In the twelfth and final week of The Artist’s Way, author Julia Cameron reiterates the importance of using the two “tools” — the weekly recreational inner artist and soul-feeding Artist Date and the daily routine of meditational Morning Pages – as prescribed in the book. She also emphasizes the “inherently mysterious spiritual heart of creativity” and reminds us how “receptivity and profound trust” are critical to the creative artist.
At its root, and as indicated in the subtitle (The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity) this is indeed a book about our deepest beliefs. Although Cameron does not insist that we follow any specific spiritual path or organized religion, she does expect that faith will sustain us through our toughest doubts and most terrifying moments.
By the last chapter of the book, some of us may find this emphasis on faith entirely comforting, while others may find it an exasperating annoyance. Regardless of our most private beliefs, through this book we can reach deeper understanding, awareness, and yes, discover useful practical tools to help us on our individual creative journey.
We may discover strengths as well as weaknesses, we will certainly find some surprises along the way. And with a little thought and applied effort, we will identify and affirm new ways to enhance our creativity and improve our creative flow.
Above all, we will discover that we are not alone in our foibles, fears and failings; and we will be reminded that a little kindness and compassion for our inner artist goes a long ways toward bringing forth the joy of creating.
Since I first became aware of this creativity program as outlined in the book, I have met several people who have worked their way through the book more than once. Each time is, in essence, an exploration, a new journey into self discovery. Each reading excavates insights we missed — or have forgotten — since the previous reading. I think this happens because we grow and change over time, and because creativity is not a linear thing.
For me, creativity is an ever changing process, adapting and interweaving and doubling back on itself over and under and around and through. It is a spiraling path climbing a mountain measure by measure, a flowing river doubling back on itself and revisiting the panoramic views from every angle, allowing us to focus on brilliant sunrises and smoke-laden, wintry sunsets; on the far distant horizon and the ever lapping ocean waves; on the tiniest close-up detail of a darting dragonfly’s wing … and on the starriest spot in the night-time sky.
That’s how I see it today, maybe I will see something different tomorrow! How about you?
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