Finding Water- The Art of Perseverance

Week three

Reading! Journaling! Walking! and working through week three of Finding Water- The Art of Perseverance of Julia Cameron.

Week three is all about Uncovering a Sense of Support, and as I work through this chapter it only highlights the lack of support that I have in so many areas of my life. I often think that is what makes me feel so tired and exhausted at times. I look at other mothers with grown teenage children and see them enjoying their freedom to go out in the world and do the things they want to do. I see myself tired up, stuck in this same place trying to construct a life around my son who has a disability. I often feel most people around me are oblivious to my circumstances. Anyway, a sense of support is certainly an area I need to work on now and for the future.

Supports are not always available to us, and when we need it. Another way we can gain support is to read the biography or autobiography that details the deceased writers (artists) life. We can often find comfort from learning about their journey and understanding their struggles. Julia suggests choosing one of them as a mentor, having some quiet time and listening to them for guidance. I must confess this is still on my to do list. I am still in the process of deciding about which five writers I will read about.

Another way to gain support is a great journaling exercise of writing yourself an encouraging letter and highlighting all the things you have done well.

Finally, time to take action. Julia states a well known saying, ” most of us accomplish too little because we are expecting to accomplish too much.” She suggests focussing on daily manageable action steps, and committing to that every day, even on the days you don’t feel like it. When it comes to writing she suggests committing to writing three pages every day.

Week three was very challenging for me, and I feel that I am still working through it. It is one of those chapters that I feel I need longer to work on. I will be spending two weeks on this chapter and trying to implement some of her suggestions.

Savvy Learning Resources

Today I am watching a great online class on Creative Live,
called Starving to Sucess: How To Become A Full-time Writer by Jeff Goins. I love watching Creative Live, I can watch the class for free when it is live. It is an awesome learning site, and provides lots of opportunities to learn new things.

Wishing you a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

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Journaling Through Books For Reflective Self Discovery ~Finding Water- week two

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Reading! Journaling! Walking! and working through week two of Finding Water- The Art of Perseverance of Julia Cameron.

Week two of Finding Water, was about uncovering a sense of reality. Some of my take aways was the importance of being in the now. This is coming up a lot in my reading at the moment. Cherishing the moment and taking small steps each day to progress.

One of the exercises recommended in the book is to take time each day to complete this statement ten times.

I cherish……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

for example:
I cherish sunshine beaming through the window onto the kitchen table where I sit, bringing warmth to me on this cold winter’s day.

I cherish this kiwi fruit, its colour and pattern, its fresh taste, and smell. It adds zing to my lunch.

It is about cherishing those things right in your life right at this moment that are worth noticing and appreciating. I know that sometimes it is easy for me to get caught up in all the drama and problems in life. Then life seems stressful and overwhelming, and all the good stuff isn’t even on my radar. This why doing and exercise like I cherish, or ten blessings of the week bring all that good stuff back to the front of my mind and refocus my day. It brings that sense of optimism back into life.

The second exercise that I thought that was good is that we need to take some action to work towards the little bit of progress each day. We need to keep working on our skills and talents. No matter what is going on in our life we need to take some small step towards doing that thing we want to do. I neglected my blogs this year. At the beginning of the year, I intended to work on them, improve them, and to practice my writing. Nothing happened, because nothing was going to be good enough, or I didn’t have big chunks of time to spend on writing posts, I had nothing interesting to say. So for me working on them each day, even though I haven’t posted each day, I feel like I am bringing them back to life.

So decide what it is you want to do, and working on. Then write down 5 small actions you can take to move forward. Often taking small actions adds up, this leads to a sense of real progress and optimism. I love the practicality of these types of journaling exercise.

1. Brainstorm some ideas and collect them in one place.
2. Attempt to write a potential blog post each day in Grammarly. The more writing I do the better I will become at it.
3. Create some images for my blog posts.
4. Edit my potential posts that I think could work as real posts on my blog and post them.
5. Learn more about blogging by listening to Pro Blogger podcast once a week.

 

This week I did one long and also a couple of short 20minute walks. I missed one day of my morning pages exercise, and my artist date was decorating a shabby folder with collage into something I love and makes me smile.

I find it hard to focus on all the ideas and exercises I tend to just pick a couple of things out that I feel would be really helpful and work on them.

If you want to know more about my Journaling Adventure with this book check at my post about week one.

