Be daring, be different, be impractical; be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.
— Cecil Beaton
Some of you may, at this point, feel like nothing much is happening. I beg to differ. Don’t bail out now! You are traveling at supersonic speeds and may not realize it. Julia writes, “Just as travelers on a jet are seldom aware of their speed unless they hit a patch of turbulence, so, too, travelers on The Artist’s Way are seldom aware of the speed of their growth.”
So what can you expect? Changes in your energy patterns. Possibly needing naps, peppered with bursts of creative fire. Vivid, intense dreams. Day and night dreams will be stronger, clearer, and loaded with emotional messages. Benign fantasies will crop up, seemingly from nowhere.
Julia also tells us to know that, “Many areas of your life that previously seemed to fit will stop fitting. Half your wardrobe may start to look funny. You may decide to reupholster a couch or just toss it out. Musical bents may alter. There may even be bursts of spontaneous singing, dancing, running.”
Polite facades that conceal your real feelings may crumble in unexpected ways, at inconvenient times. You are departing the land of “nice,” and entering the land of “real.” As in you, getting real.
This does not mean that you should now abdicate your consideration and compassion for others. One of my own quibbles with The Artist’s Way is that, in the rush to affirm our dormant, non-deferring authenticity, there can seem to be an implicit permission to stomp about in the name of our aggressive new self-esteem.
Julia seemingly covers this by saying, “Conditioned as we are to accept other peoples’ definitions of us, this emerging individuality can seem to us like self-will run riot. It is not.”
Well… I hope not, Julia. This new freedom to wildly express our unique self can be more intoxicating than I think she states. While we recalibrate ourselves, I would rather we ere on the side of authenticity. But I would also hope that we never forget that within our true authenticity is a sensitive, loving heart that feels for others, too. Of course, ultimately, the more truly we honor who we are, the more richly we can relate to and care for those around us.
Other things to expect at this point: “You may well be experiencing a sense of both bafflement and faith. You are no longer stuck, but you cannot tell where you are going. You may feel that this can’t keep up…
“It is normal to yearn for some rest when you are moving so rapidly. What you will learn to do is rest in motion, like lying down in a boat. Your morning pages are your boat. They will both lead you forward and give you a place to recuperate from your forward motion.”
Julia sums up the importance of our daily check-ins. “The morning pages symbolize our willingness to speak to and hear Goddess. They lead us into many other changes that also come from the Goddess and lead us to Her. This is the hand of the Divine One moving through your hand as you write. It is very powerful.”
Julia suggests that it is now okay to go back and re-read some our morning pages, specifically for an exercise that will be very transformational. Look through what you’ve written so far, seeking evidence of the dialogue that is happening between your Talking Self, and your Godself; between your ego, and the voice of Divine Mystery; or your Higher Self and your mundane self. Or however you prefer to name it.
Then, put in writing your agreement to the deal you may discover you are making with the Creator within. It may something very specific that you see is being negotiated. Or you may make your contract more general, like, “I receive your good willingly,” or “A stronger and clearer me is emerging,” or “Thy will be done.” Or perhaps, “I will trust You, and the gift of my perceptions.”
Write your affirmations down, and repeat them often. “Choose affirmations according to your need,” Julia encourages. “As you excavate your buried dreams, you need the assurance that such explorations are permissible: ‘I recover and enjoy my identity.’”