Artist’s Way Challenge: Week 12 update

I know, the last week of this book has been a very LONG week (:D) but I was distracted creatively by ICAD and the Summer of Color challenge and this week was done in a very scattered, but no less incredibly useful way.  :)  First things first.

OH MY GOSH!!!!  I have actually finished.  I have wondered if this day would ever come.  I have been trying to read this book and get into it for so many years, I am so glad I finally made the effort.  Before fully reading the book I would say my rating may have been a 2/5.  To be honest I undertook this challenge not expecting to get much out of the book, however the true magic in this book is in actually doing it.  I have gotten so much out of it, and it has been such a valuable exercise.  I truly feel like I am the most in touch with myself I have ever been, and a lot of that is because of this book.

That is not to say it has always been plain sailing and some weeks I have struck a lot of resistance and the going has not being easy, but {deep breath} I am finally finished!

The book I used for this, was one volume in an old Atlas set (which originally belonged to my grandparents), and I like that map connotation for this, it fits well in my head with the concept of mapping ourselves so to speak.  The book is also completely finished (meaning the pages all have something on them, though there are some pages that I want to work a bit more on), apart from the cover.

I also had an OH MY GOSH moment.  I worked on this page for the Summer of Color Week 2.

She knowsThe journaling on the side in pink reads: She is not always sure what she knows, but she knows.  And she knows she knows.  And that is sometimes enough, that is sometimes all she has.  She knows. She knows.  She knows.

The following week I began the readings and I read this:

Each of us has an inner dream that we can unfold if we will just have the courage to admit what it is.  And the faith to trust our own admission.  The admitting is often very difficult.  A clearing affirmation can open the channel.  One excellent one is “I know the things I know”.  (Julia Cameron)

I got goosebumps!  This really was a powerful week for me and it started on the first page with a goosebump moment.

Here are the journal pages I have been working on for this week’s readings.

Especially for the past few chapters of the book, it has being a meandering, and as I was pondering the “failure” of that because it was not how I thought it should be, I realised that I was still making forward progress regardless.  It isn’t just big actions, but the little steps along the way that keep propelling us forward.

A gentle strollYou may remember this background from Week 2.  It finally got finished this week.  I loved this quote from Julia Cameron.  As soon as I read it, it resonated with me so much, and while I was thinking about it, I decided I was going to put it on this background.  I love it.  LOVE it.  This is what this blog is about for me, the shared connection with others.  Love this quote.

The miracle is one artist sharing with anotherThis was another Julia Cameron quote from this week that really resonated with me, though I added the last line after half the ink in my pen came out during the writing of the quote.

Trust the darknessFinally, the book starts with a contract of what you will undertake while completing the course, there was another one for the time period after the course.  I modified mine a bit, but I did one as well to close the book off.

Creativity ContractThis book was really about keeping it real, looking at where we sabotage ourselves, and making sure that we don;t let ourselves sink into those moments of darkness, or follow a false lure rather than pursue our dreams and real purpose.  Ensuring that now we have tools to help ourselves, that we remember to use them.  I really liked this week!

The tasks were a mix of writing tasks and doing tasks, things mending, and potting plants etc, against exercises looking at our fears and pay-offs, assessing how far we have come since week one (which for me personally, was incredible).

Here are the quotable quotes from this week’s chapter (there are a lot this week!!), all by Julia Cameron herself:

We are meant to be bountiful and live.  The universe will always support affirmative action.

It is the inner commitment to be true to ourselves and follow our dreams that triggers the support of the universe.

There is a path for each of us.  When we are on our right path, we have a surefootedness.  We know the next right action – although not necessarily what is just around the bend.  By trusting, we learn to trust.

Creativity – like human life itself – begins in darkness.

We need to trust the darkness.

We must work at learning to play.

We are intended to create.

You’re either losing your mind – or gaining your soul.  Life is meant to be an artist date.  That’s why we were created.

As recovering creatives, many of us find that every time our career heats up we reach for our nearest Wet Blanket.

We must learn to keep our own counsel, to move silently among doubters, to voice our plans only among our allies, and to name our allies accurately.

Do not indulge or tolerate anyone who throws cold water in your direction.  Forget good intentions.  Forget they didn’t mean it.  Remember to count your blessings and your toes.

Finally, would I recommend this?  Yes.  Yes.  Yes. :)

The trick is to actually do it.  To not let the “God” part bother you if that is your trigger, or any of her other phrases that you may personally struggle with, to move past that.  That is not what this book is about.  It is ultimately about ourselves.

You will not get a lot out of the book without actually doing the activities (or most of them at least), I got more out of the activities than the readings.  There will be things that don’t resonate with you, but overall, working through this book as a whole has been an amazing experience for me, and I don’t say that lightly.  It hasn’t all been sunshine and roses, but it has been amazing and powerful for the process and for what I have gotten out of it.

And now this chapter is done…or is it just beginning {cue cheesy laughter} :D

If you are interested in the other weeks you can find them all here.

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12 thoughts on “Artist’s Way Challenge: Week 12 update

  1. As always, Natasha, your posts are a delight to read! Thank you for sharing your personal journey through The Artist’s Way. I did it many years ago & the morning pages literally changed my life (in a nut shell,quit my job, went to grad school & became an art teacher!). Thanks for sharing your artistic journey! It is very inspiring! Oh! I finally decided to do the “52 weeks of noting collages” via Teresa :) Starting next month! Have a wonderful (& calm) week!

    • I went back and read again all your Artist Way posts and I’m so glad I did. A couple of quote particularly hit me. “For an artist, to become overly cerebral is to become crippled.” and “Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be enough – that we should try again. No. We should not.” They are so part of ME! A part that needs to be put in it’s place because it does have a place . . .just not quite so front and centre!
      I’m back to morning pages . . . I have made a 30 day contract with myself. When I complete that contract I will go back to the book . . . step by step, so unlike me as I usually leap in and then find I have taken on more that I can cope with.

  2. Fabulous post Natasha, seeing your gorgeous artwork, your journalled progress and knowing that you have what we know as ‘Celestine moments’ (after reading Celestine Prophecies), is fantastic, thank you for sharing with us!

  3. Great big Congrats on finishing your book!!!! yes, you have an end and a beginning!!!! Your pages are simply wonderful and so full of inspiration for all of us! Thanks – I am so happy that I “met” you at SOC!!!!!

  4. Wooooo! Congratulations. That’s awesome you finished. I’m still hoping to finish mine soon. The “trust the darkness” bit really resonated with me (I have been using the Morning Pages journal and it has that quote in it).

  5. Pingback: Rocking moments | Natasha White Designs

  6. Wow Natasha. Just wow. I think I’m going to get the book. I’m already making excuses (will I have time for artist dates and morning pages) but that in itself is making me think I need to read the book. Thank you so much for having us as long for the ride. CONGRATULATIONS! I’m imagining you throwing a paint stained mortar board in the air :-)

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