If you have worked through Julia Cameron’s books Artist’s Way or her other books like Finding Water, what were some really useful exercises that you continue to use? Please share in the comments.

Wishing you a wonderful Day!

FRAN DISHON

 

Journaling Through Books For Reflective Self Discovery and Personal Development~Finding Water

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Some books are really good for being part of the journaling process and discovering parts that you can apply to real life. I recently got Julia Cameron’s book Finding Water- The Art of Perseverance, this is the book I have chosen to do over the next 12 weeks.
Like Julia Cameron’s other books you need to know about a number of tools, Artist’s Dates, Morning Pages and Walking. You can find out about the tools in a previous post I did for Walking in this World.

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I have already done the Artist’s Way and also Walking in this World and have found the prompts and exercise excellent for exploring in my journal. Also each time I work through one of her books I discover a new perspective and initiating changes that make my life so much enjoyable and in a much more positive direction.

In the next 12 weeks I will be doing a series about this book, my artist’s dates, morning pages and walking.

Today I have chosen this prompt from week one a chapter on uncovering a sense of optimism. It is easy to focus on the shoulds, however, those shoulds can limit us and get in the way of what we really want to be doing. This exercise is about focusing on the coulds to discover new possibilities. This is about completing the following quote and doing it as fast as you can. It is important not to overthink it or try to rationalize rather for the answers to just flow on the page unedited.

Often we do things because we should, what this is about the things we could do. Julia suggests we come up with ten answers to the following prompt.

Journal Prompt: I could try…………………………………………………………..

I really recommend taking a book and not just reading it, but also live it and see what works for you. What book could you read and apply to your life today?

Happy journaling! Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

Ten ideas of the day journal prompt.

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(It is so amazing I can go and take a photo with a mobile phone, use a app called Brushstrokes and turn it into a painting. This is what I know, I imagine there is so much more I can do that I don’t even know about. The possibilities are so exciting these days!)

I love asking a question and coming up with 10 ideas. This is a really great journal prompt. I think you can use this technique to quickly explore so many questions. I find this technique to be quick and easy, it also helps to move my thinking in a more focused direction. I thought I share the following question, it was very uplifting.

What 10 things  make me feel good about life!

  1. Happy surprises come to me each day I look with wonder and curiosity at the day before me.
  2. I am surrounded by the people I love and who love me.
  3. I live an abundant life and I am grateful for all the abundance I have.
  4. I love learning and have abundant opportunities to learn and grow.
  5. It is what it is, accept and move on.
  6. I have avalanches of books to read, enjoy and learn from daily.
  7. A picture a day capture something about my life and creates a collage of the life I am living.
  8. My dog Little Miss Popularity is my daily pick me up!
  9. Cooking has gone from drag to fab. I purchase some fresh food meals to create. Creating new unusual meals has been a creative adventure full of success(Yum) and failures(Yuk)
  10. Sunshine makes me happy, rain is meditative, and thunderstorms delights me.

 

I find doing this exercise each day can be very helpful in building my idea muscles up. Another idea I can use some of these idea statements as positive affirmations.

 

What 10 things make you feel good about life?

 

Wishing you a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

5 ways to live a beautiful life!

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At the moment I am really exploring this idea of living a beautiful life everyday. Here are 5 ways I try to live a beautiful life.

  • Being grateful for the blessings and gifts you already have.

A way to do this could be a gratitude journal or a gratitude practice like ten blessing of the week. Life just feels more joyous when I take time out to focus on all the good things, experiences and people in it.

 

  • Try to know and understand yourself.

Journaling can be a wonderful tool for self-discovery. This is about knowing your values, who you want to be in the world and what you want to achieve in the world.

 

  • Define what “ a beautiful life” means to you.

This could be writing out your perfect day. It could be identifying all the different components of a beautiful life.  It could be doing a yearly 100 list of all the things, experiences, habits, even some of the things you want to achieve for the year, places you want to travel to, people you want to meet. Journal about what is missing from your life e.g. love, friendship, adventure, connection, spirituality, abundance, work that you love, knowledge and skills etc. Once you know what a beautiful life is to you, then you can appreciate the parts that are already there and move towards the missing parts.

 

  • Start working towards living a beautiful life.

Start looking at ways to move your life towards that of the beautiful life you desire. Identify what is working, try to eliminate what you don’t like or hate. Put some of the experiences you love into your calendar, create a no list for the things you are trying to eliminate.   You could even start a dream savings account for that holiday, experience, education, home, or thing that you want.

