It’s a new year, and I’ve entered a beautiful new chapter of my life. My life is leveling out after the chaos of drastic transition. And, I’m excited to get back into my artistic endeavors (including working through The Artist’s Way).
I appreciate the value of The Artist’s Way, but it’s difficult to finish. Working through weekly lessons with only my rather unreliable self-motivation to push me to finish, has its own challenges.
I’m facilitating an online study group in an effort to share this positive experience with other fascinating friends and acquaintances (and as you may have suspected–to selfishly, help hold myself accountable). We’re working at our own pace, in various cities. Our group has a variety of ages, genders, career paths, and life experiences. The only common thread so far, is our love of creativity and willingness for personal growth (oh, and knowing me).
For 2018, I need self preservation and self care. (I’m not embracing a willful ignorance. And I know, the fact that I can hide away for a bit in this world is indicative of my own social privilege.) I’m working on keeping the information I ingest in check, so I’m able to be a functional human in the world (engaged, but not overwhelmed and hopeless).
Most US citizens with a soul or basic understanding of empathy have noticed, things look a bit bleak. Almost every day I’m–shocked, appalled, saddened…(I don’t know, pick any past tense verb synonymous for extremely disappointed). Something new, absurd, and hateful seems to drop, and it’s taking an embarrassingly high emotional toll on me.
The second, but equally as important reason I am again working through Cameron’s book, is to help me get back to my healthier sense of self. I want to work to be a force of positivity within my actual circle of influence.
I want to be less scared of everything.
I want to work beyond my comfort level.
I want the wonderful and amazing humans in my life to know they matter.
I want people I love to know I love them.
So I’m wanting to have something good and positive to focus my energy and effort on instead of the metaphoric dark clouds looming overhead.
Week 1: Recovering a Sense of Safety
Odd-thoughts-that-occurred-to-me-and-interesting-points-that-grabbed-my-attention in Chapter 1:
Even after working through The Artist’s Way two(-ish) times, Cameron’s explanation of shadow artists always feels too real and a little too familiar. My childhood aspirations of being an artist were met with a constant stream of teachers, family members, babysitters, and even friends telling me that making art “was a hobby”. The thing I’d always loved, the one thing that came most naturally to me in the world was always destined to be sidelined.
A pastime…a diversion…a distraction…a frivolity…an amusement…an eccentricity…an interest…an extra something that would maybe be afforded to me if fulfilled the other aspects of real life and the societal expectations of being female allowed for it.
I’ll never fault the responsible and influential people in my life for having (what they only could’ve felt were) their best intentions for me. They wanted to help plant my feet on the figurative ground. Help me develop realistic expectations. Help me avoid inevitable disappointment. They were working off their breadth of experience. It’s entirely understandable why, growing up in rural Montana, people didn’t ever tell this lanky, sensitive, rule-abiding, artsy weirdo to chase her bliss. Also, I don’t think anyone used that phrase in the 1990s, so that’s probably another reason?
I have no idea how or why my parents allowed me to get a liberal arts college degree in Visual Arts. Looking back, it was as dreadfully impractical educational decision (you know, just like it sounds).
But, yet, I’ve never regretted it.
And I’m grateful and blessed my parents have been able to show as much support for my work, my goals, and my career objectives as they have, given that at times, little voices in their minds had to be screaming my career ambitions can’t be a good idea.
So, thanks, mom and dad, for loving me. And mom, I hope you love this Artist-way-journey with us.