At the beginning of the year, I stumbled into a group working through Julia Cameron’s prolific The Artist’s Way. The premise is that we’re all created to be creative, that along the way our artistic self becomes “blocked” and, through a process of exercises and exploration, we can unleash our underlying creativity, transforming our own life in the process. It’s an involved undertaking, which I tackled in characteristic too-fast-out-of-the-blocks fashion.
I had heard of Cameron’s book but didn’t know much of what it was about when I agreed to commit myself to the group and the process. I’ve found the “Morning Pages” Cameron endorses a cathartic free-form journaling that does serve to unearth our core stumbling blocks and greatest desires in life. I’m recalling previous passions and brainstorming ways I could incorporate these childhood joys into my adult life: writing and playing music, performing elaborate plays, detailed needlework, making bracelets, dancing.
I have to admit I was skeptical at first. Despite being a life-long journaler with a history of a strong spiritual faith, I initially found some of her observations and suggestions new-agey and impractical. What modern professional parent has time to write three pages every morning and take their inner artist on a weekly date? I’ve since come around, appreciating the thematic chapters and exercises, the encouragement and confidence instilled that we are all creative beings, most content and most ourselves when we find ways to weave artistry into our lives.