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06 Jul 2021 -


Pouring into a data stream of refined creativity.

link: books and resources from these notes

The Artists Way Week 4: Integrity

Julia Cameron

Through magic pages we sort our real feelings from official feelings, those on the record for public display.

Many tend to neglect or abandon the pages whenever an unpleasant piece of clarity is about to emerge.
Extreme emotions of any kind--the very thing that morning pages are superb for processing--are the usual triggers for avoiding the pages themselves.

Chekhov advised, "If you want to work on your art, work on our life." That's another way of saying that in order to have self-expression, we must first have a self to express.

Morning pages, "I myself, feel this way, no one else need agree with me, but this is what I feel"
Clarify perceptions..lose misconceptions, eliminate ambiguity..lose illusion, arrive at clarity..clarity creates change

Faced with impending change, change we have set in motion through our own hand, we want to mutiny, curl up in a ball, bawl our eyes out.

Thanks to morning pages, We learn what we [really] want and ultimately become willing to make the changes needed to get it. But not without a tantrum.
And not without a kriya, a Sanskrit word meaning a spiritual emergency or surrender.

The [morning] pages round up the usual suspects. They mention the small hurts we prefer to ignore, the large successes we've failed to acknowledge. In short, the morning pages point the way to reality: this is how you're feeling; what do you make of that?

And what me make of that is often art.

People frequently believe the creative life is grounded in fantasy. The more difficult truth is that creativity is grounded in reality, in the particular the focused, the well observed or specifically imagined.

Until we experience the freedom of solitude, we cannot connect authentically. We may be enmeshed, but we are not encountered.

Art lies in the moment of encounter: we meet our truth and we meet ourselves, we meet ourselves and we meet our self-expression. We become original because we become something specific: an origin from which work flows.

As we regain creative identity, we lose false self.. the loss of this false self can feel traumatic: "I don't know who I am anymore. I don't recognize me."

One of the clearest signals that something healthy is afoot is the impulse to weed out, sort through, and discard old clothes, papers, and belongings.. by tossing out the old..we make way for the new..
When the search-and-discard impulse seizes you, two crosscurrents are at work> the old you is leaving and grieving, while the new you celebrates and grows strong.. rupture..there is both tension and relief. Long-seated depression breaks up like an ice floe. Long-frozen feelings thaw, melt, cascade, flood, and often overrun the container (you). You may find yourself feeliong volatile and changeable. You are.
Be prepared for bursts of tears and laughter. A certain giddiness may accompany sudden stabs of loss.

temporarily without a vehicle..

once we engage in the process of magic pages and artist dates, we begin to move at such a velocity that we do not even realize the pace.

When we have engaged the creator within to heal us, many changes and shifts in our attitudes begin to occur..may seem crazy and destructive..eccentric..
there will be a change in energy patterns
stronger dreams
fantasy of a benign and unexpected sort
areas of life that previously seemed to fit will stop fitting
wardrobe may look funny
musical bents may alter
bursts of spontaneous singing, running, dancing, running
unsettling candor, "I don't like that", "I think that's great"
may discover very particular likes and dislikes you hadn't acknowledged

Conditioned as we are to accept other people's definitions of us, Emerging individuality can seem to us like self-will run riot. It is not.

The snowflake pattern of your soul is emerging..we blur uniqueness with sugar,alcoghol, drugs, overwork, underplay, bad relations, toxic sex, underexercise, over-TV, undersleep..

If you look over the time since starting morning writing, you will see that many changes have encountered your life as a result of your willingness to clear room in it for your creator's action..
increased, sometimes disconcerting, sense of personal energy, some bursts of anger, some flash points of clarity. People and objects may have taken on a different meaning to you..sense of flow of life..brought into new vistas as you surrender to moving with the flow of god..
sense of both bafflement and faith..You are no longer stuck, but you cannot tell where you are going.. may feel that this can't keep up..may long for the time when there was no sense of possibility, when you felt more victimized, when you didn't realize how many small things you could do to improve your own life.

It is normal to yearn for some rest when you are moving so rapidly. What you will learn to do is to rest in motion .. like lying down in a boat, the morning pages are your boat.

Difficult for us to realize that this process..of writing.. can open an inner door through which our creator helps and guides us.
Our willingness swings this inner door open. The morning pages symbolize our willingness to speak to and hear God. They lead us into many other changes that also come from God and lead us to God. This is the hand of God moving through your hand as you write. It is very powerful.

Buried Dreams Exercise:

Spontaneously quickly write these without thinking.

List 5 hobbies that sound fun
List 5 classes that sound fun
List 5 things you would personally never do that sound fun
List 5 skills that would be fun to have.
List 5 things you used to enjoy doing.
List 5 silly things you would like to try once.

Reading Deprivation Exercise:

"No reading for one week. Without distractions, we are once again thrust into the sensory world.
Casts us into our inner silence. We often cannot hear our own inner voice, the voice of our artist's
inspiration, above the static. Other pollutants poison the well. If we monitor the inflow and keep it to a minimum,
we are rewarded with a new outflow. Our own art, our own thoughts and feelings, will begin to nudge aside the
sludge of blockage until our well is running freely.
For most of us the thought of reading deprivation brings up enormous rage, for most blocked creatives, reading is
an addiction.
End Artists Way Week 4

Artists Way

Creativity lives in paradox: serious art is born from serious play.

