I decided at the beginning of this year to follow Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. It’s a program for regaining stifled creativity which consists of 12 weeks of exercises. The baseline activities are “morning pages,” three longhand pages of free writing every morning, and weekly “artist dates.”
I don’t necessarily have an artistic outlet that I have felt cramped in, but I was ready to listen to myself in a new way.
I had bought this book about 20 years ago and decided I couldn’t possibly do it, because the program requires a week of “media deprivation” in the fourth week. No reading, no listening to music, no TV…no Facebook, no Twitter, no e-mail, no blogging.
What an order! I exclaimed. I can’t go through with it!!!
Reading is my escape, my consolation, my best friend. Whether that involves library books (of which I always have at least a dozen), magazines, newspapers, Facebook, blogs….what would it be like not to read? To just “listen to my own head rattle” as Ken says? He maintains that I am addicted to Facebook and blogging. Yes, I own that. I am all about connection and community, and those are important places for me. But some quiet time might not be a bad thing.
So this time I decided I’d just plan to do the morning pages and the artist dates, and see how I felt when week four came around. Today was the first day of that week. I decided to try just one day...and instead of a whole week, take at least a day a week and perhaps build up. I also decided to call it “media freedom” instead of “media deprivation.”
What a difference a different spin makes!
Today I’ve done morning pages, noticed that my favorite Japanese quince bush is budding (uh-oh, watch out, bush!!), been to Jazzercise, and caught up on the laundry. I REALLY cleaned out my bedside table (there were coupons on it from 2006, so you get an idea), found and sorted my coupon keeper, went to Costco in the next town, packaged meat for the freezer and prepared things for next week’s lunch. I ate a big salad for lunch, really paying attention to the food and not a book or the web. I took the dogs for a walk and cleaned out the car. No radio, no TV, no computer. I sang, I prayed, I talked to the dogs and to Ken.
I’m very tired now. I think I will not push myself for today, but will get this posted on my blog and do a little catching up on the web. The difference between me 20 years ago and me now is that I am MUCH less stringent and hard on myself. Still not perfect, but it’s a great improvement. And one of my free evenings this week, perhaps I will see how it feels not to do any reading or computer stuff or watch TV, but just sit quietly and knit.
I’ll let you know.