So it is the end of week four of the twelve week ‘The Artist’s Way‘ program in rediscovering creativity and I am very happy to wave it goodbye. This week was a tough week for me and has been the first week of the program thus far that has stirred any real emotions.
Let’s have a look at what happened.
Reading Review: Week 4
Week four is titled ‘Recovering a Sense of Integrity’ and begins with a focus on the difference between our ‘real’ feelings and our ‘official’ feelings. The real feelings we have are the ones that we often keep secret, like when you are desperately desiring a promotion at work but despite your efforts someone else gets the position. On the inside you are disappointed or angry, but your ‘official’ feelings are that ‘Sally deserved the promotion, I am really happy for her’. Of course there is a disparity between your inner truth and surface emotions but this can be sorted out elsewhere. In your morning pages.
Cameron puts forth morning pages as a way to ‘discover’ hidden truths about ourselves. That writing down a slew of nonsense will uncover emotions, or themes in our emotions that we haven’t realised were connected, and/or dealt with in the past. As journal keeper from way back I totally agree. However my journaling has always been conducted in the evening as a reflective process while morning pages allow for far more creativity as first thing in the morning there isn’t much to reflect on.
Once morning pages has identified any hidden truths it can be hard to ignore them any longer, so Cameron suggests a few ways to clean up, and move on from them including a physical clean up and ways to reset your emotions.
Then came the hard part for me.
For most part, Week Four is a short week of reading. This may be due to the fact it proposes a week long reading ban. There are still tasks to do, so you are allowed to read this section of the book throughout the week but other than that no reading is allowed. Cameron kindly suggests a bunch of ways to fill the time that you would otherwise spend reading, many of these activities are ‘clean up’ ones to fit back with the rest of the weeks readings, and some are creative.
Task Review: Week 4
Week four tasks are based around the readings, looking at your ideal home environment and returning to the week one activities that analyse your lifestyle. I personally enjoyed the ‘Write Your Own Artist’s Prayer’ task and came up with one that I have been using daily every day this week but what I should touch upon is the final task that asks ‘did you break your reading deprivation’ which I will now discuss in the ‘checking in and reflecting’ issues section.
Checking in and Reflecting
I hated this week. It was the hardest by far. Not because there was lots of content or that it was too demanding of my time. The hatred is based solely around the fact that I am a reading addict and didn’t know it until now. After declaring to my family on Monday that I won’t read or google, or update social media, outside of my 9-5 ‘work hours’ of Uni and Science, I suddenly felt lost. Giving up reading for a week seemed way more difficult than giving up thrifting and shopping for a year.
Monday night was spent pacing around the house wondering what to do with myself and complaining quite a lot. My breakfasts were no longer enjoyable without a blog or a book to peruse. The hardest part still was I had loads of time to catch up on cleaning and creating (like Cameron suggested) but the weather was so hot that none of these things were possible. Can’t take time to clean out the kitchen or paint the walls on a thirty eight degree day. So this week I have been pretty much grumpy, whiny, hot and annoyed for most of my down time. It has also meant that I have been absent from social media most of the week which will require a big catch up.
What I have struggled with the most is the loss of connection with the outside world. Where I live is abundant in natural beauty, but there is little artistic or creative inspiration. There are very few galleries, music venues or arts and cultural festivals. It is like living in a very hot bubble of surf, delicious fresh produce, and lots of time to drink beer. It is a nice place to live but without that artistic outlet of being able to research, read and connect with creative inspiration from across the globe I have felt uninspired. Looking forward to being able to read again tomorrow. I will hug my iPad and books like a long lost friend.
Despite feeling uninspired I have continued with morning pages every day. They have been incredibly boring, to the point where sometimes they might just be the same phrase or word repeated over and over again for an entire page, but I am glad to have committed the time. Still enjoying the process but didn’t really uncover any nuggets of truth this week other than the fact that I am a reading addict.
The highlight of this week was the Artists date. The source of this weeks photographs. Hubby suggested yesterday that he would like to take me out to the botanical gardens. We have been numerous times but not for the last year or so. It was nice to find somewhere shady to escape the heat. The botanical gardens also plays host to a collection of sculptures. One of the few places to experience a bit of artistic culture in an instant on the Coast. I love exploring with my better half, he is excellent at spotting the little things such as spiders and mushrooms.
Probably been a bit too ‘on edge’ with the reading ban to notice the subtle events of the week. There have been a few hints that the universe is listening to me. Such as having coins literally fly out at me from a vending machine as I walked past, or making new creative type friends via email.
Reflection on Week Four
Week four was frustrating. I know that the process will have taught me some sort of lesson, but so far all I have got from it is that I am 100% addicted to learning new things. My reading is never recreational (aside from the odd fashion magazine). So my addiction is to knowledge not the act of reading. I do not know if this hampers my creative processes or enhances them. All I know is that it is far too hot here at the moment to quit the quest for knowledge in pursuit of a clean closet or a painted wall.
If you following the program yourself how did you go with week four?
Even if you aren’t completing the program does a week with no reading scare you?
Share your thoughts below.