For the past 2 months, I have been reading through the book “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. The author suggests that doing morning pages each morning for 12 weeks will unlock creative parts of ourselves that we didn’t know existed. So far, my experience has been nothing short of transformative.
For those that are unaware, the morning pages, as described in “The Artist’s Way” is a daily discipline in which you write 3 pages of stream of consciousness content into a notebook. There are prompts and some guidelines in the book, but the spirit of the morning pages is simply to write whatever you are thinking. Address the problems you are facing in your life. Ask questions and explore answers. It’s supposed to be a tool to help us unblock the creative spirit we have inside of us that often gets shut down for any number of reasons.
In the beginning, I wanted to do the morning pages because I felt it would help me in achieving my goal of writing one blog post each week. I wasn’t sure how I was going to accomplish that goal, but after reading how powerful this book has been for other creatively minded people, I thought I would dive in and commit to doing it for all 12 weeks.
Not What I Expected
Nothing about this experience has been what I thought it would be. While it did help me sort through creative ideas, it seems my spirituality has been most affected by my writing commitment. Some breakthroughs have been simple. For example, I’ve found meditating on an idea or a problem I’m facing to be helpful for finding ways to resolve conflict and gain clarity on how I should proceed forward in my life. Other breakthroughs have been huge; profound enough to bring me to tears.
I’ve Been Holding Myself Back
One of the biggest realizations I’ve come to through this daily discipline is that I have purposefully taken myself less seriously than I could have or should have as a professional musician. I thought I could exist outside of the parameters that have been established for musicians to show they are serious about themselves and what they have to offer. I didn’t think I needed something as simple as a website.
I’ve been lucky enough to do masterclasses and solo appearances in my career thus far, but they have always been something that another person sets up for me. Until recently, I’ve never put myself out there as someone who wants to have those types of opportunities, for fear that it wouldn’t actually happen. I have feared rejection.
For years I lived my life like I walked around with a “I don’t care about what people think about me” mentality. I’ve lived my life on my terms, and I haven’t much cared for any type of reputation that I have developed. I make mistakes, I learn, I grow, and I’m better for it. Unfortunately, that kind of mentality also means I don’t have to be personally accountable to others. I don’t even have to be accountable to myself.
Anything Is Possible
Since this realization, I’ve learned that it’s important to take myself seriously. Instead of waiting for someone else to start my career for me, it’s time for me to take matters into my own hands and begin letting people know that I am here. I am ready to be seen.
I’ve realized that it’s OK for me to put what I want out into the world. If I take myself seriously, then others have the opportunity to hear my message with the full impact it can have. One of the statements of affirmation I write and meditate on a great deal is “When I take myself seriously, God can use me for good.”
Every time I think about how amazing this book has been for me, I am floored. I recently said to my wife, “This book is such a gift. The author made a resource that has changed my life, and the lives of so many other people. I think that’s amazing.” She responded with, “It is amazing. I think it’s cool to see the change you’ve gone through in the past year of your life. I bet if you would have found out about this book one year ago, you may not have been as open to doing it with the amount of commitment you have now.”
The Simple Question
I haven’t stopped thinking about what she said, specifically the timing. Could that be true? This book has changed my life profoundly. Would I have been less open to it a year ago? Now I can’t stop thinking, “What other life changing things have I NOT been open to?”
What things have you avoided in your life that could have been life changing?
“Go wide, explore, and learn new things. Something will surely have a kick for you” – Mustafa Saifudden
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