It's somewhat modeled after the 12 Step program, and in that regard is somewhat similar to the 4T Prosperity Program that I've participated in several times and found very useful. I don't necessarily think that I'm blocked as an artist, but I'm definitely in need of spiritual and creative healing. She incorporates God, but isn't preachy (and really, these are metaphysical concepts). I really like how she explains that God is “Good Orderly Direction”.
The two most important parts of the Artist's Way program are the morning pages and the artist's date. Morning pages are just three long-hand pages of “brain dump”. The first time I attempted AW, I didn't write it out long-hand. Maybe that's why I never kept with it. I have this time, and sometimes I give up before three pages, but I am finding them beneficial. The first week, I explored why journal keeping long-hand was such an issue for me. Ha! The artist's date is just a two hour block that you take for yourself, to nurture your inner artist. I enjoy those quite a bit.
There are other tasks that you do every week. She lists several, though you don't have to do all of them. There's affirmation work, which I've used a lot of. She also suggests that you find your “blurts” - negative self-talk – and rework them positively. She calls the culprit the inner “Censor”, though something about that word turns me off. I at first thought, 'Oh, I'm a very optimistic person already. I do affirmations all the time.” Then I realized that I do indeed have a running stream of negative self-talk. I can catch it and reaffirm it when I'm consciously working on my goals, but it's quietly there in the background almost all of the time, getting away with talking down to me. For me, I find that my blurts tend to center on the theme/belief that I am a failure, both to myself and my extended family. By that, I mean the family I grew up with. My husband and children, I do right by them and they always support me. It's the not-meeting-expectations thing, and echoes of conversations where that was solidified by very important people in my life.
I realize that this feeling of failure I carry may be contributing to all of the crazy “outside” circumstances that always hit us whenever we start getting ahead. I've done a lot of releasing work as far as my hurts and past abuse, but that underlying belief about myself is still there. Luckily, I'm working on it.
I've also been sticking with my Flylady routine. My house, while still half-full of unpacked boxes, is staying pretty nice and tidy. I've kept with my basic routines for a few weeks now. My bed gets made in the morning, I dress to the shoes, do morning pages, reboot laundry & dishes, do a little zone work. I figured, if I was fighting to reclaim motivation in my life, I'd fake it til it happened. Luckily, it starts happening through the act of faking. It's hard not to feel good about myself when I can report back positively to my partner, and my husband calls our home lovely, and my sink shines at me at least once or twice a day. I even have our menu planned for the week, and I'm tackling our spending.
Part of it is that farm life agrees with me. Being able to walk around my land, play with my critters, and bask in the love of my family has done some serious good in my healing. Now I'm ready to actually take control of my life in a conscious manner again, and I'm able to do that with some degree of success.
One task is to list five imaginary lives – if we had five other lives to live, what would we do? A lot of my choices have a similar, spiritual theme. We're supposed to make a list of 20 things we enjoy doing, and the last time we did them. I realized how totally I'd dropped my spiritual practices. No wonder I lived in a state of constant apathy! I decided this week's focus would be on reclaiming my spiritual being. I was supposed to start taking solitary walks again, and to do shamanic journeys. The weather has been awful all week, so I never got to my walks, but I did try journeying last night. I almost put it off since I can't find my drumming cd, but I realized it for the excuse that it was. I didn't get as “deep”, but I got the guidance I needed. And as far as making the decision to improve it, and opening back up to the spiritual reservoir, I've crossed off several other “love but been too long” items from my list. I've been keeping up with my reiki self-healing, I've done several distance healing sessions for others, I spent some sacred space time in prayer, and I'll be holding a ceremony for a few people tonight.
My “life pie” is way off balance. To make a life pie, you draw a circle and divide it into six segments. Then you label each one Spirituality, Exercise, Play, Work, Friends, Family, and you put a little dot in the area as to the level you feel satisfied. The inner ring is “not satisfied at all” and the outer ring is “very satisfied”. Mine is totally screwy. Family is the only area I'm extremely satisfied in. Work got better than I expected, since I've been keeping on track with these two programs. I feel good about that. Play is better than it should be, with everything else lacking. I'm trying to even that out. I'm slowly gaining my spiritual self back. I've taken to repeating my Life Motto daily, which I haven't done in over a year. Maybe two. I need to start exercising again, which is why I'm eager to get back to my walks. I've totally ballooned. And I have no friends. None here where I live now, anyway. No one I can just hang with if I wanted to go out without the family. I've enjoyed being hermitish, but I do realize I need friends.
Tomorrow starts week 3. I will try to keep track of my progress here on my blog. If anyone would like to join in, don't hesitate! lahermite is three weeks ahead of me, and it's working out fine anyway.
Now that I've finished this blog post (another thing I enjoy doing but have been neglecting), I'm going to spend the rest of my artist's date working on my NaNo WonderSaga. I've been going through what I wrote in November and working out a timeline. I'm also working on family trees and plotting ideas. After I get caught up on everything I came up with in November, I'll be back to writing again. I think I'll make some salsa too. That's a creative endeavor, and one I have also been putting off. I'm holding a healing ceremony tonight for a couple of friends, too. I look forward to that.