Sunday, March 29, 2009

completion of artists way

I haven't posted on the Artists Way journey since March 7 on the blog, mainly because I had been doing those posts on Friday, and for two of the past three weeks, I've been at all day classes on Friday. Last Friday, I had a gigantic to-do list to make up for the previous two Fridays' errands.

But though I hadn't been posting, I was trudging through it. I say trudging because that's what March felt like to me: a long, arduous, uphill trudge. Usually February is the month in which I hit that wall. This year, it was March.

Everything felt like a struggle in March. Work, working out, cleaning, journaling, even going to see family and friends seemed like an obligation. It could've been partly because I overcommitted myself, with two back-to-back-entire-weekend-long-classes. But I think it's also because I was so ready for spring to be here. I've noticed that since I moved back to New England: the seasonal affective disorder type melancholy is back, as well. I never seemed to have that on the west coast, not even when I lived in Oregon. (It may be overcast, but it's not as cold and wintery there)

In any case, I had been dragging with the artist way thing. I've always had a bit of a struggle with the "think of yourself as an artist" thing. I tend to think: "I can write" or "I can make people laugh". But in terms of labels, I think of myself as a "healer" first and an "athlete" second, with "artist" or "writer" coming in a very distant third.

I had been ruminating on the idea of life as an artist date and the ultimate work of art. But then again, maybe that's a cop out? Julia Cameron spends a lot of time talking about syncronicity, an idea I'm not sure I fully embrace. And then last week, syncronicity showed up and smacked me upside the head.

I was at a holistic health conference and one of the books on the recommended reading list was The Artist's Way. The idea of healing as an art, not a science, kept popping up. And then, right in the middle of day two, I had this incredible breakthrough while the instructor was talking about soy and I was bouncing on a theraball in the back of the room.

TAW spends a lot of time working on "blocks" that keep you from realizing your full potential as an artist. Maybe they were disapproving parents or english teachers who embarassed you in front of the class or maybe a spouse who told you that you were irresponsible. Mid-bounce on the theraball, I realized --BAM -- that my March stagnation in...every aspect of my life, was, in fact, a block.

And just as I had been slogging through, working on "artist blocks", I need to work on "life blocks", as well. How can I expect to be successful in one area while I am completely blocked in another? (and be healthy and balanced)

So though March was an arduous month, maybe it was, in fact, something I needed to slog through in order to get to the point where I am, now.

Life may be the ultimate work of art. Just look at Henry David Thoreau.

I got a long way to go before I get even close, though.


Anna Lefler said...

First of all, thank you for visiting my blog and for your most awesome comment! You made my night!

Second, TAW is the thing that put me on the path I've been on for almost 10 years now as a novelist, comedian, blogger, blahblahblah... It opened a huge mental door for me - as it sounds like it's doing for you as well. Congrats! Can't wait to hear what happens next! Enjoy...

Take care and thanks again...

:^) Anna

Lace said...

You know what I found sad about myself? I never thought of myself as an artist until a writer for a newspaper labeled me as one in the piece she did. It was like once I saw it on paper it was real... I was official or something. SILLY! & March was a very blah month for me also... everything felt like obligation. I hope April is different for you!(Oh, and for me too! haha!)

And Yeah, I'm pretty sure the words that came out of my mouth when I saw the Valerie B. cover were along the lines of "Bull shit! Total BULL. SHIT."

Heather said...

March has just been one big blur for me. So many obligations, then being sick... now it's pretty much over.
Here's to a better April. :)

Diane said...

I've been a believer in synchronicities since I first read The Artist's Way.

I've been blocked as well... life blocked... for a lot longer than March. I feel like I'm on the verge of a breakthrough, but it's not here yet...

Glad you seem to have worked through yours!!! Here's to no slogging in April!