How are you feeling about all this focus on luxury? In a world where there is enormous suffering, where so many have so little, and less every day, does it seem wrong somehow to imagine ourselves pampered? After all, compared to most of the world, we in the developed nations are rolling in luxuries unheard of. Should we feel guilty? Especially if some secret part of us is wanting more?
Finding what works for us in terms of being earth-friendly, compassionate for others, and yet luxurious is liable to take some experimentation. But what The Artist’s Way is focusing on here is how most blocked creatives are all too eager, for any number of noble reasons, to surrender and forgo our pleasures and comforts. Often, this does little to help those in genuine need, and it does our Artist self a great disservice.
As Julia cautions, “For many blocked creatives, it take a little work to even imagine ourselves having luxury. Luxury is a learned practice for most of us. Blocked creatives are often the Cinderellas of the world. Focused on others at the expense of ourselves, we may even be threatened by the idea of spoiling ourselves for once.”
She does not suggest (and neither do I) that we change ourselves into Cinderella’s hard-hearted, greedy, decadent step-sisters, either. This would also be a deep disservice to our art and to who we are. Instead, she writes, “Keep Cinderella but focus on giving yourself the glass slipper. The second half of that fairy tale is great.”
We must change our relationship with abundance and luxury to one of guilt-free welcome. We can do so with the intention of knowing that it serves our true mission of creativity, and is actually in harmony with the bounty of the juicy, extravagant natural world. If we will begin by treating ourselves to the exquisite goodness that delights us, she notes, “we may indeed trigger an increased flow.”
So here are some ideas of luxuries that can expand your sense of yourself as an artist. Julia writes, “Creative living requires the luxury of time, which we carve out for ourselves – even if it’s fifteen minutes of quick morning pages and a ten-minute mini-bath after work.
“Creative living requires the luxury of space of ourselves, even if all we manage to carve out is one special bookshelf and a windowsill that is ours. (My study has a window shelf of paperweights and seashells.) Remember that our artist is a youngster and youngsters like things that are ‘mine.’ My chair. My book. My pillow.”
Actually, while ‘carving out’ a time and a space is a good start, I think that we deserve more than that. It implies difficulty, being cramped, making do, and certainly does not feel much like luxury.
Tomorrow, I’ll share some additional thoughts, specifically about how important our creative space is, if we are going to successfully move forward on behalf of our soul’s calling.