Friday, January 28, 2011

Week Four: Tasks

I like the tasks for this week.  One very beneficial aspect of going through The Artist's Way is that it provides more opportunity for reflection.

As part of my job, I help arrange "webinars" for teachers on particular topics that might be interesting or useful for professional development.  This week, we had a lovely speaker, Jan Black, who shared her business, which is helping people find their "core brilliance" and, in the case of teachers, develop their "brand of teaching."  The whole idea is that when people understand what truly motivates them, the thing that they are passionate about, and they work from that thing, they will feel more satisfied, suffer less burnout, be more fulfilled.  I do believe it's true!  And while yesterday was my third time listening to how the process of discovering one's core brilliance works, it was the first time that I felt struck by lightening: I think I've discovered, at least in part, my core brilliance: creating.  I kept thinking about all the things that I like to do and wondering what they could possibly have in common, but I think now I know. Everything I enjoy is about creating something, whether it's creating critical thinkers and good citizens, creating meals, creating quilts or art projects or organized space, it all has the same underlying theme.

The tasks for this week will, I believe, help me delve into deeper reflection regarding this core identity. Again, like last week I am not going to do absolutely all of the tasks, but I'll pick a few, list them here, and then we'll see what happens.
  1. Describe your ideal environment (urban, rural, swanky, cozy).  I think that I already started to do that in a blog post earlier this week.  To that post I would add that I enjoy being in rural places as long as I can get to "civilization" (i.e., Target, World Market, Barnes & Noble) in a short drive.  I'd much rather live on acres in the countryside, able to walk into a quiet and cozy little town and find a cute little coffee shop on the weekend, than be trapped in suburbia or an urban highrise.  I hate living in neighborhoods.  Just the idea -- even if each house is on a half-acre lot -- makes my skin crawl.  That is, perhaps, one of the reasons why I love our current house so much: I can walk Lotus through quiet neighborhoods but we always return to our home that sits by itself and looks out over the foothills.   There have been times that I've thought it would be nice to live in a city just because everything is so close, but that's really not me...maybe it's the Fake Me who has tons of money and owns a vacation loft.
  2. Create a "private space" in the house, an area to sit and dream and reflect...and write morning pages. Perhaps this is a project for my Saturday?
  3. Plan an Extended Artist's Date (one that would take a whole weekend day).  I know that Artist's Dates are supposed to be solo, but I would love for this extended date to involve Honey and Lotus.  Maybe we could get out, go for a drive, hike a bit, take pictures of nature, stop and eat at a cute little cafe.  That's what I want to do.
  4. Get rid of a "low esteem" outfit from the closet. (Good Will, you're welcome.)
  5. Describe yourself at 80. [This corresponds with another task that I am choosing not to do this week: describe myself at 8. I don't remember much of life before I turned 19 or 20 unless someone reminds me of something specific. I think it's best that way, because when I start to remember I think Oh, this is why I wanted to forget. So eight year-old me is just going to have to stay hidden.]  I think that I will have to take Lotus for a walk and think about my 80-year-old self.
See?  All good tasks -- and a bit fun, too. 

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