Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Friends and Heroes

To love is to admire with the heart; to admire is to love with the mind.
— Theophile Gautier

Today we finish our exercises for the third stage of The Artist’s Way. Then, for the next few days, we will pause to observe the great Sabbat of Beltane, one of the two most magical times of the sacred year.

First, Julia recommends that you make a list of friends who nurture you. This may be similar to your Hall of Champions , but in all likelihood, these are friends who you are closer to, today, than those who have encouraged you in the past. She recommends that you carefully consider the difference between people who nurture you in healthy ways, “(giving you a sense of your own competency and possibility), not enable (give you the message that you will never get it straight without their help). There is a big difference between being helped and being treated as though we are helpless.”

So make a list of at least three truly nurturing friends. Which of their traits in particular serve you well?

Another task for completing this step is to call a friend who you recognize treats you like you are a really good and bright person who can accomplish wonderful things. “Part of your recovery,” Julia explains, “is reaching out for support. This support will be critical as you undertake new risks.”

Next, she suggests an exercise she calls “Inner Compass.” She explains that each of us has an inner compass, an instinct for what points us to health, safety, and our highest good. It is also our early warning system when we are on dangerous ground. Morning pages are one way to consult it. Other artist-brain activities also work: painting, driving, walking, doodling.

Many people agree that ideas and inspiration come while they take a shower each morning. For the next several days, choose some auto-pilot, artist-brain triggering activities and pay close attention to what messages might bubble up.

Another fun exercise as we excavate our inner Creator is to make a list of five people you admire. Now list five people you secretly admire. What traits do these people have that you can see and cultivate in yourself?

Next, list five people you wish you had met that are no longer living. Now list five people who are dead whom you’d like to hang out with for a while in eternity. What traits do you find in these people that you might find in your current friends?

Compare the two sets of lists. Take a look at what you really like and admire. And take a long look at who and what you think you should like and admire. Your shoulds might tell you to admire Edison, while your heart goes with Houdini.

Go with the Houdini side of you for a while.

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  • April 30, 2009, 12:39 am Thalia

    All right. Three truly nurturing friends:

    My friend K, who is unbelievably generous and had me pick out a ridiculous amount of art supplies for my recent birthday. She is almost a patron of the old-fashioned kind. So, generosity. Also, when she sees a new piece of art I’ve done cripes it sounds like she’s having an orgasm she loves it so.

    My friend J, who’s an internet friend I’ve never met; yet she has supported me through a rough time, and been steadfast and unafraid to name things for what they are (like abuse); and, and this is very important, once she has named it as something she never downplays it or backs off from it, but keeps consistently naming it for what it is. Steadfastness, solidity, truth, support.

    Can I name God, the God, the daimon, the Muse? Because that relationship is probably the most nurturing of all and has taught me more about compassion, kindness, growth, creativity and self-love than anyone else. I mean, if that doesn’t make me crazy and all. Ha.

    Hmmm, I think he counts as my inner compass.

    Five people I admire:

    Myself, actually. That’s the first one I came up with and is genuine. I’ve done a lot of Work lately. Well.

    Andy Partridge from XTC; they were stuck in a terrible, terrible exploitative contract, and he and the other band members, when they couldn’t get out of it, went on strike. For like five or six years he didn’t record anything, since it would have belonged to Virgin Records, though it was killing him. I really, really admire that. (Also he’s just cute as a bug.)

    I don’t honestly know if I can think of anyone else. People who stand up for their principles, I guess. I’m kind of not the admiring type, maybe? I’m really wary of the whole hero-thing.

    Though, that said, I secretly (because it’s embarrassing as all hell) admire Mike Nesmith from the Monkees for standing up for artistic freedom (yes, I know!) and not just playing along because there was a lot of money involved. That takes some strength, or ego, or something. Man.

    I suppose I secretly admire Bjork, too, for wearing that swan dress alone.

    So let me think, strength and standing by your principles no matter what the idiot world throws at you. It’s what I admire in my friend J too, mentioned above.

    Five dead people I wish I had met:

    Harpo Marx. That one was an old soul. I suppose I admire him some too. Very very strong and grounded, and very very compassionate. Always, always, compassionate.

    Hmmm. I’m not a very social sort, being very very introverted. It’s not something I tend to wonder about much, what dead people I would like to sit down and have a conversation with. So I’m coming up kind of blank here.

    Something to write about in the morning pages, I guess.