Revelations from The Artist’s Way.

Since I have committed myself to writing on my blog everyday and this is a commitment I have made many times before (and broken it), I haven’t stop thinking of what measures I can take to ensure that this is the last time I commit (because it won’t be brokem, that is).

I have managed to carve out an hour everyday to at least be able to post something valuable, and it already feels as something i need to do, for myself. I cannot really express how much joy this writing has brought me, the realisation that I can do this, that I can sit down and write everyday. I have been doing so much stuff and I’ve been feeling so energised that I don’t need to have a nap in the middle of the day or just lie down in bed as if I was about to die.

So, to help me grow stonger in this endeavour, I decided to start Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, a programme of study and practice in unblocking creativity. I had read about it before, and I had it, along with The Sound of Paper, a book of small essays that also explores creativity, especially in writing. The book had been sitting there for ages, so I decided to give it a go, and work throughout the 12-week programme.

At some stages I had tried to keep up with the Morning Pages practice, but I stopped pretty soon. I could not really understand what it meant, I guess for me it was as though those morning pages were actually THE WRITING and I didn’t really feel I was creating anything. And then I stopped, and then I started them again, but always with the same results.

I have started doing them again, anyway. And I have discovered something really important. I have not run out of things to write, on the contrary, there are so many things to say, to put on paper.

But the more I write, the more I realise that all those words are fragments of sentences or stories that I have been telling myself for a very long time. I am not supposed to reread what I am writing, at least not now, according to Cameron, but the mere fact of saying those things to myself made me a bit sad, and very surprised.

These things I write are all the ways in which I censor myself now and how I have done it in the past, all the things that have gone wrong, all the sadness, the desperation of being trapped doing exactly the same things, over and over again.

And it is incredible how, as often as this happens, because they are recurrent thoughts and emotions that visit me everyday, I had never really seen them. For a long time I have been working on incorporating affirmations in my life, to reprogramme the negative thoughts in my mind. But it seems to me now that repeating those affirmations is not enough.

You have to open your eyes to what you are doing with your mind, to the things you tell yourself. Just today, after all my life of not knowing where all my limitations come from, after saying again and again that I could not fathom where I had got these messages from, I looked back at little pieces of my story, and I could see, at least partially, why I haven’t allowed myself to move forward.

First of all, and I have already said this, we don’t share feelings in my family. And of course, this leaves us vulnerable and stuck. And it is a very difficult thing to open up to others when you haven’t learnt to do it. I’m not giving excuses, it’s just fact.

I also remember that when I tried to express my feelings of sadness or anger, I as laughed at and/or told to shut up. And shut up I did. Of course, that doesn’t mean I stopped feeling, I just stopped sharing those feelings with the rest of the world. And most times I didn’t even put in down in writing, the feelings just floated around in my heart, or they died.

And I recall sitting in family gatherings (that’s all we do, sit) and thinking of many things, feeling how time went by, how with each Christmas everything would have changed, some of us would still be here, some wouldn’t, and nothing would ever be the same.

And all those feelings, and thoughts, and snippets of conversation are lost forever, because I didn’t write them down.

Also, I didn’t write because nobody in my family, nobody in my school, ever, wrote anything. And I was always looking for someone to do the same things I wanted to do, so as to feel empowered and not lonely.

It has taken me a long time to realise all these things. And what I can still salvage and preserve of my gone ideas, feelings and thoughts, I will. Plus those morning pages will help me (I hope) to clear out valuable sppace in my mind and sould so that I can construct new ideas, feelings and thoughts. And memories, as well.


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