Editor’s Note: We’re so excited to welcome back Teresa Morrow, a past contributor to Successful Blog, to share her spiritual insights for business owners. She will be doing a monthly series to help business owners and entrepreneurs leverage the world of mind, body, and spirit books in order to boost overall health. (Welcome back Teresa! ~Rosemary)
By Teresa Morrow
As the first book in this monthly series, I want to share with you—
“The Artist’s Way,” by Julia Cameron
You may not think of yourself as an artist; however, if you are ambitious, curious, and creative like most entrepreneurs, this book will help you on your path in life and in business.
The line on the top of the book cover reads:
“A course in discovering and recovering your creative self.”
The subtitle is:
“A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity”
Then…the line on the back of the book reads:
“For writers, poets, actors, painters, musicians and creative people in all walks of life.”
I believe no matter what business you are involved in or starting, you and I could always use a bit more help with our creativity. Our creativity allows us to birth those great ideas, explore new opportunities and strive to be our best selves.
Here are a few things I loved from this book:
- First, author Julia Cameron shares two tools to bring out your creativity —the morning pages and the artist’s date.
The morning pages are three pages you write each morning. In these pages, there are no wrong words, sentences, paragraphs. Just writing. Just to keep up the creative flow of allowing your ideas, thoughts and feelings to be expressed outward. It’s an exercise in giving yourself permission to vent, share and give to your creative self.
The artist’s date is a set amount of time you set aside for you to be creative. This can be an hour, a half day or whole day where you immerse yourself in what you find creative—writing, singing, cooking, drawing, etc. And you make a solid commitment to setting this time aside for your creative self.
- Art is born in attention. This sentence is found on page 21 and was one of the many powerful statements Julia makes in her book. This statement rings in truth. Without the attention to your art (your business), it would cease to exist. You have to be paying constant attention to what you want from your business, where you wish it to grow, how you want to affect your customers, and the purpose of your art in the world.
- In week 7, the sense of connection, Julia Cameron talks about how art is sometimes thought of as “thinking something up” and she says is more the art of “get something down”. She states, “Art is not about thinking something up. It is about the opposite—getting something down.” The directions are important here:
If we are trying to think something up, we are straining to reach for something that’s just beyond our grasp, “up there, in the stratosphere, where art lives on high…”. “When we get something down, there is no strain. We’re not doing: we’re getting.”
WHOOHOO! The last line is profound to me because as a creative, I have felt like I was reaching many times and that’s when I was not able to write much. When the flow was natural, I could write for a long while because I was getting not reaching.
I also appreciated the quotes I found in the sidebars throughout the book. Here are a few I enjoyed-
- “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us” Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist” Rene-Francois-Ghislain Margritte
- “Learning is movement from moment to moment” J. Krishnamurti
The Artist’s Way is divided into twelve main chapters, and each chapter is one week of the “course.” Each chapter dives into a section of our being to bring out our more creative self within the parameters of professional and spiritual life.
Week 1: Recovering a Sense of Safety
Week 2: Recovering a Sense of Identity
Week 3: Recovering a Sense of Power
Week 4: Recovering a Sense of Integrity
Week 5: Recovering a Sense of Possibility
Week 6: Recovering a Sense of Abundance
Week 7: Recovering a Sense of Connection
Week 8: Recovering a Sense of Strength
Week 9: Recovering a Sense of Compassion
Week 10:Recovering a Sense of Self-Protection
Week 11: Recovering a Sense of Autonomy
Week 12: Recovering a Sense of Faith
To get your own copy of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, find it on Amazon (affiliate link).