There is great power in non-resistance because when we finally stop chasing what we desire, it has a chance to catch up with us.
Surrendering to a higher power to shower us with guidance and insight, that actually emerges from within, is power-full like we can only truly appreciate when we’ve dared to do it and get to reap the rewards for having done so.
Power is literally at the centre of empowerment which I am coming to see as the remembrance of our creative potential, which is a mind (mental) game until our feelings get involved because that is when the stories get charged up with energies in motion that often take us out of the present moment.
In the Highrise of Emotional Awareness that I described in detail in FULLY COMMITTED: The Sacred Sojourn of NOW I differentiate between states of emotion and being present given where our focus goes in each. More on that in the email series you can receive by signing up for emails from yours truly right here on this page or my home page 🙂
Jumping into this week’s summary from “The Artist’s Way” on ‘Recovering a Sense of Power’ we’re going to cover ANGER, SYNCHRONICITY, SHAME, DEALING WITH CRITICISM and GROWTH.
Julia says ANGER is a sign of health in a blocked creative because it acts as fuel to take the actions we need to move where our anger points us, often toward an injustice we have yet to remedy and only we can.
Anger is a tool, not meant to be a master, that tells us that our old life is dying so our new identity can be reborn, and birthing hurts.
It’s action’s invitation to bring into balance that which was previously unbalanced, unjust or unfair.
SYNCHRONICITY is the way God responds to our prayers and Julia claims “we’re much more afraid that there might be a God than we are that there might not be” and Marianne Williamson says something along those lines in her exceptional poem “Our Deepest Fear” which I got permission to use in my book <3. Thank you to Marianne and her team!
Julia suggests that “following his own inner leadings brought [Carl Jung] to experience and describe a phenomenon that some of us prefer to ignore: the possibility of an intelligent and responsive universe, acting and reacting in our interests” and in Paulo Coelho’s book “The Alchemist” he refers to it as the signs, symbols and omens the Uni-verse uses to communicate with and guide us on our path.
SHAME is a controlling device used to protect the secrets society doesn’t wish to have exposed, and there are many secret societies that have taken sacred knowledge and converted it into a profit structure that requires members to pay to gain access to it, purport it as truth when that isn’t always the case, and protect it in order to make sure it remains profit-able to sell memberships to be ‘in the know’ in the future too.
“Before a wound can heal it must be seen, and this act of exposing the wound to air and light, the artist’s act, is often reacted to with shaming.
I know this to be true from experience because after the DMT ceremonies I did in early 2019 when my consciousness expanded beyond the box it’d previously fit into, I got a lot of push back from people who didn’t think I should be singing freestyle the way I now do regularly; it was new to them and not always perfect, and I remember the anger and disbelief I felt toward an ex-lover who shamed me for what I was doing because it made him so uncomfortable. He stopped being a safe zone for me when I saw how his contained artist was trying to corral me before I inspired him to step out of his familiar (comfort) zone to potentially be mocked or publicly ridiculed the way he believed I would be for what I had started doing.
Not all criticism is shaming, Julia clarifies which is true because when it hits the mark and gives us practical ideas for how to do better in the future we can actually grow from it; in the empowerment dynamic, which is the flip side of the victim triangle, this role is played by the challenger. While still disempowered, the challenger plays the role of rescuer, trying to push us down to keep us out of harm’s way, before we trigger others too much and become a liability.
“The criticism that damages is that which disparages, dismisses, ridicules, or condemns. It is frequently vicious but vague and difficult to refute” which is the kind of criticism that damages the recovering artist within Julia says. “As artists, we must learn to be very self-protective” and learn to develop better boundaries with others, and even within ourselves as the voice of our scared saboteur can be vicious too.
A “surge of sudden disinterest is a routine coping mechanism employed to deny pain and ward off vulnerability by artists who claim to have lost interest in work” before the bow is tied and it’s ready for external eyes. My Mom is a gifted quilter and years ago she started calling these unfinished projects UFOs (UnFinished Objects) and what I learned from the journey I went on writing FULLY COMMITTED is that each time we shelf a creative project without finishing it, we leave parts of ourselves with the project and then carry shame for not finishing that which we were once so excited about.
I can only speak from personal experience with writing the book that I often say rewrote my identity (self-image) before and after finishing it but I can legitimately say that I feel more complete having completed that which I’d set out to do, for the wrong reasons, back in 2017 when I first committed to writing FULLY COMMITTED. The title came to me shortly after I started and intimidated me, if I’m honest, but now that it’s done, having got ‘committed’ under the Mental Health Act in the process of disentangling my identity from all the identities I had previously given my power to, I can legitimately say that I feel more whole and complete for having done it. I felt like I’d left so many parts of myself behind with each manuscript I rejected (all three of them) that finishing it was incredibly healing for me!
