Editor’s note: This is the 5th installment of a weekly 13-part series. If you would like to join Jessica on her journey, we suggest getting hold of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity or checking out Cameron’s online video course. Best of luck!
Sometimes when I write, I feel like I am possessed. All logic and reasoning leave and I am fully flowing from a creative space that I believe lives inside each one of us. When I look back on what I’ve written, what I see doesn’t appear to have any connection with Jessica Jones the person. The same thing happens when I’m acting at my peak. I go to another place as though I’ve left my body and re-emerge at “end scene.” I think that many of us feel this way when we are at the height of our creativity. So it doesn’t surprise me that Julia Cameron likens creative expression to a portal to God.
I’ve often practiced two-way journaling as a means to get wisdom, guidance and direction from the Creator, but the outflow of the morning pages process has almost equally sufficed as a method through which to connect to the divinity of creative power. As Julia says, “The morning pages symbolize our willingness to speak to and hear God. They lead us into many other changes that also come from God and lead us to God.” I realize that many of you conceptualize that in a different way, but the beauty of The Artist’s Way is that regardless of our individual spiritual leanings, we all recognize on some level that our creativity flows from a universal source.
This week, I started to clean house. I started eliminating things that pulled at my resources (time, emotional reserves and energy) in order to remain true to this process. Admittedly, I hadn’t yet fully submitted to the process in a way that allowed me to complete each week’s 10 tasks. For example, I was not able to participate in reading deprivation (couldn’t wriggle out of a commitment, but will do this practice as part of Week 5). I did, however, say goodbye to a book club that I have loved being a part of. I examined how much junk food I’d been letting my soul consume and decided to go on a “diet” (page 85). I started tossing out material things that no longer suit me. It’s no wonder that I’ve not been able to draw from the well of my creative center when I’ve been polluting it with extraneous stuff. That “stuff” that we hold onto doesn’t make us better artists. It dries up our well. The tasks, the morning pages and the artist dates all serve to fill our wells afresh.
The course is affecting me in other ways, too. I’m taking an eraser to the identity that I have been living and am re-creating myself bit-by-bit. Settling isn’t just something that we do in relationships; we do it in every aspect of our lives.
As I’ve encountered other people along my journey who have at one point given The Artist’s Way a try, I’ve met a few who have done so half-heartedly. I challenge you, if you’re one of those people, to give it another shot and really dig in. I’m sharing my experience, but please be aware that recovery doesn’t look the same for everyone. Don’t compare yourself, just love yourself enough to do the work and let the process unfold in its own way for you. Practice patience and self-love, and create according to your individually-appointed purpose in an environment where you feel nurtured and fearless.
Read the first four installments of this series:
- Unblocking the Inner Artist
- Of Monsters and Champions: Let the affirming begin!
- A Case of the Crazymakers
- The Power of Breaking Down Boxes