Accept the Generous Joys
Week 5, Day 4 of The Artist's Way
Today, let's lose the fear of intimacy by no longer confusing our intimate others with the higher power we are coming to know.
FINDING THE RIVER (continued)
By holding lightly to an attitude of gentle exploration, we can begin to lean into creative expansion.
By replacing “No way!” with “Maybe,” we open the door to mystery and to magic.
This newly positive attitude is the beginning of trust.
We are starting to look for the silver lining in what appears to be adversity. Most of us find that as we work with the morning pages, we begin to treat ourselves more gently. Feeling less desperate, we are less harsh with ourselves and with others. This compassion is one of the first fruits of aligning our creativity with its creator.
As we come to trust and love our internal guide, we lose our fear of intimacy because we no longer confuse our intimate others with the higher power we are coming to know. In short, we are learning to give up idolatry— the worshipful dependency on any person, place, or thing. Instead, we place our dependency on the source itself. The source meets our needs through people, places, and things.
Time and again, I have seen a recovering creative do the footwork of becoming internally clear and focused about dreams and delights, take a few outward steps in the direction of the dream—only to have the universe fling open an unsuspected door. One of the central tasks of creative recovery is learning to accept this generosity.
(The Artist's Way, 2016, p. 95-96)
I acknowledge and accept the generosity of the universe.
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FORBIDDEN JOYS, AN EXERCISE
One of the favored tricks of blocked creatives is saying no to ourselves. It is astonishing the number of small ways we discover to be mean and miserly with ourselves. When I say this to my students, they often protest that this is not true—that they are very good to themselves. Then I ask them to do this exercise.
List ten things you love and would love to do but are not allowed to do.
Your list might look like this:
- Go dancing.
- Carry a sketchbook.
- Buy new cowboy boots.
- Streak your hair blond.
- Go on vacation.
- Take flying lessons.
- Move to a bigger place.
- Direct a play.
- Take a life-drawing class.
Very often, the mere act of writing out your list of forbidden joys breaks down your barriers to doing them.
Post your list somewhere highly visible.
“The specific meaning of God depends on what is the most desirable good for a person.”
– ERICH FROMM
What is one thing you've felt like you can't enjoy that you're now open to gently exploring?
We'd love to hear in the comments below 👇