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 25, 2010

Motivated Mondays: The Artist's Way check-in for week 4

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, 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.


Diane Faulkner said...

Can I just say - I want to add one more thing I'd like to try - and that's watching you try to ride a unicycle. Reading that cracked me up. Don't know why.

Post to follow.

BIKE LADY said...

When I make the grand attempt, I'll try to capture it on video then and post it here -- just for you, Diane. I actually want to see this myself! LOL. Going to have to have the boyfriend videotape me, as I know he'll want to witness this as well.

Diane Faulkner said...

Part I

1. How many days did I do the pages & how was the experience?

Two and one-half days worth is all I could squeeze out of myself. Two other days, I really only wrote out the exercises, so I'm counting that as my pages, because I seem to have gotten more out of those than the pages.

The experience was difficult, because I just cannot get myself centered in the morning. If I stay in bed to do the pages, I feel lazy. If I do them on the couch, I tend to get distracted and it takes me all day to get them done. I can't get into my office yet.

2. For the Artist's Date, I watched and posted some funny cartoons. I seem to get these things sent to me more often, and I'm just enjoying the crap out of them.

3. No synchronicities come to mind at the moment.

4. Other significant things came from the exercises.

A. Environment: Interesting that my ideal is town & country, swank & cozy. That's what I get for being a Libra. I need both to be complete. In the woods, near the town; uncluttered, but comfy. Even my favorite season is balanced: Fall. Bright, colorful leaves against dark bark; blinding white clouds against dark blue skies. Warm days, cool nights. I come alive just as the world dies.

B. Time Travel. I didn't do the letters. I couldn't remember when I was eight. I could remember up to about age seven and I could remember after age nine, but 7 -8, the memories are just not there. Can barely even picture my classrooms. When I try to conjure up my house, it's empty with bare floors. The only thing I can remember is the stove we had at the center of the house (that's what heated our whole house-sort of).

I did, though, know what I liked to do over all my childhood, and that was sing, pretend/live as though I was in shows/movies/commercials, and read, read, read. I was very much inside myself and pretending I was in a role helped me interact w/other kids, stand up to adults/protect myself.

I could see myself well in my eighties, and I have basically no worries. My advice is to find something I love to do and make friends, make friends, make friends.

C. Environment: I know what I need to do to make a space for myself, but until mid-Jan, I'm stuck. As such, I decided to clear off a couple of longer-term projects off my pile and combine that action w/taking care of a family situation in such a way that I am considerably less burdened than I am at present. I figure that will clear the way for newer, better (-paying, hopefully) projects as well as a healthier lifestyle that allows me to concentrate a little on me.

D. I don't think my life pie's changed all that much; but then again, I can barely read what I wrote & can't find it in the book. It's just escaping me right now.

Diane Faulkner said...

Part II

E. Artist’s Prayer: Didn’t write the prayer. I don’t pray. I “open” for lack of a better term. When I can get myself to that place, I accomplish, understand, know, process, communicate - a lot of different things seem to go on at once and time can just stand still. It’s just finding that safe time and place. Once I have that, I’m golden, which is kind of why I think I do this AW work at night. This is my golden time.

F. Didn’t do the reading deprivation. I cut way-way back on the social media/television time. This allowed me time to catch up on reading I’ve wanted to get to for entirely too long.

Buried Dream Exercises

Interesting activity. Incredibly difficult to come up with things for these lists. Only finished two. Most difficult was the list of fun things. Nothing sounds fun, and I don’t do silly. Never have, so that last list is blank.

Back to the Pages

I think it’s strange that I went from missing singing/theater/modeling/press trips/reading to convincing myself I should run for a seat on the city council in a town I can’t stand, because I want to have control over how Animal Control is run. There’s a whole lot more in between that’s just not coming out right now, because I’m finally getting tired.

I don’t know. I need to buckle down. I just want to get things done and move on. I’m tired of this rut.

BIKE LADY said...

Diane, sometimes when I'm in a rut, I start writing in a Grateful Journal, where all I can write -- still by hand -- is stuff for which I'm grateful. NOTHING else is allowed to go in there. And I have to do that for a month. By the end of the month, I'm not so focused on what's wrong. Rather, I'm focused on what's right. I find that process very helpful in moving me out of a rut.

In lieu of Morning Pages, you might try that, unless you can fit them both in. I'd do them both, but that's because I've journaled all my life -- and I use it as a coping mechanism. It's a good one, by the way. ;-)

And, again, if you feel like you can get more out at night, then go ahead and do the Morning Pages at night. Try it in the morning sometimes as well, and see what's different. I think it's a good idea to experiment with these kinds of projects, if you will, to uncover what works best for you.

Diane Faulkner said...

I'll make the effort to do both. I don't think I can give up the morning pages, even though I do them best at night.

I wonder if I don't do them in the morning is because I'm only asleep for a couple hours? I do the pages at what, 2 - 3 am? Then I'm up at 7 - 8 am? Down a couple hours, then up for good between 10 - 11?

Pages in the morning turn into to-do lists for me. Is that normal?

BIKE LADY said...

I'd say get some sleep and think about this later. No need to overwork yourself. Remember, this is about self-nurturing. You don't even have to do all the exercises. Just the ones that appeal to you, that you have time to do. Okay?

Diane Faulkner said...

I guess I've been treating this like college homework. I'd love to get some sleep. I'd love to go to sleep and then stay asleep for a straight 8 hours. That would be so great!

Kim said...

Better late than never:)

Kind of disappointed that I don't seem to be experiencing any/much synchronicity. Not sure If it's there and I don't see it or if it's really not there.

BIKE LADY said...

Kim, I definitely think only you can decide. Keep reading. Re-read the chapters if you think you're missing something. I find it very helpful to take time each morning to think about the chapters and what I've learned -- and especially what I may have missed the day before.