Sunday, December 30, 2007

Discovering a Sense of Adventure (Part 1 of 3)

I did something spontaneous the other day – I bought a tray with a picture of a brightly painted girl. I had just dropped the kids off at Grandpa and Grandma's for an overnight visit. On the way home there is a small, (very small) antique store. I stopped because there were no children to distract me. So anyway, this was very out of character for me to purchase something of this nature. The warm, bright colors captured my eye first. Then the idea of it possibly being old stole my heart. Then the price tag was less than $3. SO, I purchased it. I’m not sure if it is old because it looks to just be a paper overlay and could have been soaked in water at one time. Anywho, I’m starting to like it and will probably always like it because it was purchased on spontaneity.

As you continue along on my journey through Walking in This World by Julia Cameron you will find this week to be adventurous.

Week 4 – Discovering a Sense of Adventure (Part 1 of 3)


“Too often, we think we know what we love. It is more accurate to admit we know only some of what we love, and that the ‘sum’ of what we love can grow larger. This requires an open mind.” True, true, true.

“Adventure is a nutrient, not a frivolity. When we ignore our need for adventure, we ignore our very nature. Often we do exactly that, calling it ‘adulthood’ or discipline’”. I know some dear people who need to take an adventure in life and not be so adult-like. Be spontaneous!

One thing that the author brought to light is when “we avoid risk, we court depression.” This has been true for me. When I let others tell me “how it should be” and not let myself live freely as my inner-self tells me, depression quickly sets in. Along with it, comes resentment. I haven't taken the risk.

“If we remember that we need to court, woo, and romance our creative selves, we begin to have a notion of what sort of risk best serves us.” I took a small risk and bought the girl tray. :) I'm happy now. I feel more creative today.

Make your adventure fun, exciting and not overwhelming. If it becomes too large to manage, your imagination can become stifled and foggy instead of clear and imaginative.

Take yourself lightly and the more serious your work will become. The more difficult we are on ourselves, the less creative we feel. Our work will suffer from being stifled.

We don’t have to create “perfect” art to be a real artist. We don’t have to be a famous artist to create. Just create!

“An original is a creation motivated by desire." ~ Man Ray

Sometimes as creatives, we play around with our art and people will say we are really good. We have talent, we should make it a career. What happens? We get serious and make it a career. The play turns into perfectionism. We lose our playfulness. Our creativeness begins to suffer.

“Anything worth doing is worth doing badly. How we hate that idea. We know that as beginners but forget it as we advance. God was humble enough to just doodle, to just noodle, to fool around – why are we so serious?”

“It becomes about perfection and other people’s perception, not the joy of creation, the play of ideas. The greater your appetite for adventure, the more adventuresome the creative elements at hand when you turn to working on something. It does not take much to spark the imagination, but just what will do it is always the question, and the answers can be very queer indeed. Do not be too hasty to name your soul’s delights.”

“There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me. ~ Thomas Jefferson

Monday, December 17, 2007

Discovering a Sense of Perspective

I learned a lot of things in Week 3 of reading in Walking in This World by Julia Cameron. I quoted her a lot because she said it so perfectly.

Week 3 – Discovering a Sense of Perspective


Some people are very creative at finding ways to avoid their own creativity.
As artists our true nature is creative.

“The Great Creator lives within each of us. All of us contain a divine, expressive spark, a creative candle intended to light our path and that of our fellows. We are shiny, not tarnished; large, not small; beautiful, not damaged – although we may be ignorant of our grace, power, and dignity.”

“When we lose interest in ourselves and our lives, when we tell ourselves our dreams don’t matter or that they are impossible, we are denying our spiritual heritage. When we do this, we become depressed and drained, even physically ill. We become snappish, irritable, high-strung.” I have become physically ill when I tell myself that I don’t matter. I become depressed when I tell myself that my dreams are not what are supposed to happen in my life.

“In our culture we are trained to hide ourselves and punished when we show ourselves. So we hide ourselves from others and from ourselves. It is the hiding of our true nature that makes us feel or act crazy.”

