Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sunday Night Reflections

The Artist's Way, An Invitation
Quite some time ago I shared a little about the book, The Artist's Way. Ten years ago, I was preparing for a very intensive surgery. I had a tumor in my jaw that was successfully removed and thankfully cancer free, but the aftermath of the surgery left me with severe headaches and in need of reconstructive surgery. I heard about a class that was being offered called The Artist's Way and it sounded intriguing. Although I was not able to attend a number of the classes, it was empowering and I believe that what I learned and experienced played a major role in my recovery. All of the bones in my face were broken, bone graphs were done and lots of metal plates and screws later, they had me all put back together. With all that was done to me, I left the hospital on the third day!
About five years later I decided to go through the book all on my own. It was an amazing experience and completely different from my first experience. As I worked through the book, so many insights came to me, questions were answered and I found strength that I didn't realize I had.
An event happened this year that really threw me for a loop. In the end, it was good as I learned the truth about something that I could never understand. Although, I now knew the truth and I had to deal with the fact that in order for this person to save them self, they lied about me, a vicious, horrible lie. For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you may remember that I stopped writing for a couple of months. One sweet follower actually emailed and asked if I was alright. I was so touched that a person who has never met me would reach out to me. The fact was that I was not fine. I was paralyzed emotionally and just could not find the energy to write in a public forum. This is not the first time that this has happened. When the event initially happened, I was a teenager. At the time I played the flute and held first chair in a prestigious youth symphony. I laid my flute down and did not return to it until I worked through the Artist's Way five years ago.
For quite sometime, I have felt that I would like to work through the book one last time. Although it's a familiar road, I know that I will see many new things. When I took the class, we made a promise that what was talked about in the class was sacred and that we would never repeat what a fellow classmate had shared. When I worked through the book on my own, it was quite easy, I was the only one in my little class. When I began to think about working through the book this time, I had a very strong feeling that I should share my journey here on the blog. I've struggled with this, but on Christmas Eve a friend came for dinner. She had a gift, a silk scarf that she had made. It's lovely by the way. As she left that night, she made a point of telling me to read the card on the bag......               
a very simple inscription but so touching. I was especially touched by the word, inspiration and I knew at that point that I will share my journey on the blog.
There are twelve chapters and each chapter is worked through in a week. The obligations are that you must write three pages every day. The pages are not meant to be a masterpiece, it is whatever is on your mind and they are to be done in the morning. The second is that you do what the author calls an artist date each week. Whatever you do, you must do it alone, it can be something as simple as taking a long hot bath to going horseback riding. Each week read the chapter and work through the tasks at the end of the chapter. The author recommends that you try for half of the tasks. All in all, you will spend about an hour a day. That's it, not a lot of time for something that can change a life.
So I invite anyone who would like to come along with me to do so. Each Sunday night, I will check in and post about my week. If you would like to join me, email me (sewbussted@yahoo.com) on Sunday and share your week. I can assure you that if you decide to do so, your message will never be repeated to anyone. One aspect of this journey is learning to trust. But if you would like to quietly come along, I welcome you. My wish is to hopefully inspire someone in whatever way they need to be inspired.
This week I will be reading the first chapter. Next Sunday I will be back to check in.
Wishing you a wonderful week!

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  1. Yes, that is a wonderful book, Rhonda. I also worked through it years ago. I'm not even sure how long ago it was, but the book was on the bestseller list at the time. I also found the morning pages to be helpful and I especially loved the artist date. I still do artist dates.

    Just yesterday I was talking to my youngest teenager and telling her about morning pages and the concepts presented in The Artist Way. Before we hung up the phone, she ordered a copy for her iPad. When I took my walk this morning, I thought I should return to the morning pages.

    Anyway, I'm not sure how consistently I will be, but I think I'll give this some attention myself. I do think it's a good thing to do, from time to time.

  2. The Artist's Way literally saved my life, and it still holds an important place in my personal library. I'll see if it calls to me and let you know...

  3. Rhonda- You are a sensitive, thoughtful and generous person. The journey of healing from pain is not always a straight line. I hope that you find the peace that you are looking for and that you thrive.

  4. Ok I' m in. I bought and went through the exercises about 9.10.11 years ago. At the time I had avery demanding job, real health issues an d little time for me or my art. I don't know what happened to my original book, so I've purchased both the book and the workbook in Nook versions. I 'm looking forward to this more leisurely tour.

  5. Rhonda, I bought this last night for my Kindle. Not sure I'll start it right away (though I did read the preface and introduction) as I'm currently finishing up a novel, but I am excited about the prospect of going through this sometime this year. I'm thinking, actually, that this might be a good Lenten exercise for me, so maybe I'll start it then or schedule it such that it would end at Easter. Thanks for the tip and being willing to share your creative journey with us.

  6. I too, love this book and I would love to participate but, unfortunately I am working through A Daybook of Comfort and Joy this year, as well as blogging about my year of dieting struggles, so I just don't have the time to properly focus on it. I will however, look forward to reading about your journey.

  7. Well I'm in progress..... let's see how it goes :-)

  8. I am just starting. I will enjoy coming back to your pages each week. Thanks for posting these reflections.