The Artist’s Way on Music Monday Care & Love

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, how has your week been? Have you had the chance to appreciate your achievements and have a cuppa of something nice? I hope so.

I don’t quite know where my week is gone. Have been pondering where to go with Music Monday Care & Love and I have decided to go with “The Artist’s Way” as Emilia over at “My Inner MishMash” seems to be interested and I always wanted to do this creativity course with fellow bloggers and creatives. I think this is a great chance.

Fellow Music Monday Care & Love participants week

But first I want to invite you to head over to Emilia’s “My Inner MishMash” and her post for last week’s Music Monday Care & Love prompt. Find it here. She shares not only how her week went but also a very interesting song. Thanks, Emilia for taking part!

This week I had finished another self-care book called “Mirror Work” by Louise Hay which is rather interesting. Her idea is that you get better results from positive affirmations when you say them to yourself in a mirror. I have not been very good with following her exercises so I can’t really say if it works. However, I feel more positive towards myself since I do my affirmations in the mirror so there must be something in it.

The music that reminds me of my life’s success which I asked for in last weeks post is probably “Royals” by Lorde. I love her voice and her doing things her way. And even though a “Queen Bee” isn’t a particularly nice person I could imagine being called Queen Bee 😉

Music Source: BBC via YouTube

Introduction to “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron on Music Monday Care & Love

As I said before I decided to offer Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” for the next weeks as the Music Monday Care & Love prompts. I have planned to give you a short rundown of the chapter we are working on and then introduce you to the exercises Julia Cameron works with.

I suggest you get the book because my introductions will be affected by my point of view and I won’t be sharing all the examples of people who did her course and were successful. You can also work better with the exercises if you have it directly with you. You can find it on Wordery, Amazon and on her page. There is also a “The Artist’s Way Workbook” if you feel like you want some more input and she offers an online course too.

The book is set up as a 12-week course however, I organise it in 13 weeks. First of all 13 is my lucky number and secondly, it gives you the chance to get the book and work with it from next week onwards. I suggest you read the chapter on Sunday and read my post on Monday. Am looking forward to hearing your opinion on the topics covered.

So today I introduce you to the basic tools and basic creative principles Julia Cameron has set out in the book. To work with those for a week before starting the proper course is a great way to get into the swing of things.

First a couple of words of how I understand Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” and how we are going to use it here on Music Monday Care & Love:

Julia Cameron speaks in “The Artist’s Way” mainly about creativity and how we have lost the ability to be creative because paying the bills and life, in general, does not allow us to “just” do a painting, singing or writing poetry. I feel that creativity in the book is not understood as merely creative arts. I believe it means anything you want to create for yourself may it be a garden, a happy family or a drawing. I also believe that being creative is a way of self-care because we do what we enjoy and what makes our hearts sing and therefore we care for our happiness. That is why I think this book is a great choice for Music Monday Care & Love.

Feel free to share as much or as little of what you learn from the exercises in your blog posts or comments for Music Monday Care & Love. The exercises bring up very personal topics that might not be ready to be shared yet. If you want to share them but in a more personal place send me an email and I invite you to the Google group for Music Monday Care & Love. My email is bee.halton<at>gmail.com.

photo source: QuotesGram. Description for visually impaired readers: Shadow of a person walking on a beach at sunset. White writing saying: We tend to think that being hard on ourselves will make us strong. Bu tit is cherishing ourselves that gives us strength” Julia Cameron

Introduction of basic tools and principles in “The Artist’s Way”

The first chapters of “The Artist’s Way” introduce the main “tools” for retrieving your creativity which are the so-called “Morning Pages” and the “Artist’s Date”. I have written previously about the morning pages which are meant to be 3 A-4 pages handwritten first thing every morning. Don’t think ~ just write down what comes to mind. Julia Cameron suggests to get up half an hour earlier every morning and do this without stopping. I know this book since nearly 20 years and have never managed to do this on a regular basis. However, I find journaling rather important for my self-care and that is why I have developed my own morning pages routine which I do before I start writing instead of directly after waking up. I also do not do them handwritten but in a Google Drive file. I find it works much better. Lately, I have started to add a picture of a motivating quote to my file and a set of questions that are on my mind at the moment.

