Friday, September 16, 2011

The Artist’s Way: Week Two, Day Five

Today, I’d like to talk about 3 of the 10 creative exercises I did this week.

These three have really been eye-opening in regards to how I spend my time, and thus, how I spend my life.

Like I mentioned yesterday, we often feel that life is repetitive and we stop noticing all the bits of magic that fill our days. The same can be said for how we spend our discretionary time. And a number of the exercises this week made me realize that I squander it watching other people live.

But, no more!

As I alluded in the last post, I found out in Exercise Three that I am not an interesting person and am not very interested in other things, like, say, anything in the world. How did I come to this conclusion? Simple. I had to make a list of 20 things I enjoy doing. ANY 20 things, big or small, and I got to 7 and then was stumped. Seven! That’s all I could come up with! How boring am I?

Now, I forced myself to think of 20 (as examples to my desperation for interests: thinking and studying –sad), but I was shocked that I couldn’t easily think of things I enjoy doing.

Can you think of 20? Well, if you can, the next step in the exercise is to place a date by each, indicating the last time you participated in the activity. This was also a sad experience for me, because for some I couldn’t remember any time I ever did them (no memory of my life, you recall) and others, like “thinking” I do every day, so I wrote “every day” by it. Not exactly earth shattering information.

All in all, I realized I need to get more things that I enjoy doing. If you have any suggestions, let me know!

(By the way, Exercise Four then has you pick two from the list and do them this week. You should try it! I’m “thinking” right now!)

Please ignore my penmanship. And, yes, I practice juggling!
The other exercise that was instructive to my lopsided existence was number seven. In it, (as you can see by the picture), you draw a Life Pie, with the sections: Spirituality, Exercise, Play, Work, Friends, and Romance. You then place dots in the sections to indicate where you think you are. Towards the center is none, and towards the rim is tons. And then you connect the dots.

You see where I stand.

In no section did I feel like I was great, but one in particular (hint: Romance) was almost non-existent. (I gave myself some credit because I watched Persuasion last weekend.)

Julia comforts us by saying “it is not uncommon for your life pie to look like a tarantula. As recovery progresses, your tarantula may become a mandala” (p. 57).

So, that’s my goal for this process. I want my life pie to become a mandala!

And I want that for you too!

Lastly, I want to touch upon Exercise Ten. Here you list Ten Tiny Changes you’d like to make. For example, here are two of mine: I would like to do more things with my friends. I would like to clean out my car trunk.

Then Exercise Nine is to make one of the ten a goal for the week, and Exercise Ten is to do that item!

(And in case you’re wondering, for my goal, I chose a tiny change I didn’t mention so as to maintain an air of mystery for you readers…)

Hopefully you can see from these examples how powerful these exercises can be. I’m quite surprised, actually, on how much I’m learning about myself and what I really value, not what I say I value.

Our time is our life.

And The Artist’s Way is helping me shift how I spend my time to more productive and enriching activities.

UP NEXT: Week Two Wrap Up, my Artist’s Date, and an exciting announcement! (Well, sort of.)

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Here's my list of 20
1. Quilt
2. Read
3. Do genealogy
4. Go to museums
5. Go hiking
6. Listen to music
7. Visit with friends
8. Sit in a hot tub
9. Go shopping
10. Go to symphony or other concert
11. Go to fairs
12. Go to gardens
13. Dance
14. Do puzzles
15. Try new recipes
16. Plan gardens
17. Read magazines
18. Get massages
19. Make lists
20. Watch tv

I listened to a talk by E. Callister this week about including worthwhile things in your life. It has really got me thinking. I don't think that reality tv has any real value, but why, oh, why can't I stop myself?