Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Asking For Help

Hands of GuidanceIf you want to know your past, look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future, look into your present actions. — Old proverb

Speaking of jumps yesterday, I am wondering if everyone is still here. Back on Blogger, I had ninety something loyal “followers,” as well as unknown numbers of folks who didn’t sign up. Not that I expect comments each and every day, but I can’t help but wonder if everyone made the jump to this new location. Or has this just gotten old and boring?  Are you still with me?  Should we wind this up (we still have three more chapters)? Or continue?  Or.. ??  I welcome your feedback.

I will labor under the assumption of continuation one more day (at least) as we conclude this week’s musings. But I really want to know… This is your journey, as well as mine. Where are you on it?

So at this point, Julia acknowledges that it is normal to perhaps get a little skittish about our art. (Maybe that’s why everyone has gotten so quiet?) As we recover our creativity, we begin to come up with actual art, and it all becomes more real to us. Now what? Well, we’ll have to start doing what artists do, namely, negotiate the ups and downs of, not just the creativity, but what we do afterwards.  Like getting agents, signing deals, finding audiences, and so on.

This does not mean that you now have to make a living and survive on your creative output. That would put a lot of inappropriate pressure on your baby artist self. But as you begin to take your work seriously, you are going to naturally start wanting to share it. And this can be scary.

Using yesterday’s metaphor of the skittish colt, can you see why this chapter is called “Recovering a Sense of Compassion?” The only way to coax your bruised, easily spooked artist self into going through the paces of a serious, competent creative is to lavish lots of love and patience on him or her.

Ask for help if you need it. Julia points out that our ego wants to go it alone and be self-sufficient, but we must learn to ask for help anyway. If you have the book, she then goes on to cite an absolutely marvelous example of how one man’s first project was “savaged” by the feedback of a once-gifted, now-blocked teacher. For five years, the man ignored his devastation, and just resolved to forget his dream.

But once he broke down, grieved, and owned how important that dream had been, he found the courage to ask for help. And he got it, in a nearly miraculous way. I encourage you to read the details for yourself.

“In order to work freely on a project,” Julia writes, “an artist must be at least functionally free of resentment (anger) and resistance (fear). What do we mean by that? We mean that any buried barriers must be aired before the work can proceed. The same holds true to any buried payoffs to not working. Blocks are seldom mysterious. They are, instead, recognizable artistic defenses against what is perceived (rightly or wrongly) as a hostile environment.

“Remember, your artist is a creative child. It sulks, throws tantrums, holds grudges, harbors irrational fears. Like most children, it is afraid of the dark, the bogeyman, and any adventure that isn’t safely scary. As your artist’s parent and guardian, its big brother, warrior and companion, it falls to you to convince your artist it is safe to come out and (work) play.”

Next week, if enough folks seem to wish to continue, I’ll have some questions we can work with, that Julia promises will help us blast through our blocks.

Thanks for your help.

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  • November 20, 2009, 10:53 am Sharon

    Yes, I’ve made the jump to the new site. I read it every day. Please continue.

  • November 20, 2009, 10:59 am judy

    poor Beth.. wondering where all your ‘listeners’ are.
    I’ve been following your blog for over a year and have never been able to comment before. the old site wouldn’t let me. Now I can, just in time to tell you I’m still out here.
    And I want to tell you that a recent post helped me tremendously. The one about U-Turns.. I have been wanting to come to the Reader’s Studio. James Wells is a friend and has been encouraging me to come along for years. I decided last year that this year would be the one.. I have beautiful silky tarot bags and artwork to sell and was excited to work toward this Spring’s gathering.
    But when I looked into booking the trip and a table, I hit a blockade.. the cost was going to be way more than i had imagined and taking ‘wares’ over the border is a problem. I was backing off, turning around in my own little u-turn and then i remembered your post and realised.. ‘wait a minute, I’m turning around just as I’m getting where i want to be'(on many levels).
    Thanks to that post and some very supportive friends, I’m recommiting to making this happen and will hopefully meet you in person this March.
    so blessings to you.. judy

  • November 20, 2009, 11:12 am erin

    I’m here.

