This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Motivation for Mondays: The Artist's Way--Check-in for Week 2


It's time to check in on your progress with Week 2. How'd you do?

For me, I was on the road mid-week, beginning last Wednesday, and purposefully did not take my book and notebook with me. I thought about it, considered it, but then decided I wanted to fully focus on what I would be doing.

On assignment with Wine Enthusiast to write about the Verde Valley wine scene, yet on an impromptu visit to the area with my BF, I was torn about how I'd approach the trip at first. Then, I decided to take it lightly, enjoy the trip, get some background detail, and return for the assignment work later. So that's what I did.

But that means I only wrote the Morning Pages three days last week. It was a conscious choice, however, so I'm not displeased with my progress. And I'm back on schedule now.

The trip itself turned out to be a fantastic non-stop Artist Date, even if I wasn't on a solo journey, as The Artist Way requires. It was am amazing feast of the senses. I tasted wine of all kinds, talked with interesting people (vintners, sommeliers, innkeepers), drove and admired the lovely countryside, experienced my first olive oil tasting (Did you know you can sip that stuff? I had no idea!), and was introduced to a new town I'll be adding in my next edition of Backroads & Byways of Arizona.

As for the chapter...I loved Chapter 2, and am happy to say I no longer fear the Crazy Maker in my life. I don't believe I allow them in or at least don't allow them in for too long, anymore. Notes in the book's margins suggest I have spent a lot of time with them in my past, however. But today I am happy to say I can spot them a mile away and know how to avoid them altogether if I feel it necessary.

I did several of the exercises but don't feel this chapter pertains as much to my life as I know it once did. I did not read it over and over again as I did Chapter 1.

Chapter 3, on the other hand, is one I will. It's about creating a Sense of Power and has a lot to do with the work I do here at B.I.K.E. WITH JACKIE. I'm looking forward to exploring this further and doing the solo Artist Date. So far, I have nothing scheduled, but I"m considering pulling out old photos that need to be placed in frames for the wall decor. I think that might be my evening task in the week ahead. It's something I've put off for long enough. It's time to get that hallway wall decorated.

What about you? Is The Artist Way starting to seep into your inner conscious yet? Are recognizing yourself in the pages? Are you noticing anything that's making you want to put the book down and forget about it? If so, don't. It's going to be a great exercise in the power behind self-nurturing. Just wait till you finish this next chapter. I'm anxious to read your comments this week, but I'm doubly curious to read your update next week.

Here's to a great and productive week ahead!

Motivation for Mondays is a part of a weekly Twitter party called #MotivatedMondays initiated by Lorrie Shaw, a professional pet sitter, a regular pets contributor at annarbor.com, and pet blogger in Dexter Township, MI. Together, we post a combination of inspirational notes, links to motivational blog posts, and tips to help kickstart your week ahead. Look for us online every Monday morning--and throughout the day--if you need to kick start your week or want to share your own motivational thoughts.

9 comments:

Kitty said...

Wow, Jackie, I did this early in the summer, but have really struggled with the morning pages. It's a time issue. I'm currently on Week 10, but am going to jump in anyway. (I'm procrastinatig on finishing my last issues with my presentation tomorrow night at the IAAP on "Re-Purpose, Re-Tool, and Refresh" the 7 principles of a successful transition - I've revamped and am in the zone again, Jackie.)
Anyway, Week 2, I love my affirmation time, it really puts a block on that crazy voice that is always there. I loved the Kubler-Ross quote - "Learn to get in touch with th silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose. I've been involved with Al-Anon through out the years and the Al-Anon book is an excellent one for us today even the crazymaker isn't a problem anymore. It talks a great deal about the only person we can change is ourselves.
Where it talks about attention, I always come back to T Harv Ecker who expounds on "Where the Attention Goes,Energy Flows, Results Show." True, huh?
My finale of that chapter was to write 11 goals i.e. quit work at 5 p.m. I tend to think work all the time - Since taking over the National Speaker's Association and Casting for Recovery, Arizona - my time has not been my own. I'm loving it but still need to take care of my inner child.
I'm excited, Jackie, I'm finally getting back to speaker's lab. I remember when you first started on the Bike story:-) Blessings.

Kitty said...

How many have joined this group?

BIKE LADY said...

Kitty,

Thanks for joining me here again! You're one of five, I think. It's a small group. Not all of them are posting, but I'm trying to attract them.