The Artists Way Week 3: Power

Julia Cameron

Anger is fuel. We feel it and want to do something..
But we..nice people..deny it, bury it, block it, hide it, lie about it, medicate ti, muffle it, ignore everything but listen to it.
Anger is a map
Points the way, not just the finger, in the recovery of a blocked artist, anger is a sign of health.
Anger is meant to be acted upon..not acted out.
Anger tells us we can't get away with our old life any longer..
tells us old life is dying..
tells us we are being reborn..
and birthing hurts..
[and] hurt makes us angry..
Anger is the firestorm that signals the death of our old life..
Anger is the fuel that propels us to the new one..
Anger is use-full.

Sloth, apathy, and despair are the enemy. Anger is not.
Anger is loyal friend.
Always tells us when we have been betrayed..
betrayed ourselves..
that it is time to act in our own best interests.
Anger is not the action itself. It is action's invitation.


Answered prayers are scary. They imply responsibility..
'Watch what you pray for, you might get it'

If no God..we can feel quite justified in declaring certain things impossible, other things unfair.
If God or lack or God is responsible for the state of the world, we can easily wax cynical and resign ourselves to apathy..What's the use..Why try changing anything..

If there is a responsive creative force that does hear us and act on our behalf, then we may really be able to do some things..
Possibility is far more frightening than possibility..
if we do have to deal with a force beyond ourselves that involves itself in our lives, then we may have to move into action on those previously impossible dreams. "Ask and you shall receive. Knock and it shall be opened to you..." Suggest the possibility of scientific method, ask [experiment] and see what happens [record the result]..

"A Discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind." - Albert Szent-Gyorgi

..the hand of God, or good, activated by our own hand when we act in behalf of our truest dreams, when we commit to our own soul.

C.G. Jung dubbed Synchronicity, loosely defined it as a fortuitous intermeshing of events.
Don't be surprised if you try to discount it. It can be a very threatening concept.
Although Jung's paper on synchronicity was a cornerstone of his thought..[perhaps I should read that paper]

If you ask an artist how he got where he is, he will not describe breaking in [to the field] but instead will talk of a series of lucky breaks.
"A thousand unseen helping hands" Joseph Campbell calls them.

We like to pretend it is hard to follow our heart's dreams.
The truth is, it is difficult to avoid walking through the many doors that will open.
Turn aside your dream and it will come back to you again.
Get willing to follow it again and a second mysterious door will swing open.

We say we are scared of failure, but what frightens us more is the possibility of success.

Take a small step in the direction of a dream and watch the synchronous doors will appear.

Remember the axim "Leap, and the net will appear."

The Scottish Himalayan Expedition

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative [or creation] there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:
that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would otherwise never have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one's favor all manner of incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have believed
would have come his way.

"Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace, and power in it."- Geothe


[I am most def thinking], "If it were that easy to take an action, I wouldn't be reading this book".
[Those who get hit by] fear before action are usually being sabotaged by an older enemy, shame.
Shame is a controlling device..Attempt to prevent the person from behaving in a way that embarrasses us..
Making art feels like telling a family secret..secret telling involves shame and fear.."What will they think of me once they know this?"..
frightening, particularly if we have been made to feel ashamed for our curiosities and explorations--social, sexual, spiritual

"how dare you go into some dark place where we hide those things we don't want you to know?"

The act of making art exposes a society to itself. Art brings things to light. It illuminates us. It sheds light on our lingering darkness. It casts a beam into the heart of our darkness and says, "See?"

child made to feel shame for bringing shame to family..but did the child bring shame? No..the child brought shameful things to light.

Art opens the closets, airs out the cellars and attics, brings healing. But before a wound can heal it must be seen, and this act of exposing the wound to air and light, the artist's act, is often reacted to with shaming.

If a child has ever been made to feel foolish for believing himself or herself talented, the act of actually finishing a piece of art will be fraught with internal shaming.

Many artists begin a piece..near seems mysteriously drained of longer worth the trouble
To therapists.. sudden disinterest "it doesn't matter" is a routine coping device employed to deny pain and ward off vulnerability..
adults who grew up in dysfunctional homes use it well, call it detachment, actually a numbing out "He forgot my birthday, oh well, no big deal"
A lifetime in which needs for recognition are routinely dishonored teaches that putting anything out for attention is a dangerous act.

Often we are wrongly shamed as creatives..We learn that we are wrong to create.
Once we learn this lesson, we forget it instantly..buried under "It doesn't matter"..shame lives on waiting to attach to our new efforts..
The very act of attempting to make art creates shame

Criticism that asks a question like "how could you" can make an artist feel like a shamed child. Well meaning friend who constructively criticizes a beginning writer may very well end that writer. Shame is retriggered in us as adults because our internal artist is always our creative child.. Because of this, making a piece of art may cause us to feel shame.

Criticism that damages: that which disparages, dismisses, ridicules, condemns, frequently vicious, vague, difficult to refute.
Shamed..artist may become blocked or stop sending out work to world

A perfectionist..can dampen the ardor of young artist just learning to let it we must learn to be very self-protective

[we should be] learning where and and when to seek out right criticism..
timing is important..
First draft seldom shown to anyone but gentle and discerning eye.
Inexperienced or harsh eye instead of nurturing may shoot it down.

We can learn to comfort our artist child over unfair criticism..
find friends to safely vent our pain
learn not to deny and stuff our feelings when we have been artistically savaged.

artists must create our own safe environments..protect our artist child from defusing childhood shamings, getting them on the page sharing them with trusted, nonshaming other.

