The Artists Way

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

Week 4: Recovering a Sense of Integrity

This week may find you grappling with changing self-definition. The essays, tasks, and exercises are designed to catapult you into productive introspection and integration of new self-awareness. This may be both very difficult and extremely exciting for you. Warning: Do not skip the tool of reading deprivation.

Morning Pages

Day 22 - 2 pages, an exercises, and tasks.
Day 23 - 3 pages.
Day 24 - 3 pages.
Day 25 - 2 pages.
Day 26 - 3 pages and tasks
Day 27 - 3 pages, though this was done at midnight instead of first thing in the morning.
Day 28 - 3 pages, tasks, and this check in.

I feel more articulate when it comes to discussing things when I have written through it in my morning pages. It’s strange to have my thoughts laid out so well and it makes discussions so much easier. It’s not perfect but the action of writing it down seems to mean I’ll be better prepared in the future. I’ve also had some major breakthroughs on some specific problems I’ve been struggling with. I’m stepping back from a few projects and focusing my attention on a other things. I’ve got this better written out in a post coming up.

The Artists Date

The Ice Cream Adventure

The morning was bright and the sun was shining. All I wanted to do was be in the water. So we started our adventure not with ice cream but with lunch at Miko Poke and then by paddle boarding on Lake Wingra. After a good hour of battling the wind we decided our arms were exhausted and headed back to Miko for one of their treats - a dole whip ice cream pineapple float. This is my second time having one of these and it was just as good as the first. So good that I had already taken a bit or two before I had remembered to take a picture. We sat outside enjoying the heat and slurping away at this delicious snack. If you haven’t been, I recommended. The poke at this place definitely isn’t anything extraordinary but the float is, so much so that I just might go get another one. (see day 183 for our paddle boarding photo)

Other

Kevin and I also managed to go kayaking with a friend. Honestly this was so much fun. I love water activities so much and it’s great to do it with others. This trip however was a little different. We asked for different kayaks. The float on top ones instead of sit inside and I loved it so much. The sit inside ones always meant that I was smashing elbows and hands into the sides of the boat. The number of times I have broken nails or gotten bruises paddling was a huge detergent for wanting to go out. But floating on top was like a paddle board and kayak mixed and I lasted hours. It was so awesome. (see day 185 for the three of us on the water)

Weekly Tasks

Like last week I really struggled with the exercises and tasks for the chapter. Overall though I decided to read through them daily and then just see what happened and try to not put pressure on my answers. I think it was a good decision and as you can see below my answers were not always complete.

Five hobbies that sound fun

  1. Drawing

  2. Paddlboarding/Kayaking/Aerial

  3. Reading

  4. Metal Crafting (welding)

  5. Video games/board games/D&D

Five things I personally would never do that sound fun

  1. Aerial performance

  2. Bungee jumping

Five things that I used to enjoy doing

  1. Rock climbing

  2. Sewing

Five Classes that Sound Fun

  1. Pencil Drawing

  2. Black and White Drawing

  3. Night Sky Photography

  4. Glass Blowing

  5. Cooking Class

Five skills that would be fun to have

  1. Sign language

  2. Ambidextrous

Five silly things I would like to try once

I literally could not think of a single thing that I would call silly. It’s not silly if it’s something that interests you. Silly is just a judgmental term people use when they are uncomfortable. At least that’s my thought.

I also really enjoyed writing the letter to my 80 year old self. It was a lot longer of a letter than I first thought it would be. I might even turn it into a blog post and try to do a self portrait of me “painted” old. The direction the letter took however didn’t really surprise me. It’s not about how I look or the things I expect to have done by the time I’m 80 but about how I hope that I am happy and fulfilled in whatever way that feels right. This said, the remember myself at 8 task was a lot harder. I have blocked much of my childhood, so to remember I had to pull up my files of pictures and then scroll through until I found the year 1994. I missed this up when I first started it and went looking for photos from 1998. Those photos were interesting because it was the year life really started to change. Grandpa past away, we were in a car accident, my brother was born, I was in girl guides. Life was very different and looking at those photos brought it all back. Once I realized I was looking at the wrong year though I dug until I found 1994. What I discovered didn’t pull many memories forward. In fact most of what I do remember I am pretty sure comes from stories being told vs my actual memory. The first photo I found was a family photo. My sister, parents, and I standing in front of our house. We look giddy and excited and while I can’t know this for sure, I feel like this was taken on the day we moved into our Airdrie home. There’s another photo of us standing in front of our car (the one we had the accident in) and we are in BC during the summer visiting my grandparents. We look happy and the photos don’t give me the tint of sadness most photos do, like from the year 1998. It was definitely an interesting experiment to go through and look at photos from a time where I am pretty sure we all were happy.

And then there was the reading deprivation. I feel like I have been in one for months but at the same time not. I definitely failed at this because I didn’t know what parameters to put around it and so I just caved. I do think however I will come back to this task with some time. Overall this week was a weird one. I had some great breakthroughs and a lot of struggles and I feel better for it all. On a weird side note, I will be 80 in 2066. That’s a strange time to think about!

Well 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? Do you have five silly things you would like to try once?

Fears are educated into us and can, if we wish, be educated out.
— Karl A. Menninger

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.