  • November 20, 2009, 11:32 am Maria

    I’ve been following your blog for a couple of months, and I enjoy it greatly! By “coincidence,” I found it right after I started working through “The Artist’s Way.” I almost posted a comment yesterday, but I got shy. I’ve been a closet artist for years and I’m just beginning to share it with others. It’s still so scary to put myself “out there,” you know? But thank you for all you have posted. I’ve been working my way through the AW archives, as well as many other things you’ve posted.

  • November 20, 2009, 1:37 pm Christine

    I’m here too…love your blog!

  • November 20, 2009, 1:58 pm Mary

    hi beth! i love your site and i read every single post–it is so inspiring and very helpful. thank you so much dear one!

  • November 20, 2009, 6:52 pm Heather

    Hello I’m still here. I’ve been thinking about your u-turn stuff all week. right now I’m dealing with a bit of depression, due to a lot of stuff and it makes it hard to want to work on my art, but that is just an excuse and Im makeing an effort every day to do micromovments. Im not getting much done at once but I am doing something and when i look back over my movements of the week I am greatly pleased with my self. it makes me happy and right now Ive not got much to be happy about, so thank you for all you do.

  • November 20, 2009, 7:11 pm Catherine BTW

    Beth–I read almost every day. The honest truth is I don’t always apply the work–feel behind. But I DO read and appreciate that you are out there to help me remind myself of my dreams & my sensibilities and to help me not throw in the towel when I wonder if I’m just kidding myself. So THANK YOU, and know your “creative” work is helping others.

  • November 20, 2009, 8:11 pm Anita Joy

    Still here too although, admittedly, feels like I’m wading through molasses; which for me, is a sure sign I am making a big shift. Your guidance through The Artist’s Way is muchly appreciated, Beth.

  • November 20, 2009, 8:42 pm Jadelyn

    I’m here, though silent – I follow you on Reader, and did update when you moved. I missed the start of the AW work-through you’re doing, but I own the book and have been wanting to try again (I’ve tried twice before and both times fell off by week 3), so I do hope you’ll go all the way through the book. I’ll be going back and using the archive of the AW posts to help me when I finally do begin my journey through it.

  • November 20, 2009, 8:45 pm Sue

    Hi Beth! I’m also a relatively new reader, having stumbled on to your site a few months ago. Its wonderful and I look forward to reading your perspective on the Artist’s Way process daily. Please keep sharing it with us all!

  • November 20, 2009, 9:27 pm Claire

    Just recently found you and have you on my Reader.
    I am not following the Artists Way with you, but am thinking of going back to this series of posts when I am a bit more ready to start.
    I enjoy the blog tremendously. It is one that I look at every post.
    Thank you and thank you for asking.

  • November 21, 2009, 5:44 am Lyon Mercaeant

    I’m definitely here and look forward to reading every day!

  • November 21, 2009, 6:42 am Beth

    Thank you so much, everyone! I didn’t mean to sound pitiful in any way.. but I am glad to know that you made the transition over here, and are still muddling through with me.

    It feels like molasses to me, too, at times – great image, Anita – and I agree that is usually what happens before a shift.

    A big welcome to all the relatively new folks who have found their way here! I am delighted to know that although you might not have been working along with this from the beginning, you are finding inspiration each day here!

    Please all be welcome. I really do hope that you will feel free to post; you never know when your words, however tentative, will strike a chord of hope or healing for someone else here.

    PLEASE don’t be shy. I want this to be a safe space for everyone to speak their truth, even if (maybe especially if!) it doesn’t agree with whatever is being discussed.

