WEEK THREE – RECOVERING A SENSE OF POWER

QUICK NOTE: In respect and honor of Julia Cameron’s work, I will not be providing a full report or deep dive into the text. I’ll be sharing a light summary and one or two of the week’s activity list. To hear my thoughts and insights, listen to the pod!

ANGER

“Anger is meant to be listened to. Anger is a voice, a shout, a plea, a demand. Anger is meant to be respected.”

Anger is fuel. When we experience it, it ignites a spark within us to take action. Perhaps not ideal action, in that we may be inclined to damage or dismantle something, but desired action does arise. Julia suggests that we will often swallow our anger and quiet it in hopes of behaving and contributing as a dignified, kind person. We’ll create any action necessary within these two polars, as long as we don’t have to listen to our anger. And that is the thing we must do above all else.

“Anger is a map. Anger shows us what our boundaries are. Anger shows us where we want to go.”

For those that are recovering their creative self, anger is a sign that we are getting things right. When anger comes up and demands we take action, our choice lies in what action it is we create. Don’t get lost in the layered anger of being angry for being angry. Did you follow that one? It’s yet another cycle that encourages us not to listen to our anger and why it truly has arisen. Anger invites us to pivot in our lives and create something anew. Listen to your anger and find what that something is. Listen to the invitation anger brings you.

SYNCHRONICITY

“Life is what we make of it. Whether we conceive of an inner god force or an other, outer God, doesn’t matter. Relying on that force does.”

Serendipity is a synonym for synchronicity, in case that is a word you feel more familiar with. Julia went on for a few pages in this, but I would like to truncate it for those who don’t believe in a godly figure.

Our guide suggests that when we discourage, ignore, and dismiss signs of answered prayers, from being the source within ourselves, that we hold ourselves down from uniting in full flow of our desires and ambitions. Julia does not want the credit to be held in the idea of synchronicity or serendipity. The credit can go to another power or ourselves, or even a combination of the two, but there was a magnet that we pulled and we used to get that outcome. It did not just occur in our lives like the luck of a winning lottery ticket. There was intention, work, and value in that journey. And that’s the thing. There was a journey. So honor that and don’t dismiss where the credit lies.

SHAME

“Art brings things to light. It illuminates us. It sheds light on our lingering darkness.”

Sometimes, when we experience fear to do the action that our heart desires, we aren’t able to process that it’s fear holding us back. And that’s for a good reason. It’s not because we are delusional or are obtuse. But because that fear was brought on by another feeling. Shame is a creeper and burrows deep within us. It’s controlling and a powerful tool in preventing someone from behaving in an “embarrassing” way.

It’s likely that this shame was introduced in childhood, either by family or peers. It’s worse if both because then it can lead to a true feeling of isolation and then revealing this art will cut you off from the world. So the child learns a coping mechanism of detachment, which keeps us numb to what it is we want to venture into. And that introduces the act of creativity to be a danger our trifecta must fight or flee from.

When we have such deep, internalized shame, stepping forward and sharing our work can be an oversensitive experience. Specifically looking at criticism. Criticism in itself is not a good or bad thing. It’s feedback. It’s useful. It’s information. What makes criticism good or bad is how it is delivered and how it is received. If you can look at criticism as a tool to help guide you on your artistic path, it will help you expand, evolve, and reach new heights in your work.

Do not let fear, or shame, how you back and block you from sharing your art with the world. Be self-protective and selective with how you reveal your work to others. Don’t avoid criticism, but wait until you are ready to receive it – positively or negatively.

Also, be aware that art is always closely linked to the heart, consciously or subconsciously. And when that heart, that piece of the soul, is revealed, others may shame us for being open. And what’s happening in that moment is they are projecting their limiting beliefs. “We must be very firm with ourselves and not pick up the first doubt.”

Not everyone is going to be aligned and interested in our work. And some people really just want to hate. It helps them feel superior and worthy of life. So, instead of hopping on their train, simply take what use you can from what they said, look at the entire picture with a grain of salt, and use the antidote for shame: self-love and self-praise.

GROWTH

“Growth occurs in spurts. You will lie dormant sometimes. Do not be discouraged. Think of it as resting.”

Growth is not a simple, straight forward path. You will have ups, downs, steps forward, steps backward. You’ll feel like you can tackle the world one day and the next you’ll want to stay in bed. Engaging in insightfulness is both exhilarating and exhausting. In one hand it gives us the motivation to get going, continue the journey, and do it all. With the other hand, we’ve done so much work. It becomes exhausting, overwhelming, and something we must let our trifecta process.

Recovery is not an easy road, but it is one worth following.

There is the saying that, “God helps those who help themselves.” Keep the God factor, or substitute it for source. Either way, when we show up to do the work, energetically things shift around us to fulfill that intention. As we established earlier, don’t shrug it off to be synchronicity. Appreciate your hard work, accept the gifts that come your way, and allow yourself to grow.

Julia encourages you to play around with solitude, something to really lean into with the Artist Dates. She also asks you to check-in daily and be kind to yourself. Take baby steps and let yourself experience it all. Artists are not meant to be the hard individuals we were molded to believe. We feel all and reflect it into our work. So leave the hardness behind and lean into the flow of growth.

TASKS

Remember, this is in tandem with daily morning pages and a weekly artist date.

  1. Reach out to a friend who supports you and champions you. Give them a call, have a chat. Really connect. It’s important to be able to reach out and have those near who can help us fly and take risks.
  2. List five people you admire, publicly or secretly. Make another list of the traits and attributes you appreciate about them. Which of them would you like to see in yourself?

    And with that my friend, is the end of week one. Thank you so much for joining us and we can’t wait til next week!

    Remember, you can buy the book, here. And the podcast episodes are dropped every Friday.

    No pressure, friends! After all, we’re trying to be better.