By telling our shame secrets around our art and telling them through our art, we release ourselves and others from darkness. This release is not always welcomed.

We must learn that when our art reveals a secret of the soul, those watching may try to shame us for making it.
they may attack the work when the work itself is fine..this can be confusing..

" When we are told, "Shame on you", and feel it, we must learn to recognize this shame as a re-creation of childhood shames.
"I know that work is good...I thought that was good work...Could I be kidding myself?...Maybe that critic was right...".. downward spiral begins.

At these times, we must not pick up the first doubt, the first negative thinking....[replace thoughts with the action of affirmations].

Because the antidote for shame is self-love and self praise, this is what I did..I did not tell myself, "It doesn't matter.", But I did tell my artist self, "You will heal."
..I share the headline [of my film] because the irony of it was not lost on me. 'God's Will Hit in Munich', it read. It is 'God's will' for us to be creative.

"The words that enlighten the soul are more precious than jewels." - Hazrat Inayat Khan

Artistic child abuse creates rebellion creates block. All that can be done with abusive criticism is to heal from it.

Rules to Criticism

1. Receive the criticism all the way through and get it over with.
2. Jot down notes to yourself on what concepts or phrases bother you.
3. Jot down notes on what concepts or phrases seem useful.
4. Do something very nurturing for yourself on what concepts or phrases bother you.
5. Remember that even if you have made a truly rotten piece of art, it may be a necessary stepping-stone to your next work. Art matures spasmodically and requires ugly-duckling growth stages.
6. Look at the criticism again. Does it remind you of any criticism from your past--particularly shaming childhood criticism? Acknowledge to yourself that the current criticism is triggering grief over a long-standing wound.
7. Write a letter to the critic--not to be mailed, most probably. Defend your work and acknowledge what was helpful, if anything, in the criticism proffered.
8. Get back on the horse. Make an immediate commitment to do something creative.
9. Do it. Creativity is the only cure for criticism.

"Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything." - Eugene Delacoix

Many blocked people are actually very powerful and creative personalities who have been made to feel guilty about their own strengths and gifts. Without being acknowledged, they are often used as batteries by their families and friends, who feel free to both use their creative energies and disparage them.. when strive to break free of their dysfunctional systems..urged to be sensible when such advice is not appropriate for them..made to feel guilty for their talents, hide under their own light under a bushel for fear of hurting others. Instead, they only hurt themselves.

Restoring Abandoned Persons Exercise

you may feel strong emotion as you retrieve memories and misplaced fragments of yourself. Allow yourself to free-associate for a sentence or so with each phrase.

1. My favorite childhood toy was...
2. My favorite childhood game was...
3. The best movie I ever saw as a kid was...
4. I don't do it much but I enjoy...
5. If I could lighten up a little, I'd let myself...
6. If it weren't too late, I'd...
7. My favorite musical instrument is...
8. The amount of money I spend on treating myself for entertainment each month is...
9. If I weren't so stingy with my artist, I'd buy him her...
10. Taking time out for myself is...
11. I am afraid that if I start dreaming
12. I secretly enjoy reading...
13. If I had a perfect childhood I'd have grown up to be...
14. If it didn't sound so crazy, I'd write or make a...
15. My parents think artists are...
16. My God thinks artists are...
17. What makes me feel weird about this recovery is...
18. Learning to trust myself is probably...
19. My most cheer-me-up music is...
20. My favorite way to dress is...


Growth is erratic forward movement: two steps forward, one step back.
be very gentle with self..healing process..capable on Tues..slide backwards Weds..normal..growth in spirits.. You will lie dormant sometimes..Do not be discouraged.. Think of it as resting .

Frequentlyweek of insights followed by week of sluggishness..morning pages will seem pointless..they are not...

"God helps those who help themselves" now comes to signify the amazing number of small free gifts the creator showers on those who are helping themselves to a little bounty.
If you do one nice thing a day for yourself, God will do two more.
Experiment with solitude...[often]..take a beat..ask yourself how you are feeling..listen to your answer..Respond kindly..if doing something hard, promise yourself a break and treat afterward.
We believe to be artists we must be tough, cynical, intellectually chilly. Leave that to the critics. As a creative being, you will be more productive when coaxed than when bullied.

END of Week 3 Notes

words have power to make things so.
code has power to make things so.
spells have power to make things so.

when we write code for ourselves and our friends, code that this is written with care, with intention and with intimacy, this literally the stuff of magic

— ⟴ ↭ ⥉ ⬼ ↯ ↬ (@melanieh0ff) January 10, 2020


Like the potter,
spinning time.
Like the weaver,
weaving lines.
Like the writer,
take time.
In this moment,
what will you find?

Kahn - You Are Not A Concept

You are not a concept, you are a perspective, and that changes when how you relate to the one you're perceiving changes.
And you change how you relate to the one you're perceiving-
by just stopping-
any which way-
you are trying to change them.
Even when insisting you're changing them for the better.
Just stop.
Stop. Forget the one you're trying to change.
And simply taste-
the changeless serenity-
of your own eternal nature.

If your mind is noisy, let it be.
If your heart is congested with emotional turmoil. let it be.
If your ego or the unprocessed pain and fear within you is scrambling
for something to do, remember, or control,
let it be.

"It's nice to think of artists as hackers who endeavour to get inside cultural systems and make them do things they were never intended to do: artists as culture hackers."


