I used to think I was so simple and uncomplicated. Straightforward, an open book.... if you cared to open it. Now however as the years keep adding up. I realize I am far from simple. Complex, varied, layers upon layers and as the years continue to roll by I am sure there will be more and more complexities. The spectrum of my human emotions is largely being used at this point in time. I am morning the loss of the ability to go back home. Changes in finances will prevent me from returning home once again. It has felt especially bitter this last week as images of my trip home one year ago, are popping up on my social media. And I am reminded of a dream job I turn down (because of family turmoil) almost a year ago. I am homesick. Perpetually homesick.
Lost in a sea of Utahans unable to fit in and unwilling to assimilate. I truly don't know what my next move is. Most of my life I have been pretty good about knowing and executing a plan of attack a skill that I can't seem to put into action.
The above photo pretty much sums up how I feel about the current state of my career. Which is pretty ridiculous! I have made some really good money in the past couple of months. I feel proud to be working on a project I am passionate about (The Human Form). I've had media attention. People are recognizing my work. Good things! Lots of good things. Deep down inside I don't think things are suddenly going to stop progressing or that I might slide forever and ever backwards into oblivion but I feel this sense of loss and dread. This inability to execute my authentic artistic vision. Not because of lack of talent or ability but because of an abundance of fear. Mostly fear of the unknown. Perhaps it is because my last two commissions were so emotionally draining, from being micro managed. I don't regret doing them and am thankful for the work but I am not going to lie, I look at them and I don't see myself. I don't see my voice. That's not why I was hired though. Not for my thoughts, my perceptions, my unique vantage point. I was hired for my brush. I do wish my latest patron all the luck with his current endeavor and do hope he finds what he is looking for out of it.
All of this and so, so, so much more has brought me, reaching for Walking in This World by Julia Cameron . The second book in her Artist Way trilogy. Like the first book it is a 12 week program. I am anticipating that it is exactly like Artist Way only slightly more advance. Time will tell. I bought this and her third book Finding Water, in late winter with the intention of starting a rigorous 24 week program as soon as I finished The Artist Way. I didn't though, Couldn't get up the gumption to do it. Maybe the universe knew I needed to reserve this book and this experience for this time of upheaval in my life. Either way I am here now. Embarking into the 12 week journey with myself. There was a lot gained from The Artist Way for me. The hope that I will gain more from Walking in This World is present and might be what is keeping me together at this current moment.
How it works
Every week you read a chapter that Julia has divinely written on a topic. This week origin, next proportion, then adventure and so on.
The you have to utilize what Julia refers to as "The Basic Tools"
Morning pages: 3 written pages by you of whatever comes out. No rereading, no editing, nothing. Just write it out and shove it away. Everyday, 3 pages!
Artist's Dates: You get to take yourself out just you every week! No kids, no friends, no dogs or goats. Just you. Give the Artist Child inside of you what they want. Play, solitude, adventure. It doesn't matter. It's about being with yourself and caring for yourself. These were so hard for me to get done in the Artist Way. Here is to being better this time!
Walking: At the end of Artist Way I feel like I remember her suggesting daily walks. I may not be remembering correctly. Either way in Walking in This World she recommends a weekly walk. I think I will shoot for a daily walk and maybe once a week, a longer walk somewhere like in the canyon or a park or anywhere other than my neighborhood.
So Week One! "Discovering a Sense of Origin"
"This week initiates your creative pilgrimage. You are the point of origin. You begin where you are, with who you are, at this time, at this place. You may find yourself hopeful, skeptical, excited, resistant, or all of the above. The readings and tasks in week one all aim in pinpointing the "you' you have been evading. When we avoid our creativity, we avoid ourselves. When we meet our creativity, we meet ourselves, and that encounter happens in the moment. The willingness to be ourselves gives us the origin in originality" -Julia Cameron
Hopeful, Yes! Skeptical, yes. Excited, yes, Resistant, also yes and so much more. When I did The Artist Way I had a group of lovely, diverse, juicy souls to commune with weekly about our triumphs, let down and discoveries. I don't have that this time. No I didn't always make it and the snow kept me home quite a lot but I never felt alone in my journey. I knew they were right there with me. Trudging through morning pages. Feeling guilty over one more missed artist date. Around week 8 when a slump set in and there in the end. It was beautiful, to experience The Artist Way while connecting and sharing with others. Now on my own it feels lonely. Pulling abit of apprehension out of my soul. I'll do it and finish it, with or without anyone beside me. Cause that is how I am. Maturity has blessed me with the fortitude of finishing what I start, even if in starting the finishing was unknown. So here I am at the beginning feeling mostly hopeful and lonely. This first chapter.... Oh Buddy! "Pinpointing the "you" you have been evading" Oh that's gonna stir up some shit!
Wish me luck!
May your heart be light, your hands never idle and your mind inspired