April 4

The Artist’s Way..Week 10 (Self-Protection)

Posted by lori . 5 Comments

Recovering a sense of self-protection is the topic this week…self-protection for the perils that can ambush us on our creative path.

“Dangers of the Trail” begins with this quote, “Creativity is God energy flowing through us, shaped by us, like light flowing through a crystal prism.  When we are clear about who we are and what we are doing, the energy flows freely and we experience no strain.”  Although this is what we seek, this can be a frightening process.  To protect ourselves from our fear, every creative person has a variety of “blocks” that they favor; usually one or two that work very effectively.  “Workaholism” has an entire section devoted to it but there are many other “blocks” of choice.  “Drought” talks about the inevitable times when we experience a dry spell.  This is the time when it is essential to keep up with the morning pages even though they may seem pointless and yield nothing.  “Fame” and “Competition” are two spiritual drugs that turn the question to, “How does my work look to them?” instead of, “Is my work going well?”  Fame (or the pursuit of) and competition can cause us to ask ourselves the wrong questions, and those wrong questions give us the wrong answers.  The point of the work is the work.

As in Week 9, there were fewer exercises but they were very in-depth.  My favorites included “The Deadlines,” where you write seven words on seven strips of paper (alcohol, drugs, sex, work, money, food, family/friends); you draw one slip from the envelope then write five ways in which it has had a negative impact on your life.  You do this 7 times.  “Touchstones” involves making a list of things you love.  You post the list where it can console and comfort you.  I love doing things like this.  I find that it does calm me when I’m anxious, and I see it as an exercise in gratitude where I can see the beauty and blessing in my life.  “The Awful Truth” pushes you to answer questions about things that get in the way of your creativity.

I mentioned last week how much I liked the readings and exercises.  I felt the same this week.  As I gain confidence and clarity, focusing on the journey and finding ways to protect myself as an artist is very empowering.  The reading and work this week was strengthening and the stronger you are, the better able you are to protect yourself.

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5 Responses to " The Artist’s Way..Week 10 (Self-Protection)"

  • Oh good golly I has no idea what you is ramblin’ on bout but my mum says her totally understands. Mum use to be da creative one around heres and fur hers it was more about da process than da final out come (though her loved dat too). Her say da worst thing is to get to da point dat you is concerned bout what others think of da work rather than if you is proud of what you have done.

    Her also says dat da Irish singer is off limits;)
    Hehehehehehe…oh, I cracks myself up. He is still in my crate…in da laundry room.


    • lori says:

      Puddles…you are exactly right! What am I ramblin’ about? You puppies have us beat in that area. You know who you are and you don’t worry about all that other stupid stuff. We all need to learn from you guys…Be who you are and forget the rest! I do feel a little sorry for your mom though. It has to be hard living with a superstar like you, and you know I’m right.

      Tell your mom, I’ll leave the Irish singer alone. I don’t want to get “whooped on.” I have enough troubles figuring out this creativity thing.

      Love you, Puddles! I’m heading over to your place as soon as I get done with a few comments here.

  • houndstooth4 says:

    A lot of that rings very true for me right now! I feel the need to grow in certain aspects of my own creativity, but it’s hard to do when you are worried about whether it will appeal to others. Focusing on the work is something I need to become more grounded and centered with! 🙂

    • lori says:

      Going through this book has truly been (and will keep being) a spiritual journey. I KNOW that who I am and what I have to offer (whatever that is) is of value. I may or may not ever know how that value plays itself out.

      If I may say something to you that I hope will strengthen you, especially in regards to never knowing how your “work” impacts others…because I can actually tell you about one of the ways your “offering” has played out. I know you started Tales and Tails to help you work through Treat’s death. I stumbled across your blog because someone in my Greyhound Yahoo! Forum group linked to your post about making homemade Frosty Paws. I loved your blog, showed it to my friend, and we started reading it every morning. One day she made a comment that I should write a blog (meaning just like yours). I totally ignored it because I knew I couldn’t write about my houndies the way you write about your girls…but the seed was planted. I got such pleasure out of reading Tales and Tails! As I was working my way through the “empty nest syndrome,” I started to think about writing a blog and what that would look like. My hope was that I could create something that made someone as happy as Tales and Tails made me. I don’t know the future of What Remains Now, but I do know that creating and playing with it gives me a “joy” and a sense of purpose that I haven’t experienced in long time, and I believe what it becomes or what it leads to is part of my “giving back.” I tell you this for no other reason than I remind MYSELF of this when I start to worry about how my work will be received. I have seen that through your “honest” offering, my life has changed. That is magical to me because I know what your work has meant to me, and I know that impacting me in the way you did was in no way part of your plan. But that’s how God works. Let the journey continue.

  • houndstooth4 says:

    Wow! I had no idea! You know, I used to write a lot of crazy little stuff here and there, and Treat posted a lot on a few message boards. When she died, I really felt like I’d lost “my voice” and I didn’t write for almost a year. The blog was a way for me to use that hound perspective of the world (although when I started it, I didn’t intend to use a hound voice, but Bunny is much more popular than I am) and to get myself back into the habit of writing regularly. It’s amazed me how people have told me that the blog has affected them, from Greyhounds being adopted to certain posts that rang true for them for whatever reason. To me, I’m just “little me” playing with words! I am trying to incorporate new loves into it as I develop them, like hiking and photography, and I like that it’s a thing that can always evolve. Whew! I’ve written a novel here!

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