'Tis so much joy! 'Tis so much joy! If I should fail, what poverty! And yet, as poor as I, Have ventured all upon a throw! Have gained! Yes! Hesitated so -- This side the Victory! Life is but Life! And Death, but Death! Bliss, but Bliss, and Breath but Breath! And if indeed I fail, At least, to know the worst, is sweet! Defeat means nothing but Defeat, No drearier, can befall! And if I gain! Oh Gun at Sea! Oh Bells, that in the Steeples be! At first, repeat it slow! For Heaven is a different thing, Conjectured, and waked sudden in - And might extinguish me!

Artists Way Week 2

Julia Cameron

"To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive." - Robert Louis Stevenson

"Every time you don't follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness."

Trusting our creativity is new behavior for many of us..We may feel and look erratic..Going sane feels just like going crazy.

Common self attacks: ..I probably did [morning pages wrong]..need to plan something big do it right away
I'll never recover, not right away, not ever

We can neutralize [self-doubt think] once we recognize them as a creative virus.
Affirmations antidote for self-hate, appears as self-doubt.
Common form of self-sabotage is showing someone else morning pages.

Your artist, like a small child, is happiest when feeling a sense of security..
we must act as parent to place our artist with safe companions..
most poisonous for recovering creatives are people whose creativity is blocked
Our recovery threatens them

When blocked, arrogance and self-will to speak of ourselves as creative artists.
Truth is it was self-will to refuse to acknowledge our creativity.
We could wonder amd worry about arrogance instead of being humble enough to ask help to move through our fear.
We could fantasize about art instead of doing the work.
By not asking for Creator's help with our creativity, not seeing his hand in it, we could righteously ignore our creativity and never have to take the risks of fulfilling it.
Blocked friends maybe still indulging in these comforting self-delusions.
Perhaps high from martyrdom of being blocked or collect sympathy and wallow in self pity..
think how much more creative they could be then those out there doing it.
These are now toxic behaviors for you.

Blocked friends may find your recovery disturbing.
Unsettling possibility that they too could become unblocked..
Be alert to subtle sabotage from friends. .. you cannot afford their well-meaning doubt right now.
Their doubts will reactivate your own.
Be particularly alert to any suggestion that you have become selfish or different.
(red-alert words, leverage back into old ways for someone else's comfort, not your own)

Blocked creatives..easily manipulated by guilt..feeling abandoned by our departure of being blocked.. unconsciously guilt-trip us into giving up new healthy habits..important to understand that time for morning pages is between you and God.
You will be led to new sources of support as you support yourself..

Be very careful to safeguard your newly recovering artist..
we feel we should do something else instead..our responsibilities to others..
believe such behavior makes us good people. It doesn't. It makes us frustrated people.

The essential element in nurturing our creativity lies in nurturing ourselves.
Through self-nurturance we nurture our inner connection to the Great Creator.

Repeat: the Great Creator has gifted us with creativity. Our gift back is our use of it. Do not let friends squander your time. Be gentle but firm.

Be an example through your own recovery.

Do not let their fears and second throughts derail you.

Soon techniques learned will enable to teach others..soon
you will be a bridge that will allow others to cross over from self-doubt into self-expression.

Protect your artist by refusing to show morning pages to interested bystanders or share artist date with friends.

Draw a sacred circle around your recovery.
Give yourself the gift of faith.
Trust that you are on the right track.
You are.

You will learn that it is actually easier to write and not write..and so forth.
You will learn that it is easier to enjoy the process of being a creative channel and to surrender your need to control the result.
You will discover the joy of practicing your creativity.
The process, not the product, will become your focus.
Your own healing is the greatest message of hope to others.

avoid.. Crazymakers are personalities that create storm centers, charismatic, frequently charming, highly inventive, powerfully drama..the star..feeding on life energies of those around.. Crazymaking King..The crazymaking dynamic is grounded in power, and so any group of people can function as an energy system to be exploited and drained..

(Note that I disagree with the author that the immature personality it describes is a constant and does not grow out of this infancy)
[Negative] Crazymakers break deals and expect special your reality.. spend your time and money..triangulate those they deal blamers..create dramas..hate schedules..hate order..deny that they are crazymakers.
We fear if we let ourselves be creative, we will become crazymakers ourselves and abuse those around us.

The secret doubt..deeply held skepticism..[if we do not] air them, they can sabotage us. Instead of stuffing feelings, we need to explore them instead.

The reason we think it's weird to imagine an unseen helping hand is that we still doubt that it's okay for us to be creative.

Worth noting in a creative recovery is our reluctance to take seriously the possibility that the universe just might be cooperating with our new and expanded plans.
We've gotten brave enough to try recovery, but we don't want the universe to really pay attention.
We still feel too much like frauds to handle some success.

Any little bit of experimenting in self-nurturance is very frightening for most of us.
When our little experiment provokes the universe to open doors, we shy away, "Hey! You! Whatever you are! Not so fast!"
[I imagine]..a door, outside..dazzling ideas that we consider too far-out for us, and so we keep them there.

We need new approach, set aside skepticism, when weird idea or coincidence happens, nudge door a little further open.

In creative recovery it is not necessary that we cahnge any of our beliefs. It is necessary that we examine them.

Creative recovery is an exercise in open-mindedness..begin this week to consciously practice opening your mind.

Pain taught me pay attention..

