WEEK TWO – RECOVERING A SENSE OF IDENTITY
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!
You can buy the book, here, and while doing so support small business bookstores. What a win!
Okay is a blanket word for most of us. It covers all sorts of squirmy feelings; and it frequently signals a loss.
Now that we have been working within our daily morning pages, we have been able to sort through and finally see the difference between our real feelings – those we genuinely feel, and our official feelings – those we put on display. Often when we share our official feelings, we’ll express that we feel okay, or that we’re okay with something.
Julia expresses her disdain for using the word ‘okay’ to describe situations when really what we might be feeling is elated, overwhelmed, detached, tolerant, satisfied, etc. To move onward in our creative recovery, we must refrain from expressing ourselves as okay. We need to use more colorful words when sharing how we feel so that we can exhale, just like we need to eat plates full of colorful foods to get proper nutrition.
There might have been a time or two, or maybe even perhaps right now, that you have experienced a sense of dread for working in your daily morning pages. If you are feeling this way, then that’s when we really need to push through and show up anyways. Something within you is ready to come out, to be exhaled, to be released. And in order to do that, we must face what’s inside of us to let it go. Show up to your morning pages and work to be free of what is holding you back.
Our recovery of our connection to our great creator cannot come to be until we do this work. This is not a skip that we can step. The morning pages and these exercises help you gain your power back, your sense of self, and your sense of integrity.
BURIED DREAMS, AN EXERCISE
This is an exercise in spontaneity, so be sure to write your answers out quickly. Speed kills the Censor.
Julia wants us to play and dig up the dreams and ambitions we had to leave behind to move forward in our lives. It is possible for us to have it all, and Julia wants us to go for it. Grab a pen and paper, give yourself 5 minutes, and bust it out – find what you’ve left behind.
This is a direct quote from the text.
- List five hobbies that sound fun.
- List five classes that sound fun.
- List five things you personally would never do that sound fun.
- List five skills that would be fun to have.
- List five things you used to enjoy doing.
- List five silly things you would like to try once.
For most blocked creatives, reading is an addiction. We gobble the words of others rather than digest our own thoughts and feelings, rather than cook up something of our own.
For this week, Julia wants you to not read. You are to read nothing – nothing at all. The point is to cleanse your mind and your spirit. Often, as creatives, we will over indulge ourselves in preoccupation. Especially if our great creator is lost within us and is begging to come out. To silence our great creator, we’ll take in an endless flow of new information so that our mind is busy, nagging, and preoccupying our explorative thought space.
This tends to be the exercise and practice is most fought by her students. There is much rage that arises and sometimes it’s pointed at her. It is a form of exhaling. It is a temper tantrum. This exercise has antagonized the protective fear we hold in listening to ourselves and finding what we are truly aligned with.
It is possible to wiggle out of things for one week, in reference to not reading. As creatives, we are really good at finding alternatives to provide value without always doing the work – the work being reading. Think of a time when you procrastinated on something yet still had to speak on it, and the way you were able to wiggle out of revealing you didn’t read the text. Use your creative side to your advantage, and find space to do literally anything else.
You could knit, paint, work out, meditate, fix something, sew a project, call old friends, finish much-needed chores – you could do so many things! Let yourself give your mind a break and become freshly a new by not reading for just one week.
If you are having trouble, that’s what you morning pages are for! Use them and get the frustration out of your system so that you can continue on and continue to engage with various other sides of you!
There’s been an area of your life that you’ve wanted to change, but haven’t done the work to do so. You’ve put it off for some time and every once in a while your memory comes back to remind you that you want better. Get out your journal and explore what you have gained by not taking action. Then continue your journaling and look at what you could gain by standing up and making the change.
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.