LISTENING, PERFECTIONISM, RISK and JEALOUSY are the components of this week’s chapter from Julia Cameron’s course on discovering and recovering the artist within called “The Artist’s Way” which has so much to say about the way we come into greater wholeness within ourselves.
For the last 10 weeks I have summarized each of the previous chapters to recover aspects of the artist within and have only two more to go. Recovering a Sense of Faith, Safety, Autonomy, Identity, Self-Protection, Power, Compassion, Integrity, Strength, and Possibility are now complete and Connection plus Abundance will round out the course – whew, what a process it has been indeed!
As I near the end of this personal practice of writing these summaries each week, as the season’s change and we sit on the cusp of another new moon, I feel myself less enthused about completing this week’s summary or next, questioning the purpose and point to it given I don’t know who has been following along or how it’s been serving them and whether “it’s (been) worth the effort.”
As a woman with an artistic nature who didn’t realize that about myself until more recently I know that this is a sign that I am approaching an achievement that has expanded me regardless of who else has followed along or received value from my efforts. Such is one of the lessons from previous chapters about the process itself being (part of) the reward.
I share this because I have been restoring the faith my inner artist has in me to protect and sustain us for a long time now and I know that I am not alone in not fully registering that fact until recently. For I do believe that instead of re-covering the neglected aspects of our creative nature we must restore them so they can be featured in more intentional ways.
For years I would have chalked these types of ‘needless’ distinctions up as ‘the English major in me’ getting particular, and yet with all that I’ve been learning about the subtle nuances of the legal fiction and how we’ve been duped down to the core of how we speak, I see that my ‘particularities’ and apparent ‘neurosis’ around words is deeper than any of the mentalized projections used to dismiss and diminish the uncommon way I dissect words without even fully meaning to. I’ll be putting it all together in the SPECIAL Practice PILOT Program launching on September 11 at 8pm EST for 9 weeks and have added a private coaching consultation at the beginning for each participant so I can better comprehend your reason for joining and what you would most like to get from the program.
I have also limited the number of participants to 11 for this first PILOT program so it will be a small and intimate group of souls willing to journey inward to create a sustainable personal growth and self-care plan that evolves from LISTENING to the still-small voice within that is always offering us encouragement to keep trying, even when it’s difficult to do so.
Julia says “the pages train us to hear past our Censor” while dates with our inner artist “help us pick up the voice of inspiration.”
She refers to the act of creating as more getting things down on the page or canvas, rather than doing or creating something which is why it’s important to listen for the voice of that which is seeking to be unleashed through you. We are instruments more than authors from her perspective and as one who recently wrote my first book in a month after ‘trying to do it’ for five years before that, it’s true from my experience.
I know it has become culturally acceptable and ‘cool’ to write ‘Point Of View’ as the acronym POV but I believe that is a covert example of the cultural propensity toward lack, limitation and poverty mentality so I won’t do it and encourage you to consider this perspective too.
Call it PERFECTIONISM or ‘grammar Nazi’ or what you will, but Julia says “perfectionism has nothing to do with getting it right. It has nothing to do with fixing things. It has nothing to do with standards. Perfectionism is a refusal to let yourself move ahead.” She refers to it as “a loop – an obsessive, debilitating closed system that causes you to get stuck in the details of what you are writing or painting or making and to lose sight of the whole” and because my share is with the intention of putting the bigger picture in the frame I wouldn’t say it’s perfectionistic to point out the details so long as we don’t get stuck dwelling there. Like the example of constructive criticism giving us feedback to improve with, breaking things down to the ridiculous help us see how the pieces fit in the bigger picture.
In the section on RISK Julia says “the success of a creative recovery hinges on our ability to move out of the head and into action” which is what I do so often and have done for so long that sharing freely has stopped feeling as risky as it did when I was newer to doing it. “We deny that in order to do something well we must first be willing to do it badly” and I’ll admit that when I first began freestyle singing the messages I felt called to speak into, I wasn’t great at it and early criticism almost did discourage me from continuing to try something so out of the box I don’t even have a name for it still.
I wrote about that experience in one of the earlier summaries in relation to a lover whose criticism made him unsafe to share with, or the relative who lost their vote within the INNER Kingdom of my self-respect system which is a tale for another time not yet shared, but both examples reflect a creative risk I took that wasn’t necessarily as good as I can now do it but was a necessary part of my growth process to become one who dares to try despite resistance.
JEALOUSY is the final section, apart from exercises you’ll have to read “The Artist’s Way” yourself to see, but Julia says “jealously strips us of our will to act when action holds the key to our freedom” and we fail to use it on the door right in front of us.
We’ve all likely heard the expression “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” but the reality is that the grass is only green where it gets watered and if you’re fixated on what other people are doing instead of what you could be doing right now to move your own goals forward then their grass is going to continue to look greener because they’re watering it and so might you be.
Loving your own life and making friends with those lower level emotions that take you out of the present are part of the focus in the SPECIAL Practice PILOT Program because until we master them, they will be Master to us.
Words are swords that either set us free or keep us bound in captivity and to the first 11 who reserve their place in this PILOT Program
for serious self-developers interested in creating a high-vibrational lifestyle that shifts lower density emotions without leaving aspects of ourselves behind or feeling less for having faced those parts of cell-f, I’m excited to learn more about what would be most helpful to you in developing your own self-care practice so I can build that into your experience and help you manifest a life you love living even more than at present!
With love and respect,
Laura JeH – Namaste
PS. It was 9:28pm on Saturday night as I finished this from the makeshift outdoor office I’ve enjoyed this summer and the two before it too. I was sitting with a question, asking ‘as king’ of my domain, hoping to reframe how you view asking questions to see that doing so also requires us make space for the silent reply listening can offer as we see the reordering required of many things, including the letters we have used to both ask questions and to answer them. Ever realized LISTEN and SILENT use the same letters? Power-full, eh?