This is the final week of reading The Artist’s Way (here’s a link to the copy I bought on Amazon), chapter 12. I can’t believe these weeks have flown by and as I’m scurrying about preparing for our big vacation in August, I’m also finding the time to reflect upon the reading and exercises I’ve completed.

Reading The Artist's Way: Recovering a Sense of Faith

No doubt, I could have put more time into this journey, but I feel like it’s not necessarily a one time thing. The creative life goes in cycles and we all battle with certain challenging topics over and over again. Hopefully, we get better at dealing with them each time and this book has certainly opened up a new perspective for me.

Every once in a while, I have blogged about wanting to loosen up (not necessarily successful at it though). I seem to have this crazy illusion that I can control what is going on… and when it doesn’t work out, it’s like my world is spiraling out of control.

Even though I understand that it is not necessary to control – or truly that it is impossible to control everything. But I still feel the urge and find myself almost automatically lulled into that type of action. I used to be a project manager. I’m a hardcore virgo – the practical girl. For our vacation, I have printed out all the addresses, directions, phone number lists, descriptions, coupons, confirmations and notes… because we might need it on paper.

The mega vacation “brain” book filled with my typed up notes, possible itineraries by day and hours of operation with phone numbers. Yeah, I realize it all sounds a bit too planned to be a true vacation, but I like to know there are options. At least I don’t have things listed by the hour! I just like having a plan. Perhaps I have learned to let go a little bit, just using all that preparation as backup when necessary.

But thinking about my habits has helped me to realize how uptight I can really be… even though it’s all an illusion. Nothing really works out as planned, but I still can’t seem to truly let go. Perhaps not a coincidence that my word of the year is focus. I’ve been trying to tighten up even more, but failing miserably. I long to be able to let go, get loose, give myself freedom… but just can’t actually do it. Is it possible to let go in an orderly fashion?

Maybe I need extreme chaos instead. Pure, total craziness to shake me out of it all – at least one time – so that I “get” it. Because it’s something that I find terribly uncomfortable. No one wants to let go and feel at the mercy…of…whatever.

And I’ve always wanted to feel like we have control of our lives, that we can make a difference with our efforts and merits. I don’t like the idea of just believing in something bigger and it’ll magically happen. I believe in hard work. I guess it’s not one way or the other… it’s a balance of both, right? You’ve got to do the work, but also have faith. It’s not the first time someone has tried to teach me that.

In the epilogue, I think Cameron’s words are so wise… and remind me that it’s a constant process, this artist journey.

Ultimately, creative living – and it’s okay to have bumps along the way – is a bumpy road, not smooth or straight.

I really like thinking of The Artist’s Way as a spiraling journey up a mountain.

Cameron writes, “As we pursue climbing it, we circle back on the same views, over and over, at slightly different altitudes…” A beautiful analogy!

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