Friday, January 21, 2011

A bit of sleuthing...

One of the activities this week in chapter three of The Artist's Way is to do a bit of free-association to help work on a sense of self.  Here it goes...

  1. My favorite childhood toy We had toys? I don't know...probably the ceramic horses that were my aunt's in her childhood.
  2. My favorite childhood game was...playing war in the forest with the boys.
  3. The best movie I ever saw as a kid was...The Court Jester. It's still the best. The Princess Bride was pretty good, too.
  4. I don't do it much but I enjoy...reading a whole book in a day.
  5. If I could lighten up a little, I'd let myself...this is hard because I'm not sure what it would be. I keep thinking "No! If you lighten up you'll be a long-skirt-and-tie-dye-wearing hippie!" But then I realize I could lighten up in other ways, like letting the house go for a day and just sitting and reading. That would be nice.
  6. If it weren't too late, I'd...get a master's degree in European history.
  7. My favorite musical instrument is...the violin. I love the piano, too.
  8. The amount of money I spend on treating myself to entertainment each month is...well, if you count our Netflix bill, we spend $9.99/month on entertainment. If art supplies are counted, then maybe an additional $20/month, but only a few months out of the year.
  9. If I weren't so stingy with my artist, I'd buy her...a piano, a Silhouette machine, and numerous frames and canvases.
  10. Taking time out for myself is...something I'm learning to do.
  11. I'm afraid that if I start dreaming...I won't do anything productive.
  12. I secretly enjoy reading...thriller/suspense novels.
  13. If I'd had a perfect childhood I'd have grown up to be...I'm not sure because this is so far from reality. Maybe a famous historian.
  14. If it didn't sound so crazy, I'd write or make a(n)...album.
  15. My parent(s) think artists are...poor.
  16. My God things artists are...colorful.
  17. What makes me feel weird about this recovery is...the amount of time that it takes: on the one hand I feel good about creating things, on the other hand I worry that I am just wasting time.
  18. Learning to trust myself is probably...going to take a while.
  19. My most cheer me up music is...depending on the day, Sam Cooke or something from the Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Armstrong era or Pink Martini.
  20. My favorite way to business casual
So I'll have to reflect on what this means for me and my sense of self.  Meanwhile, the section on growth hits home with its insight that creative recovery is a healing process and growth occurs in spurts. One of the suggestions is to learn how to be good to yourself. Do something nice to take care of yourself -- it doesn't have to be expensive, it can be simple, and then practice saying "yes" to the caring opportunities the universe provides.  I think that this is important especially when it comes to being ready to accept criticism for one's art.  Not all criticism is bad, but so many people have experienced shaming in life that sometimes criticism, even when it's well-intentioned, is hurtful.  I know that I tend to be extremely self-critical and then when I show something to someone else and hear remarks that aren't quite effusive praise, the little monsters inside of me jump up and start pouncing, making me want to run and hide.  It takes a while for me to sit back and calmly think about criticism and say "Oh, that makes sense, yes, that would help me improve such-and-such."  Then, of course, I am thankful for the feedback.  So hopefully with more reflection and understanding and growth I will get better at this whole process.

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