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“Recovering Senses of Connection and Strength”

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Relationships are always dynamic. Especially the ones we have with ourselves. I think that is important to remember as we move through life. We often have fond memories of times past and great expectations of times ahead. But in reality, all we really have time for is now.

And now, a pattern seems to be emerging. I seem to be getting stronger. Better able to balance. Day by day, habits emerge. My relationship with myself is growing. There has been a lot of work to do. Resting. Nourishing. Grieving. It has been a wonderful experience to have the blog as a mode of connection. Even more, the unyielding support I receive from friends, family, and readings.

The past weeks of Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way have focused on Recovering a Sense of Connection and Recovering a Sense of Strength. My relationship with this particular reading has changed. It’s not so much on the page now. It’s part of my life now. Life happens in ways that I then connect to Cameron’s writing and say, “Hey, that sounds familiar!”

Senses of connection emerge in friendships and professional relationships, through my writings, and within my physical being. The prerequisite for connections is receptivity. Or simply listening. I’ve been listening to myself. Not just my heart and soul, but my body as well. I attribute this awareness to my yoga practices. I have begun to feel and amend the unsteadiness that resides in my hips. I have begun to feel the burdens that I allow to ride on my shoulders. I set free the frustrations and anxieties of a 13-year-old girl who was stuck in beginner gymnastics due to her inability to do a cartwheel.  My courage to do the upward bow pose brought me closer to my physical being.

Upward bow pose. Note this is NOT me!

Being more connected to my physical being has allowed me to be more in tune to myself. Less and less am I finding myself feel as though my experience is becoming victim to my physical ailments. Instead I notice patterns. Patterns I can be part of.

This morning I took the time to do a few yoga poses and stretches to some wonderful and powerful tunes (Pistachio by Lisa Hannigan and 9 Crimes by Damien Rice). I found myself connected to my heart and smiling, just because. That is the beginning of habits emerging. That is building strength, day by day. The mantra Julia Cameron provides for the week is, “Treating myself like a precious object will make me strong.”

In addition to listening, risk taking is a integral element of building connections. The question arises, “What would I do if I didn’t have to do it perfectly?” The answer is, “A great deal more than I am now.” Taking risks and eschewing perfectionism are difficult tasks for me. It’s all too easy to get stuck in habits that prevent chance. I tried to explore such difficulties in an earlier post on the excuses I am making in setting up my Etsy shop. Then, yesterday I beat those excuses, and took a chance and set up shop. Its not perfect. But it now exists. I can build it. It can grow.

Cameron provided some wonderful insight to this phenomenon.

Indulging ourselves in a frantic fantasy of what our life would look like if we were real artists, we fail to see the many small creative changes that we could make at this very moment. This kind of look-at-the-big-picture thinking ignores the fact that a creative life is grounded on many, many small steps and very, very few large leaps.

Baby steps. Oh yes, baby steps. Remember how far they can take us.This morning I have a meeting scheduled. A meeting in which I can be myself: an artist, a professional, a creative human being. These affirmations from The Artists Way will be my reminder.

I am a talented person.

I have a right to be an artist.

I am a good person and a good artist.

Creativity is a blessing I accept.

My creativity blesses others.

My creativity is appreciated.

I now treat myself and my creativity more gently.

I now treat myself and my creativity more generously.

I now share my creativity more openly. I now accept hope.

I now act affirmatively. I now accept creative recovery.

I now allow myself to heal.

I now accept God’s help unfolding my life.

I now believe God loves artists.



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...

6 responses »

  1. Thank you Rachel for the reminders and inspiration

    • You are welcome Sarah, and thank you for the encouragement and support! It kinda makes me wanna sing, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

  2. “Relationships are always dynamic. Especially the ones we have with ourselves. I think that is important to remember as we move through life”

    And I love this because every relationship has its own unique dynamic. Where we meet the one we are relating with in only that way. You cannot meet someone else in the same way you are meeting another.

    Also by relating with each person from moment to moment, dropping our limitations are we able to relate to ourselves and thus have the great opportunity of growth! How beautiful is that?!

    Thanks again for stopping by my blog rachel! 🙂

  3. Oh My congrats on getting your shop started on Etsy. That is such a huge step. Keep working it and know it will take time for it take off, but I am sure it will.

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

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