Sacred Alone Time and My Pre-Artist Date

I’ve recently begun The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.   Many fellow songwriters have recommended this book to me in the past but it never felt like the right time.  With fresh autumn air now circling, and with sunny summer days winding down, I feel the time is ripe and I’m settling into it.

I’m only on Week (Chapter) 1 but I have to tell you, so far the book feels like a warm hug.  Julia Cameron is a gentle coach, coaxing me to look at my fears, my beliefs, my doubts – essentially anything that might be obstructing my path as an artist.  Every morning I’ve been stunned at the brutal and uncensored “blurts” that come up to tear apart my positive affirmations.  But transforming the blurts has been empowering.  Here’s an example:

My affirmation:

I am a talented songwriter and I deserve to make a fantastic living with my music.


Yeah right. You know you’ll never do it. You’re not that talented. And even if you were, no one pays for music anymore.

Blurt Transformed:

I am strong, talented and resourceful.  People love and respect my music and are happy to pay for it.  I have all I need within me to create a successful, fulfilling career and the universe is behind me all the way. 

Sometimes I feel like a fraud because the blurt seems more true than the positive affirmation.  But the more I repeat the good stuff the easier it gets to start to believe it.  Take that, Blurt!!

The Artist Date has also been interesting this week.  The challenge was to book off time to spend with your inner artist-child, the part of you that loves to play and create.  You’re not allowed to do anything serious or monotonous.   You’re only allowed to play, enjoy, have fun and play some more.

Well, I struggled and struggled trying to think of what I could do to just play.  Forget songwriting – my inner-critic has been centre stage too often recently while finalizing the songs on my upcoming album that I couldn’t even imagine writing a song without her popping up furiously.   Forget baking – didn’t feel like grocery shopping.  Wasn’t into finger painting.  No poems, no photography, no stick-men drawing.  No doodles, no bopping, no dancing, no rapping, no sculpting, no drumming.

Nothing was compelling me toward a creative, fun event.  I didn’t feel like going to a play, to hear live music, to a museum, to the movies or to stand up comedy.  I  shuddered realizing that I may have forgotten how to have creative fun.  What was going on?  I love the arts!  Someone please throw me a life jacket.

I decided to tell myself that it doesn’t matter if I’m creative – I just need to do something I enjoy and see what happens.  I’ve been so busy lately and craving sacred alone time.  That’s really the only thing I really wanted.  To just breathe and be.  Solo.  No internet. No phone.  No knock on the door.  Then the idea of playing The Transformation Game surfaced and I smiled.  There it was.  My Pre-Artist Date.

So I turned off the phone and started to play.  It’s an amazing game (seriously, check it out if you are at all intrigued) and although it’s not really a 1-person game, I played alone anyway.  During the game you can pick a focus to explore, and ultimately “transform”.  I picked “How Can I Help My Inner Artist-Child?”

During the game you explore your focus on every level of your being:  physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.  In a nutshell, I was told in a gentle, loving way that I need to be more compassionate with myself.   The warm hug resurfaced, but this time from me to me.

Perhaps creativity is always there but if we haven’t been taking care of ourselves, it’s not easily accessed.  Maybe we just need to feed the well, feed the core of our being, and then the creativity will naturally overflow.  We need to receive in order to give.  Nurturing ourselves, in whatever way we can, is a magical ingredient to allow the playful part of ourselves to emerge.

So now I’m going to go have a nap, listen to a guided meditation and hug the little inner-child within me that likes to be listened to and cared for.  And you never know, she may just feel like writing a poem later.

This entry was posted in Inspirational Thoughts, Music, The Album Is Coming!, The Artist's Way and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Sacred Alone Time and My Pre-Artist Date

  1. Yaaaay! I LOVE Julia Cameron, love, love, LOVE the Artist’s Way. I’ve done it five times over the course of my life: alone, in a pair, in a triad, in a group. It is transformative, to say the least. A friend just completed it and, as she shared what was going on for her during her 12 week journey, I thought, “Hmmmm, maybe it’s time to do this again from this new menopausal place in my life.” Your post is a confirmation. I ALSO love the Transformation Game, which I have not played for years and never solo. A friend gifted me to 3 days of solitude at a resort near Canmore next week (a perfect turning 50 gift). I’ll be taking both of those transformative treasures with me. Thanks for this post, Aynsley! Will you be checking in with your aha’s every week?

    • Aynsley Saxe says:

      Hi Maxine! Thank you so much for your message! It’s so nice to hear that my post was timely for you! That’s incredible that you’ve done the book 5 times before. Although I’ve just started, it seems like a book that will always meet you where you are and you can always keep unfolding the artistic layers in yourself and in your life. So cool that you’ve played The Transformation Game too. I’m going to try to check in every week (but not putting pressure on myself to do so – I’m saying goodbye to self-inflicted pressure haha). Have a VERY Happy Birthday next week and really enjoy your retreat!! P.S. I’m still being faithful to my ‘G’s, A’s and H’s ..I’m on Day 21 counting backwards. 😀

  2. Aynsley, Thanks for your honesty and inspiration; good work all round! I enjoyed reading Maxine’s response, too–just pulled out my copy of Vein Of Gold–haven’t revisited Julia’s books in years. What a trip!

    • Aynsley Saxe says:

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment Debra. Vein of Gold… Is that along the same lines as The Artist’s Way? I really like Julia Cameron’s writing style. I might have to check out that book too when I’m finished this adventure!

    • Vein of Gold is awesome, too! Did that one with a group of friends. My favorite was making the doll. Hmmmm. My next TWENTY-FOUR weeks might be sewn up with Julia-type stuff.

  3. Heather Hill says:

    Great blog!! I love the Artist’s Way – I think you could spend years doing it!! Glad you are doing it. Can’t wait for your launch!

  4. Kat Leonard says:

    Oh yaaaaa… Artist’s Way! I’ve done it twice! I do my morning pages as often as I can! My fave artist date is to hang out with myself downtown with no plans, just open to adventure… walking and shopping and reading/writing with coffee… Massage… Lunch dates… Soooo good! Vein of Gold is Julia Cameron’s follow-up to the Way. I’ve only read it, but I find just reading either one of them is great to reconnect too. “)

  5. Pingback: Traveling Towards Artistic Autonomy – The Artist’s Way 11 | Muse In The Valley ©

  6. Kim says:

    I struggle with my artist dates all the time. Amazingly most of them ended up being time alone doing little things like drawing tarot, or reading, or taking a walk by the water. Enjoy the journey!!

    • Aynsley Saxe says:

      Thanks for coming by & commenting Kim. I’m getting a bit better at recognizing the ‘flow’ of the artist date and not putting so much pressure on myself to try and do something fun. This week I found playful energy again (finally!) so I think I’m on the right track, at least for this week!

  7. Pingback: Hasta La Vista Resistance to the Artist Date (and my upcoming album) « Aynsley's Blog

  8. Pingback: The Artist’s Way Wrap Up, An Emotional Clearing Exercise & Chasing Tails | Aynsley's Blog

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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