Some very important discussions were sparked by yesterday’s post about the morning pages. I hope you’ll check them out!
Meantime, we are concluding our work in Chapter Seven. Before we say goodbye to this chapter, Julia asks us to check in: how are your artist dates going? I am almost afraid to bring it up again, but … how are your morning pages going? Any synchronicities showing up? Have you allowed yourself to daydream a few creative risks? And are you coddling your artist child with childhood loves? Tell us!
Then, today, or over the weekend, will be a great time to work with these fun, final exercises:
1. Give yourself a time out to stop what you’re doing and simply listen to three or four tracks on a favorite CD. (I have to laugh. In my copy of TAW, Julia suggests, “one side of an album.” They sure don’t make ’em that way anymore, do they?).
Listen just for the pure joy of it. Don’t be busy with other tasks. Really tune in. You might want to doodle while you listen. Allow yourself to draw the shapes, emotions, colors and thoughts you hear in the music. Notice how only 20 minutes can completely refresh you, without really throwing your whole schedule out of whack. The discovery here is that you can find twenty minutes here and there during most days. Julia admonishes, “Learn to take these mini-artist dates to break stress and allow insight.”
2. In the next day or two, take yourself to a sacred space – a church, synagogue, library, grove, labyrinth, etc. Allow yourself to stop and savor the silence and healing solitude. “Each of us,” she writes, “has a personal idea of what sacred space is. For me, a large clock store or a great aquarium store can engender a sense of timeless wonder. Experiment.” Please tell us next week about your visits, if you’d like.
3. Create one wonderful smell in your home – soup, incense, cookies, fir branches, candles. Whatever is magical and delightful to the deep down You.
4. Wear your most favorite item of clothing for no special occasion.
5. Buy yourself a magical pair of socks, gloves, or a scarf or hat – some small, but wonderfully comforting, self-loving something.
6. Weekend collage project: Gather a stack of magazines that you can freely cut to bits. Setting a twenty-minute time limit for yourself, to do this fairly swiftly, without lots of editorial control from your left brain, literally tear through the magazines. Collect piles of images that reflect your life or interests.
Julia explains, “Think of this collage as a form of pictorial autobiography. Include your past, present, future, and your dreams. It is okay to include images you simply like.” Keep gathering until you have a decent stack – at least 20 images.
Now take a sheet of newspaper, a stapler, tape or glue, and arrange your pictures in a way that pleases you. Julia notes that this is one of her students’ favorite exercises. Enjoy!
7. Quickly list five of your favorite movies. Do you see any common denominators among them? Are they mostly romances, horror, fantasies, police dramas, adventures, science fiction, period pieces – what? Do you see any traces of these cinematic themes in your collage?
8. Name your favorite topics to read about: spirituality, family sagas, sports, metaphysics, rags-to-riches, love stories, etc. Again, are any of these themes in your collage?
Finally, give your collage a place of honor. Even if it is a secret place of honor, let it be a place that is your very own, from which it can inspire you. If you’d like to create new collages, such as a collage that inspires you about a particular project or dream, go for it!