Creativity unleashed by Sandra Yuen MacKay

Life and art from a unique perspective


The Artist's Way Part 2

Posted by symackay on April 9, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Week 3: Recovering a Sense of Power talks about anger being a good force because it warns us if something is wrong. Channeled correctly it motivates one to take action. Cameron discusses the concept of synchronicity. Are our lives influenced by God's hand, his interventions, or are good things the result of coincidence or luck? It's common for people to not recognize a higher power may be working for them even if their prayers are answered. Some dismiss ideas of an external God. Some believe and rely on an inner god force. Carl G. Jung suggests the possibility of an intelligent and responsive universe that acts and reacts to our interests. Is the universe an active force addressing individual needs? I can't answer that.

Part of recovery philosophy is self-empowerment, meaning being in control of one's own decisions and life plan vs. the concept of synchronicity which is external. If one desires something and asks for it, one will get an answer. It may be 'no,' or 'not yet' but it will come.

The shame of criticism can block an artist. Cameron has some suggestions on how to deal with criticism.

1. Listen to the criticism in its entirety first.

2. Separate the useful comments from the bothersome ones.

3. Use it as a learning device even if it is negative.

4. Check to see if it triggers a memory or unresolved grief.

5. Recall a positive response to offset the negative ones.

6. Don't give up. Try again.

Growth comes in spurts. We grow, move back a step then forward again. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Times of solitude can be helpful. "Easy accomplishes it" meaning let it come.

Week 4: Recovering a Sense of Integrity asks the reader to check-in on how the morning pages are doing. Does one find that the fuzziness is fading away, emotional barriers are recognized, and one is getting closer to one's own truth? Are we acknowledging the pent-up emotions from past experiences?  When anger or pain resurfaces, that is the first step to healing. Seeing ourselves honestly results in gains and losses. We discover our boundaries and uniqueness. Hopefully, we clarify how we feel, gain objectivity, and lose misconceptions. 

The morning pages allow us to reveal, express and discard old attitudes and behaviour, and get closer to our real selves. Think about yourself as a person, your likes and dislikes, talents and potential, dreams and pain endured. For years, I was stuck. overcome with jealousy and self-deprecation, I couldn't move forward. I complained, repeating the same problems over and over again. I healed by understanding and accepting my value as a person and not comparing myself to others.

This chapter also talks about reading deprivation. If one doesn't read for a week, that time can be filled with activities, socializing and excitement. Not reading clears one's mind of clutter and allows one to flow out and express oneself - the beginning of clarity which can channel recovered creativity.

Week 5: Recovering a Sense of Possibility reminds me of my own dilemmas. In the past, I was self-destructive in my attitudes because I set myself up for disappointment by having insurmountable expectations based on perfectionism. I was my own worse enemy. When I didn't achieve what I wanted, I became closed to the notion that anything is possible. I was rigid and idolized others instead of building up myself. Today, I'm more flexible but I still have things to work through. As outlined in the book, I completed the Virtue-Trap Quiz.

1. The biggest lack in my life is recognizing and being satisfied with my successes.

2. The greatest joy in my life is my husband.

3. My largest time commitment is being on the computer.

4. As I play more, I work better.

5. I feel guilty that I am unwilling to take on more responsibility at home.

6. I worry that the people close to me will die.

7. If my dreams come true, my family will be happy for me.

8. I sabotage myself so people will pay attention to me.

9. If I let myself feel it, I'm angry that I can't change the past.

10. One reason I get sad sometimes is when I remember how I felt when I was severely ill.

My wish list:

1. I wish I was famous as an artist and writer.

2. I wish I was rich. =)

3. I wish I could not take criticism so badly.

4. I wish to see the silver lining of bad experiences.

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