Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Night Reflections

The Artist's Way
Week 10
"How often....even before we began....have we declared a task"impossible"? And how often have we construed a picture of ourselves as being inadequate?......A great deal depends on the thought patterns we choose and on the persistence with which we affirm them."  Piero Ferrucci

Have you heard of Novak Djokovic? This evening there was a piece about him on the television show, "60 Minutes." Luck has a lot to do with his introduction to tennis. It just so happened that his parents had a small pizza shop at a ski resort in Serbia. A tennis court was built across from the restaurant. Novak would sit on the side and watch. An instructor noticed and put a tennis racket in his hands, and the rest is history. He is now the number one tennis player in the world, winning Wimbledon in 2011. Like many of us, there was a period when he too doubted himself and allowed others to intimidate him, two other tennis players in particular. Through perseverance, persistence and visualizing his dream, he was finally able to overcome his doubt and see his dream come to pass.
This week I was on vacation. Before I left, I did all of my blog posts and left them in the draft file so that all I would have to do was push publish each morning. So for quite a few days I knew what my Thursday post would be, but when Thursday rolled around, doubt began to set in. Maybe I should wait...what if my pattern is not good enough...what will be the reaction...doubt, doubt, doubt. I had already asked a few people to test the pattern for me, but they are people that I know and trust. With them is a feeling of safety. But, I persevered, I did push that publish button and despite all the worry, I'm glad I did.
There is quite a bit of discussion in Chapter 10 about fame as well as competition. Both are easy to get sucked into. I really like what Julia Cameron says about fame, "fame is not the same as success."  And about competition, she says, "When we focus on competition, we poison our own well and impede our own progress." 
Quite a few years ago I took a Creative Writing course. A piece that I wrote for the class was quite good. It was about a particular person and how they had handled a situation and how it had affected my life. That Christmas I decided to give this person the piece and I read it out loud for everyone who was there that evening. A friend of mine was there and commented to me later that this person was jealous. I refused to believe that this person could be jealous, but as it turns out, they were. This person knew that I had sent many pieces off for possible publication, but to no avail. A few short months later we were invited for a visit and the very moment I walked in the door it was announced, "I've been published!"  Rather than look at the situation for what it was, I felt defeated. I took the bait and allowed myself to get caught up in the "I"m better than you" competitive merry-go-round. Our artistic talents are not about competition but about using the gifts that we've been given. I now believe that each and every one of us has been given talents and abilities that are unique to us, unique because of how only we can bring them to life. When we feel competitive, we need to look within to see what is struggling to be born.
Our time is quickly drawing to a close, two more chapters and then our final check-in. This week we will look at how we must continue to nurture ourselves as artists. Our value as an artist is not determined by whether our work sells or not. Our credibility lies within. 
This week, try to do Task 4. It asks us to take a look at how we have changed during this journey. Sometimes a look back is a very good thing to do.
Have a wonderful week.

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