My big, huge thanks to everyone who is checking in. Thanks especially for your courage to post some of your darker feelings. I am so grateful and honored that you can speak of, not only your successes, but your doubts and difficulties. This may include grief and rage, yes, but also the ambivalent, confused, and not particularly dramatic. The long, tedious-feeling, boring (to ourselves) conflicting situations of our lives can keep us just as stuck, maybe more so, as the explosive derailments.
And I hope that you’ll feel free anytime to comment, not only about whatever topics we’re discussing at that time, but the meta-discussion of how our journey is being conducted – let me know what you need, desire, like and don’t like. I am not the Grand Poobah of The Artist’s Way, but a co-creator with you.
(And yes, that includes you lurkers, too! I know you’re there, and I totally don’t mind if you don’t post – you are absolutely welcome here whether you do or not! But please feel free to comment or email me if you need anything).
As I’ve noted in the comments over the past couple of days, I see that some of you are really encountering the difficult parts of this work. I had quite forgotten just how exhausting and painful this part was, the first time I went through it, because I am in such a different place now. Thank you for reminding me.
At almost the exact moment I began working on The Artist’s Way in 1995, my mom’s breast cancer came back, with a vengeance. So, until her death in 1997, I was driving four hours each way back and forth, every two or three weeks to my parents’ house to help my dad take care of her for a week or so.
There I was, working through TAW, my inner artist springing passionately to life for the first time since childhood. Big Plans and Discarded Dreams were erupting daily like the opposite of Pandora’s box. I was seeing how important my creative recovery was for my own survival. But I was also negotiating my way through a very volatile mixture of grief, illness, dysfunctional family, obligations, duty, and dharma.
There were a lot of dark, dark times – tears, fury, numbness, despair. If this is happening with you, to greater or lesser degrees, well, this sounds weird, but .. Congratulations. Be reassured by it that you are on the right track!
I’ll have more to say about this tomorrow, before we plow ahead. Meantime, I invite you to continue to mull (yes, I love mulling, too!) over the exercises we’ve done these past couple of days. There are more to come!