   In times of pain,
   when the future is too terrifying to contemplate
   and the past is too painful to remember,
   I have learned to pay attention to right now.
   The precise moment I was in was always the only safe place for me.
   Each moment, taken alone, was always bearable.
   In the exact now, we are all, always, all right.
   Yesterday the marriage may have ended.
   Tomorrow the cat may die.
   The phone call from the lover, for all of my waiting may not ever come,
   but just at the moment, just now, that's all right.
   I am breathing in and out.
   Realizing this, I began to notice that each moment was not without its beauty.
The poet William Meredith has observed that the worst that can be said of a man is that "he did not pay attention."

Rules of the Road

   In order to be an artist, I must:

   1. Show up at the page. Use the page to rest, to dream, to try.
   2. Fill the well by caring for my artist.
   3. Set small and gentle goals and meet them.
   4. Pray for guidance, courage, and humility.
   5. Remember it is far harder and more painful to be a blocked artist than it is to do the work.
   6. Be alert, always, for the presence of the Great Creator leading and helping my artist.
   7. Choose companions who encourage me to do the work, not just talk about doing the work or why I am not doing the work.
   8. Remember that the Great Creator loves creativity.
   9. Remember that it is my job to do the work, not judge the work.
   10. Place this sign in my workplace: Great Creator, I will take care of the quantity.
   You take care of the quality.
end artists way week 2

Master Letters

God made me - [Sir] Master - I did'nt be - myself. I dont know how it was done. He built the heart in me - Bye and bye it outgrew me - and like the little mother - with the big child - I got tired holding him. I heard of a thing called "Redemption" - which rested men and women. You remember I asked you for it - you gave me something else. I forgot the Redemption [in the Redeemed - I did'nt tell you for a long time, but I knew you had altered me - I] and was tired - no more - [so dear did this stranger become that were it, or my breath - the Alternative - I had tossed the fellow away with a smile.]


"Have you got a Brook in your little heart,
Where bashful flowers blow,
And blushing birds go down to drink,
And shadows tremble so -
And nobody knows, so still it flows,
That any brook is there,
Any yet your laittle daught of life
Is daily drunken there -

Why, look out for the little brook in March,
When the rivers overflow,
And the snows come hurrying from the hills,
And the bridges often go -

And later, in August it may be -
When the meadows parching lie,
Beware, lest this little brook of life,
Some burning moon go dry!"


 The wizard fingers never rest..


The Artists Way Week I

Shadow artists often choose shadow careers--those close to the desired art, even parallel to it, but not the art itself.

Shadow artists jude themselves harshly..[for]..not acting on their dreams..this cruelty reinforces [this] takes nurturing to make an artist..
Shadow artists did not receive sufficient nurturing..still blame themselves for not acting fearlessly anyhow.

Many unable to make their way through the cultural maze..

..afraid to take themselves seriously..must nurture their artist child..Creativity is play..for shadow artists..learning to allow themselves to play is hard work.

Typically, The recovering shadow artist will use these early efforts to discourage continued exploration.
Judging your early artistic efforts is artist abuse.

abuse..measuring art against masterworks of other artists..exposes art to premature criticism..overly critical friends..behaves with art form of mastered masochism to attack with self-hate to beat himself back into the shadows.

necessary to go gently and slowly..healing old wounds..not creating new ones..mistakes are necessary..stumbles are normal.. progress, not perfection.. marathon training..ten slow miles for every one fast mile..embarassing process..won't look good to ourselves or others..stop demanding we do(look good)..

It is impossible to get better and look good at the same time. recover as an must be willing to be a bad artist..give permission to be a beginner.. [if you are] willing to be a bad have a chance to - be - an artist.

Core Negative Beliefs:

When we are blocked [often] we feel safer that way. If I am fully creative what will it mean? What will happen..what could happen..rather than find out..we stay blocked..rarely a conscious decision.

I can't be a prolific, creative artist because:
Everyone will hate me
Will hurt friends + family
Will go crazy
Abandon friends + family
Can't spell
Not good enough ideas
Upset mom + dad
Will be alone
Will find out I'm gay
Will be struck straight
Will do bad work without knowing it look like a fool
Will feel too angry
Will never have real money
Will get self destructive
Will get sick
Will be abandoned by lover
Will die
Will feel bad from undeserving to be successful
Will only have one good piece of work in me
It's too late, haven't become artist yet, never will.

None of these need to be true. Confronting them. These are beliefs, not facts.
You are not dumb, crazy, egomaniacal, grandiose, silly because you falsely believe yourself to be.

Beliefs + Alternatives

artists are
drunk - sober
crazy - sane
broke - solvent
irresponsible - responsible
loners - user-friendly
promiscuous - faithful
doomed - saved
unhappy - happy
born, not made - discovered and recovered

Multiple negative beliefs reveal a central negative belief:
We must trade one good, beloved dream for another.

If being an artist seems too good to be true, I will devise a price tag that strikes me as unpayable.. and remain blocked.

Most blocked creatives carry unacknowledged either/or reasoning that stands between them and their work.

block doesn't want you to see [you can have both, happy + success / finance + artist / etc.], it's plan of attack, make you irrationally afraid of dire outcome you are too embarrased to mention, because it is a silly fear, you don't air it and a block stays intact.

This week we will excavate your unconscious beliefs by using some logic-brain / artist-brain learning tricks. These may strike you as hokey and unproductive, that is resistance . What follows is very effective weaponry.


Censors loath what sounds like self worth.

I, [name], am a brilliant and prolific [creator].
write this ten times.

