Leading the Way

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
                                                                                   Ralph Waldo Emerson.

When I did my projects, a few months ago for Creative Partnerships, they were overseen by my Creative Agent,  Alison. At the evaluation of one project we got talking and I mentioned my own art work and that I would really love to have an exhibition. She seemed quite shocked that I lacked confidence in making my own work (not the commercial work I sell via my website, but work that really comes from my soul). She said that I should read a book called The Artists Way by Julia Cameron.
  I had another meeting with her a few days later and she brought the book for me to borrow. Strangely I knew beforehand that she would.
So I brought it home and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It has challenged me, and has been scarily accurate about way too many aspects of my creative personality. It helps you understand that sometimes we try and sabotage our creativity, for one reason or another.
It encourages you to write “Morning Pages”, which you should do as soon as you wake up, and write basically about three pages of whatever comes into your head even if it’s “I don’t know what to write”, which I wrote on several occasions! By writing stuff down straight away it’s supposed to tap into your subconcious mind, and eventually help you understand your thought processes. It suggests that you write positive affirmations at the end of your three pages of writing. It seemed strange doing this at first but I’m OK with it now.

It also encourages you to think about what you loved to do as a child, and what your perfect jobs would be (age no barrier!).

It has made me focus on the here and now, and to give myself a break ( I am pretty hard on myself at times), it has made me realise that the journey is good, that I shouldn’t be worrying about end products, and that baby steps are the way to go, as long as I make a concious effort to do something.

It has also made me realise how much I love my family and that I still really miss my dad.

He died nearly ten years ago now, and I really think that I am still coming to terms with it, maybe I’ll never come to terms with it. I mentioned him in the first morning pages I wrote and it was a shock to see my thoughts on paper. He was fifty when I was born, and after the age of five he became a weekend dad.
He was never  majorly hands on but he was always there. He encouraged me, and I know he really loved me. I remember often on a Saturday we would go and do the food shopping  and we would call in to our local record (vinyl to you youngsters) shop and he would buy me a record. He would then have the pleasure (not) of listening to me play it over and over again for the rest of the weekend, interspersed with “Watch me Daddy!”, as I danced around the living room like some loon. He was patient, though short-tempered at times. I remember doing a splatter painting when I was about seven using a technique I’d seen where you make the paint really watery and then flick it off your paintbrush. I think most of my paint went onto the wallpaper in the dining room and, rightly so I suppose, he was not a happy man.
We would sit and watch “The Generation Game” and “The Two Ronnies” on a Saturday night and I would love listening to him laugh.

Forgive my ramblings, better out than in as they say, and Alison if you read this a massive “Thank you” x.

Lets be brave and create. Think about what you loved doing as a child, and do it again.

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.”
                                                                                                                                           Seneca

Have you ever read anything that has really had a positive impact?  I’d love to know.

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5 thoughts on “Leading the Way

  1. 'The journey is good – not worrying about the end products'. That rang a bell with me – I shall have to read this book. I am always looking ahead for the end result and forgetting to enjoy the Now. Am getting better at it though, with …. age!

  2. This brought a tear to my eye – it is powerful and true and I think many women (in particular feel like this). I have worked with so many ladies through my CV work and so many broken dreams lie in the wake of a harsh life or life circumstances, but I truly believe you are never 'too old' and it is never 'too late' to pursue a dream, in fact it's important to do so! and I would say this to so many clients asking them what their dreams were and immediately they would light up as they told me, and I would say go do it, even if it's on the side of other work. . . . . and the best thing you can do is lead the way by doing it yourself for others to see and thereby giving them permission.If it wasn't for the truly inspiring female artists I have come across in the last 10 years I may not be living my dream (as hard as it is too!) by creating art. This is also the reason I created gift grants because it has meant so much to me to pursue art and exhibit, sell, teach etc. Why not do an open house exhibition or similar – there must be one in your area? I did this first after graduating and it was a gentle intro into exhibiting because it was in my home!Please do it, your work is wonderful . . . I have also read Neale Donald Walsch's books, Keri Smiths book ('Living out Loud' and others)and also Creating a Life Worth Living by Carol ? (forgotten for a moment) really recommend them and good luck – as Nike would say: JUST DO IT!!!!Amelia.x

  3. potterjotter : the book has definitely helped me enjoy the now – I think they call it being "mindful". Amelia – thank you for such an amazing comment. I will e-mail you x

  4. Hello SuzanneI've just found your blog via Jeska at Lobster & Swan, and I'm so glad to have found my way here as your blog and your work are both beautiful. It's also good to find that you are an Artists Way follower, as I am too – I love my Morning Pages! After 12 years of writing them, I can't ever give it up! I keep returning to Julia's wise words, as like so many of us, I am a classic case of 'avoiding my creativity' and most of all I find it so very difficult to do Artist Dates!! I've got all the time in the world, mind you.Anyway, I'll not ramble on here – but want to say: Thank you for writing this post, thank you for sharing your memories of your Dad, and thank you for being so open and honest.I'll be signing up as a follower so that I can find my way back to you again,Wishing you happy days,Denise x

  5. Denise – Hello – thanks for such a lovely comment – you made my day ( well second to be being featured on LobsterandSwan!), will check out your blog too x

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