I have chosen Julia Cameron as our first guide as we awaken (or refresh) the Creator/Artist within us, in part because her book, The Artist’s Way, changed my life so completely, back in 1993. At that time, I was struggling with the burnout of being the manager of tech support at the Raleigh-Durham area’s first public Internet provider service. I’d been in information technology for about 15 years, and was feeling that I was missing my life’s true calling.
I had recently splurged and gone to a Writer’s Conference in Asheville, NC, and for the first time ever, I knew I was with my real tribe! These folks spoke my language, they dreamed my dreams, and many of them (who were clearly otherwise ordinary human beings!) were actually making those dreams come true.
At this same time, I was finding it increasingly intolerable to be in a hierarchical corporate environment, where creativity, innovation and excellence were only being given lip service, with the real priorities being the status quo, the chain of command and compliance.
But how does one begin to change one’s life at such a fundamental level? Especially when we struggle with all the messages over the years that tell us we can never survive, or that we have no talent, or living our creative dreams will doom us to poverty, unhappiness, loneliness, and a host of other grim forecasts.
Thus, Julia’s approach that starts with first understanding (and if necessary, healing) the Artist Self within was essential for me. And I am thinking, maybe it might be for you, too.
Her path is one that is unabashedly spiritual. “It does not matter,” she writes, “which way you think of it: creativity leading to spirituality or spirituality leading to creativity. In fact, I do not make a distinction between the two. In the face of such experience, the whole question of belief is rendered obsolete.”
Tomorrow, I’ll post the ten spiritual principles which she calls “the bedrock on which creative recovery and discovery can be built.”