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going sane

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going sane

The past two weeks have not been very good for me in terms of health. I’ve spent most of my hours resting and getting plenty of fluids. When I could, I would read, write, draw, or do some online shopping. At night when I couldn’t sleep I would do some meditation practice. I did everything I could to take care of myself, to allow myself to heal.

In the same way, I found that I was taking care to continue nurturing my creative core. This is a process I made a commitment to in my post what matters most. I continued reading Julie Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I continued my morning pages as well as most of the other tasks I described in “Recovering a Sense of Safety.”  The major exception was the last one, which required me to take a brisk 20 minute walk with my inner artist. Rain check please.

I had some illuminating and strange dreams as well as some valuable reflections. Overall, I learned that my creative core was pleased to be taken care of. Much like a child who has been told shush a few too many times, my creativity had been sitting back and watching, testing the waters now and then, and feeling a bit scared about being asked to come forward and play. Even being under the weather, I would say I did good to make steps in my first week of creative recovery. Image

So, I shall move on to week 2, “Recovering a Sense of Identity.” Cameron discusses that once we’ve fashioned a safe place for our creativity to be present, it is up to us to maintain that safety by respecting ourselves in healthy ways. Sometimes during this process we will feel as though we are going insane. In actuality, we are going the other way. We are going sane. Much of the chapter has to do with dysfunctional relationships and behaviors that enable us to keep our creativity subdued. This is such a sticky process, because some such relationships can be disguised. She explains,

“Be very careful to safeguard your newly recovering artist. Often, creativity is blocked by our falling in with other people’s plans for us. We want to set aside time for our creative work, but we feel we should do something else instead. As blocked creatives, we focus not on our responsibilities to ourselves, but on our responsibilities to others. We tend to think such behavior makes us good people. It doesn’t. It makes us frustrated people.”

Reading this section might have been a lot harder for me if I hadn’t spent the past couple of years reading about codependence and addiction recovery. But it really did make me realize that so much of my life consisted of me doing things I didn’t really want to do. What a dreadful feeling that was.

This week’s tasks are designed to provide strength to set and respect personal goals and boundaries.

  • Every morning and night read these basic principles. Bet alert for attitudinal shifts.
    • Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy.
    • There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life— including ourselves.
    • When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator’s creativity within us and our lives.
    • We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.
    • Creativity is a gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back.
    • The refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our true nature.
    • When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator: good orderly direction.
    • As we open our creative channel to the creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.
    • It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.
    • Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.
  • Document my time spent on activities this week. Pay attention to the things I wanted to do and the things I felt like I should do.
  • List twenty things I enjoy doing. Determine when the last time was I allowed myself to do these things.
  • From the list above, write down two favorite things that I’ve avoided that could be this week’s goals.
  • Read the positive affirmations I created for myself in week one.
  • Return to the list of imaginary lives from last week and add five more.
  • Make a “Life Pie.” Draw a circle. Divide it into six pieces of pie. Label one piece spirituality, another exercise, another play, and so on with work, friends, and romance/ adventure. Place a dot in each slice at the degree to which I am fulfilled in that area (outer rim indicates great; inner circle, not so great). Connect the dots. This will show me where I am lopsided.
  • List ten changes I’d like to make for myself. I would like to ______________.
  • Select one small item and make it a goal for this week.
  • Then do that item!

With the next week’s set of tasks already starting for me, I hope to get back to my normal self soon. I have exciting and crafty plans for the weekend ahead!


About Rachel

Rachel is an independent artist and writer who thrives on sharing her deep appreciation for the natural world. She has taught college courses in wildlife identification, ethnobotany, environmental science, natural resource management, and cultural studies. She lives in North Dakota with her two boys, husband, dog, and cats. She enjoys gardening, cooking, drawing, writing, hunting, hiking, and snowshoeing, but is usually too tired to do any of these, except for writing...

One response »

  1. Pingback: Recovering a Sense of Faith | Pages of Paradigm

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