During the past five years, I’ve lived the transformative power of today’s reading from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way Every Day – A Year of Creative Living:
“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. As we lose our vagueness about our self, our values, our life situation, we become available to the moment. It is there, in the particular, that we contact the creative self. 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.”
To begin the search for my long-lost authentic self, I primed the pump with immersion in a plethora of creative endeavors. I had no master plan. Only a vague recollection of feeling happy to be alive when I was making art as a child. Art is the language our souls still speak even when, especially when, our brains and mouths cannot form words to tell our story. Through our art we self-disclose without ever planning to, even when we try not to. We can’t stop our hearts and souls from speaking through our creations – whether we sing, garden, write, paint, cook, sew, repair cars or fix computers. Always, in all ways, we tell what must be told.
Three years into that search, left on my own for the first time in my life, guided by love, respect, curiosity and compassion, I found myself. Only then could I begin my first real connections with others. As Cameron observes, before that solitude, before that encounter with my self and my values, I was often, maybe always, enmeshed with others, but I never truly encountered them or they me.
Dear One, Julia didn’t just write today’s meditation for me. She wrote it for herself and for all of us. It is time, past time, to fall in love with yourself. Only then will you be able to fall in love with anyone else.
You are loved and loving. You are blessed and a blessing. Namaste.