Monday, October 18, 2010
We're one quarter of the way through, folks!
Today, we check in for Week 3 and are onto reading Chapter 4 -- my project as soon as I complete this post.
Were you able to complete the Morning Pages on a daily basis this week? I managed to write them 6 of the 7 days. I took a day off on Saturday, without intention. It just worked out that way. I think I might actually have slept in. For me that's getting up at 6 a.m., instead of 5 a.m., but that's a loss of one hour in the day. So I skipped the writing that morning and went straight into my day.
Nevertheless, I had a plethora of Artist Dates drop in my lap, it seems. And I even managed to do artsy things with friends as well. My week was extremely productive in a creative way. And I witnessed first-hand how very energizing that is to me. I feel like I'm playing catch-up or making up for lost creative time and am amazed by how much our minds/bodies/souls really do know what we need.
My first date this week took me inside a store in Phoenix called Write-Ons; it's a stationery story where they do custom-made invitations, sell greeting cards and gift items, and sell other miscellaneous items you really don't need but like to buy just for fun. I bought some of those, including three journals with bike imagery on them. I'm always looking for that kind of thing. The owner, who is a member of my Wednesday morning breakfast group, said she'll let me know when more come in. Yes!
I also spent an unusual amount of time this week looking at funny YouTube videos and listening to music. I get so caught up in work that I don't do that. How sad? I'm glad I'm being pulled back in that direction. I need to feed my inner senses as well as my creative mind. Clearly, I've been feeling starved and didn't even know it!
I returned to the Speakers' Lab with the Arizona Chapter of the National Speakers Association. The chapter holds regular monthly meetings which members and candidates can attend to practice a presentation. Up to four people each month can sign up to speak. Other members attend to act as the audience and learn from the presentations themselves. Then, they offer feedback. The chapter invites long-standing members to offer the final, professional critique. It's a valuable playground for speakers, and it's really fun to attend. It's also a way to develop personal relationships with other members, which is an excellent form of networking. I enjoy going, am highly energized and encouraged by this group, and am glad to be committed to returning. We pay $75/year to participate, and it's very much worth the extra fee.
My last Artist Date of the week took me to an artsy town north of where I live. It was completely unexpected, as I went there to meet friends for coffee. And when they left, I decided to poke around the town on foot, letting the road signs lead me where I went: to an antique store, an art gallery, an artist's studio, a bike shop. I met a sculptor, a woman who was feeding her pet desert tortoise, and a guitarist. I relished in the sights and sounds of this unexpected self-guided tour.
In addition to these four trips on my own, I also visited a new friend at a new wine bar in downtown Phoenix, and I went to a weekly Art Walk with my boyfriend one night this week.
OVERALL THOUGHTS & IMPRESSIONS
I think I can safely say a creative awakening has begun over here. Because of it, I'm feeling a renewed sense of joy. I've missed that. And all it takes to reconnect with that is adding a little playtime to my day, or to the week, if that's all the time I have. So the work here with The Artist's Way is making me realize that it's far too easy to get caught up in stuff that doesn't matter, to focus on things that hold you back, when what will propel you forward is a matter of simply deciding to spend more time with yourself. This is a good lesson that I've already learned, of course, but a lesson that needs demands reminder -- and action. The B.I.K.E. isn't enough if you don't take action.
The response from my work with The Artist's Way is also showing up here. I've added a few new plug-ins on the blog: a stats counter and a list of most popular blog posts -- both on the right-hand side of the page. I've updated my speaker page on the NSA-Arizona Web site, and I'm getting ready to use these updates on my blog profile/bio and also on my LinkedIn page. The work has also inspired other posts and led me to exlore how I'm going to market myself as a speaker of my B.I.K.E. I sent out four or five letters of introduction last week for that, which I don't usually do. I'm usually just marketing myself as a writer and letting the speaking work come to me. But now I'm getting active on that level as well.
To me, this has always been the main thrust of Chapter 3. The lesson about how synchronicity can work in our lives and lead us to the work we feel most passionate about has always spoken to me the most. I believe it in. I look for it, and I experienced this several times this week. Each time, I was drawn to either make a call, send an e-mail or do something I had been wanting to do for quite some time. Once I had the sign in front of me and opened my eyes to see it, I followed. In some cases, literally.
Overall, I am so happy to see an attitude shift taking place. It's what I needed to get me back on track, and especially dump some stuff that had been clogging my thoughts of late. It's why I took this book off the shelf again.
I hope positive shifts are occurring in your lives as well. So please post your results and let us know what's going on. All you have to do is answer the questions at the end of the chapter, revealing only as much as you feel comfortable sharing.
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.