artist’s way II: week two

Pain had become something more valuable: experience.
Each moment, taken alone, was always bearable. In the exact now, we are all, always, all right. —Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

Sadly, I am well aware that week two is well overdue. I can partially blame my delay on the fact that I have been moving from a hotel into our new rental home, which has provided an abundance of delightful projects (that have proven to be fantastically distracting). However, that is merely an excuse. When all is said and done, I have no legitimate reason for my excessive delay in getting back into all The Artist’s Way goodness, except that I allowed myself to be lazy and actively avoid this whole process of self-reflection and creativity.  I have also realized over the past few weeks, that despite the effectiveness and productivity my morning pages provide, I often put them off—clearly a subtle example of self-sabotage.

A happy Soupy.
A happy Soupy.

With that in mind, I found myself slowing down more frequently to notice the simple things that make me happy–the flavor of butter mixed with jam on my toast or the beautiful way my milk swirls into my coffee.  I watched a baby bunny eat grass in my yard, while birds hopped around finding worm (sorry, worms).  Every morning, when I stretch to get out of beds my dogs become instantly alert and super-adorably-happy to be alive.  Also, they do dog show.  And I love dog show.  The dog show is when Soup and Dr. Morris randomly decide it is playtime, and long lanky Soup pounces around like a giant wonky kitten, while DocMo gets an angry mohawk all down her back and rolls around under Soup like a piglet.  Life is better with pets.

Week 2/Task 2:
What were your five major activities of the past week, how much time did you give them and which did you do because you wanted to—and which did you do because you felt you should do them?

  1. Painted/refurbished my new thrift store dresser.  I have spent several hours working on this project. It isn’t complete yet. I am doing it because it needs to be done, but I also enjoy the process.
  2. Yard work. Lots of yard work. It also needs to be done, so my dogs have a happy green place to run and play. However, it is also another project I enjoy because it provides a sense of purpose.
  3. Watching streaming videos on netflix.   I think have spent time I could have easily spent being productive elsewhere (working through Artist’s Way or taking the fifteen minutes it takes to do my morning pages).  However, I think I am still impressed/surprised/addicted to the novelty of netflix. Living in the Azores, streaming video from the US wasn’t available, so it is pretty amazing.
  4. Blogging. I wrote/revised a couple blogs.  I enjoy that, but sometimes it takes a while to find the motivation.
  5. Napping. I nap a lot—more than a human should. I think it is my way of hiding when I feel sad or lonely.

Week 2/Task 3:
List twenty things you enjoy doing—(These are not in any particular order)

  1. Dancing
  2. Making art
  3. Looking at the art of other humans
  4. Getting a massage
  5. Taking my dogs for walks
  6. Listening to music
  7. Wandering through antique shops/thrift stores
  8. Singing
  9. Laughing
  10. Drinking coffee
  11. Drinking wine
  12. Reading
  13. Cuddling with my husband on the sofa
  14. Cuddling with my dogs on the sofa
  15. Napping
  16. Cleaning (if I am in the mood)
  17. Yoga
  18. Interesting conversations with nice humans
  19. Talking to my parents
  20. Playing with animals

Week 2/Task 8:
List ten changes you would like to make for yourself significant or small—

  1. Eat less sugar.
  2. Relax and feel less guilty about the fact that I am currently, understandably, unemployed.
  3. Be a better listener.
  4. Force myself out of my comfort zone more frequently.
  5. Do my morning pages-every-single-day.

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