artist's way reflections: week one

September 5, 2008

I’m trapped in the irony of this situation I have created for myself. Now that almost 20 others have taken up the invitation to work through the Artist’s Way together, I’m feeling the heat to be a good participant myself. Said irony is provided by this week’s topic — Recovering a Sense of Safety.

Dwelling in this irony reminds me of something that is too often true for me — the person creating this heat is me. The lack of safety I usually feel in expression and creativity comes, not from others, but from me. I have all sorts of conversations in my head about how others might hear or respond to what it is I haven’t yet said. (Case in point, I’m wondering even now how many times people will need to read that sentence to make any sense of it.) But the reality of those conversations is that, well, they happen in my head. For me, safety needs to come in caring a little less.

This reminds me of a quote by a hero of mine, Dr. Seuss, which I have mentioned before): Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

Speaking of quotes, here are some from the first reading that have been present in my thoughts this week:

  • Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent. — C.G. Jung (pg. 26)
  • Young lawyers may be pushed toward lawyering, a talky, word profession, or into medical school because they’re so smart. And so the child who is himself a born storyteller may be converted into a gifted therapist who gets his stories secondhand. (pg. 27)
  • To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. — Joseph Chilton Pearce (pg. 29)
  • Remember that in order to recover as an artists, you must be willing to be a bad artist. Give yourself permission to be a beginner. (pg. 30)
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