Welcome to my series of articles about Julia Cameron’s book, Walking in This World. Week Six is about Discovering a Sense of Boundaries. I post an article each Wednesday as I work my way through the book.
Well, I am halfway through the book. I have to say that I am enjoying reading the book. I have been pretty good about writing my morning pages. I have missed a few days but for the most part have been following through on writing tasks, walking, etc.
The hardest part for me each week has been doing the “artist date”. I have had difficulty setting aside time or giving myself permission to do something out of the ordinary when there are so many other productive things I could be doing. (Yeah, the all other things are more important guilt trip.) But this week I gave myself a treat. I did something I haven’t done in 18 years. (I think.) I went to a life drawing class.
I was nervous about going and how I would do. But there was no need. The other artists were welcoming. The model did a great job. After doing a few warm up gesture poses I was totally in heaven. For three hours I was lost in time, shape, form, light, dark, line, etc.
What a wonderful artist date. I hope to continue going to this life drawing class. It is a shame I had not done this before now. Apparently my inner artist has been craving something like this. Going to this class gave me a sense of renewal and a connection with other artists.
The Week Six reading focuses on helping artists interact with the world in ways to minimize negativity and to maximize productive stimulation. The first part of the chapter is about protecting your inner artist by keeping your art projects to yourself, especially the ones just developing. The reason, when we get excited about a project and tell others about it, we can easily be derailed by a question or criticism. So, we need to be very careful about sharing. We need a sacred circle of people we share with or maybe even just one individual we confide in. Julia calls that person a “believing mirror”. Julia also suggests putting your projects in a “God jar”, a physical container. You write your projects, hopes and dreams on paper. Then place the list in the jar so God can handle them.
The Week Six reading is also about the amount of inflow we allow in our lives. Sometimes we can not create because we are interrupted by the phone, family members, or friends. We love our family and friends but we have to be able to set boundaries, set aside time for our work, our art, our creativity. We need to plan for the art time and let others know we are not to be disturbed.
On the other hand, like I said last week, it is all about balance. We can’t become hermits, withdraw from the world, and expect to thrive in our art life. We need a flow of energy coming in and going out. We get fed by the energy of life. Julia wrote, “Our love affair with our art is like any other love affair – it needs separation as much as it needs togetherness.” Julia suggests being involved in your community or having a day job to give your inner artist material to work with. I know that just going to a life drawing class revived my creative energy. Finding the exact balance in our life that is best for our inner artist is tricky. I think it takes a lot of trial and error. Maybe there is no perfect balance. Maybe that is what being an artist is all about. Maybe we are just supposed to take each day at a time, follow some basic principles and run with it.
Next week is Week Seven – Discovering a Sense of Momentum. I hope I am on a roll. Ha!
My other articles about Walking in This World:
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 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