Tag Archives: The Artist’s Way

THE ARTIST’S WAY – Recovering a Sense of Identity

I am working through the book, The Artist’s Way, A Spiritual Path to Creativity  with a group of women around the globe, from Burma on to Australia, to Canada the US, over to Iceland, the UK and on to France. Because we are doing this together, it gives me a sense of accountability. We are doing a chapter a month, and this month is “Recovering a Sense of Identity”.

Every month there is a list of tasks to complete.  I stopped when I saw the “Life Pie”exercise.  It consists of drawing a circle and dividing it into six pieces. Label one spirituality, another exercise, and on to play,  friends, romance/adventure and work.  I really hestitated to do this because January and February have been unbelievable at work.  Below is my “Life Pie” as it  is today.

LIFE  PIE 2/2013

LIFE PIE 2/2013

You can see my life is NOT BALANCED at all right now.  This was a call to make some changes to take care of myself more. I vow to exercise more, to play more, to spend more time with friends and famly.  I started by exercising, giving myself a facial and taking a hot bath.

Another exercise is to list 10 changes you would make in your life – and then do two of them this week.  Well, I can’t lose 10 pounds this week, but I can start with exercising.  The other eight changes are:

  1. get enough sleep
  2. meditate
  3. get rid of the clutter
  4. paint more
  5. organize
  6. learn to relax
  7. practice yoga
  8. journal daily

Another is list your affirmations, so I took a minute to write several that mean something to me.

I am the queen of my life

I will do my best, and that is good enough

I am unique and wonderful

I am on an adventure with my life

I welcome the opportunities each day brings

I am open to new possibilities

I am thankful, grateful and appreciative

It is easy to let go of any an all stress with every breath I take

Another fun thing to do is come up with imaginary lives, things you want to do in your fantasy world.  This week they are: (outside of being an artist, because that is an affirmation to add, I am an artist!)

A musician (I play the piano)

A yoga master

A tour guide (I have given historical tours of Atlanta)

A professor

A film director

There is something in me that chose all of those lives, and I vow to recognize that in me.

Sitting down and putting all of this in writing was cathartic to me.  I realize I have to treat myself better.  I am going to change my mindset away from getting stressed out because of what I need to do, and celebrate what I have accomplished, each and every day.

What affirmations would you add?  What imaginary life would you choose?


“Men do not quit playing because they grow old, they grow old because they quit playing.”  Oliver Wendell Holmes

As you know – I am working through the book The Artist’s Way with over 60 women from around the world.  One thing we are to do on a regular basis is go on an artist date.  What is that?  Basically, it is a scheduled block of time where I will take my inner artist, or I like to think, my creative child,  out for a date.   By doing this, I feel I will be opening myself up for more inspiration.

Since I believe my inner artist to be a creative child, this child needs to be nurtured and listened to.  The time I spend with the child is the most important element.

Julia Cameron, the author of the book, refers to the artist date as assigned play.  You can hear her speak about it here.  We live in a society that worships productivity, so having a planned playdate is something I am really looking forward to.

“In every real man, a child is hidden that wants to play.”  Nietzche

One very important part of this date  – it is  between me and my creative child, Little Vickie. No one else can come along.  I’ve been asking myself “what sounds like fun to do around Atlanta?”  According to Julia, this feeds us “by replenishing our inner well of images and inspiration”.

What are some of the things I’ve come up to do over the years? Below is a list.

  • Visit ethnic neighborhoods and restaurants
  • Go to outdoor farmer’s markets, find fresh food and explore new recipes
  • Go to art festivals (there is an overabundance of these in Atlanta)
  • Take a walk with a camera
  • Go to the library and explore
  • Explore a new neighborhood
  • Go to the museum,  including art museums, history museum and science museums
  • Go on a bike ride
  • Bake
  • Go to an antique store
  • Go to garage sales
  • Go to estate sales
  • Go to a bookstore
  • Go to art stores
  • Garden
  • Sit on the deck and watch the clouds, photograph those that look like something else
  • Go to a coffee shop with a journal and watch people
  • Find some live music
  • Go to a flea market
  • Go to a toy store
  • Go to a music store that sells instruments
  • Go to the aquarium
  • Go to the planetarium
  • Go to the dollar store and spend $5 on toys
  • Go to a type of store you usually don’t go to, like a bike store, a furniture store, etc
  • Make up new words – like Lewis Carroll did in Alice in Wonderland

Do you have any ideas for artist’s dates?

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than you can in a year of conversation” Plate

So – go out an play!






AND, I’m not working through the book alone.  I’m working through it with over 60 women online worldwide.  Outside of the U.S., we have participants as far away as Burma, Australia,  and quite a few Canadians.  England is well represented, and we have participants from both Amsterdam and Paris. I am so excited to have found this group of women through another online class (Kelly Rae Roberts Flying Lessons).

What is The Artist’s Way? Well, it is a book, and the full name is The Artist’s Way, a Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity written by Julia Cameron.  The book is designed to be worked through in twelve weeks, but we have chosen to work through it in twelve months. It is based on the twelve step premise, and is meant to help you recover your artistic creativity.

Why am I doing this? I feel 2013 is going to be a great year, but that is only going to happen if I put in the work. But, I am ready this year!

What does this mean?

First of all, I will begin with the morning pages. In short, this is writing three pages each morning in longhand. It is important to remember, there is NO WRONG WAY to do this. Julia refers to them as daily meanderings. It is important to keep you hand moving.  Nobody else is supposed to read them, in fact Julia says not to read your own for the first eight weeks. Just write! Write whatever comes to mind, be it petty, be it a to-do list, be it just rambling thoughts.  I have to remember to just go with it. Now, I have worked through this book before and I have to admit I cheated.  I got a small book, so it didn’t take long to write the three pages. But – I was only cheating myself. I wasn’t fully committed. This time  I bought a loose-leaf notebook and plan on writing three full size pages on a daily basis. This will empty my head. I’m not going to worry about punctuation or spelling. And – I’m going to try to ignore my CENSOR (which takes practice).


The next important thing to do is an Artist Date. Treat your artist as a child, take the time to nurture your artist. I’m looking forward to exploring new things, be it seeing art, trying new things out, or experiencing new foods and tastes.  It is important you do this ALONE with your little artist. Once again, I cheated before. I would go gallery hopping with my friends, go to book clubs etc. I will still do that, but that is not a date with my little artist. I plan on spending time along with little Vickie.  

We have a road in Atlanta called Buford Highway. It is jam packed with restaurants from across the world. I have joked you could eat your way around the world without leaving this street. I’m going to make a point of trying new places, new tastes, while also checking out new art with just my little Vickie.

Each chapter is based  on something different, and I find alot of it is archeological – digging into your past, finding out what you used to like before adulthood got in the way.

Basically, the program is about removing blocks that you have in your creative life, learning to ignore that CENSOR, and learning to live in confidence!

I’m really looking forward to working through this with the support of this group of women. I think we will all learn from each other.  I’m ready to do the work this time – no cheating!!!!!!

If you have any thoughts on what you think will help this journey, leave a comment.