This is my favorite from this week’s study. “Most of our religions emphasize the notion of original sin. Most – not all – center on our wounds and not on our gifts. Some, not all, of our 12-step recovery can center on our character defects and not our assets.”

“In our culture we have demonized creativity….In our culture we are afraid of our creativity…Practicing our creativity is healing. Not because we are sick but because we are essentially well…..What is healed is the rift between our spiritual stature and our mistaken perception of ourselves as flawed.”

“Creativity is medicine. The more we use it, the more steadily and readily and easily we use it. Humor and acceptance enter the picture.”

“Creative change begins in the heart. When we start within ourselves and move outward, expressing what we love and what we value, life gets better, we feel better, and the world gets healthier too.”

Art is Therapeutic, Not Therapy

“Therapy aims at transformation through understanding. Art aims at transformation more directly. Therapy aims at making us normal. Art aims at expressing our originality.”

“Enlightened therapies urge us to accept how we feel. Art teaches us to express how we feel. Art gives us the ability to always move out of the victim position. Therapy adjusts us to the world. Art adjusts the world itself.”

“At its core, life is artful and creative, each moment contains choice as much as each brush stroke in a painting, each syllable in a poem, each note in a melodic line. It is because of this, its insistence on choice, that art demolishes the victim position. When bullying life demands of us some injustice: ‘You want to make something of it?’ the artful answer is yes.” This is something I need to remember in my daily walk of life. I always make myself the victim instead of making my answer, “Yes, I want to make something of it.” I don’t want to hurt feelings so I let myself be hurt in the process.

“When we make something of ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ is, we make something else of it. Art allows us to live freely, even within our restlessness. ‘You cannot kill my spirit.’ At its core, art is triumphant. At its best, therapy is acquiescent: I accept my influences and accommodate myself to their result. At the bottom, art is rebellious: You cannot name me. I am more than the sum of my parts.”

“Art works in primary colors. We dip our pen, our brush, our hand, directly into the self. ‘I see it this way,’ we say. We are the origin of our art. Arts says, ‘I am.’ Therapy says, ‘They were, therefore I am.’ Therapy may be rewarding, but it makes something of what we were, while art makes something of what we are.” I love that about art. It makes something of what we are. It comes from inside, from the moment we are in.

“Learning to make art rather than drama from a heated imagination is a skill best learned early and practiced fully.” I need to practice this! Turn the drama into something artful rather than hurtful.


“When we are ‘eaten alive’ by an inequity or slight, the monster that is eating us is our anger over our own displaced power. We are very powerful. That personal power is what we are feeling as a ‘towering rage,’ and that artificially externalized wall of rage can make us feel small and puny until we figure out that it is a power within ourselves and not the sheer wall of the ‘odds’ stacked against us. The odds are against us until we are ‘for’ ourselves.

“We need to say our own names as artists. When we do, we feel self-respect. Self-respect comes from the Self.”

“Anger is a call to action. When we complain that others do not take ourselves and our values seriously, we are actually saying that we don’t.”

“No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.” ~ Maya Angelou


“’Look at it this way,’ the artist says, and shows the world what his inner world has revealed to him. Each of us carries an internal lens through which we view the world. The willingness to reveal what that lens sees is what determines an artist. And an artist must continually open that lens to take in new and wider realities.” Very, very, true indeed.

“Whatever creativity is, it is in part a solution to a problem.” ~ Brian Aldiss

Monday, December 10, 2007

Who You Are

Let the world know you as you are, not as you think you should be, because sooner or later, if you are posing, you will forget the pose, and then where are you? ~ Fanny Brice

I am guilty, guilty, guilty of trying to live as I think I should be. Where do I get? Absolutely nowhere! When I live as who I am, I am freer inside. I can hear and see God in the little things. I don't have a twisted up feeling inside, worrying about what others are thinking about me or what I'm not measuring up to. All I know is that God loves me for who I am no matter what mistakes others think I am making.

