Tuesday, January 14, 2014

When you feel “Used Up,” Reach out -- Look up

"Swamp Angel" 16 x 20 oil on canvas
That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling of late: used up. I can blame the flu that bogged me down and left me in a puddle of self-pity, or I could take the advice of Julia Cameron, the author of “The Artist’s Way” and “Heart Steps; Prayers and Declarations for a Creative Life.”
According to Julia’s publisher: “Heart Steps is Cameron’s key to open the door to a more creative world; grounded in her personal methods of inspiration . . . this book is a powerful, practical, and intimate guide to ever-expanding productivity.”
In Julia’s own words, she discovered that “God, or “Mind,” was deeply, personally interested and interactive in our lives – if we would just speak the word that opened the door that opens the heart.”
"Leap of Faith" 16 x 20 mixed media on canvas
So begins her step by step book of prayers and inspiration. Some people prefer to call their inspiration a “muse;” others the “Universal Spirit.” Practical people simply call it God. Whatever works for you, Cameron’s guide to inspiration is sure to motivate you to get in touch with a power greater than yourself.
She begins by quoting Sonia Choquette: “The Power of the word is real whether or not you are conscious of it.  Your own words are the bricks and mortar of the dreams you want to realize. Behind every word flows energy.”
Self declarations and positive statements said aloud to motivate the brain and in turn modify attitudes and actions is not new. This type of “behavior modification” has been around since the 60s and 70s. What is new is Cameron’s attempt at using it to enrich what she deems “the creative life.”
"Robin Hood" 16 x 20 acrylic on canvas
There is much to be gained from her book. My only objection is that she skirts timidly around the premise that there is an actual God, who is our creator, and cares enough about us to want our success and happiness. Our belief hangs on a thread of fear and doubt that if removed can open our minds to the endless possibilities that the universe holds. If we can tap into that, who can stand against us or hold us back?
Julia Cameron is a teacher, a poet, a playwright, fiction writer, and essayist; she has extensive credits in film, television, theater, and she is an award-winning journalist. If anyone could tell us how to tap into creative powers she could.
“The refusal to be creative is an act of self-will,” Cameron says, “and is counter to our true nature. When we open to our creativity, we are opening to God’s good, orderly direction. As we pursue our creative fulfillment, all elements of our life move toward harmony.
“As we strengthen our creativity, we strengthen our connection to the Creator within. Artists love other artists. Our relationship to God is co-creative, artist to artist. It is God’s will for us to live in creative abundance.”
Link to Cameron's Home Page: 
"Vikeholmen Lighthouse" Skudeneshavn Norway 16 x 20 acrylic on canvas $300