While doing that, your Censor will start to object. Objections are your blurts..Listen to the objections. Look at the ugly, stumpy little blurts.. Write them down.
These blurts flag your personal negative core beliefs.

Paul's core negative belief was that he was only kiddin that he could write.
Whenever people complimented him on his work, he was deeply suspicious of them and their motives.
He had all but dropped friends once they had expressed interest in his talents; he had certainly stopped trusting them.

Turn now to your own list of blurts..each of them must be dissolved. Convert the blurt to an affirmation. Use your affirmations after your morning pages.

Creative Affirmations List:

1. I am a channel for God's creativity, and my work comes to good.
2. My dreams come from God and God has the power to accomplish them.
3. As I create and listen, I will be led.
4. Creativity is the creator's will for me.
5. My creativity heals myself and others.
6. I am allowed to nurture my artist.
7. Through the use of a few simple tools, my creativity will flourish.
8. Through the use of my creativity, I serve God.
9. My creativity always leads me to truth and love.
10. My creativity leads me to forgiveness and self-forgiveness.
11. There is a divine plan of goodness for me.
12. There is a a divine plan of goodness for my work.
13. As I listen to the creator within, I am led.
14. As I listen to my creativity I am led to my creator.
15. I am willing to create.
16. I am willing to let myself create.
17. I am willing to let God create through me.
18. I am willing to be of service through my creativity.
19. I am willing to experience my creative energy.
20. I am willing to use my creative talents.

1. Write Affirmation Statement such as I, [name], am a brilliant and prolific [creator].
2. Write down the objections you hear.
3. Turn those objections into a list of core negative beliefs.
4. Create a counter list to the objections with new affirmations.

Big Magic I

You do not need a permission slip from the principal's office to live a creative life.
Or if you do worry that you need a permission slip---
THERE, I just gave it to you.
I just wrote it on the back of an old shopping list.
Consider yourself fully accredited.
Now go make something.

Paradox, It matters./It doesn't matter.
Build space in your head for this paradox

"My creative expression must be the most important thing in the world to me (if I am to live artistically), and it also must not matter to me at all (if I am to live sanely)"

'It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to'

What a wonderful life I've had. I only wish I'd realized it sooner.


Will there really be a "Morning"?
Is there such a thing as "Day"?
Could I see it from the mountains
If I were as tall as they?

Has it feet like Water lilies?
Has it feathers like a Bird?
Is it brought from famous countries
Of which I have never heard?

Oh some Scholar! Oh some Sailor!
Oh some Wise Man from the skies!
Where to tell a little Pilgrim
Where the place called "Morning" lies!


A darting fear - a pomp - a tear -
A waking on a morn
To find that what one waked for
Inhales the different dawn.

Happiness Project I

That's me, I thought, there I am. I have.. a cell phone.. alarm clock.. apartment.. neighborhood.. This is my life..
I was suffering from a midlife malaise--a recurrent sense of discontent and almost feeling of disbelief. "Can this be me?" I'd wonder.
"Is this really it? Yep, this is it."

I had everything I could possibly want, yet I was failing to appreciate it. I too often failed to comprehend the splendor of what I had.

Colette: 'What a wonderful life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner."

How could I set a higher standard for myself as a wife, a mother, a writer, a friend? How could I let go of everyday annoyances to keep a larger, more transcendent perspective?

The opposite of happiness is unhappiness, not depression.

More likely to make progress with..concrete, measurable actions..structured accountability + positive reinforcement.

Unconscious mind does crucial work in forming judgements, motives, and feelings outside our awareness or conscious control, and one factor that influences the work of the unconscious is the "accessibility of information", or the ease at which it comes to mind.

Info that is recalled often or used is easier to retrieve and therefore energized..
by reminding myself of certain goals and ideas, I could keep them more active in my mind.

[she identified "resolutions" she wanted to address, (relationships world perspective attitude work play passion energy money mindfulness), then found overarching principles around these emerge.]

Epicurus wrote, "We must exercise ourselves in the things which bring happiness, since, if that be present, we have everything, and, if that be absent, all our actions are directed towards attaining it."

Though I didn't realize this immediately--I started my happiness project because I wanted to prepare..for adversity--to develop the self-discipline and the mental habits to deal with a bad thing when it happened.


Perhaps the "Kingdom of Heaven's" changed -
I hope the "Children" there
Won't be "new fashioned" when I come -
And laugh at me - and stare -

I hope the Father in the skies
Will lift his little girl -
Old fashioned - naughty - everything
Over the stile of "Pearl."


“When you’re trying to create a career as a writer, a little delusional thinking goes a long way.”

“If you write what you yourself sincerely think and feel and are interested in… you will interest other people.”

“The first sign of disintegration — in a writer — is that the writing loses the unique stamp of his/her character, & loses its inner light.”

“A writer loves the dark, loves it, but is always fumbling around in the light.”

“Man has always been half-monster, half-dreamer.”

“Art is long and life is short, and success is very far off.”


How the little is sufficient for a disciplined person.. - 34:17

Become skillful in all your deeds.. 34:22


"If pain for peace prepares
Lo, what "Augustan" years
Can the Anemones
Be reckoned up?

If night stands first - then noon
To gird us for the sun,
What gaze!