Julia Cameron quotes, "Art is rebellious: You cannot name me. I am more than the sum of my parts." So there you have it. Be who you are today and everyday!!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Discovering a Sense of Proportion

Sorry for the lack of posts. The past week was busy with holiday preparations.

I found the second week of study to be very inspiring!!

Walking in this World - Week 2


Not all people see us as who we are. Our image of ourselves becomes blurred. We create a self-doubt about us. We begin to think that we might be crazy for thinking of ourselves to be artists because others don’t see us as one. The inner friction it creates is painful to us.

We don’t become an artist by attending art school. We become an artist by creating art!

If we want our art to become a reality, we must listen to our hearts closely.

Julia Cameron quotes, “The Great Creator made us. We are ourselves works of art, and as we work to bring forward the art within us, we express our inner divinity….Art may be the finest form of prayer. Making art is quite literally a path “to our Maker”. In the act of creation, the creator reveals himself to us and we, too, are revealed to ourselves as something of the divine spark from which we ourselves are made.”

Becoming Larger

Becoming larger has to do with expanding our own world and growing with our creativity. We want to remain the same size, stay in our comfort zone. Our family and friends are comfortable with us as who we are now. If they see you trying something new they will put doubts in our heads. “You’ve never done that before, so what makes you think you can do that now.”

The author states, “We are spiritual beings, and when our spirit grows larger, so must we. There will be no comfortable resting in yesterday’s definition or ourselves. It is a spiritual law that as the Great Creator is always exploring, experiencing, and expanding through its creations, we must cooperate or feel the pitch of spiritual dis-ease. We can try to play small, but if the universe has big plans for us, we are better off cooperating than resisting. Creativity is God’s true nature and our own. As we surrender to becoming as large as we are meant to be, great events can come to pass for us and countless others. In a sense, the size the Great Creator makes of us is none of our business. We work on art and we are the Great Creator’s work of art. Perhaps we shouldn’t meddle.”


We might already think we are successful at a career and something comes along and we no longer “fit” into that career. The other something looks more intriguing. The author states, “It is a spiritual law that when we are ready to transform, transformation will come to us…Take one step toward God and discover that God has taken a thousand steps toward you.”

Monday, November 26, 2007

Walking in This World

I am taking a journey through Julia Cameron's book Walking in This World, which is the sequel to The Artist's Way. A dear friend recently took the journey with me through The Artist's Way experience. We learned so much about ourselves and art. Julia takes you through a twelve-week process of discovering who you are in relation to your art. I am currently in Week 2 of Walking in This World. I will recap today what I learned differently from The Artist's Way in Week 1 and follow-up with Week 2 later.

Week 1 - Discovering a Sense of Origin

-Setting Out

  • Art doesn't care where it is done (ex: in a studio). It only cares that you do it.
  • Our dreams come true when we are true to them. Take small steps to achieve them.
  • Our culture does not encourage us as artists to act decisively upon our creative desires. We are trained to think about them, doubt them, and second-guess them. We are trained to talk ourselves out of committing to art.
  • Thinking is not the enemy, but overthinking is.
  • We get a lot further creatively by staying put and doing something small and do-able daily in the life we already have.
  • We are committed to a career or professional agenda and we tell ourselves that is all we have energy or time for. This is false. When we make the art we love, it makes time and energy available to us for our professional pursuits. (Rose, you are right!)
  • When we open ourselves up to make art, the finances and supplies find their way to us.

There were a couple of quotes that were very inspiring to me.

~Change everything, except your loves. - Voltaire

~How often things occur by mere chance which we dare not even hope for. - Terence

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Be Thankful

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. ~ Psalm 100:4

I challenge you, my friends, to think of 10 things you are thankful for today. My list is as follows.

  • God, who loves me for who I am and saved me

  • My wonderful husband, who I love dearly

  • My children who give life to our house

  • My parents, who gave me life and love me

  • My brothers, sisters and their families

  • My many, many wonderful friends

  • Ability to serve others

  • God's beautiful creation, the colors, textures, sounds, etc.

