We’ve been examining the ways that the people in our intimate circles thwart our efforts and good intentions to be creative. But inevitably, we must take a long, honest look at how we derail ourselves. The key to healing our smothered artist self depends on understanding to what extent we are responsible for our own mistreatment.
While it is unlikely that we will change other people, we can change ourselves: our inner habits, our circumstances, the ways we relate to the world around us. Once we see how the people around us affect the energy we have for doing our creative work, we come face to face with our inner dialogue, which is often the voice of doubt.
Julia writes, “Perhaps the greatest barrier for any of us as we look for an expanded life is our own deeply held skepticism. This might be called the secret doubt. It does not seem to matter whether we are officially believers or agnostics. We have our doubts about all of this creator/creativity stuff, and those doubts are very powerful. Unless we air them, they can sabotage us. Many times, in trying to be good sports, we stuff our feelings of doubt. We need to stop doing that and explore them instead.”
Specifically, she is talking about the exhilarating and terrifying notion that we are not alone. That we are being noticed, and we have help. That this whole exercise is much more than simple self-indulgence; that we are in fact co-creating with Something Bigger. “Setting skepticism aside,” she writes, “even briefly, can make for very interesting explorations. In creative recovery, it is not necessary that we change any of our beliefs. It is necessary that we examine them…
“One of the things most worth noting in a creative recovery is our reluctance to take seriously the possibility that the universe just might be cooperating with our new and expanded plans…When our little experiment provokes the universe to open a door or two, we start shying away. ‘Hey! You! Whatever you are! Not so fast!’ ”
Begin to notice, in your morning pages and on your artist’s dates, the “coincidences” and happy synchronicities that start to occur. One person has told me that already, her morning pages are less like a whining core-dump download, and more like taking dictation from Spirit. This may or may not be the case for you, but if you do them faithfully, you will (I promise) begin to experience sudden epiphanies, brilliant insights, and “weird” but fascinating ideas cropping up from “nowhere.”
Cultivate these moments. Note them in your journal. Open your mind just a little bit to the possibility that you have loving, helping guidance on a very personal, intimate level. Just for you. How do you feel about that? Have you noticed this already?