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


Jo Castillo said...

This was a great post to read today. I am an artist! :)

Valerie Jones said...

Yes, Jo, you are an artist!!!! Glad you enjoyed the post. :)

Missy Sue Hanson said...

Another beautiful post, as always!!! Thank you for the congrats! I almost can't believe it! It's such a lovely store! I know I'm just going to wake up any minute now, lol!!!!