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Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. Pablo Picasso at DailyLearners.com

Week One – Discovering a Sense of Origin

walkinginthisworldI just made it through Week One of Julia Cameron’s Walking in this World: The Practical Art of Creativity. It was a piece of cake. The first chapter was 18 pages long with three tasks to do in addition to daily Morning Pages, an Artist Date and a Weekly Walk.  I did everything I was supposed to and it felt good.

The first task was to make a list of 20 small creative actions you could take. Doing small creative actions helps you get unstuck, helps you begin moving in the right direction.  I find myself frozen at times because I get overwhelmed by a big project.  Breaking things down into smaller projects makes it easier to start.

One of the things I did was really fun and rewarding. I filmed myself reading a book to my grandson, Isaac, for his third birthday.  I put the movie of myself on a DVD and when I am back in Oregon Isaac can still have his MawMaw read to him.

The second task asked the reader to make a list of ten positive adjectives to describe himself/herself. This was difficult for me. I felt like the adjectives I thought up didn’t really describe me. I guess I need some better adjectives. Am I the only one that has trouble describing one’s own self?  Anyone else feel that way?  Anyway, the whole point of this task was to accept our uniqueness.

The third task title said, Do Nothing. I thought, “I can do that!”  Actually the task was to put on some soothing music, lie down on your back, close your eyes and let your mind wander for fifteen minutes.  You were also supposed to repeat mentally, “I am enough…I am enough…” over and over. I used some of my meditation training to do this activity.

During the meditation, I also found myself praying and  visualizing a white light entering my body through the top of my head. As I saw the light, I prayed for a closer connection with God.  After finishing this task, I felt refreshed.  I will happily do this task again. I have really just started learning about meditation and I wish I did it more often. Maybe this task will jump start my meditation practice.

My weekly walk wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. I had a hard time enjoying the walk because I got attacked by mosquitoes. I am visiting my family in Texas and it has rained almost everyday this past week. I had high hopes when I started my walk. I wanted to check out the catfish pond in the back pasture, but I had to change my route due to the painful mosquito bites. Texas mosquitoes are vicious. I have gotten spoiled by the mosquitoes in Hawaii and Oregon. They don’t seem to be as ferocious as the Texas variety.

I ended up walking on the road in a drier area and enjoyed myself much more.  I found myself scanning the gravel road looking for things in the rocks. I felt my mind begin to calm and relax. The walk was productive too because I found a metal handle for a feed bucket, two rusty nails and a metal pen for a tractor. It was like going on a scavenger hunt. Glad to get the nails out of the road. I wouldn’t want to get a flat tire.

Anyway, I finished Week One and I am looking forward to Week Two.  The title of the Week Two reading is “Discovering a Sense of Proportion”. I’ll write about week two next Wednesday.  I would love to get comments from anyone who has read this book.

I’ll end with a quote from Julia Cameron from Week One:

“We talk about ‘the play of ideas,’ but we still overwork and underplay and wonder why we feel so drained.”

My other articles about Walking in This World:

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 Sence of Resiliency
Week Ten – Discovering a Sense of Camaraderie
Week Eleven – Discovering a Sense of Authenticity
Week Twelve – Discovering a Sense of Dignity

2 comments to Week One – Discovering a Sense of Origin

  • Clio

    Hi Terry 🙂
    Well done on creating this blog! Just found it today. I’m currently up to week 5.
    I’d like to share with you the first experience I had of the Weekly Walk, if I may.

    At first I was quite dismissive of Julia Robert’s title “Walking in This World”. But I gave it a try anyway – out the front door and down my street. HOWEVER, within the first 15 minutes…an old van reversed out of a driveway – blocking my path for some time – and the toothless, tattooed “bogan”* fellow driving said something to me (nice or nasty – I don’t know) as he passed by.

    *Australian slang for hick.

    So further on I went, I was idly dawdling – walking for the first time with no real purpose, no A-Z to hurriedly get to … When a passing man asked me what I was doing. Being in such a whimsical state, I answered plainly – “I am going for a walk” (instead of, how dare you! what right do you have to interrupt me and ask me my business?!) He then asked me for a coffee, :-/ I answered plainly “I’m just going for a walk, mate.” so away he happily went, carrying his shopping bags.

    I told all of this to my partner, and he smiled and said – see, that’s why you shouldn’t go for walks around here.

    So much in one walk down my neighbourhood street!

    It was reverse serendipity: the man in the van reminded me of how I, a bookish and artistic person, felt bullied and shamed by the yokels of the rough country town I grew up in – so I hide my interests and authentic-self in fear. And the man who (brazenly) questioned me down the street made me aware of how I felt the need to justify every single thing I liked and did to other people…and that I had to be busy or occupied to justify my existence here.

    It really made me think about the *limits* we place on our lives and are placed on our lives (especially women). Sometimes we need to fight for our lifespace, or the right to be and walk in the sun can be taken away from us. Sometimes we just want to take a simple walk without being hassled…maybe that is a pipe dream.

    In 4 weeks I’ve only gone for 2 walks (one in a nature park on a weekday with hardly any people and loads of wildlife – bliss)…but this experience, enlightening as it was, has made me dubious of taking more…

    I’m correct in saying that Julia published her book about 10 years ago? This was probably before all that fear was being drummed into everyone (here in Australia anyway) that it’s dangerous out there, wrap yourself up in cotton wool and you shouldn’t take any risks.
    Being a little child in the ’70s – we were certainly free to wander the neighbourhood, visit our parks and neighbours alone. In this day and age, maybe Julia’s Weekly Walk is a bit more of a subsersive statement than she could have imagined.

  • Clio, I hope you keep trying to walk, but maybe you need a dog. 🙂 Sad that we have to be so careful now days. I found your thoughts on reverse serendipity quite interesting and insightful. Please give yourself the chance to be who you are meant to be. I hope you will let your light shine! ~Terry

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