  • The house we live in

  • The food we eat

  • The country we live in

  • The freedoms we have

.....and many, many more.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Apron Strings

I am making my nieces and daughter aprons for Christmas. Brittany (my daughter) saw this yesterday and asked if it was hers. I don't want her to know for sure it is hers until Christmas day, so I just said I couldn't tell. I did ask her if it looked like something she would like and she said yes. So, I'm excited to know that she will like it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I haven't posted in awhile because I didn't feel I had anything noteworthy. The exciting thing of yesterday was new windows! We got a few new windows in our house. We like them so well, we want them in the rest of the house.

I am taking a crash course today for our children's Christmas musical. The Children's director called me last night asking me to fill in for her today at practice while she is away at a meeting. I know, I probably should have learned the songs already and been practicing everyday with our children so they could be at their best. do you do that with your children when they are in an event? Do you learn their parts and practice with them so they are at their very best? My mother never did that for us and I'm sure some parents do that. Is that pushing our children too much? Personally, I don't want to push them if they don't want to.

I met a new friend the other day who is less fortunate than some of us. We are going clothes shopping tomorrow for winter clothes. Both of us are excited! Oh, and she is an artist too! It was a God thing how I found out. Have you ever met a person in your life that you instantly hit it off and have things to talk about right away? This is one of those persons. ( were another one of those persons ;-))

I started a huge project of sewing gifts for the women in my family for Christmas. I quickly found out that sewing is a lot like painting. You make the same mistakes, correct them and move on. Only the correcting takes a lot longer! You have to rip out the stitches. Yuck.

It's a beautiful day here! Hope it beautiful in your part of the world too!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Love of God

We woke up to 24 degrees this morning. The cold air is so refreshing! After dropping off the kids at school, I went to the local coffee shop and had a cup of java. I usually take a book of inspiration with me to read as I drink my coffee. I am currently reading PrayerStreaming by Janet Holm McHenry. A few weeks ago I came across this poem written by Madame Guyon. She was persecuted for her beliefs by her husband and mother-in-law, but she remained steadfast in her love for the Lord.

The Love of God the End of Life

Since life in sorrow must be spent,
So be it - I am well content,
And meekly wait my last remove,
Seeking only growth in love.

No bliss I seek, but to fulfil
In life, in death, thy lovely will;
No succours in my woes I want,
Save what thou art pleased to grant.

Our days are number'd, let us spare
Our anxious hearts a needless care:
'Tis thine to number out our days;
Ours to give them to thy praise.

Love is our only business here,
Love, simple, constant, and sincere;
O blessed days, thy servants see,
Spent, O Lord! in pleasing thee!

-Madame Guyon

As I was reading today, I ran across John 15:11 - "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." Our joy is made complete through the love of the Lord. When we try to find our own joy, it ends in despair. We need to abide in Him moment by moment.

I hope you have a day made joyful by the love of God!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Sabbath

What ever happened to the Sabbath? A day of rest? Everyone is so busy going here and there, working, etc. that they don't take a day to rest. The body needs rest to recoup and regroup.

I was raised in a Mennonite church where Sunday was considered a day of no work. A time to visit family or friends. A time to stay at home and rest. I was recently reminded of this as I read a book about the Amish by Beverly Lewis The Amish take it one step further and make sure they have meals prepared the day before so they don't have to cook on Sunday. I remember one instance as a teenager that we were visiting my grandfather. I took my cross-stitch along so I wouldn't be bored. Grandpa was not impressed. He said I shouldn't be working on Sunday. Now, mind you, I don't consider cross-stitch work. It was a way of creativity and relaxation for me.

My point for today....take a day of rest. Refuel your bodies so they can be the temple that God created them to be.

I'm attaching my latest piece of work...okay okay...I did the work on Saturday!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


God's love is wonderful. The beauty that He surrounds us with each day is amazing. Fall is one of my favorite times of year. The colors are so rich and vibrant. The air is cool and free from haze. The sky is a beautiful clear blue. The breeze gently touches your face. The cats come inside to warm their tootsies. The children come in rosy faced and full of energy.

I have a WIP (Work in Progress) that I hope to show you sometime next week.