It's funny the way things just fall into place sometimes.
I have often found that things happen in my life as if by chance. Via a collection of incidents, I often reach my destination as if it was predetermined, as if it was meant to be. If I stay awake to the world around me and listen to the signs, life goes more smoothly and the pieces all seem to fall naturally into place. The destination is inevitable.
Such is my path towards the teachings of "The Artist's Way".
The book of which I am talking is all about stimulating creativity.
It is a 12 week program that is followed a chapter a week.
It has 2 non-negotiable requirements.
1. Every morning complete 3 pages of writing. First thing. Find a place you won't be disturbed and write. Write anything. The clock ticking, work, family, music, sounds, what awaits in the day ahead, anything that comes to mind. Clear all the useless thoughts from your mind and in doing so, clear the way for more freedom in your thoughts (and thus creativity).
2. Each week set aside a couple of hours for an 'artist date'. This date is with your 'artist within' and is to be done alone - a solitary outing without distraction from company. It is to intended to stimulate the senses - taste, sound, sight etc. The date can be anything from going to a gallery, a concert, a movie, a festival, or walking in the garden.
In addition, there are weekly exercises to complete. It does speak of a God, though to me, it is more about the human spirit and inner strength rather than any of the world's religions.
Over a year ago now, I was loaned the book by a friend and quickly become absorbed. It seems I was not alone. As I explored the internet, I found that 'The Artist's Way' has a huge following and an equally big reputation.
For quite a few weeks I was driven by it, I bought my own copy and was rising every morning at 5am to complete my morning pages. In addition I was doing all the exercises and taking myself on my weekly artist dates. As I worked through the early exercises, there was an amazing momentum building around me. I was writing without restraint and my mind was alert to new ideas. It was an exciting time for me.
And then somehow, life, an especially crazy phase at work, and eventually pure mental exhaustion took over and, almost as quickly as it had entered my life, it vanished. But not completely...
A few weeks back, I stumbled across a blog of a woman who works in the creativity field in Melbourne and is interested in doing the program with a group - to act as a support network. Although it is in the early planning stages, I have already told her of my interest. And then, over my week-end away, The Artist's Way was part of our philosophy discussions.
All the signs are pointing in one direction, and it seems, once again, as if the destination is inevitable. It is time to begin again, to commit to the entire 12 weeks and to make a start. If I want to be more creative, it goes without saying, I have to live my life more creatively. It seems a good place to start afresh.