Week 5, Day 5 of The Artist's Way
Today, let's have the courage, conviction, and resiliency to honor the solitude we need to heal and grow.
THE VIRTUE TRAP
An artist must have downtime, time to do nothing.
Defending our right to such time takes courage, conviction, and resiliency. Such time, space, and quiet will strike our family and friends as a withdrawal from them. It is.
For an artist, withdrawal is necessary.
Without it, the artist in us feels vexed, angry, out of sorts. If such deprivation continues, our artist becomes sullen, depressed, hostile. We eventually became like cornered animals, snarling at our family and friends to leave us alone and stop making unreasonable demands.
We are the ones making unreasonable demands.
We expect our artist to be able to function without giving it what it needs to do so. An artist requires the upkeep of creative solitude. An artist requires the healing of time alone. Without this period of recharging, our artist becomes depleted.
Over time, if our warnings are ignored and we deem to stay in whatever circumstance—marriage, job, friendship—requires threats and warnings, homicide gives way to suicide. “I want to kill myself” replaces “I could murder you.”
“What’s the use?” replaces our feelings of joy and satisfaction.
We may go through the actions of continuing our life. We may even continue to produce creatively, but we are leaching blood from ourselves, vampirizing our souls. In short, we are on the treadmill of virtuous production and we are caught.
We are caught in the virtue trap.
There are powerful payoffs to be found in staying stuck and deferring nurturing your sense of self. For many creatives, the belief that they must be nice and worry about what will happen with their friends, family, mate if they dare to do what they really want to constitutes a powerful reason for nonaction.
(The Artist's Way, 2016, p. 96-97)
I am nurturing my deepest sense of self.
THE VIRTUE-TRAP QUIZ
Does your life serve you or only others? Are you self-destructive?
Complete the sentences below to find out:
- The biggest lack in my life is______________________
- The greatest joy in my life is ______________________
- My largest time commitment is ___________________
- As I play more, I work ____________________________
- I feel guilty that I am _____________________________
- I worry that . ____________________________________
- If my dreams come true, my family will _____________
- I sabotage myself so people will __________________
- If I let myself feel it, I’m angry that I ________________
- One reason I get sad sometimes is ________________
Reflecting back now, how can you nurture your beautiful creative self more?
“There is the risk you cannot afford to take, [and] there is the risk you cannot afford not to take.”
– PETER DRUCKER
What is one way you will nurture your deepest sense of self today?
We'd love to hear in the comments below👇