A very busy week led to less participation in The Artist's Way this past week. I didn't do as many of the exercises or write as many mornings as I thought I would. I managed to do four or five of the exercises and write the Morning Pages 4 times. I wasn't feeling anxious about that at all. It's just the way my schedule worked out.
The chapter, "Recovering a Sense of Integrity," hit home, though. Sometimes, I find myself agreeing to do something that I don't have time for, or I'll not fully commit (because I'm already over-committed) and leave people hanging, until I can supply a definitive response. I let my schedule manipulate me. This is a pattern of behavior I've moved in and out of, and I need to take better charge of that. I'll try to rationalize with myself, when what I really need to do is pay attention to what people are asking of me, take time to consider it, and then respond appropriately as soon as possible. Don Miguel Ruiz talks about this in his book, The Four Agreements. One of the agreements we need to make with ourselves is to speak with integrity. It's not possible for me to do all things and be all things. I need to be okay with that. So this chapter convicted me. Ouch. Any convictions on your end?
I was also struck by the idea behind clarity and what might happen during the process of writing the Morning Pages. You might arrive at a challenge that you don't want to deal with but realize you probably must. That's happened to me so many times.
And I liked coming across the word kriya again. I've experienced those cries many times. Not lately, thankfully. But many times in my past. "Enough!" We should listen to those inner cries, those kriyas. They mean something valuable. If we don't listen, we'll stay stuck in negative patterns of behavior. Most of the time, it takes little more than awareness to fix that.
I did experience an epiphany: I enjoy writing about arts-related topics but haven't pitched anything like that till last week. I also discovered that I like to include notes from the chapter readings in my Morning Pages. While I'm reading, I jot down notes, things I want to remember, quotes I like, passages in the book that stand out to me, for instance, this one:
Until we experience the freedom of solitude, we cannot connect authentically.
This is so key to my B.I.K.E. work here. This is why I rode my mountain bike to move past the difficult days of my divorce. While I'm hiking a lot these days, and walking with a girlfriend in the mornings, I'm not taking those solo rides as much. It's time to get back on the bike. So many good things happen from the seat of my bike. I do miss it. That was another realization that occurred to me this past week.
I'm not that heavily into the sorting out mode yet. But I know that's coming. It always does when I read this book. But I have definitely been experiencing bursts of energy, and I'm using them to market myself, with more focused direction.
I did the exercise where you're to pick five things you'd like to try, and I chose the following:
1) Enter a mountain bike race.
2) Try water skiing again.
3) Learn how to ski moguls.
4) Learn how to fly a plane.
5) Ride my unicycle.
Funny, but these are not things I think about, other than the last one -- and that's because I have a unicycle sitting in a corner of my office I need to learn how to ride. At least that is do-able. In fact, I circled it on my notes. Telling me something???
I did not do the reading deprivation. In fact, I wrote in my notes that I wouldn't. The point of that exercise is to open space for other things. But I do other things, have been highly focused on it, in fact, and felt this was not an exercise I could do right now. What this exercise should ask of me is to eliminate social media from my life for a week. I can see how that would open up space in my life.
Of all the exercises, I enjoyed writing the Artist's Prayer the most. Mine was a few lines longer than the one in the book. But I really enjoyed taking a few moments and considering what I need and asking for it. I liked being reminded that I am an instrument, that my talents and skills are not mine alone, that I have a purpose, and that through this process I will move closer and closer to it, with God's help and guidance. Please do not be offended by my use of His name. That is my belief. I will not shun yours, nor judge your thoughts about religion or spirituality. But I do believe, and that's just that.
I also wrote out Exercise #9 -- one situation that I need to change but haven't. It's my house. It's a mess. I need it organized. I need things repaired. She asked us to consider the payoff for not taking care of this. There isn't one, I wrote. So I am determined to hire help, because I am having a hard time accepting I cannot do it alone. Argghhh! But, because this is what I've been thinking about, a little serendipity occurred this week also, when a friend of mine called with the name of a woman who can use extra money and could help me get organized. Very convenient, don't you think?
Other breakthroughs this week: book ideas. I had a few and pitched queries, which were approved. So now I'll work on the proposals. I declared I need to sell another 500 books to meet my advance, and I got a call from Costco to set up two book signings. And I just feel an overall sense of clarity beginning to mature.
I hope you are all experiencing something equally as powerful in your Artist's Way work. Please be sure to comment about it here.
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.