A New Creative Journey

Hi friends! 

Welcome to all of our new friends, too! I am delighted that you joined us here in our cozy, little gathering place. I hope that today finds you enjoying small moments of self-care, nurturing yourself with hot tea in your favorite cup, and setting an intention for the days ahead.

Creativity has always been an important part of who I am… and who I am becoming. Just last week, I began a long-awaited, creative journey that truly feels like a river moving through me! It’s introspective, joyful, a bit scary😉, and filled with challenging opportunities to learn and grow. You’re invited to come along, from time to time, as I tiptoe down this new, creative path!

I feel so grateful to be a part of a (virtual) Creative Cluster exploring The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. For over twenty-five years, this best-selling book has been helping artists discover and nurture their creativity. We are a large group of creative souls ~ including writers, painters, musicians, poets, dancers, and many more. We work with paints, paper, fibers, wood, music, words, fabric, etc. For the next twelve weeks, our diverse group of creative souls from across the U.S. and other countries will gather each Tuesday, via Zoom, to explore Creativity as we work through The Artist’s Way course together.

Our wonderful leaders, Merideth and Vanessa, warmly welcomed us all as they skillfully guided us through an introduction to The Artist’s Way. We learned more about the key parts of this guided course in Creativity: weekly reading assignments, daily Morning Pages (three pages of handwritten journaling each morning), planning a weekly Artist Date (an intentional, sacred time to explore our inner artist), and completing some of Julia Cameron’s weekly tasks. We all committed to adding these important activities to our busy lives through mid-May!

Before long, we were all randomly assigned to ‘breakout rooms’ of three or four “soon-to-become-friends” for the next hour to explore several discussion topics. Within moments, two other artists and I met and discovered that we were kindred spirits! We shared our thoughts, plans, hopes, and dreams so easily. We had such interesting discussions about excellence vs perfection, making time for creativity in our very busy lives, sharing our creativity through blogging and podcasting… and so much more. What a joy to connect with other creative souls as we travel along this path! Our time together flew by so quickly as we shared inspiring books, poets, and podcasts.

As we gathered together as a whole group again to share our thoughts, it warmed my heart to see the faces of so many talented creatives in our new, artistic community! Soon it was time for each one of us to make our very own Creativity Contract, inspired by Julia Cameron. We made it official with a contract signing ceremony and a group photo! 🙂 The next day, I used a bit of Washi tape to attach my Creativity Contract to my Morning Pages journal.

 

Four years ago, I participated in a lovely, international book club to work through another very inspiring book by Julia Cameron, It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again (an Artist’s Way Program for Retirees and Other Creative Souls). The tools we used to explore our creativity included Morning Pages, Artist Dates, Solo Walks in nature, and prompts for Memoir Writing. I was so blessed to meet my cherished friend, Vicky, in that book club. We continue to encourage one another as we travel along our creative paths. The distance between Illinois and New Zealand seems so tiny for kindred spirits! Blog posts about that Artist’s Way experience are: here, here, here, and here

It feels so nurturing to begin each day at my journaling desk writing Morning Pages again. I can already feel my creative inspiration ever-so-slowly returning. I’m really looking forward to planning Artist Dates each week! 🙂 They will just feel very different to me during the pandemic when so many public places are closed and we are staying at home. However, it will be a unique opportunity to s-t-r-e-t-c-h our creativity in many, new directions!

Julia Cameron cautions that this twelve-week path to creative recovery or discovery will raise strong emotional peaks and valleys, including joy, skepticism, giddiness, grief, resistance, and hope. Over the next three months, I’m hopeful that I will grow more resilient and confident as I develop the skills to make and execute my creative plans and dreams. From time to time, I look forward to sharing my progress with The Artist’s Way here on the blog. Our positive, encouraging, gathering place for kindred spirits seems like a cozy, nurturing space to share my new, creative journey!

If you are visiting from our Creative Cluster, I’m so happy that you stopped to visit! 🙂 Be sure to introduce yourself in the comments. We’d love to ‘meet’ you! You will find my introduction on the About page of the blog!

What creative projects are you planning or enjoying this week?

Be well! Stay healthy!

