All good things must come to an end. I hate it when I come to the end of a really good book. So, it is not unusual that I hate the fact that this will be my last article about Janice Elsheimer’s book, The Creative Call. I hope the series of articles has been as beneficial for my readers as it has for me.
In the conclusion of this book, Janice gives the reader a final assignment and then some suggestions for activities that can be done alone or with a group. I wish now that I had been in a group. Maybe some day I will get the chance.
The final assignment is not difficult. You are to look at your journal writings or your day book and discover the things that were important enough for you to write about. You are to look for important truths revealed to you by the Holy Spirit. Janice suggests highlighting things you feel are significant. She suggests doing this in a quiet, private atmosphere where you can enjoy the experience.
After reading through your journal you need to choose three themes you wrote about as your main focus. Ask yourself what you learned and want to carry forward with this book. What practices can improve your life as an artist? At this moment I have not had a chance to read through my journal, but I plan to soon. I look forward to seeing what the Holy Spirit has revealed to me.
The next section in the book is titled, An Artist Retreat. I love this idea and have been toying with doing something like this with a group. In fact I went on a artist retreat with a group of women long ago. It was a great experience. We met at a friends home one Friday evening. We had dinner, a time of sharing, we spent time doing an art activity and then retired to write about our experience. Before going to bed we were given rules about respecting each others space and privacy.
The next morning no one was allowed to speak until a certain time. The television was not allowed to be turned on. People got up, got coffee, and did whatever they wanted to in silence. Some went out to the garden and sketched, some wrote in their journal, some prayed or did meditation. When the time of silence was up we had a great time sharing and did more art activities until it was time to leave. We were feed a great breakfast as well. That mini-retreat is something I have always wanted to do again. I think I may try to get one together some time soon.
You do not have to do an artist retreat with a group. That is not a requirement. In fact, you may be better off going on an artist retreat by yourself or with one other person, artist or friend. You may find having time to yourself where you can spend time thinking and praying without interruption suits you better.
The retreat might just be a time of rejuvenation, resting, and meditation. You may find that you spend much of your time napping. Pray that your time will be spent on what ever you need the most. I have a friend that loves to use her retreat time to read all the art magazines and books she has purchased and never had a chance to look at. Make sure you let your family know that you are not to be disturbed during your retreat unless it is a real emergency.
In addition to going on an artist retreat, Janice writes about having a Ceremony of Appointment. Janice got the idea from the book The Giver by Lois Lowry. Ceremonies are a great way to show your commitment to a cause. Janice had her own ceremony where she committed to using her gifts and following her dreams. She created a ceremony which was meaningful to her creative call. You can create your own ceremony that will be appropriate for you. I am looking forward to planning and doing my ceremony.
I want to end this article with words written by Janice.
“Use your imagination, your gifts, your talents, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to create the kind of retreat that is just what you, as an individual or group, want and need. Call down the Holy Spirit of God in both the planning and the making of the retreat. End with a time of prayer that unites everyone in the commitment to begin living a more artistic life — not to glorify yourselves, but to glorify the One who dwells within us and calls us his own.”
Thank you for reading my series on The Creative Call. Thank you Janice for your insightful writing and for allowing me to discuss your book on this blog. Blessings to all that are working to reach their creative call.
Here are links to the previous articles I have written about The Creative Call: