And fold it like cool, moist rags.
I would lay words on your forehead.
I would wrap words on your wrists.
"There, there," my words would say -
Or something better.
I would ask them to murmur
"Hush" and "Shh, shhh, it's all right."
I would ask them to hold you all night.
I wish I could take language
And daub and soothe and cool
Where fever blisters and burns,
Where fever turns yourself against you.
I wish I could take language
And heal the words that were the wounds
You have no names for.
Julia Cameron (author of The Artist's Way)
This was the inspirational end to my long journey through The Artist's Way, a twelve week program a group of us took 12 months to complete. It feels good to finish something, although the lessons will continue....morning pages, artist's dates and the mind-set of the softer, gentler, kinder artist within me. The blurb on the back cover says: " The Artist's Way helps demystify the creative process by making it part of your daily life. It tackles your self-doubts, self-criticism and worries about time, money and the support to pursue your creative dream. It has already helped thousands of people to uncover their hidden talents - it can help you too."
Do not be fooled by the consistent use of the word "artist", as I believe we are all creative beings and I substituted it to mean me as a human being, creating my life like my life is the greatest creative act that I could ever endeavor to undertake.
What have I gained as a result, you may ask? Nope, not paintings. Although one of our group members has unleashed a very productive artiste, in the traditional sense of the word, painting, drawing and pottering up a storm in her studio. So there is that side of things. But for me it was (to quote my morning pages or daily journal entry): "challenging, with slow steady growth and change. I think the main victory for me was a growth in self-acceptance which translates directly to self-love for me. This has been the most profound change...the small kindnesses, the gentleness, the support I have offered myself...It has been a miracle of love and support. I feel like a fuller, softer, fluffed-up version of myself, not so anxious, willing to do things for me that are nurturing, interesting and loving TO ME. I have a new sense of deserved-ness that was missing before and good things came into my life." My home is also spick and span, junk is chucked out, plants are re-potted, shelves dusted, finances in order, technology is working for me, dust-balls are banished. I feel cleaner and lighter and more receptive and appreciative of my environment and talent and inspiration around me. The world looks fresh and my eyes are sparkling with appreciation and hope. Life is good.
It is good because this process has taught me to do daily practice. A daily practice of things that support my well-being and sense of joy in life. As a person who had (and still flies there occasionally) depression, this is an important focus in my life. I am in recovery. I am growing towards joy. And this book was a big part of colouring my life brighter. And empowering me to wield the crayons to do it, instead of relying on others to do it for me. It is a miracle. A small miracle.
And now I share the process with others so if you are interested in joining our little group so that you may grow and be inspired and improve your life as I have mine, then let me know. Hear what Julia has to say herself: