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?

10 thoughts on “THE ARTIST’S WAY – Recovering a Sense of Identity

  1. Lisa Rivas

    A very inspiring blog post Vickie, I love the simplicity and clarity of what needs to happen in your life. It actually helped me take a look at all this. I would say you are a realization and a wonderful one. Thank You!

  2. Sheila Skillingstead

    A sense of identity is critical but with so many hats I wear, sometimes I’m not even sure what kinds of clothes I like to wear. The teacher, the wife, the mother, the grandmother, the church-goer, the exerciser, the gardener, the writer. I’ve thought of that lately. When I retire, maybe I can find my clothing style. Thanks for the blog. It definitely is opening up some cracks in my resistance to evaluating my place in space.

  3. Deborah Weber

    Thought-provoking post Vickie. It’s been a long time since I did The Artist’s Way, but now you have me wanting to again. And with the support of a group – it sounds wonderful!

    I love your realizations that you want more balance, to treat yourself better, and to celebrate daily. All great things to claim!

    For my imaginary life I might choose to be a bee-whisperer writer/artist living in a cottage in the woods of Ireland.

  4. Ruth Packard

    I enjoyed this post, Vickie. However, I was disappointed you didn’t tell how to lose 10 pounds in a week!

    I am working through Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write. She certainly asks thought provoking prompts! I’m going to read Artist’s Way next.

    For my imaginary life, I would like to be able to time travel back into history! I have soooo many questions I can’t find recorded anywhere.

  5. Amy Riddle

    Vickie, I absolutely love, “I am the queen of my life.” It’s so perfect. The exercises in chapter 2 does have some real eye openers! My 10 small changes really aren’t that small…however they are changes I want to do. I’ll be posting some of my findings soon on my blog, including my imaginary lives. Thank you for sharing Vickie. I love that we are on this journey together. YOU ARE THE QUEEN!

  6. Vickie Martin

    Thank you all for your thoughtful comments! I love the bee whisperer in Ireland – when I was in Ireland I learned artist’s don’t pay tax there – I wonder if that is still true??? I could live there too.

  7. Kate Sciandra

    I like that the instructions don’t ask you to take on all 10 at once! That’s always a recipe for disaster. The way I take care of myself is to give myself things to accomplish one at a time. Frustration and distraction are my enemies, so not overloading myself with expectations is an important way for me to care for myself.

  8. Michele Bergh

    I love the Artist’s Way. I had the pleasure of taking a workshop with Julia Cameron a handful of years ago and she was just a treat. Thank you for sharing your process here.

  9. Barbara Michel

    Enjoyed this post Vickie…especially your affirmations! My favorite that is one I will plan to add is “It is easy to release stress with every breath I take”…that’s a powerful one! When we remember:-)

  10. Tina

    Love this post Vickie! Of course you know I’m on the Artist Way trip myself. What a journey it is! Although I’m a little surprised at your Pie Chart… I would have thought the Play and Adventure column would have been a little more pronounced. You are much better at keeping your artist dates than I!
    Very thoughtful and open-hearted post, Vick. Bravo!

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