When from a thousand skies
On our developed eyes
Noons blaze! "

Owning Your Own Shadow

'Beauty (or worth) is in the eyes of the beholder'

Gold in the Shadow:

There are two shadows: 1 the dark side of the ego, which is carefully hidden from itself and which the ego will not acknowledge unless forced to by life's difficulties, and (2) that which has been repressed in us lest it interfere with our egocentricity and, however devilish it may seem, is basically connected to the Self.
In a showdown God (Self) favors the shadow over the ego, for the shadow, with all of its dangerousness, is closer to the center and more genuine.

People are as frightened of their capacity for nobility as of their darkest sides.
If you find the gold in someone who will resist it to the last ounce of his strength.
This is why we engage in hero-worship so often.

Our hero worshipping capacity is pure shadow, our finest qualities are refused and laid on another.
Todays hero is tomorrows character.

As the shadow is drawn up into consciousness, it becomes softer, more pliable, more gentle.
..neither ego nor shadow can be redeemed unless its twin is transformed..
rubbing together..this is nothing less than healing the split between heaven and hell.

'If we can learn to love the inner enemy, then there is a chance of loving - and redeeming - the outer one.'

"When we can face our inner heaven and our inner hell, this is the highest form of creativity."

To be in the presence of another's shadow and not reply is nothing short of genius. No one has the right to dump his shadow on you, and you have the right to self protection.

Most people have to work very hard to throw off their parent's shadow
If a parent lays his shadow on a young child, that splits the personality of the child
and sets the ego-shadow warfare into motion. When that child grows up, he will have a large shadow to cope with
and also have the tendency to put that shadow upon his own children.

'..Acts will have an equal weight on opposite side of scale... we can be aware of this dynamic and make a conscious gesture to compensate for it..'

The unconscious cannot tell the difference between a 'real' act and a symbolic one
[which means we can pay out that darkness in a symbolic way short story or active imagination mentioned, mentions another book he wrote, Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth.]

'Had any terrible successes lately?'

There is a broader sense of creativity that folds the darkness into the finished product and finds fulfillment in the shadow. This is pure genius. Its attributes are wholeness, health, and holiness, and saintness in the original meaning of the word, a full embracing of humanity.

The more refined our conscious personality, the more shadow we have built up on the other side.
Jung's insight, the ego and shadow come from the same source and exactly balance each other.
To make light is to make shadow; one cannot exist without the other. To own one's shadow is to reach an holy place- an inner center--

Century of the Self

Bernes made up his own title..field..idea..'public relations'


The wise in word will make himself beloved.

The heart of the stupid is in their mouth, but the mouth of the wise is in their heart.

And he put his eye upon their hearts
to show them the splendor of his works..

Poetry Foundation

“Poetry redeems from decay the visitations of the divinity in man.” The poem is a genie that comes out of the bottle to liberate the reader’s imagination, the divinity within.
The writer and the reader make meaning together. The poet who calls on help from the heavenly muse also does so on behalf of the imaginative reader.

[W.S. Merwin, for example, remembers his teacher John Berryman giving him advice in the years just after the Second World War:]

he suggested I pray to the Muse
get down on my knees and pray
right there in the corner and he
said he meant it literally

[Berryman also said that]

the great presence
that permitted everything and transmuted it
in poetry was passion
passion was genius and he praised movement and invention

Tara Brach

When you see them in their inner beauty and goodness you transform and create.

What's standing between me and my own goodness?

Protecting my purity for years like the buddha statue covered in clay..

See how much they must be judging themselves, how sad..


Try on different things, take on a different self
Take on another essence, or like an accent, pretend

Culture of dampening our light
Culture that says we arent supposed to be in a state of wonder at all times,
at the magnificence of whats going on around us
and to be in a state of wonder about our emotions
and about the parts of our planet that also need healing
doesn't want us to stay in a state of wonder,
there is power in our wonder
there is power in our innocent eyes looking up and being curious
there is power in wondering in awe at pain and destruction
when we approach these things that might be challenging, we approach with curiosity and wonder
it changes how we talk about it, how we understand it, how a creation will be about it
to put on a different lens that is very curious about life and looking at the details
and wanting to understand more about why things are the way it is and
how do things feel like and come up new words and plant these seeds that create flowers of detail and bring us into a new environment, a place we want to bring people.

We inspire change by touching on the awe of the thing we want to observe. When we exalt and praise what is necessary and essential for life, we bring others into our world, and we give them a pair of binoculars to look at the marvelous things that we're seeing,
How can you not want to protect the planet when you see how amazing it is?
How can you not want to protect a forest when it brings you into a feeling or makes..

Use detail to bring each other into a world a whole universe we are creating..
Creating more experiences in life and in your self where we are open.

Wrap our shame in a hug, wrap the whole experience in a hug, our energetic embrace, accept it, love ourselves with whatever's going on in there..
Dropping the resistance, loving myself just as I am for everything I'm feeling right now.
sing to the shame,
or ask it what its afraid of, what it needs.

In many traditions, it is no longer a gift if you record it, to where you were intending it..
so when you record it, it freezes it..
that's why a lot of the old spells were not recorded..

