An excerpt and quotes in Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way that I flipped to recently and spoke to me:
"Making a piece of art may feel a lot like telling a family secret. Secret telling, by its very nature, involves shame and fear. It asks the question, "What will they think of me once they know this?" This is a frightening question, particularly if we have ever been made to feel ashamed for our curiosities and explorations--social, sexual, spiritual.
. . . The act of making art exposes a society to itself. Art brings things to light. It illuminates us. It sheds light on our lingering darkness. It casts a beam into the heart of our own darkness and says, "See?"
When people do not what to see something, they get mad at the one who shows them. They kill the messenger. A child from an alcoholic home gets into trouble scholastically or sexually. The family is flagged as being troubled. The child is made to feel shame for bringing shame into the family. But did the child bring the shame? No. The child brought shameful things to light. The family shame predated and caused the child's distress. "What will the neighbors think?" is a shaming device aimed at continuing a conspiracy of illness.
Art opens the closets, airs the cellars and attics. It brings healing. But before a wound can heal it must be seen, and this act of exposing the wound to air and light, the artist's act, is often reacted to with shaming.
. . . If a child has ever been made to feel foolish for believing himself or herself talented, the act of actually finishing a piece of art will be fraught with internal shaming. [Cameron say many detach and say that making art "doesn't matter, anyhow" to them.]
. . . This is why artists may feel shame at admitting their dreams. Shame is retriggered in us as adults because our internal artist is always our creative child. Because of this, making a piece of art may cause us to feel shame." - page 67
"The essential element in nurturing our creativity lies in nurturing ourselves."
FREE ASSOCIATE EXERCISE:
1. My favorite childhood toy was
2. My favorite childhood game was
3. The best movie I ever saw as a kid
4. I don't do it as much but I enjoy
5. If I could lighten up a little, I'd let myself
6. If it weren't too late, I'd
7. My favorite musical instrument is
8. The amount of money I spend on treating myself to entertainment each month is
9. If I weren't so stingy with my artist, I'd buy him/her
10. Taking time out for myself is
11. I'm afraid that if I start dreaming
12. I secretly enjoy reading
13. If I'd had had a perfect childhood, I'd have grown up to be
14. If it didn't sound so crazy, I'd write or make a
15. My parents think artists are
16. My God thinks artists are
17. What makes me feel weird about this recovery is
18. Learning to trust myself is probably
19. My most cheer-me-up music is
20. My favorite way to dress is
"Make a list of friends who nurture you--that's nurture (give you a sense of your own competency and possibility), not enable (give you the message that you will never get it straight without their help). There is a big difference between being helped and being treated as though we are helpless."
"Not surprisingly, the most poisonous playmates for us as recovering creatives are people whose creativity is still blocked. Our recovery threatens them." [Analogy given is that bar-drinking buddies wouldn't encourage and applaud your sobriety either.]
"You will learn to enjoy the process of being a creative channel and to surrender your need to control the result."
"Creativity is. . . seeing something that doesn't exist already. You need to find out how you can bring it into being and that way be a playmate with God." - Michelle Shea