Monday, January 23, 2012

Ten Things I've Learned So Far From "The Artist's Way" (and a giveaway)

I've been working through "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. Ideally I'd be signed up for my friend Cindy's class and go through the process weekly with new friends who are becoming family. That will have to wait for another space in time though. For now, I'm working through the book as best I can, with a bit of support from an online group that I created who may or may not be actually going through the book too. I've finished week five (out of twelve) and I've made many breakthroughs, drawn some conclusions, and flat out have become so unblocked that I'm moving forward with a few things that were merely ideas and dreams prior to starting the process. Here are just a few of those things. If you are feeling stuck in your life, missing something, not sure what... perhaps this amazing book might be just what you are looking for. Take a peek. Give it a try. Let me know how it goes.

1. I'm not as blocked as I thought I was. In nearly all areas of my life, I'm actually quite unblocked. I live very authentically, except when it comes to following through with producing my art... and maybe except when it comes to taking my own personal needs and desires seriously.

2. I want not. I have had to make lists (and lists and lists) of things, items, I'd like to own. It's been so hard for me to come up with anything. Most of the items I'd like to own are not unattainable either. I guess maybe I already have everything I need and want. Or maybe I'm "low maintenance". Or a combination of both.

3. I may not actually WANT to do many of the things I thought I want to do. Like, for instance, I might not actually want to write a play about leukemia. I may be writing a book instead. A totally different book than the one I thought I was going to write about 9 months ago. What I do know is that I'm not going to force myself to work on something that doesn't come out of me naturally and easily. Life is too short.

4. I missed directing. I made a very clear goal on my birthday to get back into the theater. Notice I didn't say on the stage. I said into the theater. Then I started praying about it and bam, I knew that I was supposed to offer my services to my church family. Now I'm smack dab in the middle of directing a show at my church and let me tell you, so far, I'm loving it. So very much. I'd forgotten how much I loved directing and it's just that much more gratifying when my own kids are part of the cast.

5. If you ask for it, it will be given to you. I said that I wanted to take a yoga class and now I've found myself a perfect yoga/meditation class that I can take every other Sunday for a mere five bucks. I said over and over again in my "The Artist's Way" exercises that I'd like to take some art classes... drawing, painting, sewing... you name it. Now I know that there is a small rural art school about TEN MINUTES FROM MY HOUSE. I am learning to get a firm grasp on my desires so that I can ask for them. There is an unlimited supply of abundance for us all. We just need to ask for it.

6. I wouldn't change a thing. The more I write my morning pages (they are such a great tool), the more I realize that I truly have no regrets. There are some things that haunt me at times but in all honesty, every last mistake I've made has worked together to make me the woman and mother and artist that I am today. I am thankful for all of it.

7. I really want dreads. My husband thinks dreads are ugly but it seems that having dreads is way up on the top of my list of things I'd have if I lived more authentically. So I'm considering SOME dreads. As a compromise.

8. It's a gift if I let you in. I have learned that I don't shut people out and keep them at a safe distance just because I'm a paranoid bitch. Instead, I think it's more that I have a deep respect for myself and I feel that if a person is to be let in... inside where they can see me, know me, experience me... they must earn it. If they have not earned it... or they have shown me repeatedly that they cannot be trusted with my heart then they don't get in. Simple as that. And I am not sorry.

9. My childhood eludes me. I have no memory of myself as a kid before the age of... maybe 12. No memory. If you knew me then, I'd love to hear your memories of pre-12 year old Mandyray.

10. My old age is going to rock. I have so many interests that I want to pursue. There is not enough time to do it all right now. But I know that if my Father gives me enough time on earth, I'm going to try them all out. I'll be one busy senior citizen gramma. With my gray hair dread locks, my nose ring, and my chucks. I guarantee.

Now it's your turn. I've been promising my readers some samples of our Ridiculous Chocolate hot cocoa. It's good. GOOOOD. It's made from coconut milk powder, coconut sugar, and raw cocoa powder. You just add hot water (and a bit of stevia and cayenne if you are me). It's amazing. I know you wanna try it. So this is what you do... leave a comment here telling me about something you want to do... are about to do, can't wait to do when you have the time. Or tell me something else that was inspired by this post. Tell me about something related to unblocking your artist. For we all have an artist in us. We are made in the image of our creator. And He is the ultimate artist. My kids and I will draw the name of three winners (we already have one from last week) in the next few days. Be sure I have a way to get back in touch with you if you win.

A comment = one entry. :)

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  1. This is a great post. I'm happy that you're having such good results with The Artist's Way. My dream is writing a memoir. I've been working on making that a reality since 2007 but so far in 2012 I'm taking some risks and trying to make writing a priority.

  2. I want dreads too!!! and my husband says the SAME thing. LOL. I am thrilled about backyard chickens. Once our fence is up, I can't wait to start harvesting eggs and loving on some chicks! Hope I win!

  3. Hi, Mandy! I've been a reader for a while, but this is my first comment. I just wanted to say that I love your blog. You have such a great view of things (life, schooling, parenthood), and I am constantly sending your posts to my husband and saying, "She is so right! I'm glad someone said this!"

    For this post in particular, my comment was that anyone who has dreads on their list of things they would have if they were living more authentically is my kind of person. :)

  4. In the next 4 months, I will be defending my dissertation proposal and having our first baby. So it's like I'm in nesting mode at school and at home, getting ready for my two biggest productions so far. :) So I'm working on calmness and order, so that things don't get in the way of the nesting.

    I think you'd look awesome in dreads. For some reason I picture you with short dreads going in all directions!

  5. My husband thinks dreads are awesome, but I'm afraid of that "in between" period before the dreads really loc...super fuzz.

    Mandy, I cannot imagine you "blocked"! You seem to have SO much passion and energy!

  6. I've been saying for some time now that I want to learn to sew. I have to purchase a sewing machine first, and it looks like that may be able to happen very soon. So here's hoping I can be a quick learner and that I am actually good at it once I learn how to do it.

    Another thing I have been wanting for myself but just not sure if or when I will do it is to get another tattoo. Still thinking and praying on that one.

  7. Sometimes our lives run such parelle I think we need to start a support group for modern southern artist. I had to stop the book while we overhauled our diet and that is still requiring more time then I'd like to admit. I hope to pick it back up soon.

    As for dreads have you considered synth? I use to braid them in then remove to scrub my scalp when needed then put back in. Easy and cheap and you can buy colors!!!

  8. I absolutely love dreads (i want them myself)...and coconut sugar!! I enjoy keeping up with your blog!!

  9. I had never heard of this book before your post - may have to check it out now! I love all you shared. For me, I'm like Shana and would LOVE to raise chickens! But not an option in our current home. I also want to experience more of the arts (theatre, concerts, etc) and expose my kids to more of that. W've started doing that, and my daughter and I are now in a small community theatre production, so am slowly making that exposure happen. It's been fun and I can't wait to see what we decide to get involved in next! Thanks for the giveaway! We loooove hot chocolate!! :)

  10. I am about to re-launch my home business (monogramming) and add another sister company (sewing) and it's pretty nerve-wracking. I hope to enjoy the process and welcome what the future brings.


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