Week 2, Day 6 of The Artist's Way
Today, let's find delight through our capacity to pay attention.
Very often, a creative block manifests itself as an addiction to fantasy.
Rather than working or living in now, we spin our wheels and indulge in daydreams of could have, would have, should have. One of the greatest misconceptions about the artistic life is that it entails great swathes of aimlessness. The truth is that a creative life involves great swathes of attention.
Attention is a way to connect and survive.
Success or failure, the truth of a life really has little to do with its quality. The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.
The reward for attention is always healing.
It may begin as the healing of a particular pain — the lost lover, the sickly child, the shattered dream. But what is healed, finally, Is the pain that underlies all pain: the pain that we are all, as a Rilke phrase is it, “unutterably alone.” More than anything else, attention is an act of connection.
(The Artist's Way, 2016, p. 52 – 53)
Survival lies in sanity, and sanity lies in paying attention.
Add five more lives to your list of imaginary lives.
Again, check to see if you could be doing bits and pieces of these lives in the one you are living now. If you have listed a dancer's life, do you let yourself go dancing? If you listed in monk's life, are you ever allowed to go on a retreat? If you are a scuba diver, is there an aquarium shop you can visit? A day at the lake you could schedule?
What is one small thing you will do today explore one of your imaginary lives?
We'd love to hear in the comments!