt is fastened and listening intently for engine trouble. I can’t see where I’m going, but I know I’m getting there. Thankfully, I’m in a place of trusting the operator to guide me where I’m supposed to be if I just keep my legs in the car and my arms up over my head. “Enjoy the ride,” He seems to be saying. “I’ve got this.” Cameron gives the analogy of seeing your blocked self as a car wreck. I am up walking away looking at the crashed vehicle I’ve been riding in for awhile. Right now, there is no new ‘ride’, and I may be without one for awhile. But I’m alive. That alone signifies potential for growth.