    Thank you again, each of you that posted, and those that still haven’t.. I am honored to be in your company, and so glad if you are finding this of value.
    – Beth

  • November 21, 2009, 7:11 am Dawn

    Still here. Have been following your site for over a year. You were covering The Graces when I found you. 2009 has been a very difficult year for me; choosing to leave a job where I was The Boss, for one where I am just one of the gang; and also choosing to end my 29 year marriage. Even though I am not in a place in my life where i can truly follow the artist call, there have been posts that have given me ideas for how to find my true calling. How to live a life that is authentically my own and not just what is expected. My vote is to continue. 🙂

  • November 21, 2009, 9:00 am Star*

    “I have been with you since the beginning and will be with you to the end…”, my dear friend. The concepts you post contain so much meaningful content, it is all I can do to keep up with half of it! I am doing art every day, but not writing much about it. I post pictures on Facebook and by blog. My artist dates have become part of my life, not just special occasions, I delight in my own creations and in the work of others, I am like a child showing off my jewelry to whoever wants to listen and see my latest craft. You and those who write comments here have inspired me along the way. Although I could have possibly done this without you, the journey would have been very lonely. Thank you, thank you, thank you, spirit sister and followers. I will shower you with hugs next week!

    Star*

  • November 21, 2009, 9:13 am denise

    I, too, am still here! Now that I have added college classes to my overloaded life, I do not have as much spare time to do the things I find enjoyable…like reading your blog every day….but I do check in here when I can and catch up with the posts I had missed through out the week.

    My pouty-baby artist needs your words of wisdom! 🙂

  • November 21, 2009, 12:07 pm Arie

    I’ve made the transition and continue to follow almost daily. Sometimes due to lack of time I disapear for a week, but go over what I’ve missed during the weekend.
    I feel a lot of affinity to your site and to what you write.
    Keep on with your wonderful work.
    🙂

    Arie

  • November 21, 2009, 1:54 pm athene noctua

    Beth Owl-

    Been following you for 2 yrs now. Love reading your blog and Tarot readings. So much of it applies to my life now, but do not feel ready to start doing The Artist Way yet, but do apply and ponder what you blog about. Also still keeping my prosperity/gratitude journal. Which in this scary times, sometimes feels a bit hard to do, but is an excellent reminder of all I do have. Thanks so much for your lovely blog. I found you via Lynne Hayes Astrological Musings, and I read both of you daily.

  • November 21, 2009, 3:51 pm Beth

    You all!!!!
    Thanks for the hugpile!!!! Yum! 🙂

  • November 23, 2009, 1:59 am Marya

    I’m still here too Beth — you might want to email a few bloggers though and remind them to update blog rolls with your old web address.

    Looking forward to the last three chapers, I’ve learned so much from this.

  • November 23, 2009, 3:21 am jeanette

    Beth, I read you every single day. Oddly enough, I am an engineer. You would be amazed how the “artistic” advice applies to my career and life too! Please don’t stop.

  • November 23, 2009, 5:39 pm margaret

    Hi Beth,
    I’ve been following your blog for a couple of months now, and am working toward the strength to participate. I had bought The Right To Write (also Julia Cameron) several years ago, and after finding your blog, went ahead & used a lovely gift card to purchase The Artists’ Way. My emotional plate is overflowing at this particular time, and frankly, there just aren’t enough hours in a day to pursue the soul-healing I’ve realized I need. I am attending 1 or more 12-step group meetings per week (ACOA and/or CODA), and feel the Artist’s Way would so compliment that work. And I would love to write – at least I ~think~ I would… and occasionally do. I am very excited to make your acquaintance, and hope to be ‘calling on you’ for additional insights. Thanks very much for your endeavors. Margaret

  • November 24, 2009, 12:07 pm CrowsFoxes

    Beth,
    As the tiny Whos said to Horton, in Horton Hears A Who —

    “We are here, we are here, we are here!”

    Thanks for the magic!
    CrowsFoxes

  • November 25, 2009, 6:26 pm Darla

    I made ‘the move’ with you as well, and am grateful for the wonderful support your provide me (us). Because the AW ‘work’ for me has had to take a back seat since starting a college/career course that will last another 7 months, I do so hope that you will continue with this incredible sharing for when I ‘return’ … and hope that I may post comments within the archives when I do so … it seems that there may be others out there as well who will be ‘catching up’ or ‘starting over’ later on?! LOL Either way, everything you post is a tremendous gift – thank you, Beth.