Week 9, Day 3 of The Artist's Way
Today, let's take our health as an artist (playfully) seriously by loosening our addition to sympathy.
Recovering from artist’s block, like recovering from any major illness or injury, requires a commitment to health.
At some point, we must make an active choice to relinquish the joys and privileges accorded to the emotional invalid. A productive artist is quite often a happy person. This can be very threatening as a self-concept to those who are used to getting their needs met by being unhappy.
“I’d love to, but you see … I have these crippling fears …” can get us a lot of attention.
We get more sympathy as crippled artists than as functional ones.
Those of us addicted to sympathy in the place of creativity can become increasingly threatened as we become increasingly functional. Many recovering artists become so threatened that they make U-turns and sabotage themselves.
We usually commit creative hara-kiri either on the eve of or in the wake of a first creative victory.
The glare of success (a poem, an acting job, a song, a short story, a film, or any success) can send the recovering artist scurrying back into the cave of self-defeat. We’re more comfortable being a victim of artist's block than risking having to consistently be productive and healthy.
(The Artist's Way, 2016, p. 154-155)
Read the following affirmation out loud with purpose and intent:
I am committed to my artistic health and well-being.
I relinquish the need for sympathy and embrace the joys of being a productive and happy artist. I will not allow fear to hold me back and I will not sabotage my own success. I am dedicated to consistently being productive and healthy in my artistic pursuits.
All of us have taken creative U-turns. Name one of yours. Name three more. Name the one that just kills you.
Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for all failures of nerve, timing, and initiative. Devise a personalized list of affirmations to help you do better in the future.
Very gently, very gently, consider whether any aborted, abandoned, savaged, or sabotaged brainchildren can be rescued. Remember, you are not alone. All of us have taken creative U-turns.
Choose one creative U-turn. Retrieve it. Mend it.
Do not take a creative U-turn now. Instead, notice your resistance. Morning pages seeming difficult? Stupid? Pointless? Too obvious? Do them anyway.
What creative dreams are lurching toward possibility? Admit that they frighten you.
“Be truly whole, and all things will come to you.”
– Lao Tzu
What is one creative dream that is swaying towards possibility?
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