I suggest for the time of the course you try out how “The Artist’s Way” course intents it. However, I know some of my readers are visually impaired so feel free to use an online or pc file instead of handwriting the morning pages. But try out to do them first thing in the morning to see how you get on with it. However, feel free to do this exercise in whichever way you feel most comfortable with.

For Julia Cameron, there does not only exist an inner critic but also an inner creative. She considers it a child and as children are they need some attention and playtime. She assumes that being creative in what form or shape you chose to be creative is rather play than work. The idea that the inner creative is a child fits perfectly in my opinion. She suggests doing a so-called Artist’s Date every week. It means you do something you haven’t allowed yourself to do but always thought you might want to do. It does not need to be very expensive. So for example, if you always wanted to travel but don’t currently have the money chose your library for your artist’s date. Get the most beautiful travel picture books you can borrow and allow yourself to travel in your mind. Or if you always wanted to become a singer find a choir close by and start singing or do some karaoke for yourself with Youtube.

My artists date currently is playing Minecraft on the PlayStation once a week. I do explore the maps they have on offer but also built beautifully crazy homes which make me incredibly happy. It’s great to just play around. Feel free to have a look at Julia Cameron’s page to get more ideas.

At the beginning Julia Cameron wants us to read her Basic Creative Principles in the morning and in the evening. I have made them part of my morning pages because they just remind me that life itself is creativity and self-care supports not only my mental health but my life in general. I consider creativity as a part of self-care.

Julia Cameron sees being creative as an act of spirituality. But not in a conventional religious way. Many artists say that their creations do not come from them but from a higher power. You can name this power as you want and if you do not want to name it fair enough in my opinion. If you do not feel like creating comes from you but from an inner well that is filled from somewhere else then you lose a lot of pressure when it comes to creativity. To fill this inner well is one of the tasks of the Artist’s Date. Creativity in her opinion is a question of energy changing form and being given and taken.

The Basic Principles are as follows
    • Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy.
    • There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life including ourselves
    • When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator’s creativity within us and our life’s
    • We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves
    • Creativity is god’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to god.
    • The refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our true nature.
    • When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God’s good orderly direction.
    • As we open our creative channel to the creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected
    • It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity
    • Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move forward towards our dreams, we move towards our divinity

Source: Julia Cameron “The Artist’s Way

Which means this weeks Music Monday Care & Love exercises are as follows:

~ have a cup of your favourite beverage and celebrate how far you have come on your life’s path
~ read Julia Cameron’s basic creative principles in the morning and the evening
~ Write morning pages every morning. Just write what comes to mind. Do not edit. Write 3 A-4 pages or half an hour without stopping.
~ Choose an artist’s date and do it

As for the music part:

~ Choose a piece of music from the year you were born

That’s a new one 😉

SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO TAKE PART IN MUSIC MONDAY CARE & LOVE

  1. ~ We invite you to appreciate yourself with a cup of your favourite beverage at the beginning of each week!
  2. ~Additionally Music Monday Care & Love offers exercises and ideas to increase self-care and self-love
  3. ~ We invite you to try them out and do this with music.
  4. ~ Feel free to write a blog post about your experiences and link them to the weekly Music Monday Care & Love posts.
  5. ~ But it is perfectly fine if you just explore our self-care suggestions for yourself and/or share your experiences in the comments
  6. ~ Go and visit your fellow self-care explorer’s posts & blogs and cheer them on so they can come and cheer you on too
  7. ~ I’ll share a round-up & invitation post with a self-care activity & suggestion on what sort of music to share on Monday Mornings.

Now my dear readers,

go, create

and have lots of fun

 

Fellow Bloggers writing about “The Artist’s Way”:

Go Jules Go: Have you read “The Artist’s Way?

Goddess in the Belly: 12 Weeks of The Artist’s Way

 

DISCLAIMER:

I am not a health professional. My posts describe my thoughts, my experiences and my conclusions about life, mental health and self-improvement. My described actions always go alongside therapy and do not substitute professional advice by a health professional be it a doctor, therapist or counsellor.
I invite you to try out self-care tools, however, if any of these make you feel uncomfortable please stop and do not go further ahead. Also, if any of the tools suggested bring up issues that need dealing with do not hesitate to reach out for professional help.
To recognise when you need to stop and when to reach out for professional or any other help is one important part to learn when it comes to self-care.

Please look here if you need further guidance:

UK:
Mind
NHS

USA:
MentalHealth.gov

Canada:
Government of Canada

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