We have been working some powerful exercises to recover a sense of safety for our tender Artist Selves. A big part of this work has been to uncover and face the damage done to us by the monsters in our past – those people and events that torpedoed our security as we first explored the possibilities of our creativity.
Again, I am so grateful to each one of you who has come forward to share the experiences you suffered. For as you know, your truth-telling not only helps with your own discovery and healing, you are helping others here to be brave, facing their own monsters.
And I also thank each of you who are visiting and who, for now, prefer not to speak up. Please, please know that you, too, are also most welcome and supported as you quietly find your own path of healing. We each work this process in our own way, sometimes in cathartic sharing, sometimes in quiet reticence. The energy is there either way, and makes our magic together strong and true.
We now conclude this part of the work by moving our attention from the monsters to the heroes. Today’s exercise is to list three heroic supporters of our creative self-worth. This is our Hall of Champions, Julia tells us; those who have wished us and our creativity well. Think back and remember any and all who ever encouraged you, or complimented your work.
“Every encouraging word counts,” she assures us. “Even if you disbelieve a compliment, record it. It may well be true.
“If you are stuck for compliments, go back through your time travel-log and look for positive memories. When, where, and why did you feel good about yourself? Who gave you affirmation?”
Even the loneliest, most abused of us has someone, somewhere who gave us comfort or hope. A best friend, a teacher, non-ordinary beings, a neighbor; even books that seemed to speak directly to us and affirmed our unique value. All of it counts.
Write these down. If you can’t remember the exact words, write a description or close approximation. Decorate them. Stick them on your mirror, your work table, the dashboard of your car, or on the edges of your computer monitor. Copy it into a pretty greeting card (or make one!) and mail it to yourself.
If you can think of a specific bit of encouragement you received from one of your heroes, write a thank-you letter. Mail it to yourself, or if you can, to that long-lost protector.
Last, here’s a very fun exercise that you can go a little crazy exploring in your morning pages. If you had five other lives to lead, what would you do in each of them? Julia reveals that she’d be a pilot, a psychic, a cowhand, a physicist, and a monk. What about you? Maybe you can imagine yourself as a rock drummer, a brilliant scientist, a history teacher, a talk-show host, a country singer, a veterinarian, a football player, or a belly-dancer.
Some of mine are: A Foley artist, an English Lit professor, an herbalist, an astronaut, and a watercolorist. Those are mine just for today, that is!
Do not overthink this. Have fun; be playful and even silly. Julia explains, “The point of these lives is to have fun in them – more fun than you might be having in this one. Look over your list and select one. Then do it this week. For instance, if you put down country singer, can you pick a guitar? If you dream of being a cowhand, what about some horseback riding?”
Continue working with your morning pages (whatever time of day you’re doing them). And be sure to give yourself a fabulous, fun artist date! Let us know what you’re up to; I, for one, am always looking for new ideas for the artist date.
Treat yourself splendidly, dear friends. You’ve done some powerful work in this first phase of our journey.