another late start?

When I read Natasha White’s Grand Declaration post today on Define Your Joy, I realised that if I didn’t want to start slipping backwards I needed to start moving forwards again . . . marking time is not an option!

I was lent a copy of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron a few years back and couldn’t read it, it didn’t seem to be what I needed at the time but later, I borrowed the book from the library and then eventually bought a copy.  Writing the morning pages works for me: they help sort out my head, help me focus on what’s important and head me off on the right direction for the day.  It is in this journal that I started to realise that I could dream and that those dreams are attainable.

So why is the book such a difficult read for me?  God has something to do with it – and there’s quite a bit of God in there.   You see when this God with a capital G turns up and is referred to as ‘He’ I have to do all these complex transformations to fit it to my beliefs and quite frankly it gets in the way sometimes.  You see I don’t believe in the ‘God’ I grew up with, I don’t believe in an interventionist god, but I do believe in the power of love and hope, and I do believe in the connection of all things and that we are just a small part of everything.   I do not believe humans have any superiority, nor that one faith is, nor I am more important that any other form of life – I believe in positive interdependence.   And while I’m at it, I believe I’m here just to be uniquely, lovingly me . . . that’s all.

And then there is the cultural divide – the book’s written by an American and I’m not one . . . I’m a down-to-earth New Zealander and it all needs to be taken into account.  It can be somewhat exhausting really.

So why am I wrestling with this book again?  Because having already found something of value there, I want to dig a little deeper and see what other gems I might find. I aim to respect my skills and talents more, to honour my Self.  I’ll let you know if and why I give up trying to read it again – and what the gems might be.

When I started this blog, I hoped to demonstrate, primarily to women in their 60s, who had put their creative dreams on the back-burner, who had eaten the burnt chop and given the best to everyone else at the table (sometimes literally), that it is never to late to find what you want to do and go out and explore – I just have to want to enough . . . enough to enter uncharted waters and create my own map.

So when I pass this vine-covered tree on my way to work each day, I’ll imagine that it is waving to the other motorists and me and saying, “Off you go, be yourself, be happy.”

The Greeting Tree

The Greeting Tree

Natasha made a pledge, to blog about The Artist’s Way each week.  My pledge is to just blog at least weekly from now – a bit of whimsy (like the tree), some mucking around, and perhaps an insight or two – what ever takes my fancy.

Thanks for stopping by.    Ka kite ano au i a koe . . . I’ll see you again!


12 thoughts on “another late start?

  1. Love that tree…where is it? I have struggled so much with this book, but already today coming to it with new motivation I have read new things in Chapter 1. Reframing my perspective.

    I struggled with all the god-ness ad well. Though I determined I was not going to get waylaid by that this time. Then I read her say not to get bogged down by semantics and that word in particular. 🙂

    I am so glad I will be reading more of your words!

    • Thank you Natasha, I’m glad you empathise about the god bit and I’ll try not to let it annoy me this time.

      The tree is on Sate Highway 1 about 5 km north of Otaki . . . I do love a bit of nonsense!

  2. The Artist Way will have you struggling with your ego quite a bit, I found, so maybe that is why we find it so difficult at times. So many of us relate to what you are saying about the God thing. I get hung up on words, too. I now think of it as a nickname for Source or Universe. That seems to help! I wish you well on your Artist’s Way!!! You are beautiful and your blog is amazing, too. I am a long time reader, but this is the first time I have commented. I LOVE what you do and what you say 🙂

    • Well thank you Tracy, and I have your gallery bookmarked!

      I guess having grown up going to Sunday School (until I had a choice), I remember that indoctrination when the word comes up . . . it’s more of an annoyance than anything really. Even as a 9-year-old I couldn’t understand why it was deemed necessary to send missionaries to convert people from beliefs they’d held for generations – it didn’t seem reasonable. I can recall asking the Sunday School teacher how the missionaries knew they were right, that maybe we should all be Buddhist although where I’d heard that I don’t know . . . she nearly had conniptions!

    • Hi Mary, there usually is more traffic . . . it’s State Highway 1 which runs the length of New Zealand. I just happened to stop on a quiet Tuesday morning at about 8:00 a.m.
      I dropped by your blog . . . lovely!

  3. Hi Wendy. Over the years I have read and re-read The Artist’s Way. The two major things I’ve taken from it are: Morning Pages (which I do each morning … not always 3 pages … usually 20 minutes); and Time Outs … which I seem to do a lot these days. What I like about many of these creativity books (like Eric Massel’s) is that I can open one at any page and find something to jar my thinking. It’s great to see you blogging again as I enjoy what you have to say (as well as your photos). I’m not wordy on my blog right now because I’m journaling a lot privately and don’t feel the need to share. I do seem to feel the need to provide visual documentation of my creative projects.

    • Private journalling and what is presented to the public are definitely two different animals Jan, my dabbling on paper is the same. As for words, I wonder how what I have to say will be received, with just the words there, no tone of voice, no tonality to tell whether I am deliberately understating something or serious. I’d like to be able to have a direct link into my brain – such deep thoughts! Such eloquence!

    • And I love seeing what you’re making Lynette. One day, maybe in a couple of years or so I will wake up and say “I don’t want to do this job anymore” and then I shall play all day! Until then I will grin at the Greeting Tree as I drive by and enjoy the challenge of the day-job. The driving is terrific thinking time.

  4. I agree with all you said in this blog and feel like we are kindred spirits. I am speaking for myself (Anita and not for the members of the Warti Club) and find it so interesting that all these women out there are finding the courage to take up and share their “lost and found” passions, desires, and ideas…AND we are all finding each other! It feels like a global movement and I’m very excited about it…lets keep our hearts and minds open to the possibilities of us!

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