Week eight of The Artists Way creative recovery course is focused on the perception of time and how this relates to our creative risk taking efforts. It looks at the ways that loss, failure, and our perceptions of ourselves get in the way of our creative growth and ways that we can change the negatives in our lives, be them real or perceived negatives, into catalyst moments for creative gain.
Reading Review: Week 8
There were two areas that stood out to me from this weeks readings. The first being quite an obvious one for a ‘lean-a-holic’ like myself the ‘Ivory Power’ conundrum. Cameron notes that there is a correlation between the level of academic learning that we achieve and a decreased ability to appreciate raw creativity. She writes about the learned art scholar as being suspicious or frightened of creative ‘beast’. That too often those in the process of learning about creative ventures (or in my personal belief any venture) can get so caught up in the process of learning they don’t actually participate in any of the areas they are leaning about. That the sheer act of learning about a specific area can be detrimental to the creative process. Albert Einstein stated that:
Imagination is more important than knowledge
While I do believe this to be true in the creative world I know for sure that there are areas where knowledge can be vital (open heart surgery is one such example). However, as a learn-a-holic who has now devoted her learning to learning about how people learn. I strongly agree that increases in knowledge does make you question those crazy intuitive ideas that spring into mind on a daily basis. Perhaps you have a dream that you can fly. Obviously the brain isn’t aware of gravity or the laws of physics while you sleep but you know in day time that this isn’t possible. This knowledge crushes dreams of flight instantaneously on waking.
What if your ‘learned beliefs’ be it academic or experiential are crushing your creative success? Perhaps you dream of being a successful illustrator but you have learned through the media or personal experience that you can’t achieve financial success in this industry. This knowledge is a great reason to stay blocked and avoid your dream career despite the fact there are loads of full time illustrators who are making life happen!
Cameron also addresses age as a time barrier to strength and success as an artist but the area I found most interesting was ‘filling the form’. Filling the form is all about taking the leap of faith from your small steps (AKA in the comfort zone) to big steps. The kind of steps that you aren’t necessarily prepared for. Big steps like writing a book can be daunting. It is easy to say ‘oh I don’t have time for something like that’. It is even easier to say ‘ I am a mother… a daughter…. a dog walker….too old…. too young… too drunk… too useless’ discounting your potential for creative success before you even try. The scary thought is that writing a book is achievable. If it wasn’t then there wouldn’t be any books printed. Breaking the creative process down into little steps Cameron shows how big dreams can become small, accomplishable daily tasks. That staying focused ‘eyes on the prize’ style at our overall end goals can make the baby steps feel like huge leaps forward.
Task Review: Week 8
This weeks tasks were based around practical and creative ways to visualise a ‘dream’ future and how to plan your way to success. One of my favourite tasks from this week (other than listing five activities I am not allowed to do) was planning the ‘idea day’. This activity asks you to contemplate what an ideal day would look like within your current setting. Then projects forward to what an ideal day in your ideal world would look like. I had fun discussing this idea with friends and loved ones throughout the week. Can recommend this as dinner party conversation. While none of this weeks tasks were particularly challenging they were enjoyable and thought provoking.
Checking in and Reflecting
Very little issues with the course content this week. It was busy (like always) but I was sure to make time to ‘check in’ with myself and the program. Like every other week of hot season I experienced heat stress symptoms which always makes it difficult to be appreciative of my current location but a few days of rain refreshed my soul!
Morning pages came naturally this week. I did struggle last week with finding inspiration to keep writing three pages a day but I have put it down to an interrupted schedule. This week was enjoyable and I am looking forward to the week 9 task of reading over morning pages past to work out any themes of interest. It might be a little bit scary to look into ones ramblings on a page but it could be full of important discoveries, or possibly just junk.
Cool weather gave me a case of wanderlust early in the week. After an LONG HOT SUMMER we finally had a cool day or two. These little breaks can be brief at this time of year so I bailed from my uni work for an afternoon and headed to the beach, camera in hand, to make the most of a sweat free day. Turns out that I wasn’t the only person with this idea as I passed a lady who was also out on an ‘abandoned beach’ photo exploration date. The clouds danced and played with me for a few hours and I was blown away at the beauty of the day. Too often do I hear weather bias here in Queensland. The moment the sky turns grey or a raindrop falls from the sky people complain and pray for sunshine. My personal love of all things weather and season related means embracing changes. I am so grateful for the day of dancing clouds. We are back to heat and humidity but the small break has renewed my faith that a seasonal change is on it’s way.
Of late I have found that my uni classes focused on education and sustainability have been overlapping with the teaching of The Artists Way. This has been a pleasant surprise as my past experiences in the field of straight science learning have been incredibly dry and formal. Not inspiring at all! So to be studying University based curriculum that is at times as inspiring as a creativity course has been a real blessing. It has harmonised and tied together two seemingly unrelated things perfectly. Synchronicity at it’s finest.
Reflection on Week Eight
Week eight didn’t move mountains for me, but like all the other weeks prior I could feel the internal shift toward a more creative daily experience. I have been making more time in my own life for the things that inspire me which of late, has been live music. Getting out with friends to see gigs has been really fun and definitely has my creative juices flowing. I understand from this week that I need to start ‘dreaming big’ and making the step by step plans on how to get there.
Do you have big dreams in life that seem too big to get started on? Care to share them with us below?
Perhaps you have achieved a big dream. Want to let us know how you did it?
Look forward to hearing your thoughts.