The Artists Way

A continuation of last weeks conversation regarding the book the Artists Way by Julia Cameron.

Week 2: Recovering a Sense of Identity

This week addresses self-definition as a major component of creative recovery. You may find yourself drawing new boundaries and staking out new territories as your personal needs, desires, and interests announce themselves. The essays and tools are aimed at moving you into your personal identity, a self-defined you.

Morning Pages

Day 8 - 3 pages, a task, and affirmations.
Day 9 - 3 pages and rules of the road.
Day 10 - 3 pages that included affirmations.
Day 11 - 3 pages that included affirmations.
Day 12 - 3 pages.
Day 13 - 1 page.
Day 14 - 3 pages and this check in.

When I write about the number of pages, I mean I brain dumped for that long. The goal is to make it three pages of brain dumping. And I definitely didn’t do that every day, I still count days 10 and 11 successes because affirmations are a part of brain dumping in my mind. Reinforcing positive thought patterns is a good thing. It’s the days that I didn’t do any affirmations or the one day I wasn’t able to write at all. The only thing I can really share about that day is mental health exploded and I took the day off from basically everything. I focused on what I needed to do to get myself back in a better place and doing that allowed me to continue functioning for the rest of the week. I find my brain dumps to be very disconnected things, though there does seem to be a running theme regarding sex, food, and depression.

The Artist Date

As I said last week, I am not following the full rules of the artists date because I do spend 75% of my time alone and it’s more of a challenge to push myself to get out of the house and involved with other people.

The Ice Cream Adventure

Last week I mentioned that I invited a friend to get ice cream with me and that while we did hang out and do some awesome things, the ice cream part kinda failed. However, my friend heard me out about my plan and what I was thinking about doing and she has decided to join me. The plan is to hit an ice cream shop every week for the whole of summer. We have 9 or so places already picked out and planned for. That I think will be my artists date. But I don’t want it to just be the outing. I need to met certain requirements while we are out.

  1. Take pictures of said ice cream.

  2. Take a walk around the area of the ice cream.

These requirements are very basic but both are hard for me to do. Especially around other people. She is game though and I am looking forward to the challenge.

Our first stop was the Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Co and we walked from my house to it and back again. The ice cream was good but not really anything special. I used the picture I took as part of my 365 Project (Day 169). Oh and probably the most important thing to mention is that I got salted caramel with cashews and slivers of chocolate.

Other

I also did a few other things that might fall under the artists date category. I got a massage, went kayaking for the first time this summer, and signed up for a few new and exciting classes. I think I did pretty good on this weeks Artist Date assignment.

Weekly Tasks

There are ten tasks for week 2. I’m not going to write about each tasks individual just my overall thoughts. I’ve shared a bit of my journaling of this weeks tasks in the picture below, with a few edits to keep some things private. The biggest thing I learned from this week though, was that there are not any barriers stopping me from doing the thing I want the most, except for me. I am the barrier. This was a rather hard realization and yet it is also a very apparent one. Knowing in the back of your mind is very different from vocalizing it out loud to yourself and then online. I have the privilege of leading a life where there is no obligations in place that are preventing me from doing exactly what I want to do. Most people have to worry about work obligations, family obligations, money obligations. For me all I have is my mental health, my fear, my worry. At the bottom of the page I wrote “I am the thing holding me back the most”.

That is not a line I wanted to write or a line of thinking I wanted to realize. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to reach my bigger goal. But I do have the opportunity to make it happened. It would be a shame to waste that. So I took some steps to start working towards this goal and I shared the goal with someone who would support me in it. Not only that they looked at me and responded with I thought you were already working towards that, get going. Something the Artists Way says is to find people who won’t dwell on the thing you want to do but will tell you off when you are slacking at working towards that goal (it’s worded much nicer than that) and I’ve got a few people who are like that. So steps were taken and I am very curious/hopefully about continuing on this journey.

So dear reader, if you’ve made it this far thank you. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you worked through the Artists Way before? What do you think of my realization, artists date, or the notes I shared in the picture?

All words have not a single meaning but a swarm of them, like bees around a hive
— Maureen O'Brien

I'm a lifestyle blogger, covering deep subjects including body images, battles with food, and overcoming how I was raised. I try to be as authentic as possible and I don’t sugar coat how I see things.