The Artist’s Way, Week 2
Week 2: Recovering a Sense of Identity has been interesting. As I work through the morning pages (MP), I am digging in the dirt of my self-doubt. I also had a revelation about how I spend my time. I thought back to my high school days when I would go right to skating practice nearly every day and somehow I had the energy for it. Of course, I was younger then, but I realized: I didn’t take a break between the end of school and the beginning of skating practice. I never let my momentum lapse, and I realized that’s what’s dragging me down. I take a break after Arabic before I start (or try to start) my dance practice at home. I need to come home and immediately start my practice. No breaks. Also, I’ve been going to bed way too late, which means I’m not getting enough sleep, and that’s having a negative affect on my mood and motivation. On Thursday night, I decided to head to bed at 9:30pm. I spent about an hour in bed reading, and I fell asleep at 11pm. On Friday I felt about 75% better, which was amazing! If I can get myself to bed by 11pm every night, I will have more energy to train and dance in the afternoons after my Arabic class, and I will feel better all-around. I’m not sure why it took me so long to figure out these things, but at least I did!
On the positive side of things, I feel like I am more observant, and I am less numb to potential inspiration. My boyfriend and I took a trip down to Big Sur and back, and my gawd. No wonder that place has been the destination of so many artists. The redwoods are so beautiful, the coast line is awe-inspiring, and the hillsides are jaw-dropping. How could one not feel inspired in the midst of such stunning nature? What’s funny is that I have been on that drive before, but I was younger, and I had not yet moved away from California. I took California scenery for granted, and it was just another part of my life. After having been away for so long, I missed it to much. I realized just how much magic this area of the world holds for me, and that’s one of the many reasons I decided to come home.
How could I have ever taken this for granted? Silly me.
Morning Pages: The morning pages have been helpful in clearing out much of the gunk in my head, but they’re bringing out negativity. As you go through TAW, you’re supposed to use these negative thoughts (which Julia Cameron calls “blurts”) and turn them into affirmations. What’s difficult is facing the negative thoughts in the first place, but in order to find the light, we must journey through the dark. Getting up in the morning is still a problem, especially when Fanty, one of my two half-Siamese cats, decides that as I am writing my MP that is the perfect time for him to snuggle with me in my lap. After all, who doesn’t like morning snuggles?
Artist’s Date: I took myself out to lunch (in my Arabic program we have an hour and a half for lunch, which is just enough time to have a small adventure) to an absolutely amazing Indian restaurant with a fountain outside, a huge statue of dancing Shiva, and some of the most tasty Indian food I have ever had. I wanted to slow down and really savor the flavors (unintentional rhyme!) of each dish. I opened my ears to the sounds around me, the various conversations of people at nearby tables, the gurgling and splashing of the water in the fountain, and the din of dishes and flatwear. On that day, the fog decided to melt away, and the sun shone brilliantly in Monterey; this is my favorite weather. It doesn’t seem much to take oneself out to lunch, but doing so really helped fill my creative well. I also discovered a cute little gift shop in which carries cards, knick-knacks, and jewelry, most of which I really liked.
I am certainly feeling that I am making creative and artistic progress. It’s difficult to not feel inspired when I’m surrounded by beauty all the time.