Funny that you'd stop by today, too, right after I've read the chapter that discusses serendipity. I've been wanting to get back to the Speaker's Lab, and you mention it here in your comment. I'm open to the message. Maybe THAT will be my Artist's Date this month. I miss it. I miss the people. I miss getting sparked by hearing other people tell their stories. I miss telling my BIKE story.

So, in a way, that's why I'm back into The Artist's Way. It generally leads me where I've become hesitant to go, out of fear, of course. Fear of success, which is what Chapter 3 discusses. So, here I go.

I never knew you liked Julia Cameron, though. That's really cool to hear. No wonder we get along! ;-)

I love that you mentioned, "The only person we can change is ourselves." So true. Whenever I think I'm troubled over someone else's behavior, I know I'm just kidding myself. It's more than likely something inside of me I need to take care of. I'm getting really good at catching myself with that one. But I had a pretty big setback in the last year or so. We all have them. That's no surprise. I'm just so glad I realize that it's okay to have them, and that I know I'll bounce back, no matter if it's over and over again. That's the blessing.

Anyway, it's good to see you here. And best wishes for a great presentation tomorrow night. I'm sure you'll do well. The topic is perfect for this climate.

Now go take care of your inner child. I'll do the same. She needs to eat!

Kim said...

Here's my week 2 check-in: http://kimhaas.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/taw-week-2/

Star, Frankie, Patrick, and George said...

Part II

Week 2:

I think the most significant issue that came up is the fact that I'm avoiding daytime, especially the mornings. i feel lost and anxious if I make myself get up before 10 or 11. I just realized as I type this that it's because I don't believe I have anything to schedule. I used to be so scheduled, and save for press trips, I'm not anymore. I made myself a plan to readjust my sleeping pattern and list out things I need to do on a regular schedule in the mornings.

I also realized that I think the reason why I'm so much more comfortable with the night is that I'm much more focused. I think it's because, with all the lights off save for the one I'm using, there's nothing to visually distract me. I'm working in the open, e.g. on the couch or at the end of my bed. I even figured out that I do best if I'm facing West with a door in sight (if there is one) to the North, and windows to the South. I thought back to my corporate jobs, where I did best, where I did worst, and that's what my best performance places have in common.

There's a comfort to the darkness for me. I like the night sounds. The darkness isn't so much like a blanket as it is the snow caves I used to build in the drifts when was a kid. I'd feel so comfortable in them that I could actually take a break from playing, go inside there and take a nap.

Another thing I realized is that every time I have done something to help a particular person in the past 3 years, I have gotten hurt (nearly cut off a finger while cutting hedges, t-boned on way back from studio, hit by car, now broken foot). I think the universe is trying to tell me to stop helping this person, even though he may wind up dead as a result. That's going to be difficult to do.

I think the fact that I'm sleeping away the morning and rushing through the afternoon is my way of getting to the point where I can be with just me. Comfortable in the knowledge that I have my house, enough food, my animals are cared for, etc., relaxed enough to take in a couple shows w/out having to stop to take care of something for someone. It's a time where I can breathe.

That's where I am at the moment. I have my list of things to do in thew morning. I'll start reading Week 3 before I go to bed, and then I should be caught up.

Star, Frankie, Patrick, and George said...

Week 1

Week 2: Granted, I started this a week behind, but I worked very hard this week to write every day, which I did, even if I had to finish later.

How was the experience? Not painful, but significant in that when I revealed a truth or answer to a question I'd carried within, it's like my mind stopped, went blank. I'd either start writing again about something banal or I'd allow myself to get distracted by thirst or hunger or the sudden need to make a note of something, whatever. I stopped. At times, I wouldn't be able to finish the pages until much later in the day if not just before bed.

How did the pages work for me? The got me to remember how much I enjoy the physicality of writing by hand. I noticed my penmanship getting better and more beautiful like it was before - years ago, before college ruined it.

I don't think I was necessarily surprised by anything discovered in the pages, but I was surprised by a few things that came out in the exercises. When I wrote out the additional five lives, I realized that, except for the most outrageous one, I do have a bit of each of those in my life right now, and even in years - many years - before. Even before I started writing for a living. Also, as I wrote out the 20 things I enjoy doing - which was difficult for me to come up with, by the way, because I've spent a lifetime not fully enjoying anything... except for five things I wrote at/near the end. I hadn't done these things since at least 1994 and some as far back as high school. As they came into my mind, I felt myself open a little to remembering the passion and excitement of every phase of doing those thing, and then I shut it down, because I know they're things I don't have access to doing anymore. I do which I had pursued those, well, pursuits. I think I'd be a happier and more fulfilled person had I done so. Of course, I wouldn't have met some of the most important people in my life now had I taken any of those routes.

