Saturday, February 23, 2008

Discovering a Sense of Discernment

Thank you for going on this creative journey with me. I haven't posted any notes from Walking in this World by Julia Cameron in awhile.

Week 8 – Discovering a Sense of Discernment

Making Art, Not “Making It”

When it is fame we want, we will always want more, more, and more. We must stay focused on what we are doing and not on how we are doing.

We must stay open to the possibility of trying other venues in our creativity. We shouldn’t stay focused in one area or we will not know our versatility and the opportunities we have.

Self-respect lies in creating, not in the review of the public eye.

If we focus on art as a career we are creating for others instead of ourselves. We soon get the feeling of powerlessness and become depressed or upset. We become upset because we aren’t “making it” fast enough. We want the recognition for our efforts now instead of later.

Those who lose dreaming are lost. ~ Australian Aboriginal Proverb

Julia Cameron states, “Focused on success as a business goal, we often lose sight of success of our personal spiritual well-being. We focus ‘out there’ rather than on our own inner experience. Doing that, we can become lost.”

“When we surrender to becoming what we are meant to be instead of trying to convince the world of who we think we are, we find our proper creative shoes and can walk in them comfortably. Not surprisingly, they sometimes take us far. Moving comfortably and at a less driven pace, we also enjoy the journey, finding pleasure in our companions and our ‘view’ each step of the way.”

They do not know that ideas come slowly, and that the more clear, tranquil and unstimulated you are, the slower the ideas come, but the better they are. ~ Brenda Ueland

Velocity and Vulnerability

Julia Cameron states, “Those who covertly present their own agendas in the disguise of a lucky break for us are opportunists, not opportunities. They represent a creative crisis in the making. They are what I call ‘piggybackers,’ and they must be identified and weeded out of our creative garden.” I had never thought about these types before and I’m glad she made me aware that they are out there.

What I am actually saying is that we each need to let our intuition guide us, and then be willing to follow that guidance directly and fearlessly. ~ Shakti Gawain

The more successful we become, those opportunists ignore our humanity. They attack any boundaries we have instead of understanding them.

We need to be conscious of where we use our creative name. Make sure you don’t put your name somewhere that could have questionable merit. You could lose your credibility and any chance of gaining ground.

Julia states, “As an artist, some risks are worth taking and some risks are not. This is not snobbery. This is not exclusivity. This is discretion, discernment, and accountability to ourselves and our gifts.”

“As artists, we are open in a way that differs from many people’s, so we are very vulnerable at being caught off guard. Inspiration can be caught out of the corner of the eye and on the fly, and so can opportunity, but this openness to creative possibility can also make us open to creative exploitation. Caught off center and off guard, we might agree to help someone do something that takes us far from our own work and priorities."

I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well. ~ Diane Ackerman

Slow down and don’t live life as if everything is an emergency. Julia says, “No person, place, or situation benefits from our harried pushing forward. Everything and everyone benefits from our slowing down – letting go and letting God – so that a natural pace and progression can be discovered.”

Creative Saboteurs

Don’t let anyone change your course. If you have decided to pursue an opportunity, don’t let them persuade you otherwise. They might think they know what is best for you, your artist, but in reality they don’t. Listen to your inner voice.

Friday, February 15, 2008


I was asked by our church to paint these on the walls to the entry of the kids area in our new church building. I went in there today to take pictures and they have put the fire safety light in the tree top! Wish it could have been installed before I painted so it could have been disguised a little bit. The corn, sunflowers, and carrots were done freehand. The bird, trees, flowers and swingset were done using a kit that the church ordered. It was fun to paint! Now I'm ready to paint something on our kiddos walls at home.


My sweet honey sent me these beautiful roses for Valentine's Day!
The kids had a blast with all the candy they got from their Valentine's Day party at school. I spoiled them a little bit more with yummy red cupcakes. We even lit the candles and had a candlelight dinner!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Discovering a Sense of Momentum

We are not human beings trying to be spiritual. We are spiritual beings trying to be human. ~ Jacquelyn Small

Week 7 – Discovering a Sense of Momentum
(excerpt from Walking in this World by Julia Cameron)

Easy Does It, But Do It: Flow

“Whenever you feel stymied, stuck, or frantic, remind yourself, this is the result of having too many good ideas – even if it feels like you have no good ideas at all.”

Go clean the closet, bake a cake, etc. if you are having trouble thinking straight. You will be surprised how creative you feel after you have done some daily chores.

Your productivity speeds up when you slow down.


“As artists, we ‘see things differently.’ In part, that is because we are looking. When we are willing to look – and willing to see what we see – we open ourselves to losing comfortable assumptions about the nature of ‘things.’ Those things may be creative – we paint a chair at skewed angles because that seems more ‘chair’ to us suddenly – and this new viewing may apply to our human relationships as well. Suddenly and unexpectedly, we may apprehend them in a new and startling light. Sometimes such breakthroughs are frightening. When they are, we might call them ‘strobe-light clarity.’ When this strobe-light clarity hits, it is harsh but distorted. We get a quick and terrifying glimpse of an unfamiliar truth that has the same disorienting effect as a strobe light flashed across the dance floor – everything jerks into new positions without our seeing the transitions. It can be tempting – in the flash of strobe-light clarity – to dismiss our former work or our former understanding as false. It is not false. It is simply outmoded. The way we used to paint was fine for then.”

Courage – fear that has said its prayers. ~ Dorothy Bernard

“When we have such dramatic breakthroughs in our creative and personal reality, we must take care to integrate and absorb their meaning before acting on them.”

Life was meant to be lived and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“Breakthroughs are not breakdowns. They just feel that way. Remember, you, too, are breakable. Be gentle with yourself while you grow accustomed to your new mental and emotional terrain.”

Finish Something

If you are like me, I have a lot of unfinished projects lying around. FINISH SOMETHING! When I finish a project, I get a boost of creative energy. I usually start a new piece the same day I finish one. Then it sits awhile. That’s why I have a lot of unfinished pieces. LOL Anyway, the point I am getting at is what Julia Cameron states, “I do not know why hemming the droopy pant legs gives you the juice to get to the easel, but it does. I cannot tell you what it is about detoxing the mud closet that makes you see more clearly how to end a short story – or start one – but it does.”