Magic Field..
take a few deep breaths
feel into your energy field
you can tune into how close or far it is, right near your skin or very far away,
parts of it might be in the past or future
don't really have to even do anything, intend that your energy body comes to about 4 feet of you.

play with it, moving it out and in until you move it about 4-5ish feet from your body
and with your breath you're going to feel into your heart first, tune into the radiance of your heart,
like a lightbulb inside your heart
and you're going to feel that light fill through every cell in your body through all of your atoms,
expanding with your breath
might feel tingly, or soft
and just expand that light outside your skin, farther farther, until it is permeating that whole energy field around you.
And just take a few deep breaths charging it up, with more light, or love,
however it feels right to you
and you're going to just feel how that light and that love that is this vital energy
and you're just going to send beams of love into your cells, into your body, into your throat
into all the chakras, your organs, every cell, every single cell
sending all your love and gratitude
and then still feeling that energy radiating in you, you can start to beam, it might already be beaming
but feel the beam, feel the emanation that's coming from you,
light emitted from your being, so you're a beacon,
that love, that love, that vital force is a beacon
and you can keep that, keep that feeling, you can open your eyes but keep that feeling, awareness
and you can keep that kind of radiant emanation energy
and you can turn into actually how its impossible when we're emanating this much light and love, it's impossible
for anything that is not love, that is not benevolent, to enter our field, because we are emanating that,
it can't go opposite, it's too strong.
I've found that this is a helpful way of making my field strong, and having a boundary without it actually being a wall, rather it's a resonant field,
and anything that is not in resonance with my field cannot enter. it just wont. it cant. it's impossible.

For me, there's also techniques you can learn to create an energetic shield around yourself and those can be helpful too... but i've found it's actually more powerful for me to resonate and emanate into my field and nothing can enter that's not in alignment with that.

..So can help us remember that we're energetic beings, and actually creators, creators of reality, not just remembering how to create art, remembering how to be creators of our reality, every moment.

..Send a tone, an offering to the world from the radiance of your being,
so you're gonna let your beacon shine really strong right now through your voice, as a vibration,
in this vibrational reality and you're going to send it out. be a pillar means we're going to be resonating with a frequency that's going to be beneficial to everyone around us.

'If I take the time to actually imagine the whole song or the whole orchestration around one part, and then I record my voice singing it, it encodes all of that into it, and also leads me into the next thing and things around it, the fullness, the potential around that song, and listening,
Imagining, "what would be the most amazing song to hear right now? " as if someone else wrote it.

Imitating, pretending you're an artist that you like.

'You're already trying on one personality, that's you, why not try on another and just see what happens?'

Sing the shape of the sound that wants to come through, not words.

Outline a shape with sound practice.

Keep a wordbank.

Use resonance, sound meditation.

Use shielding meditation.

Write what you see/hear/taste/feel/smell/sense.

Allowing something to come through and then broadcasting is the biggest prayer we could give to others who are afraid to.
That is a prayer for everyone to allow more of themselves to come through.
So give yourself that much permission.
Prayer for others is much bigger than the small fear of being heard for me
and part of the prayer is that they *do* hear you, they hear your imperfection.

"To be love, to be an embodiment of love on this planet.."
"We are love, so then we allow ourselves to be expressions of love every moment." "If you want to know how to open your creative channel, try being an embodiment of love every moment, there's nothing like that to open all the channels."

Reengage with old content for 5 mins.

Write things that describe what you're thinking about, instead of, "letting go", writing things that describe that..Instead of pain, things that describe that.

Sing to the stuckness itself.

Have non-limiting identification [What I do does not limit me].

If I'm not separate from existence, then what do I have to be afraid of?

Vessel of whatever form of creativity wants to come through,
its our job to catch, to always be ready to catch.

So instead of getting to Heaven, at last —
I’m going, all along.

Soak in the gift of space.

- Writing Practice 2: Do the practice above, but start with the phrase "I am..." Don't let the pen stop. Whenever you get caught in thinking, start the sentence over. Can also try "We are.." or "This is..."

- Writing Practice 3: Write for 2 minutes,
“what do I want so deeply, but also scares me to try?” OR
“What am I holding back from, because I’m afraid to _____(fail / succeed / be ridiculed...)?”

- Writing Practice 4: -
Now, feel into those voices from practice 3.
See if they’re trying to protect you,
or prove something... write for 2 minutes from their voices,
about why they’re in your head and how they’re trying to help you.


I died for beauty, but was scarce
Adjusted in the tomb,
When one who died for truth was lain
In an adjoining room.

He questioned softly why I failed?
“For beauty,” I replied.
“And I for truth, —the two are one;
We brethren are,” he said.

And so, as kinsmen met a night,
We talked between the rooms,
Until the moss had reached our lips,
And covered up our names.


Courage from latin cour: "to speak one's mind by telling all one's heart"

The courage to be imperfect..
The compassion to be kind to themselves first and then to others..
We can't show compassion to other people if we can't treat ourselves kindly.

They had connection as a result of authenticity..
They were willing to let go of who they thought they should be
in order to be who they were.

They fully embraced vulnerability
They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful.


"I have personal knowledge of more than twenty-five instances where the performance of [Enochian] magical operations based upon the Order's [i.e. Alpha et Omega's] formulae led to serious disintegrations of mind and body...
Perhaps the most conspicuous example of the use of these formulas is A.C. [Aleister Crowley] himself,
but there are plenty of others I have personally witnessed,
whose personal shipwrecks have been just as complete even though their smaller tonnage,
so to say, makes the loss seem less deplorable..."[15]


"Mastering fear doesn't mean getting rid of the butterflies in your stomach. It means teaching them to fly in formation."

 This is It
 and I am It
 and You are It
 and so is That
 and He is It
 and She is It
 and It is It
 and That is That

“I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


That's what alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to be better than we are,
everything around us becomes better, too.

It is we who nourish the Soul of the World,

Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are.