I’m currently working through a 12 week program to help me tap back into my creativity and inspiration via the book: The Artist’s Way at Work: 12 Weeks to Creative Freedom by Julia Cameron, Mark Bryan, and Catherine Allen.
This is the business version of the very famous original book, The Artist’s Way also by Julia Cameron.
I started this project after feeling like I’ve been in a bit of a rut when it comes to working on my own, non-client-related work.
You can read more about this in my intro post right here.
I’m going week by week and reporting on the tools that were most effective for me from the book. There are always way more exercises and information in the book, so please get a copy and follow along!
Week 10: Living with Passion
This week’s chapter gets into the difference between comparison and competition. I’ve generally considered comparison and competition to be “bad” things. I don’t tend to be competitive but I can compare myself to others in an unhealthy and unproductive way at times.
The authors frame comparison in a completely different way than I’m used to thinking of it. The idea is to start asking “what can I do better?” instead of “what can I do better than they can?”
They say that competitiveness is all about winning and being better than others while comparison is about self-betterment.
Tool: Positive Inventory
- Take out your paper/journal, pen
- Go through your whole life in 5-year increments
- List 50 accomplishments
- My Experience
I feel like 50 is a lot and just looking at that number was a little discouraging. Alex, my husband, pointed out that things like earning to use the potty counts at age 2 or 3! So, that made it a bit easier and starting off with those early milestones does warm you up a bit and by then end I was feeling pretty proud of myself.
Tool: Heartbreak Hotel – Loss as a Lesson
Okay, we all know whoever broke your heart was the jerk and in the wrong… Even so, can you take a look at why they left and see if there is something that really does need addressing? Did they say you were too critical? Too anxious? The idea here is not to beat yourself up more or to let that person off the hook for whatever dastardly thing they did, but to see if there are some things to address here.
- Grab your journal and pen
- Ask yourself a few questions:
- What kind of person do you imagine your former partner wanted?
- Why did they say they were leaving?
- What part did you play in that assessment? (Give yourself a percentage amount of the blame/responsibility).
- What traits did you list in #1 that you think are yours? What traits do you think you have right now?
- Buy yourself flowers (or take a bath or do some other really nice thing for yourself)
It’s a rough one, this exercise. Definitely not fun to revisit old heartbreak memories. I got a little angry but ultimately I think I can see some of the traits that needed addressing at the time. My romantic heartbreaks took place a long time ago but back then I can see I may not have seemed serious enough and was a little all over the place. I’m not sure this tool was worth some of the annoyance and embarrassment it brought back up though maybe that just means there is still some healing to do there.
Tool: The Net of Nurturing
- The entire instructions here are to find a hobby
I’m delighted to say I joined a plant society and I’m working on designing my garden now. It is December so it will be a while still before I can get out there and actually garden. So my hobby right now is planning, designing, and dreaming about my spring garden. For someone like me who is self-employed and sits in front of screens all day for my work, it feels really good to plan hobbies and activities that are outdoors and also offline. I am hoping to pick back up on knitting again this winter. I had a little knitting circle with a couple of friends in my early twenties, but I was always really bad at it. It is fun to do even while being bad at it though. I don’t know why.
Whoa this was weird. I did all of these exercises and then waited 2 weeks to write the blog post about it!
Continuing to do okayish here. I sometimes resist and then I don’t have enough time for 3 pages. I am consistently doing a 1-page minimum though.
Honestly I forgot to write down what it was I did and I can’t remember if I actually did one that week.
On the home stretch with this project and I was feeling really good but then got knocked off my game.