Posted by: Beth | 2010/03/08

Week 3 – Recovering a Sense of Power

Last week should’ve been week three but I found myself sort of taking a break.  I didn’t have time to read the Chapter so I continued writing morning pages but didn’t do real fantastic at that either.  I missed Thursday because I had to judge the Social Studies Fair which I counted as an artist date of sorts, then I missed Saturday because I had such early morning plans and my day was packed from beginning to end.  And then I missed Sunday with church and all the make-up chores I had to get done. 

Last night I made the time to sit down and read Chapter 3 on Recovering a Sense of Power and I found that even though I hadn’t read the chapter my creative recovery is sailing along right on track.  She summed up the chapter by saying

This week may find you dealing with unaccustomed bursts of energy and sharp peaks of anger, joy, and grief.  You are coming into your power as the illusory hold of your previously accepted limits is shaken.  You will be asked to consciously experiment with spiritual open-mindedness.

I would say that did fit last week so I guess I can expect more of the same for this week.  This chapter taught me that anger is a fuel to be listened to.  Anger is a map that shows us where our boundaries are.  It shows us where we want to go; points the way.  Of course her examples have to do with creative anger and usually my anger is NOT creative anger.  But if I can use it as a tool to propel me into my new life I’ll accept that.  I do agree that anger is a loyal friend that tells us when we have been betrayed or when we have betrayed ourselves.  I agree that it will tell us that it is time to act in our own best interests.  It is action’s invitation.  And since I started actually listening to mine….  I’m doing much better and I am much happier.

Next she covers God and synchronicity aka serendipity.  Answered prayers are scary.  You asked for it.  You got it.  What are you going to do with it?  It’s easier to say things are coincidence.  I totally agree with Julia Cameron when she says possibility is far more frightening than impossibility.  I’ve known for a long time I am more afraid of success than trying and failing.  If I succeed than more will be expected of me!  What if I can’t deliver more than once?  What if I’m a one hit wonder?  All this fits into our sermon from church yesterday.  By the measure of your faith so shall it be delivered to you. 

The hand of God activated by our own hand when we act in behalf of our truest dreams….. when we answer that call, when we commit to it, we set in motion the principle that C.G. Jung dubbed synchronicity, loosely defined as a fortuitous intermeshing of events…… Never ask whether you can do something.  Say, instead, that you are doing it.  Then fasten your seat belt.  The most remarkable things follow.

I have found that to be very, very true with my quit smoking journey.  As long as I said I was “trying” to quit I never got it done.  Once, I said “I quit” I haven’t had a sickerette in more than eight months now.  When Julia said she marveled at the slight of hand with which the universe delivers its treats I also have to agree.  My beautiful curio cabinet is an excellent example of this!  I really wanted one of my mother’s curios after she died and my dad and my older sister made sure that didn’t happen.  This past weekend a gorgeous curio came into my possession for the incredible price of $20.  I haven’t been able to find this particular cabinet online but similar cabinets that I have looked at have easily run in the $2000-$3000 range.

Next there is a section on shame.  I definitely endured childhood shaming as I think many, if not most, people of my generation did.  This explains why the act of actually finishing a piece of art is fraught with internal shaming.  This whole section is very pertinent to my situation.   My needs for recognition were routinely dishonored teaching me that putting anything out for attention is a dangerous act.  I must learn to create my own safe environment and protect my artist child from shame.  I simply cannot allow the first negative thinking to take hold.  The antidote for shame is self-love and self-praise….  It is “God’s will” for us to be creative.

There is a section on dealing with criticism and then an exercise to restore the person we abandoned – ourselves.  Then Julia talked about growth and it’s erratic movement; two steps forward, one step back.  It occurs in spurts and you will lie dormant at times.  Do not be discouraged, think of it as resting.  This explains this past week of wanting to move forward with this whole process but just not getting it done.  It was definitely a week of sluggishness.  But she is right that I am already noticing a slight lightness of heart.    Julia says to practice being kind to yourself in small, concrete ways…. If you do one nice thing a day for yourself, God will do two more.  Be alert for support and encouragement from unexpected quarters.  Be open to receiving gifts from odd channels.  Experiment with solitude.  Make a commitment to quiet time.  Several times a day ask yourself how YOU are feeling.  Listen to your answer.  Respond kindly…. baby yourself.

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Responses

  1. Beth, you inspire me every time I read your posts on The Artist’s Way. You are putting so much of yourself into the study and reaping such benefits. I told Randy that if nothing more comes of MWAM than seeing you all springboard into blogging and studying The Artist’s Way then I will be so grateful.

    • Thank you! Now MWAM started because I asked you why YOU weren’t writing and I am not going to be happy until I see that YOU are writing again. Even if you don’t feel comfortable sharing it with us as former students I know that you have lots of your own stories to tell. We are going to get you blogging and then you can tell your stories to strangers if you want to. But you are very creative yourself. I know you are!!!

  2. Thank you for your comments Marijane. I would love it if you would get the book and do this journey with us. I don’t know what the outcome is going to be for me but I am changing and I am already happier with myself and my life. You obviously are a creative person to be a music therapist in the first place. Like I told you when we first got back in touch I had never heard of that as an occupation and I think it is wonderful. I don’t know what your beliefs are but I believe God has something special in store for you. Doors are going to open in a way that you are not expecting at this time! I really believe that!

  3. Beth, it looks like you’re doing great with the Artist’s Way! I love when you take something on in your life and it shows such great rewards. So many choices now have so much to do with our childhood choices or in some cases, lack of choices.

    I’m incredibly proud of you for being 8 months and smoke-free. I’ve never smoked myself but my Mom did and still does, although much less now. I see what an addiction it is and how terribly hard it is, to quit. I find that to be an amazing accomplishment.

    • Thank you Monica. It is still very hard some days to remain smokefree. People think you are or should be “over it” after a few weeks but I think it will be a lifelong commitment if I want to make sure I never go back.

  4. Beth, I bought each of the grandchildren journals and I am writing to each child in his/her journal. This is the perfect way for me to be sure my memory lives forever with them. I write and they write so it is a collaborative effort. Right now we are in the process of decorating the journals. Minature Mexican “Worry Dolls” are going to decorate Emily’s journal. xo

    • I think what you are doing for your grandchildren is absolutely wonderful. What a treasure they will each have. And for them to be sharing the process with you makes it doubly special to each one of them. I just know those journals will be family heirlooms for many generations to come. What wonderful ideas you have!

  5. As the weeks go on my awareness of synchronicity expands. I love the feeling of belonging that accompanies this process and I’m glad you are blogging about it. It’s fun to see your journey as it parallels mine.

  6. I am enjoying doing this process with you. I love seeing how we both think outside the box and come up with completely different things to do. I’m still working with the synchronicity process. I guess I will see more and more of it as I continue forward. 🙂

  7. Synchronicity has always played a big part in my life or perhaps I have recognized it more. I am sure I have a book on the topic. Will look for the title to share.

    • I think synchronicity has always played a big part in my life but I have always attributed it to God. I’m not quite sure it is the same thing. I will be much more aware of it now as I was this evening when my brother-in-law unexpectedly showed up right after I had moved certain items out of my living room yesterday.

  8. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Synchronicity/God….we get to decide. xo


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