I was also surprised by the first thing I wrote down, how quickly it came to me. It's something that I've had access to, but didn't push. I think, after I'm healed up, I'm going to start to push, because I really did enjoy that particular activity.

I didn't do the Artist's Date this week. I'm still kind of couch-ridden. Well, you know what? That's not quite true. I think I did do it last night w/out realizing I did it. I allowed myself to do something I enjoy, and I did it for at least two hours and loved it. Went to bed after, and slept like a log, which for me is unusual.

BIKE LADY said...

Diane,

Thank you for the deep and thoughtful posts. It shows you're getting something out of this process. Cameron would be proud.

I love that you're really digging into the material and thinking about what is happening inside your head.

I can relate to your concerns about the Crazy Maker in your life. It's hard to know what to do with them. Do we abandon them? When? But think about this: Maybe it's not about abandoning them. Maybe it's that you just need to focus on you, to take care of you. Cameron shows you how. Keep reading.

You should definitely be feeling resistance. That's normal. Fight through it. Pay attention to it. Pay attention to what you're writing down. In time, it will lead to change in the most natural and organic way. You won't even realize you've taken action.

It's not uncommon to start and stop writing the Morning Pages, either. That's part of the resistance. Change is a scary thing. We want to run away from it. We want to pretend we don't see that it's happening, or need it. But, the writing is on the Page, and, clearly, we do. Or we wouldn't have gravitated where we are in the first place. We know exactly what we need, and as long as we're open to finding it, we will. Trust in that. It's that Killer instinct I speak of here that is trying to speak to you. If you listen, you'll hear it. That's not New Agey, that's just our natural spirit wanting to take charge. Hopefully that's comforting in some way.

Teresa Bitler said...

I'm posting late for week 2. I was out of town doing a little research for my next guidebook, and I just didn't have the alone time I needed to focus on much on The Artist's Way. I didn't write any morning pages while on the road, although I wrote the day I left and started up again the day I got back. I did, however, have the opportunity to have an artist's date, of sort. I woke up early while we were in Monument Valley and watched the sunrise. I was able to "hike" down Wildcat Trail a little before anyone woke up, but I didn't want to go too far since I hadn't told anyone I'd be hiking.

I also didn't have an opportunity to do any of the exercises. What I'm finding, at least for me, is there are so many levels to this program. You read the chapters, you write your morning pages, you make an artist's date, you work on your affirmations, and you do exercises. It's a lot to take on all at once. For now, I'm focusing on reading the chapters and journaling. I try to pick up an exercise or two, if I can, but it's been a little much. Although time is an issue, I'm really finding that it's just too deep. And not to make it sound like I have all these emotional issues to work through or anything because I don't. I think maybe with this you need to take baby steps and go through it once, then again, and again, each time getting a little deeper. I'm planning on starting again when we finish (maybe with a week or two off to catch my breath but maybe not). Anyone else having the same experience?

BIKE LADY said...

Teresa,

That sounds very much like my first experience with The Artist's Way. It was a lot to take in all at once, just as you say. I did it in my own way, and I encourage you to do the same. As I've mentioned before, this is not my first time through it. I've been through it several times, because I did find value in it that first time--even though my participation was limited. And once or twice, I've tried it and abandoned it altogether. I couldn't tell you why. I just didn't finish. I moved on.

But what I took away from that very first experience was the realization that journaling is a simple and effective way to get rid of useless thoughts and negativity. You can write it all down and toss it aside. If it comes back, you can write it down again and again, until you feel you don't need to. I find great value in The Morning Pages and am sorry I stopped doing them for a while. But I'm glad they're there for me when I am ready to return. And here I am.

I just keep coming back to the process because it's exactly that, a process. And no one can dictate what is the right way to go through a process. It's whatever you need it to be. I just encourage you to keep at it as best you can, try to work through the difficult scheduling as best you can, and embrace those Artist Dates, wherever and however they may occur. That's really about giving yourself time alone with your thoughts, to consider where you're going, what you want to accomplish, and how you'll get there. No one has the answers for that except for you. But then again, that's why you need and deserve that time alone, so that you have the time to figure it all out, whatever IT is.

Keep going, at your own pace, and keep coming here to post. We'll keep the posts going for as long as anyone needs--even beyond the 12 weeks, if that's what it takes. I think you'll get a lot out of it, no matter what. And if it's too deep for you now (I totally get that), it won't be later. It'll all sink in. This isn't about our troubled lives. This is about our continued growth as a creative person. Remember that.