As I create and listen, I am being led. I love this affirmation from Julia’s list of affirmations. I write it at least ten times each day for several consecutive days or weeks. The words speak to me, as I create and listen, I am being led. I am being led as I create and listen. Words are so powerful – I love it!
The ability to listen is a skill we are honing with both our morning pages and our artist dates. The pages train us to hear past our Censor. The artist dates help us to pick up the voice of inspiration. While both of these activities are apparently unconnected to the actual act of making art, they are critical to the creative process. ~ Julia Cameron
As I have worked with morning pages, I have come to listen more carefully, active listening is one thing, but listening to my surroundings, the music being played, a conversation that I over hear while sitting in a cafe, or when I’m at work and people outside my office are having random conversations. I am grateful to be surrounded by inspiration and to be aware of that inspiration is the icing on the cake!
Art is not about thinking something up. It is about the opposite – getting something down. The directions are important here. If we are trying to think something up, we are straining to reach for something that’s just beyond our grasp, “up there, in the stratosphere, where are lives on high…”
Art is an act of tuning in and dropping down the well. It is a though all the stories, painting, music, performances in the world have just under the surface of our normal consciousness. Like an underground river, they flow through us as a stream of ideas that we can tap down into. As artists, we drop down the well into the stream. We hear what’s down there and we act on it – more like taking dictation than anything fancy having to do with art. ~ Julia Cameron
I will be at my full-time job and there are these moments where I hear something, a conversation a sound, and all of a sudden this new story appears. A whisper of a new character speaking up to be written down. I quickly jot it down to review later. These moments sometimes are very clear and I can see the entire story in my mind’s eye. Other times the whispering is just so low that I only get a glimpse of what is to be written down, or listened to. I have to make sure that I’m listening to the best of my abilities; I don’t want to miss out on a story that has been chosen to be written by me, what a great honor!
These moments of clear inspiration require that we move into them on faith. We can practice these small leaps of faith daily in our pages and our artist dates. We can learn not only to listen but also to hear with increasing accuracy that inspired, intuitive voice that says, “Do this, try this, say this….” Most writers have had the experiences of catching a poem or a paragraph or two of formed writing. We consider these finds to be small miracles. What we fail to realize is that they are, in fact, the norm. We are the instrument more than the author of our work. ~ Julia Cameron
Lately, I’ve been hearing a story that I don’t really want to hear, but it’s there and it has caught my attention. The past finds its way back because there is something I haven’t learned. What you resist, persists – I love this quote but I also wish I never heard it, or understood it – sometimes being aware and awake, sucks. But, it comes down to what I’ve mentioned before. I have been chosen to write stories that want to be shared. I just need to sit down and write it down, and I do. I go in with guns blazing, hot to trot, ready to write and then once the main attraction of the story is down, I’m left to fill in the blanks and that’s where I get into trouble. I have to focus and pay attention a little more, listen harder for the rest of the story. It’s the ego that is saying “Oh, I’ve heart this before, I don’t want to play this game anymore, I’m bored…” The ego needs a bone to chew on I want to be filling in the blanks. I tell the ego to go play and do whatever it wants, but just don’t bother me while I’m writing. My ego and I have made a deal, it can wiggle in once and awhile, but for the most part it’s off skydiving, surfing, K2 extreme mountain climbing, whatever and where ever it wants to go, as long as I’m on the page.
With practice, we learn how to hear the desired frequency on request. We tune in to the frequency we want. Like a parent, we learn to hear the voice of our current brainchild among the other children’s voices…The minute you are willing to accept the help of this collaborator (higher self, universe, whatever you chose to call it), you will see useful bits of help everywhere in your life. Be alert: there is a second voice, a higher harmonic, adding to and augmenting your inner creative voice. This voice frequently shows itself in synchronicity. You will hear the dialogue you need, find the right song for the sequence, see the exact paint color you almost had in mind and so forth. You will have the experience of finding things – books, seminars, tossed-out stuff – that happen to fit with what you are doing.
Does this happen to you? It happens to me all the time. When I was working on some sections of my manuscript I was working with a lot of dialogue and I was drawn to reading plays. Through one brief conversation with someone I ran into the gym one morning I signed up for an introductory playwright workshop for twelve weeks. It was the best experience and the exact experience I needed at that time. I love synchronicity!
As I create and listen, I am being led… I am being led as I listen and create. What are you creating? What are you listening for?
Until next time, keep on typing….