'I feel like a changed man' - The Artist's Way Workshop
Life is creativity. Everything we have around us has been created and is creating, all the time.
The sun creates rays that create photosynthesis along with plants that create more plants with the help of bees and pollination, and these plants, along with herbivores create energy for them to live their lives and create their own offsprings. No offspring is a direct copy of a parent. They are always different and changing, to adapt, to survive, to live their best life. Nature is in a never-ending process of perfecting life, and it does this by the power of creation.
“The Artist’s Way”, is a book by Julia Cameron that deals with the life force that is creativity.
It tries to teach it’s a reader, not to develop creativity, but to unleash the creativity that is already innate in all living things. As humans, we create daily with our thoughts. Without meaning it, our thoughts go to a million different directions about why my friend acted weird, what did they say about me after I left that job interview, or what my ex is doing tonight. We are all very creative when it comes to our own anxiety, but less so when we try to put that creativity to artistic use.
Cameron, uses her book as a 12-week program, to what she calls is “recovering your inner artist” - Cameron claims that we were all nonstop creative artists in one point in time, which is our childhood. And because of outside influence, conditioning, and rejection, we each, in our own way, closed off that part of us under lock and key.
Cameron talks us through this process and works on helping us recover our “Artist child” by focusing on a different sense of feeling each week. She talks about isolating those moments that made us feel inadequate or failures when it came to our art, who is to blame for that specific feeling each time(parents that wanted us to be more practical, teachers that are insensitive to the support a child needs, friends who are filled with jealousy, or, we ourselves), and uses exercises each week to help us recover this specific part our child.
Apart from the weekly exercises, there are 2 things we are required to do throughout the 12-week process, those are: Writing morning pages and taking ourselves to an artists date.
I found these 2 things to be, by far, the most beneficial and life-changing practices related to this book. The morning pages, like a form of mediation, force you to write 3 full pages of stream-of-consciousness every morning, right when you wake up! It doesn’t matter to Cameron if you write the same sentence about how much you hate morning pages for 3 pages, but trust me, you won’t get that far and will start writing things you did not expect. This was the best tool I’ve ever encountered to understanding my own subconscious and how I really feel. Apart from identifying our inner critic using them(the one that tells you what you are writing is crap and you’re crap and just die already no one loves you, Yaniv), which is one of her main goals, it has really brought clarity into my life and I cannot be thankful enough for this practice. I can recommend this to anyone, even if you do not go through the whole book, morning pages can save your life, by making you actually live!
The other practice - The artists date, which is all about going by yourself to an artistic activity, or just something that you haven’t done before, has been tremendous in my life because it really taught me to enjoy my own company, something I’ve lacked previously, and to get out of my comfort zone. When we stay inside our comfort zone, we have no ability to grow and change, and for artists, change is crucial.
Thanks to The Stage, I got to experience this wonderful book in the best setting possible. It’s always been hard for me to persist, even in things I love, because persistence takes work. And work is hard. But when you have a supportive group around you to share and work through what you are experiencing, things become easier and fun. This is especially true when you have a guide, and we were lucky enough to have one in the form of Udi Razzin. The title guide for Udi is not sufficient at all, so I can only name him Mentor. Thanks to Udi’s familiarity with the book and Cameron’s teaching, and in general his calm and accepting demeanor for everyone to bring themselves to the session, has helped me and others tremendously work through this hard but oh so important journey. Not only that, he made sure to send us weekly encouraging and thought out emails to help us in the hardest moments of facing our fears and ourselves. I can’t thank you, enough, Udi.
As we come to the end of this journey. I can honestly say that I feel like a changed man. This experience has been beautiful and profound, which I feel like is what The Stage aims for. They aim to help people find their passions and purpose in life so you can feel this amazing sense of meaning. I know for me it’s a fleeting sensation, but as long as I keep striving and creating, be it creating my next opportunities or challenges. It will keep feeling me forever.
If I piqued your curiosity, which I hope I did, I recommend checking the stage out and what they have to offer. I have yet to find a more accepting and love filled group of people that have so much passion for what they do. Try them, take the first step toward a more fulfilling life.
I dare you.
Yaniv Rozenblat Storyteller