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Community: Finding Your Creativity

Updated: Jan 8, 2023

Yesterday, I was called on to reach deeply into my toolbox to stave off a panic attack. I walked, I talked, I drank tea, I stretched, I went into the ocean whose temperature was 42 degrees. Then I had to cry, warm up, and cry some more. I was so far away from myself. The holidays are over, they are packed up, the calendar set for the next month, and I found no space for myself. I can't live like this. I know that. And my body was taking care of business because my brain was ignoring it.

So I looked at my book shelf. I saw a few book options that connect to my soul. There are works of fiction that can bring me home. Poetry that can settle my soul. But the one that caught my eye and held me captive for some time was The Artist's Way. First published in 1992, a teacher/friend of mine dove into the first wave of excitement about An Artist's Way. Fifteen years later she shared this with me. I have sat on it for at least a decade. She had found peace in this movement and had completed the weekly projects with gusto as she was finding her sobriety. Her story was powerful but it wasn't mine and I didn't know how to get started. A few years ago, I pulled the book off the shelf and began the first tenant: Morning Pages. Morning pages started my day and I have never read what I wrote. But I remember feeling good about it. It is calling out to me now.

Two Big Ideas of The Artist's Way

  • Morning Pages: In the morning, find time to handwrite 3 pages of stream-of-consciousness. Assume that NO ONE will see these pages. Not you, not anyone else. Relieve yourself from feeling like you need to return to these pages. The pages are a place for your brain to dump itself. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

  • Artist's Date: Set aside a time for yourself each week to move into your creative state. Okay, duuuuuuude, I know that is too much to ask. It is for me. Ideally, set aside 2-3 hours a week and effortless fall into your painting kit and create. What this looks like for me: Choose 2-3 hours a week (mine comes in the form of 1 hour in the coffee shop, 1 hour walk with some spill over time) to try and be creative. Read a book, write in a journal, sketch the tree outside, look at beautiful patterned paper, shuffle through old photographs. Give yourself space to think creatively.

  • The challenge for both of these is to find the time. You may find a long list of reasons why finding this time is not possible. Your rationale, safe brain wants you to listen to the censor, the critic try and tug the time away from you. The fight is for the time, not a product. The fight is worth it. You are fighting yourself, so you have already won.

The Artist's Way asks you to commit to this time. I am going to try and do it without a signed contract. It is too restricting for me. Plus, I would use my "creative" time to get the language right. Instead, I am going to tell you that I am writing every morning and committing to 2-3 hours of creative time.

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From our All-School Assembly, February 28, 2024 Written by Nell Dailey “On this rainy day in February, I want to share a story with you. So sit back, put your phones away, and give me your attention.


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