Two very simple tools make up The Artist’s Way program.  At least, they sound simple:

  1. Morning Pages – 3 pages of long hand first thing in the morning
  2. Artist’s Date – weekly play date with yourself

Sounds simple, right?  Enormously (and often quite surprisingly) effective, they say. However, not all that “simple” to execute….for me anyway.

The 3 pages of long hand can be frightening.  I will say things in the MPs I won’t say out loud.  However, once it’s out of my head or heart and onto the page, it’s “out there.”  It’s no longer dormant, and I have to deal with “it.”  Whatever “it” may be. Sometimes it’s colossal, like the fear of growing old and my song left unsung.  Most of the time it’s irritation about something from daily lifeimages I’d rather just ignore, and usually do.  That’s when the my pages get whiny, cranky and even downright surly.

If I don’t power through the crap and keep digging in, the negativity just clings to everything like cat hair.  This is usually the point at which I conveniently oversleep and have no time to write my MPs or write about laundry or some other nonsensical b.s.  When I start blowing off the MPs, I know there’s something just beneath the surface I’d rather avoid.  I get downright nasty to be around – sometimes I don’t even want to be around me.

The Artist Date, when I make and keep one, can help me reset the tone of my MPs.  The secret is actually making one and keeping it.  Quality time with yourself, by yourself.  It may sound simple – a walk in the park, literally.  But, it’s really not that easy to pull off.  It takes a bit of practice.  But, the more you do it, the more you get to know yourself again.  It’s like meeting an old friend and catching up on old times and finding new adventures. Then, it becomes treasured special time you guard fiercely.

Yeah, I’m not there yet.  I’ve been there before and I know it’s well worth it.  It’s the between here and there that’s the challenge.

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