With the start of spring, I've been considering ways to tap into that creative energy the earth is experiencing right now. It’s been almost 20 years since I discovered The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. Based on Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program--part of Cameron’s life path--the book outlines a 12-week course for “recovering” our inner artist child. In addition to the weekly tasks based on the themes such as recovering a sense of safety, possibility, abundance, etc., there are two basic tools utilized for the entire course: Morning Pages and the Artist Date.
With Morning Pages, I would awake a half-hour earlier than usual and write stream-of-conscience for that time--first thing, before I even got out of bed. The idea is that when we clear our heads of the clutter, nuggets of clarity, truth and creativity will be revealed. I kept this practice consistent for most of 10 years, and indeed some of my best ideas and revelations came through unexpectedly on those pages in the wee hours of the morning.
The Artist Date felt almost indulgent at first. The assignment is to take yourself (alone) on a play date to feed your creative consciousness each week. I found myself in a one-shot pottery class, hiking, going to a musical, salsa dancing...the list goes on. I realized soon enough how important it is that my creative self be listened to and pampered. I could more easily receive insights, inspiration and guidance when I took the time to nurture myself in this way.
The Artist’s Way also promotes 10 Basic Principles. The one that has stuck with me: “Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.” When I sit down to my harmonium to play and sing, I have those moments of connection--that feeling of being the conduit to something greater than myself. I consider those deeply sacred moments...it is not just me playing, singing, creating.
Ultimately, we do not have to be artists to create. We are creations and therefore, innately creative. How will you feed that creative self this month?