Welcome to 2013 everyone! I hope the New Year is starting off well for all of you. I spend day 1 doing a lot of self-reflection, spending some quality time alone and watching a LOT of movies. Believe it or not - all of this has managed to fill the well of my creativity and enable a great start to the writing as well.
Let me explain...
On 12/30, as part of my 2013 goals, I started the Artist's Way. I've glanced through the book before, skimmed through the various chapters and gleaned some vision of the lessons. But, I've never actually worked through the book in its entirety.
When my mom passed in 2010, this book was in her library. Tucked in the pages were some of mom's work as she used the book. See, my mom was an artist in every sense of the word - from the music she sang in small blues clubs of San Francisco in her youth, to the sermons she wrote and delivered every Sunday in a small church in Pasadena, CA, to the painting she taught herself to do after she retired. Mom was an artist.
I grew up with that same heart, that same way of viewing the world. The heart and mind of a creative soul.
2012 challenged that aspect of me in surprisingly profound ways. As I confronted and faced one set of fears, larger ones emerged. And in those moments of fear, when I faced off with some of the darker aspects of myself, my creative soul turned inward and hid in the depths.
Oh sure, I coaxed her forward to write. I still garner ideas, engaged in my writing practice, moved forward. But something was missing. Even as the "craft" of writing improved, there was an aspect of me that became more and more lost.
The year continued, the demons grew, and my creative self retreated more and more. And through it all, I began to feel lost in a way that is hard to put into words. At first, I blamed my day job for sucking the creativity away. Then the busyness of life. And finally, the pressures of back-to-back releases, marketing and being an introvert in an ever-increasingly noisy world.
The truth was, I had lost my creative self. Nothing more. Nothing less.
I have long been in the habit of meditating. But, like many of us, I turned away from the thing I needed most during this difficult part of my life. Until a crisis hit, and I emotionally hit a low that is still too raw to fully talk about. Suffice it to say, I had two options - begin to self-nurture and do the things I need to or risk losing it all together.
I chose to take care of myself.
So, for the last several weeks of 2012, I started meditating again, refocused my thoughts and actions, reached out to a few very close friends to lean on and started the climb back out of the muck.
The Artist's Way is part of that journey. After reading Mom's writings and looking through the book again, I knew that this was something I needed to do. So, I am doing my "morning pages" without fail, took the artist in me on a date (to see Les Mis - by myself!), and am working through each and every task. I am no stranger to the therapeutic process - and this is a great method for working through my creative blocks.
Week One is all about safety - so appropriate since the initial stumble earlier in 2012 that lead to the retreat of my creative self started with some safety issues that were triggered pretty substantially. The week focuses on reframing the negative self-talk that diminishes the creative self and makes it "unsafe" for our authenticity to come forward. For me, it has been a lesson in acceptance as much as anything else. And it has given a new found clarity that has already begun to unblock me in some ways.
So, there you go - my work for the early part of the new year. It is not the only goal I am focusing on, but it is a major one. Do you have anything special you are working on for the early part of the year? Anything you are hoping to accomplish?