Heartfelt hugs,

Dawn

 

 

 

Save

14 thoughts on “A New Creative Journey

  1. Dawn, I have great admiration for the way you are always searching, learning, and growing through life. You have an amazingly positive attitude. It shines through all your words. I’m happy for you and for all who’ve joined you on this endeavor. Enjoy the process. I’m looking forward to reading your updates. xo

    • Heartfelt thanks for all of your encouraging words, dear Alys! There is just so much to learn and explore. When I began my Renaissance (the ‘R’ word that I use for Retirement), I promised myself that I would learn something new every day, be creative, and continue to make a difference, just as I did throughout my teaching career. You are the very BEST example of these goals! I genuinely admire you, my friend!
      Julia Cameron encourages people to do The Artist’s Way course in groups. One time I started it on my own, but then decided to wait until I could find a creative community to join. So, this feels like such a blessing to me!💕The timing is also great because I have more time while my garden is sleeping beneath a very thick, blanket of white!
      Hope you and your family are well, Alys! Do you have any flowers blooming in your California garden? Sending warmest hugs, dear heart!💗

      • Funny you should ask…I just posted a passel of photos of my garden in bloom. We are spoiled living in the Bay Area. There is a lot of color with more to come very soon. I’m glad you have indoor loves as well as out, to help see you through your cold winters.

        xo

      • What fun to walk through your California garden, Alys! You have so many colorful blossoms in early March. I really enjoyed peeking into all of your garden beds. You have inspired me to add some old-fashioned Sweet Peas to my garden! I used to grow them in my early years as a gardener. It’s time to welcome them back to my garden again!
        Our deep snow has finally melted after many weeks! On my walks this week, I have been admiring Snowdrops in bloom. I am always in awe of these delicate plants that can withstand the weight of the heavy snow! They are the first signs of Spring here in Zone 5 gardens.
        Cultivate joy in your garden, dear heart! Be well!💗

      • I love snow drops, Dawn. I’m so happy to hear that you’ll bring back some sweet peas. They are such a nostalgic flower. So many people stop and comment each year. I dash out with scissors and send them off with a few blooms. That will be challenging this year but I’ll figure something out. Big hug!

      • Such charming, old-fashioned blossoms, Alys! I just love how you share your Sweet Peas with those who stop to admire them. Both your garden and the gardener are truly enchanting!Be well, sweet friend!💗

  2. Dawn, it sounds like it’s going to be a wonderful experience and journey! Looking forward to hearing more about it as you make your way along the path.

    • It’s very exciting to connect with other creative people as we share this journey, Ginnie! Thank so much for your encouraging words. When I told Susan Branch that I would be starting on this creative journey, she said that The Artist’s Way was very helpful to her early on. She also mentioned that it will be a great thing to focus my thoughts on for the next twelve weeks. So true! Hopefully, as more vaccines become available everywhere, things will improve for us all in the coming weeks!🙏🏼
      Take extra good care, Ginnie! Sending warm hugs on a snowy evening, sweet friend!💗

    • Oh, Gert! Thank you so much for your very kind words! Making time for this special, creative journey feels like a true ‘gift.’ I’m so excited to meet all of the talented artists. Throughout the past year, I have dearly missed creative gatherings!
      Take extra good care, Gert! Thank you for being here.
      Warmest hugs!💗

    • Many thanks, dear Anne! It will be a great way to ‘travel’ while staying safe at home!😊 I’m really looking forward to the discoveries that await as we work our way through The Artist’s Way as a community! I’m sure that you would also enjoy Julia Cameron’s book, Anne. Heartfelt thanks for always being one of my creative inspirations, dear friend!
      Please take extra good care. We think of you so often!💗

  3. I think we talked about this somewhere down the road a ways. 😉 As I packed to camp out in a motel (day 5 so far) My laptop for blogging and news, morning pages notebook, journal and embroidery bag were packed first. I forgot to take more than one change of clothes so we had to go back for a few more. Non essential in my book. 😉
    I did the group class of 12 weeks many years ago and still have my workbook. My book “It’s Never too Late to Begin Again” is still sitting on my nightstand. I have many of Julia’s books. I thought about facilitating a group but like the idea of an online Zoom class since I’m no longer driving. It would help me stay inspired. I’m so glad you are getting so much from that book. I’ll look into an online group. Thanks so much and stay warm.

    • Oh dear, Marlene! I just read your post about the terrible ice storm near Portland. My heart goes out to you and all those affected by the terrible destruction and loss of power. 🙏🏼🙏🏼 I’m so glad that you and your daughter are together, Marlene. I hope that you will be able to return to your home safely very soon. Stay strong, my friend!
      I completely understand packing the essentials ~ something to read, something to write, and something to create! 😊 I’m sure that your Morning Pages journal is filling up during this unsettled time.
      Marlene, we did talk about Julia Cameron’s books a few years ago. We have just completed our second weekly Creative Cluster gathering. It works so well via Zoom. Such a great way to meet fascinating, creative people from all across the country! When I hear that the next 12-week Creative Cluster is open for registration, I will let you know.
      We are a mix of first timers, people who have repeated The Artist’s Way several times, and a few who have facilitated The Artist’s Way clusters and now want to experience it as a participant. You would fit right in, Marlene!💕 I’m very impressed by facilitators! Truly well done!
      Please take extra good care of yourself during this very stressful time, Marlene. A bit of pampering is definitely in order! I will hold you, your daughter, and all of your neighbors in my heart. Stay safe!💗

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.