Julia says “we must learn to be very self-protective” and “create our own safe environments to protect our artist child from shame” just as I did when I realized the man I was sharing my energy with back then was no longer a safe source of input to receive from; punny indeed but I share because we all need to be mindful of how our intimate partners influence and impact the kingdom within at a very deep level since we are literally giving them direct access to our energy field in a way we don’t with others. I appreciate there are many lifestyles that support polyamory but from an energetic perspective, creating a sacred container with one lover that can help us unpack energies in motion we often can’t get to when we have to repeat the story to the other one we open up to so that we can pick up where we could have left off with first. Having a closed circuit relationship is all my soul has capacity for now that I know myself, and my inner artist, better so I offer the perspective I have developed without judgement of those who choose to share energy more freely…
“Once in our system, the doubt will take on another doubt – and another” which is why we must set ourselves up for success with what I call a PPS or Personal Power Statement. Julia says “the antidote for shame is self-love and self-praise” and your PPS is the power-full story you intentionally choose to tell yourself in moments when you feel like your system has been poisoned by shame you didn’t realize you were carrying.
Words alone are not the full answer because saying an affirmation to yourself 10 times in a day to counteract the negative story you play on repeat the rest of the day is relatively ineffective YET if you’re able to power-charge your PPS with belief you absolutely can set yourself up for success! “I am in the process of…” is a great start to a sentence about a change you desire to make because the subconscious can’t contest it and it can help to redirect you onto a thought, charged with energy, that will serve you better.
In the EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Master Practitioner course I am working through on Udemy right now, the set up statement at the beginning of the process is to repeat “Even though I (feel this way) I deeply love and accept myself” three times while tapping on a meridian point on the hand… that may be a good line to remember as you create a safe zone inside of you which is part of what Maxwell Maltz refers to (in Psychocybernetics) as your inner rabbit hole! Create ways to increase your sense of INNER security and I believe you may find yourself feeling less insecurity.
Julia offers some ‘9 rules of the road’ for DEALING WITH CRITICISM in this chapter that suggests (1) hearing ‘the offer’ all the way through instead of interrupting it so the abuser of your inner artist doesn’t feel like they have more poison left to administer next time when they may try to infect you again. In an anger management program I got trained in years ago there was an acronym called STWDER and I remember the D stood for “Don’t negotiate with assholes.”
Put up your energy shield as you hear their input and divest any authority you used to give them over your kingdom because they are no longer safe counsel; they may never have been but now you recognize it and can hear them without giving their words weight in the INNER WEB of your self-worth, esteem and belief. Well done for getting here!
She suggests (2) making note of what bothered you about it and (3) what concepts or phrases might be useful to you, ideally in a journal rather than with someone who may wound out with you or jump on the blame and complain train; that will lead you both into playing victim, rescuer and punisher while building up the hurt-full story that happened to help you grow by coming to know your boundaries in a new way.
(4) “Do something very nurturing for yourself – read an old good review or recall a compliment” Julia recommends, while I might suggest an epsom salt bath to draw out the toxicity while honouring your body, making space in your mind, re-opening your heart after the slashing you no longer need to let take you out, while reconnecting with your soul which is the highest aspect of yourself that has brought trauma from past times with it to be healed which this is now able to help you do. But for the moment just care for yourself!
Remember that the stew of success is made of more failures than successes and each ‘failure’ taught you a lesson that helped you come back stronger with more skill and experience, therefore (5) “even if you have made a truly rotten piece of art, it may be a necessary stepping-stone to your next work.” Be grateful you brought it to completion so you can start something new with the wisdom gained from this project! Dare to finish up your UFOs to call your energy back from them!
(6) Consider the criticism again while considering if it’s similar to any criticism from the past (particularly your childhood) as this situation may have triggered grief you’ve held for years from this long-standing wound.
(7) Write a letter to your critic you may never mail, to defend your work and acknowledge what part of their criticism may have been helpful, and then (8) get back on the horse and create something else!
(9)”Creativity is the only cure for criticism” so create your heart out and you’ll get to see your art incarnate, as was intended when we came here to experience and express the creative source from which we all come and return to.
There’s a DETECTIVE WORK exercise to get better acquainted with the scared creative within so you can rise above the limitations it has used to hold you back up till now, and then there’s the GROWTH segment which ends with “as a creative baby, you will be more productive when coaxed than when bullied.”
So often we try to rush things, especially because we’re living in an instant gratification culture that wants things done yesterday, but John C. Maxwell used to talk about crockpot leadership versus the frying pan approach which seems relevant to the times we’re in as recovering artists of all ages and stages.
Crock pot leaders have stewed and marinated in personal growth and development over the long term so they’ve been able to incorporate techniques, tips and tricks into their regular practice over time, familiarizing themselves with things as they went, and finding what works best even if it means replacing something that used to work until better was found.
Frying pan leaders are the ones who get thrown into the metaphoric ‘deep end’ without a chance to integrate or live the new expectations that are required of them now; trying to rush the creative process can feel as shocking to the system as getting thrown into a hot pan of grease or oil without preparation. Growth is meant to be a gradual process and Julia says “easy does it is actually a modus operandi.”
Writing this message triggered many asides that I hope brought you value and celebrate you for powering through to the end! Leave a comment to let me know what this blog mean to and for you, or listen to Julia’s chapter read aloud and leave your comment on YouTube. I hope it serves you and look forward to reading your insights in the comments!
Laura JeH – Namaste