So, this week went better. It took me a while to find my groove, but I went back over everything I’d planned and done in the first week, and vowed to put more of myself into it. I felt better about it in the end, anyway.
And I made the confession. I promised we’d talk more from here on in, and I wanted to learn more about everyone in the group. I was surprised to learn we had a woman who’d spent several weeks at a monastery this past summer working on artistic endeavors. I learned we had a woman who had recently suffered a stroke, but wanted to get back into the creative things she loved now that her rehabilitation was working well. And we had a once very enthusiastic knitter who just couldn’t find a reason to make anything new. It certainly is an interesting group.
I made tons of little paper flowers with my Cricut cutter at work, and stuck little jeweled stickers in their centres. Then, I laid them out across the length of all the tables and added swirls of dark green paper to look like vines etc. It was actually quite pretty, even though I didn’t take a photo of it. (Why not?? I have no idea!)
The theme this week was “Recovering a Sense of Identity”. After getting to hear a little bit more about each person, and why they were there, I think we all had a stronger understanding of their identity, even if it wasn’t clear to them yet.
We talked about many things, including finding a way to bring out that joy we first felt in our creative processes. I don’t think anyone felt they didn’t belong doing what they were doing, but that they couldn’t find the joy in it anymore. One of the great things that Elizabeth Gilbert talks about is thinking of your creative life as though you were having an affair. The idea behind it is simple: when you have an affair, you find time for it, you get excited by it, and you don’t let anyone stand in the way of it, not matter what. How about doing the same for writing, or painting, or knitting? She suggested dressing up–really getting all spiffy and ready for the creativity to join you—and then sitting down to do the work. I’m hoping that at least a few of our group tried to do this in Week 2. I can’t wait to hear what happened!
Okay, so morning pages are NOT supposed to be optional, according to THE ARTIST’S WAY and Julia Cameron. They are to be done every day, first thing, no exceptions. I must admit, I didn’t do them every day last week, and I haven’t done them daily this week either. It’s not that I don’t see the benefit from them. I do. In fact, I was reluctant to even try them first off, but they were SUPER helpful in letting me work out the issues I was having with my course from week one. Maybe I’m not learning a whole lot about my history and why I do the things I do, but I know that writing them is helping me work through day to day issues, and that’s great.
Some of the other members of the group also had issues with doing them. So, I made them a personal thing. I don’t want to say “optional”, but maybe not mandatory. However, even one of the more reluctant members said he felt guilty about not doing them one day when he wanted to be working on his project, so decided to do them and “get it over with”. I think in the end, we’ll all agree that these are interesting and helpful in many ways. I just don’t know how yet….
THE ARTIST DATE:
Some people found this one tricky. It wasn’t bad trying to find the time, but more that it was tricky to find something they wanted to do. When you’re not used to taking time for your creative life, it might seem indulgent at first, and so you can be really confused at the purpose, and also, the inspiration. I did some adult colouring–something I normally wouldn’t take time for, but it was a lot of fun, and very relaxing. I felt good about doing it, and hope to do something a bit different this week, before our next meeting. Maybe a walk through some shops I love and never get a chance to visit?
Last but not least, our creativity activity was a little wacky this week. Each person was given some string cheese and a few tooth picks. They had to create something out of that. Whatever they wanted. It was a funny task, but one which some went at with determination. Some people just ate the cheese. 🙂 I think that says a lot about us.
This week, we’ll talk about our successes and failures, and hopefully get a bit more insight into finding our creative selves. I’m going on a special getaway next week, and will have to postpone our meeting for a week, so I planned a little secret something for the group to take home and work on. What’s in the envelopes? Only time will tell….