Thursday 22 October 2009

The Artist's Way - Week 9 & check in


I had a terrible Artist's Way week health-wise and, while I did read the chapter and do some of the tasks, I didn't get to process the information as much as I would have liked. For week 9, Julia gave us permission to READ the morning pages we have been writing since the beginning of the course. We were to highlight any insights, note areas where action is needed, and note any repetition. I am yet to explore my morning pages but I'll report on my findings next week.

This past week, we were to delve into our inner blocks, not external ones.
  • Fear of putting ourselves out there.

  • Being too hard on ourselves to the point where we lose our enthusiasm.

  • Making up excuses not to progress further on our creative journey because we experience a hurdle. Julia calls them Creative U-turns.

Then Julia discusses how to break through the blocks that are stopping us from moving forward.

One of the tasks was to visualise and write about our goal already being accomplished but to write about it in the present tense. My dilemma is that I don't think I have a goal. I can't decide which direction or style of art I truly want to pursue. I'm reminded of that saying - Jack of all trades, Master of none. Is not having a set goal really such a bad thing at my age? I feel content and happy to just paint for my own joy and not necessarily because I want to sell my art. Of course, the latter would be nice as it would supplement my meagre income but then....I'm back at square one.....what to paint? Realistic animals, motivational/spiritual, Goddess art, mixed media abstract????? I just can't make up my confused, little mind!!! Geez, I can get so frustrated with myself at times! It's not like I'm setting off to climb Mount Everest. Somebody....ANYBODY....please do my a favour and just hit me upside the head, will you?!

I guess my main focus is about living joyfully in each moment of each day rather than pressuring myself to make choices or achieve goals. I much prefer the relaxed attitude of - I'll get there when I get there. I'm truly happy to just plod along and see where I end up so it's hard for me when books talk about choosing goals and aiming for them.

Since doing The Artist's Way twice before, I can see that I've changed my whole mind-set. Back then, my goal had been to teach art and I achieved that, though it wasn't what I expected. I found myself feeling totally drained of creative energy after giving my all to my students and wound up with no time for my own art. I quit teaching numerous students and now, I continue to teach one student, once a week, which seems to fit in much better with my more relaxed approach. Maybe my goal in processing The Artist's Way this time around is more about enjoying my creative life without pressure. I like the sound of that!


Did I do my morning pages? For the first time, I missed days of doing my morning pages....FIVE days, in fact. No excuse except to say I felt miserable and totally drained.

Did I go on my artist date? See above.

Did I experience any synchronicity? None.

Any issues significant to my creative recovery? Perhaps the realisation that I'm happy where I'm at.

Next week, we discuss recovering a sense of self-protection.

I'll get the boxing gloves ready.


photo courtesy of jamie ridler

After a few weeks of ill health due to asthma and subsequent chest infection, I've decided to lighten some of my load and, sadly, The Joy Diet will be one of the casualties. I must admit that the Creativity week did bring me to the realisation that the book was not for me as it was beginning to touch on areas I have already dealt with and released via help from other books I've read over the past couple of years. I certainly don't want to re-hash it all again so, while I'm no longer following the Joy Diet process, I do wish all my fellow Joy Dieters a joyful journey as they continue on their way without me.


On another note, I'm happy to report that I'm feeling a lot better today after being on the antibiotics for the past two days. I'm no longer feeling miserable....a little drained and weak but that will get better too. YAY! Hopefully, I'll get into the studio over the coming days.

love, light and peace


  1. Enjoying your creative life without pressure. That sounds wonderful. Perhaps you are making strides without realizing it!

  2. I like your attitude - you'll get there when you get there. Sounds perfect to me.

    I'm glad the antibiotics are helping, though they can really drain your energy, too. Take care of yourself and know that this, too, will pass.


  3. I'm right there with you as far as painting different styles Serena. I see other artists and I can spot their work instantly and feel I should find a path and stick to it, but I get bored easily and like to mix things up a bit.

    I think your art, no matter what you do, is fantastic! You have such a beautiful talent!


  4. sometimes we just try to do too much even if we don't think so.... and then ...our bodies rebel..... time to recoup and reconnoiter.....

  5. You know, Serena, I struggle with this exact issue: motivation. My whole life I've felt like everyone around me has all of this ambition for me -- way more than I ever had. I think I've been blessed with lots of talent in various areas, and so many things come relatively easily, and then everyone around me thinks I'm going to be a "stunning success" if I'll just focus and get driven about this one thing. (Success usually meaning make lots of money, be famous in the field, do one thing and do it continuously forever and ever.)

    But that's not me. I've come to realize over time that it's actually my way of Being that gives the most joy and satisfaction -- to myself and others in my life, and I can feel that in you, as well. I know it's not respected or admired in our culture, but imagine how horrible life on this planet would be without our steady, gentle, peaceful and encouraging presences.

    Thank Goddess we're not all goal driven.

    And as far as the money goes, you seem pretty rich to me ;)

  6. Hi Mum,

    You've done a great post! I enjoyed reading the Artist's Way you did this week! I'm glad you're feeling a bit more better now, even though you're not 100% well!

    Love Brad!

  7. I completely understand about letting The Joy Diet certainly isn't the book for everyone (no book is)and having already worked through most of what Martha recommends means that you are covering old ground. There is a lot in the book that I have already moved through as well..I'm just finding it interesting to see exactly where I am. Sounds to me like you are getting much more out of The Artist's Way and good for you knowing what is right for you at this time. Hope you are feeling better!

  8. Your body has kind of taken over for a while so it is probably a good thing you have dropped the Joy Diet book. Too many irons in the fire for right now.

    I have always had the same problem with goals. Too many interests and could never pick just one. I finally embraced my love of variety and that subsequent joy in curiosity and learning new things. I have often thought, too, that some of these authors seem to believe a person can only have one true passion or goal. Well, many of us are way too multifaceted for such a narrow path--hehe! You are wonderful just the way you are, Serena! :):)