I’ve been thinking about going on a retreat at the Kripalu Center in the Berkshires whenever COVID calms down. (I’m starting to wonder if it will ever “calm down.”) So I was perusing the website last month, and I looked at the virtual program offerings. I saw that the writer and teacher Julia Cameron was speaking virtually in February and I registered right up.
Thirty years ago, she wrote a book called The Artist’s Way. I’ve never read it, but it’s one of those books that I’ve always meant to read. It’s sold a bazillion copies over the years.
Her talk was about the four basic tools she uses in her creative life. She took a lot of questions about the tools as well. Her muse and publisher, Joel Fotinos, moderated and asked some of the hundreds of questions she was being asked.
Julia was delightful—what a creative spirit! Briefly, her tools are:
(1) Morning pages. She suggests that every morning, after waking, you write three pages of whatever comes to mind. I love this idea, although I’m not sure if I am disciplined enough to try it. It would mean I’d have to get up 45 minutes early and I am not a morning person.
(2) Every week, go on an “artist date” with yourself. It’s planned, and you go solo. You could go to a museum or the local animal shelter to visit the animals. Whatever will inspire you.
(3) Every week, walk outside for 20 minutes. Don’t listen to a podcast or bring your dog. Take in your environment.
(4) Ask for “guidance.” She admitted this is kind of woo-woo, but it works for her. You have to practice asking questions and listening for a response. She said that guidance could be your higher self, a higher power, a deceased love one. It’s different for everyone. She usually asks for guidance right after finishing her morning pages.
My ankle is STILL broken, but once I am mobile again, I want to try some of these tools to bring more joy and creativity into my life. I miss the outside world a lot, and I anticipate that I will re-enter it with a childlike wonder and enthusiasm…
Definitely try it. The morning pages are daunting at first, but so worth it in the end. I’m envious that you got to hear her speak!
Cool, they do seem a little daunting to me, because I’m not a morning person. Haha! She was great.