Recently I started reading and also doing Julia Cameron’s book called The Artist Way. The book kept showing up in my path so I figured I should listen to that message. From the start of the book, you have to commit to three pages of free flow writing daily which has taken me anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. On top of that, you also have to take yourself on an “Artist’s Date” which is another two-hour commitment per week. My initial enthusiasm quickly got replaced by a sense of dread as I had just added another thing to my ever-growing “to-do” list. I’m big on efficiency so I really started questioning if this was the best use of my time before getting started. I’m also extremely curious and curiosity won out. I was interested to see if a successful book like this with such amazing testimonials, would work on me or perhaps for me.
By the way, the testimonials I had been reading did not come from Julia Cameron. They came from Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris which is advice from successful people in all different fields. Several of them swear by the exercises Julia Cameron presents in The Artist’s Way.
LIFE IS ABOUT PERCEPTION
I strongly believe that life is about our own personal view on things otherwise known as perception. Here is a quick example: recently I was at the Korean Spa which helps me keep my sanity in this crazy city and a group of girlfriends were coming out of getting a scrub treatment. This is a treatment that I try to get every month and can personally say leaves you feeling like a brand new human. They were asking each other how they felt and the answer was similar to what I stated above. When the last one came out, she hugged her friend and said; “Thanks for making me come today.”
Other friend: “You had to make her come?”
My thought exactly!
Friend: “Yes she did. You know I don’t like to try new things and it sounded weird. But I feel so good. When are we coming back?” They all broke out in laughter. We all do this. We all create a perception of things and make a judgment about people and places we know absolutely nothing about. Then we take it one step further and make the decision that a particular person or event is not for us. When having the actual experience, how often are you proved wrong? Yet, we turn around and do it all over again having learned nothing.
YOUR INNER GENIUS
I decided to take on the same mantra and approach that I ask of my students in class. I would “watch my attitude.” What if I approached the morning pages and the Artist dates with excitement? With curiosity? I figured if by some miracle I had a little genius inside just waiting to explode, this would be worth the investment in time. I can tell you that if a genius does exist inside of me, the little fellow is taking its time! What I can attest to so far in this writing journey is that I feel lighter in both body and mind. I feel more clear and focused when I’m teaching. More rooted and observant rather than reactive.
To encourage you to step out of your comfort zone, pick up a pen and paper and just freestyle write anything and everything that comes to mind. I now think of this process as “throw up of the mind.” An emptying of the mind if I was to be more polite. Below is one page of my morning pages. Enjoy and don’t judge! Who’s ready to take this on for the whole 12 weeks?
Well, today didn’t go as planned at all. Just getting to class/West Hollywood Yogaworks was of course crazy. Bulldozer truck trying to go through Hollywood Hills. Fire trucks by Runyon Canyon. A guy that was just chillin’ in his car at a stop sign that was either unaware of the cars behind him or gave zero fucks. His friend than proceeded to get out of his car and I had the urge to go up to the driver side and choke him slowly and pause right when he couldn’t take it anymore and ask: “Were you unaware of the line of cars behind you or do you simply not care that some us perhaps have to work today?” If I was the hero of the story, I would pause and take a sip of my Cafe Cubano. I wish the Korean Spa, Din Tai Fung, and Adidas would sponsor me. Gotta stay fresh in my kicks! Sal and I took Anjali for a walk on this perfect sunny day. I told Sal that I have to take myself on an Artist Date this weekend as I must follow the rules of the book. A two-hour date it must be!
Sal: Can I come with you?
Me: No, not according to the book.
Sal: Than just pretend that I’m not there.
Me: You know I can’t do that. It will never work.
Sal: than f*ck your book!
All I could do was laugh because he said it ever so cute and he never uses a bad word. This book. This book! De done es little genius? De done es?