The point of power is always in the present moment.
— Louise L. Hay
First, I just have to say – Thank you!
I so deeply appreciate the many kind responses to my call for help on Friday’s post.
As you may realize, this blog is pretty much a labor of love. Rather than being the kind of blog that is self-absorbed or self-promoting, I hope instead to offer it as a way for us to dialogue with one another. I especially want it to be participative, offering topics and conversations that might support the manifestation of enchantment, transformation, magic and love in our world. For surely, I know that in weaving this as a vast, deep spell of communion, we enable one another’s hope and success.
So again, blessings to one and all! I hope in the days to come, more friends will join us, and more of you will relinquish your hesitance to speak up, share, question, and comment.
Now then. Where were we? Oh, right! We’re getting ready to blast through our blocks! Julia offers a series of questions to work with when we begin a project. In my experience, these are some handy steps you can use any time – at the beginning, but also when the work begins to feel stuck and that deep reluctance and “what’s the use?” vibe starts to hum in your ears.
These are intended to blast you loose from obstructed creative flow. Remember as we work with these, that we are dealing with a child-like part of ourselves, a part that can be irrational, prone to fits of temper, stubborn, scared, and splendidly happy, all in the blink of an eye.
These exercises can be wonderful to chew on in morning pages, so give yourself lots of time to go deep. Be sure to write these if you can; just thinking and moving on doesn’t really air them the way they need to be. So here goes!
1. List any resentments (anger) you have in connection with this project. It does not matter how petty, picky, or irrational these resentments may appear to your adult self. To your artist child they are real big deals – grudges.
Some examples: I resent being the second artist asked, not the first (I am too the best!) .. I resent this editor, she just nitpicks. She never says anything nice.. I resent doing work for this idiot, he never pays me on time..
2. Ask your artist to list any and all fears about the project and/or anyone connected to it. Again these fears can be as dumb as any two-year-old’s. It does not matter if they are silly or groundless to your adult view. What matters is that they are big scary monsters to your artist.
Some examples: I’m afraid the work will be rotten and I won’t know it.. I’m afraid it will be good, and they won’t know it… I’m afraid all my ideas are hackneyed and cliché…I’m afraid all my ideas are ahead of their time.. I’m afraid I’ll starve.. I’m afraid I’ll never finish… I’m afraid I’ll never start… I’m afraid I’ll be embarrassed (I’m already embarrassed).. The list goes on..
3. Ask yourself if that is all. Have you left out any itsy bitsy little fears? Get them all out into the open. No one has to know about any of this (unless of course, you’d like to share here, which I would love for you to do).. Have you stuffed away any “stupid” angers? Get it all on the page.
4. Now ask yourself what you stand to gain by avoiding this project. For example: If I don’t write this, no one can hate it… If I don’t write this, my jerk editor will get in trouble – Ha! Ha! … If I don’t paint, sculpt, sing, dance, act, write this work, I can criticize others, knowing I could have done it better! (This is our whiny, immature little child self, remember? It’s bound to be petty and not always “nice.” That’s really okay!)
Are you getting all this down? The first time I did this exercise, it took me pages and pages (oh, yes, I had years and years of stored-up whiny, complaining, bitter, petty, even mean little artist-child angst!). I truly could not do it in one sitting. So don’t worry if it takes you several sessions to get all the way through these. But it is important to get it all out there! Once you do, then here’s the final step:
5. Make a deal. The deal is: “Okay, Creative Force (Mama Gaia, Source, Divine Self, etc.). Here’s what I’ll do. You take care of the quality, I’ll take care of the quantity.” Sign your contract and post it in your work area.
Now get ready, because this can be huge. Julia is right when she says, “It can do fatal damage to a creative block.” And that contract? It can rock your world, I promise. More about it tomorrow as we come to the end of Chapter Nine.