Book Club – The Artist’s Way – Chapter 3

22 Jun

Our book club discussion group met last night (The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron). It has been 3 weeks since our last meeting (due to scheduling difficulties) so it was interesting to see how everyone handled the extra time for the chapter. I found that having extra time didn’t mean I did extra work, but rather I just delayed getting started. Which is probably typical for a lot of people. There is a tendency to think that if we have extra time it will help us with the task at hand, but in reality we probably just delay starting the task instead of utilizing the extra time! At least that is how I tend to respond.

Everyone was doing the Morning Pages (at least some of the time), some more regularly than others, but it seemed to be getting easier to do them for most of us. I admit, I only did them one day while I was traveling, but I am quite diligent when I am at home.  The Artist Dates are still hard for some of us to be able to do alone! All of us were able to do artistic/creative/inspiring activities, but not all of us managed to do them alone! But we all agreed that even if you are with somebody else, it was still good to participate in anything that gave us that creative spark!  The Artist Dates ranged from going to the Fine Arts Center to gardening to going to art galleries to taking art classes. Lots of great ideas!

Chapter 3 was Recovering a Sense of Power and dealt with issues like anger, shame, criticism, and synchronicity. The idea that anger is a positive emotion, in that it shows us what we need to change and the direction we need to go, was quite provocative. Most of us probably think of anger as a bad thing, but the book explains how to use it as a map of where we want to go. Somehow that makes me feel better. The issues of shame and criticism and how they are often linked brought up concerns about the fine line between good criticism and bad criticism. While most of the time it is pretty easy to tell which is which, it is those criticisms that straddle that line that are confusing for me. We discussed shame and the value that art has when dealing with the secrets of society. That art reveals things about a culture/society that are often uncomfortable.

We all loved the idea of synchronicity. The universe will provide that answer if you only ask. We have all experienced a time when we decided we needed something, and simply put our intention out there, and voila! the answer appeared almost immediately. It doesn’t always have to be something big or profound (I need a career change), it can be something simple and easy (I need a black dress).  Go ahead and try it and see what happens. (My hubby & I had discussed the need to hire a very part-time employee, but working out of the house and having dogs causes difficulties for having employees. We talked about what we needed and how to find it, and next thing we know somebody we know mentioned they were looking for part-time work and since it is somebody we know and like, it is perfect!)  Intent is a very powerful thing!

Our group always has interesting discussions (and usually lots of laughter) that come from the chapter we are reading, or from something we have experienced and decided to share with the group. We talked a bit about stereotypes and how that affects us and whether there is validity in them. We also discussed the idea of ‘too many choices’ and how that can be a good thing but also a bad thing. I can say that I find too many choices to be problematic. Deciding things both big and small requires so much work these days due to the amount of choices out there, as well as the availability of information, that we can agonize over even the most basic of decisions. I certainly am old enough to remember a time when there were much fewer choices, and we all survived!

One of the quotes in the book is from Erica Jong, “Take your life in your own hands and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame.” We discussed the issues between blame and responsibility and how they were vital to this study. Taking responsibility for our own actions and ideas and thoughts and behaviours gives us back our own personal power. While it might be scary, it is also quite liberating. Embrace your own personal power!!!!

We discussed Fear as part of the changes we are experiencing. Fear of failure of course, but more often it is fear of success that scares us and freezes us in our tracks. Yikes! What happens when what we are thinking of doing actually works? What then? Will there be even more changes? (Change is good and inevitable!) Then there is the fear that the changes will affect our relationships too. What will our friends and family say? What will they think? Fear can lock you into a place where you aren’t really happy or satisfied. Be careful you don’t let it take control.

Each group member is taking those small steps needed to find our creative selves and we are enjoying the ride! What are you doing to find your path to higher creativity?

We are ready for the next chapter now. Chapter 4 is about 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!

Yikes! Reading deprivation! Oh no! I am not sure I am going to like this next chapter! Our next meeting will be June 28th! See you then.

~Deb~

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio 

 

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5 Responses to “Book Club – The Artist’s Way – Chapter 3”

  1. Sonja Milojevics June 23, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    I enjoyed reading this post, it makes me think about some things. Hmmm…:)

    Like

  2. kathy dailey June 27, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    Found this weeks chapter more unsettling. Not very successful with tasks so far as fires distracting and require most of my attention and the heat is hard to deal with too.

    Like

    • Deb Prewitt June 27, 2012 at 8:50 am #

      We thought this was a short chapter so it would be easy, but I guess that was just an illusion. And yes, the fire is causing a lot of distraction for everyone. And especially those who have had to evacuate and perhaps have lost their homes. I hope you are safe.

      Like

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