Musings on Being the Artist of Your Day

Tag: The Artist’s Way

A Little “Aggravational” Inspiration

"What's Your Mindset?" Drawing by Mary Gow

“What’s Your Mindset?” Drawing by Mary Gow

Recently I attended a motivational workshop. Here’s some of my favorite lines from the trainer’s script:

“People change when it’s too painful not to.”

“Life is the best game ever created!”

“No thought in your head lives rent-free!”

“Every cell thinks.” – Thomas Edison

“Every master was once a disaster.” – T. Harv Eker

“I’m my own coach, referee, and executioner.”

The last quote stuck because of the impact of the word “executioner.” Ouch! To me being this equates to being what Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way, calls a “Shadow Artist” – an artist whose creative spirit was not nurtured nor encouraged in their native family. Unfortunately the shadow artist may never know they are an artist.

Cameron goes on to say, “Very often, audacity, not talent, makes one person an artist and another a shadow artist – hiding in the shadows, afraid to step out and expose the dream to the light, fearful that it will disintegrate to the touch.”

How to be kinder to yourself? I agree with Cameron, “In order to move from the realm of the shadows into the light of creativity, shadow artists must learn to take themselves seriously.”

Shadow artists can and do emerge. They begin with baby steps. The executioner within is our own core negative beliefs. Which brings me to another quote:

“Beliefs are based on evidence and are subject to change with new evidence.”

The trainer, Eric Frady, said “I’m an aggravational speaker if I’m doing my job.”

Thank you Mr. Frady.

Ready to Take Yourself on a Date?

The two main tools of The Artist’s Way are morning pages and the artist’s date. As author Julia Cameron writes “Your artist needs to be taken out, pampered, and listened to.” Each week for the twelve weeks you commit to taking no one but yourself on this date. Here’s Julia Cameron explaining the process:

4 Reasons I’m a Raving Fan of The Artist’s Way


Monotype by Mary Gow

What’s in it for you if you go through Julia Cameron’s 12 week course in the book, The Artist’s Way? Here’s some things it’s done for me and :

1. The groove of the morning pages has given me the feeling of a daily discipline that I realize can turn me into a real powerhouse of productivity. The morning pages have shown me that I can stick to something and these small steps can lead to something bigger.

2. I like treasure mapping and this book is full of exercises that require you find the hidden treasures and map them out for yourself. One of my favorites was the rocking chair exercise. Imagine yourself at 80 looking back at you now. What would you like to tell yourself?

3. It is a call to action. More than many other books on creativity, this workbook asks that I DO things.

4. It doesn’t let you off easy. This is twelve weeks of tough love. It’s about being accountable, responsible and committed, like an artist.

Are you ready to share your creative gifts with the world but feeling a little stuck? The Artist’s Way can help you find your way.

What Can Morning Pages Do For You?

It’s been 18 years since the original release of Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way (“TAW”), a Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity and a Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self. Every time I work through this 12 week course good things happen. I’m working on my fifth pass.

Two keystones of The Artist’s Way are the morning pages and the artist’s date. The morning pages are three pages of stream of consciousness writing done daily, upon waking is Cameron’s recommendation. The artist’s date is a exactly that, a date with yourself, where you take yourself out to do something that interests you.

I can’t say what the morning pages discipline will do for you but I can tell you that the first time I went through the book, I decided to propose a course to a local university’s evening extension program and they liked my idea and it was in the next class catalog. I was contacted by the local major newspaper and wrote a feature article for them about my topic, which was how to write love letters.

Here’s Julia Cameron discussing morning pages.

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