Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Artist's Way: Week One, Day Four

We’ve all heard of, and maybe even used, affirmations. (I know I have.)

And it’s always been interesting to me how false saying “I am a wonderful person!” feels, but how easily I believe “I am a horrible person.”

I don’t know why we have a harder time believing the positive about ourselves, and yet, believing the negative is like second nature.

Maybe it’s a natural man thing?

Or we think it’s prideful to be positive about ourselves?

That it lacks humility?

That it means we’re cocky jerks?

I don’t know.

Julia says “Affirmations help achieve a sense of safety and hope” (p. 34). And she has a list of 20 that can be incorporated when talking to ourselves (and we’re always talking to ourselves).

Some that really resonate with me, (I think because I resist them), are:

• I am a channel for God’s creativity, and my work comes to good.

• My creativity heals myself and others.

• I am allowed to nurture my artist.

• I am willing to create.

• I am willing to be of service through my creativity.

• I am willing to use my creative talents.

(pgs. 36-37)

Bathroom Inspiration. Does that sound gross?

In truth, I’ve been pondering all the affirmations she offered, and have even listed some of my own while writing my Morning Pages. And I’ve tried to come up with ways to remind me of them. (As you can see by the picture, I’ve written a little message to myself on the bathroom mirror. It says “I deserve a rewarding creative life!”)

I think we believe the negative because it stops us from trying, and thereby, gives us the illusion of safety (since we take no risks).

But, negativity is not safety, it’s destructive (and depressing). And nothing can flourish from that kind of place.

So, how do we combat this? What I did was take the list of core negatives from yesterday, and reframed each one as a positive.

For example:

I’m not talented enough = I am filled with talent!

It’s only worthwhile if I can make a living from it = It’s worthwhile because it gives me joy!

I only have one or two good ideas = Creative ideas always find me!

You get the point.

And then I just keep repeating them whenever a negative pops up (like last night, when I took out a paint brush, a canvas, and some gesso). The affirmations may not resonate with my mind (yet), but I know they do with my spirit.

So for now, that’s what I want to leave you with. Challenge your negative core beliefs and replace them with positive affirmations.

It makes a world of difference. In fact, it makes a different, more creative world!

Tomorrow: I’m going to discuss some of the exercises I’ve completed this week. Some were fun, some were upsetting.

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