Week 4: Details, Clarity and Moving On
Week 4 of The Artist’s Way summarized my feelings about week 3.
“[…] you didn’t realize how many small things you could do to improve your life.”
It’s incredible how these adjustments–some in routine, some in perspective–have made me feel happier. The main one for me has been taking the time to be specific about what I think and feel.
“The morning pages force us to get specific. Does ‘I feel okay’ mean I feel resigned, accepting, comfortable, detached, numb, tolerant, pleased, or satisfied? What does it mean to me?”
The more clarity you have, the easier it is to find solutions when something’s troubling you.
“As we clarify our perceptions, we lose our misconceptions. As we eliminate ambiguity, we lose illusion as well. We arrive at clarity, and clarity creates change.”
I other words, clarity gets sh*t done.
For the weekly exercise, I was dismayed to learn that it was to NOT READ ANYTHING.
“For most blocked creatives, reading is an addiction. We gobble up the words of others rather than digest our own thoughts and feelings, rather than to cook up something of our own.”
I makes sense, so I tried.
The first day, I made it through without any illegal reading. I immediately realized how quiet life was. I was pleasantly surprised by how much space I had in my mind and how it was easier to focus.
Until I woke up at 2 am, couldn’t go back to sleep, and like a junkie I reached for my phone and gobbled up the news.
Later, when I put the phone down, I felt guilty. Did I really need to break my no-reading spree for celebrity gossip? I fell asleep worrying about Brad Pitt and Angie’s messy custody battle. /facepalm
The next day, I did my best to stay away from reading, but it’s such an ingrained part of my life. It calms me, keeps my mind lightly busy when I’m taking a break from work, helps me fall asleep at night, etc.
I can definitely see the great benefit of scaling down on consumption in order to focus on creating more. And I realize I use it to block my own thoughts. I thought reading was always a good thing. Turns out, not quite always.
I thought about redoing Week 4 so that I could do the exercise without cheating.
However, that tendency to want to redo everything as close to perfect as I can is what often traps me in a loop. I try again, same results, again, same results, throw tantrum, abandon book/project.
I must keep moving. Doing my best while moving is all I need.
Thanks for reading,