Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

The Artist’s Way: Step Two Begins

My spirit finds companionship in many forms.
— Julia Cameron, from Heart Steps: Prayers and Declarations for a Creative Life

Today we begin the second step of the 12-step process of creative recovery. How are you doing so far? How many days did you do your morning pages? How is that going? What artist date(s) did you treat yourself to? I love the amazing stories some of you are sharing, and for those who are silently following along, please know you are also supported here.

So, here’s where we’ve been and where we’re going next: Once upon a time, a wicked, bitter sorcerer (or several) came into our lives and cast an evil spell on us. Our young, vulnerable artist self fell to the ground and slept as if dead, for years and years and years. But now, we are awakening, and the fog of the sleeping poison is fading. Yet as we awaken, we find much time has passed; we look and feel much different. And we wonder – if I am not the lazy, stupid, worthless no-talent (fill in the blank) that terrible dream-spell made me believe, well, who or what am I then?”

In this next section, we’ll be exploring the answers to that question. In fact, the second step in this process is – recovering our sense of identity.

Julia writes, “This [section] addresses self-definition as a major component of creative recovery. You may find yourself drawing new boundaries and staking out new territories as your personal needs, desires, and interests announce themselves. The essays and tools are aimed at moving you into your personal identity, a self-defined you.”

I just love that my Tarot card of the week is The Magician; for his message in a nutshell is “I am.” He is the first step of the self-actualization process that is the origin and recognition of self. This really does feel to me that the Multiverse is supporting and guiding us in this work.

One of the first things that Julia points out as we begin, is to not let it throw you if you begin to experience a lot of back and forth, progress and regression; ups and downs emotionally; feeling wildly liberated and then blocked and terrible again. This is not smooth sailing; it is going to look and feel very erratic, because that is what it’s like to get unstuck from the deep mucky morass that we’ve been in for many years. Lurching crazily around, she tells us, “It is important to remember that at first flush, going sane feels just like going crazy.

“There is a recognizable ebb and flow,” she explains, “to the process of recovering our creative selves. As we gain strength, so will some of the attacks of self-doubt. This is normal and we can deal with these stronger attacks when we see them as symptoms of recovery.”

Yikes! Well, don’t worry, you are not alone. Check back tomorrow, as we get up some steam for this stage of the journey.

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  • March 17, 2009, 12:19 pm Darla

    Oh boy, is Julia ever *right*. Had a big, fat, self-esteem melt-down today! But made myself a nice little flower essence blend, pulling out my journal of ‘morning pages’ to do some ‘afternoon pages’ (!), and will, as they say “lace the skates and hit the ice” and will not give up on my Self. (she says with determination) Thank you for providing this venue, Beth!

  • March 17, 2009, 12:32 pm Beth Owl's Daughter

    Oh, you bet! And don’t forget to pull out those affirmations!

    And this is another reason, as hokey as it might sound, to occasionally mail yourself a greeting card with cheers from our champions, our affirmations, or other reminders from our stronger moments.

    By the time they come in the mail, they might be just EXACTLY the thing we most need!

    Hang in there, Darla (and everyone else!) Just consider this proof that your de-tox is going very well!
    – Beth

  • March 17, 2009, 4:52 pm Thalia

    Yes, that makes me feel so much better, given how hard it was for me yesterday to name champions without also pulling up monsters. And I like the idea of this as a detoxification, or even as a recovery from an illness. Even more reason to be kind with ourselves as we go through this.

    Thank you Beth.