An Artist’s Way Update
Before I get into my update I must apologize for the scarcity of my blog posts. I actually didn’t realize how infrequently I’ve been updating things here; I’ll try to do better. It’s been a case of time moving much faster than I realize, it seems!
At the beginning of January I picked up the Artist’s Way again. For any new readers of my blog, this will number the fourth, or possibly fifth time I’ve set my foot on this path. This time I’ve found a more Zen approach, and so far have been far more successful in holding to it. Time-wise I’m about seven weeks in. As far as the course goes, I’m on week four/five.
The biggest thing I recognized as I picked this endeavor back up was that in the past I was trying too hard to stick to the schedule as it was laid out. While it’s a grand and noble thing to say “Yes, I will do this and yes I will allow myself X hours every week and X hours every day for this” life is not always so agreeable. And, for me, when I take into account that in addition to fighting against the demands of life but also fighting against my own internal wiring(Hello, I’m Aisling, and I exhibit co-dependent behaviors) that means the very acts of just saying that is a challenge. Let alone making it happen.
What this has meant for me is that some steps take longer than others.
For instance. I spent a week doing morning pages before I even reread the first chapter. I’ve done the tasks of more than one chapter in the same week and have also had tasks pile up as I push ahead. There are certain tasks that I read and they leave me uneasy, or, as one did, they cause an outright state of panic.
These are big red flags for me, and I know that I need to address them. I also know that I can’t force myself to address them. So, I bookmark those spots and write in my morning pages about them, talk to my partner, my sister, and whoever else I need, until I work my way through the issues that are at the root.
I’ve discovered over the last eight weeks or so that I can pour my heart and soul into those things that my friends, family, and loved ones need in order to make their dreams come true but to do so for myself feels as if I’m neglecting someone – even when there’s no one in the house and I know there’s nothing else that needs my attention.
I can work on things for myself if I describe them as “crafty” or a “hobby”, but as soon as I even think of them as serious or “art” I shut down. I’ve discovered that there’s a part of me that feels it needs permission to do creative things, as if they’re wrong is some way, that they’re a waste of time or energy. Taking time for myself is difficult, and depending on what’s going on around me can be downright painful. All these things I’m learning, and working on unraveling.
So as I slow down at red flags and unknot the tangle of emotions that would trip me at every turn were I to rush on ahead full speed I instead allow myself time. Time to try to understand why I’m reacting, how I’m reacting, and where I can change the way I’m doing things. I’ve had extensive discussions with my partner that have led to many tears but also a deeper understanding of each other. And if there’s one thing I know, it’s that she’s totally supportive of my path to an unblocked creative life.
I wish I could share some trick or secret. But there really isn’t one. The main thing is the one that is said time and again in the book. Show up for the morning pages. It’s there that everything comes out eventually. Do your artist’s dates. If you find you’re cheating yourself out of them, examine why. Then try to do them again. My artist date last week was to make myself a journal for my morning pages. Because I’ve realized I’ve no intention of giving them up. Ever.