Welcome to my series of articles about Julia Cameron’s book, Walking in This World. Week Eleven is about Discovering a Sense of Authenticity. I post an article each Wednesday as I work my way through the book. There are twelve weeks in the book, so we are quickly reaching the end.
Have you ever read a book that made you laugh out loud? That is what happened to me the other night as I was reading Week Eleven of Julia Cameron’s book. It surprised me. In fact, I laughed so hard I started crying. When that happens sometimes I feel a little like Jekyll and Hyde. How does Julia know my thoughts? I guess my thoughts and feelings aren’t that unusual. That is reassuring.
The Week Eleven reading is divided into three sections. One section is about encouragement. The second section is about integrity and the third is titled “Getting Back on the Horse.” Julia provides the reader with tasks at the end of each section to get the “artist in you” working towards a more creative life.
The main point of this chapter, I feel, is that we are responsible for our own creativity. Sure we get discouraged, sure we get crushed by rejection or thoughtless comments, but we have to keep on keeping on. We are responsible for keeping aligned with the Great Creator. We can do things to encourage ourselves if no one else will. We need to figure out what we love, what our dreams are and follow them.
Julia says it this way: “All artists get discouraged. All artists have deep inner wells of self-pity into which we periodically dive. All artists are doing better than someone else and worse than someone else. All artists are doing better today than they have in the past and worse than they will in the future. All artists specialize in self-doubt. It is how we hone the creative imagination….”
Do you ever question where your creativity comes from? How do you feel when you are creating versus when you are not? Is there a difference? There is for me. I feel lighter, happier, freer when I am working on a creative project. I feel satisfied with the world when I am at work. When I am not creating, I get cranky, depressed and irritable. Julia discusses the idea of creativity being a spiritual experience. Julia says, “When we let God be God and work through us, we experience both a sense of serenity and excitement. We experience integrity….”
What is the deal with “getting back on the horse”? Why do people say that? Have you ever fallen off a horse or been thrown by one? I have, more times than I would like to remember. I move a little slower and have some old aches and pains due to horses. Flying off a horse is not fun.
Why is it so important to get back on the horse? There are two reasons. The rider needs to get back on to get over the fear. The horse needs the rider to get back on, so the ride ends on a good note. Maybe the horse did something bad, like bucking, to get the rider to fall off. The horse needs to be taught who is boss.
So, if we get bucked off our creative way, we need to get back on. We will prove to ourselves that we can do it. We will succeed. We might be a little bruised or skinned up, but we keep on giving it our creative try. All those bumps along the way will mold us into the artist we are meant to be.
I found this week’s reading to be very uplifting and encouraging. I did all the assigned tasks, wrote my morning pages every morning except for one, when I was called at the last minute to be a substitute teacher. I did not do my walk, the weather has been nasty; but I could bundle up and carry an umbrella. Can I count the walking I did in the mall shopping for Christmas presents?
Next week the topic is Discovering a Sense of Dignity. I am feeling a sense of sadness that next week will be the end of this series. Guess I will have to find another uplifting book to read. Or I could spend my time painting and drawing. Any suggestions or comments?
You might want to read my other articles about Walking in This World, by Julia Cameron.
Links to those articles are below:
Week One – Discovering a Sense of Origin
Week Two – Discovering a Sense of Proportion
Week Three – Discovering a Sense of Perspective
Week Four – Discovering a Sense of Adventure
Week Five – Discovering a Sense of Personal Territory
Week Six – Discovering a Sense of Boundaries
Week Seven – Discovering a Sense of Momentum
Week Eight – Discovering a Sense of Discernment
Week Nine – Discovering a Sense of Resiliency
Week Ten – Discovering a Sense of Camaraderie
Week Twelve – Discovering a Sense of Dignity