A few weeks ago, I wrote about embracing a new title – artist.
Strangely enough, the next day I started reading the book The Artist’s Way. The first chapter was about reclaiming your sense of security so you can embrace your inner artist. My mind was blown.
One concept that was new to me, though, was that of being a shadow artist – someone who has always wanted to be an artist, but never felt comfortable, or worthy of claiming that title.
Bingo. That was me.
Ever since I made the declaration that I AM an artist, nearly 8 weeks ago now, I feel like so much has opened up. I’ve also been doing the weekly tasks assigned in the aforementioned book, and the ‘daily artists’ pages for 2 months. Plus, a group of friends and I are working through those bits together. Our own book club if you will. The weekly meet-ups have been soul-nourishing.
It’s great to do this work in community and cultivate these new, deep relationships. I’ve noticed so many things show up in my life without a ton of effort. I truly feel like I’m in the flow.
It’s a beautiful thing to surrender.
For years I’ve worked so hard, taking pride in the hustle. But since I’ve become pregnant, I’ve focused more on slowing down. This book is encouraging me to play, to make time for the things I really want to do but but often neglect. To my surprise, more is coming my way than ever before, with less effort.
At the risk of getting real hippie dippy, I think there’s magic in letting the universe guide us. When we stop grasping so tightly, when we exhale and let go, so many things will flow to us. I firmly believe this. Some would call it working smarter, not harder. It definitely feels better than trying to stay busy just for the sake of it.
One of our early tasks was to write an artists prayer. I’d like to share mine with you.
“Oh heavenly Creator, help me to open my heart and mind to receive the flow of love and creativity you have poured into me from birth. Help me to connect to you and create through you. To use the gifts and abilities you’ve given me to uplift and inspire others. Let us always support and encourage each others curiosity and growth – listen to and banish one another’s fears. Use our passion and creativity to make the world a more beautiful place for all. May we always make time for laughter and play. Let go of what no longer serves us, move forward in love and acceptance and find ease in the flow of your energy and support. Thank you for giving me life and reminding me to live it.”
The past 8 weeks have been truly transformative. I swear, each time I read a new chapter, I’ve already done some of those tasks instinctively or have thought about the very lesson it’s trying to teach. I feel like I’m one step ahead. It’s affirming that I’m not only in the flow, I’m on the right wavelength.
I’ve also gotten out my sewing machine, painted canvases, thrown out old clothing, explored museums, started meditating again, added to my crystal collection, bought new house plants, and practiced yoga – all things I’ve wanted to do, but couldn’t find the time for. The time was there all along; I needed to put aside other things and make these things a priority. Best thing I’ve done for myself in a long time.
If you’re alive, you’re an artist. Whether you pursue it as a career or simply use it as an outlet for expression, art is powerful. I encourage you to do something you love doing this week – paint, ride your bike, get a sketch pad, see a play. Something that indulges your inner artist. If you want to go a step further, pick up the Artist’s Way. I promise you’ll be inspired and find so much richness in the life you already live.