 

  •  Relationships.

Having good connections with family and friends brings more joy into our lives. Appreciate your love ones, and enjoy the time you spend together. It is just so important. I love that I have a healthy relationship with my boys, that even though they are teenagers they still want to do activities and spend time with their parents. Whilst there is nothing like a birthday to bring the family together for some fun and celebration. Even just knowing you are loved and have someone to love provides joy. Moments of daily connection, and experiences seem so much better when shared with others. It not all just people either. I think the relationship with a pet is so valuable and rewarding. The family dog is just so lovable every day, it hard not to feel loved when she is around.

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There are also many more ways to live a beautiful life, however I think these are my first five that I think about when trying to create a beautiful life.

Wishing you all an amazing week.

FRAN DISHON

 

Where does journaling inspiration come from?

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Where does journaling inspiration come from?

EVERYWHERE!

 

This is what I wrote in my journal. I asked a bird to tell me a story. It told me once this was a paddock with lots of trees, and covered in grass. Once this place was always peaceful and quiet. Once I had the freedom to come and go as I liked. Then you people came along and built homes, you took my paradise away.

 

I replied to the bird’s story. Sorry birdy I didn’t mean to be cruel. I will plant you some trees and a garden. It will not be the same but it will be something.

 

Inspired by one of those birds hanging out in the trees of my front garden.

 

Where does journaling inspiration come from?

EVERYWHERE!

 

 Happy Journaling.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

Slowing down & enjoying life!

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One of my New Years resolutions was healthy ways for healthy days, I was beginning to think it really wasn’t going that well. Then I was reminded how fast, dramatic and stressful life can be. However this January I have been feeling relaxed and rested. I eased my way into the New Year. January  has been a month of camping, walking, reading and relaxing with family. It has been the best way to enjoy the summer, especially when it is the long school holiday break . My slow and relaxing month of January has been good for my mental health. Also I got to try something new,  barefoot bowling  and was challenged with some bush walking at Wilson’s Promontory.   Now I need to set a SMART goal to get me back to the gym in February. I have been exploring goals for this intention of healthy ways for healthy days, and coming up with a goal and action plan.

 

I sat outside today on this blissful summers afternoon writing this blog post. Two birds sat on the tv aerial musically tweeting away, it seems they had so much to say. My dog Little Miss Popularity kept me company and enjoyed rolling her fluffy self in the grass. It was blissfully  relaxing sitting outside under the leafy  lipstick maple tree with a light breeze blowing past me. I think this quote by writer Henry James sums it up perfectly.

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
― Henry James

Here is what I have been loving recently, check out these journaling resources on the web:

I am always on the look out for a good journal post or video, so leave a comment if you have one you would like to share.

Wishing you a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

The trouble with mornings.

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Do you ever feel like your morning routine doesn’t live up to your expectations of what a good morning routine should look like? Or do you have your act together and have a routine that helps you start your day off feeling amazing?

Wake up sleepy head. The trouble with mornings is I am lazy. It is cold, and my bed is so cozy and warm. I am tired and don’t want to get up. The reality of my mornings. My morning routine has been of sipping coffee, half snoozing until it is time to jump out of bed at 7am and get the boys off to school. Then I come home do 20 minutes of meditation and 4o minutes of journaling, this I am proud of and it really supports starting my day in a positive way.

I love curling up in my arm chair, sipping on a cup of tea, and spilling words from my crazy busy mind onto the page of my journal each morning. It just gets my mind into the right space to start my day.

The trouble with mornings is that I am not a morning person. My ideal day would be to sleep in and start the day at lunch time. Which is why I have always loved working an afternoon shift, it just suits my body clock. I love this quote by writer Libba Bray “The trouble with mornings is that it comes well before noon.” I think this sums it up well.

The trouble with mornings is that I have morning routine envy. I read about successful people’s routines and some of them are up early, meditating, reading, and exercising. Then I beat myself up, why am I not doing that. I should be striving for some ideal morning routine. So I remind myself I have tried this all before and it never lasts. The routine I have keeps me happy, fits into my lifestyle, and works on a consistent basis without a lot of effort. In fact, I look forward to it. Being me is gently unfolding into my day, not bouncing out of bed, and jumping enthusiastically into it. We are all different some of us are morning people and some of us are evening people. I know I am an evening person.

My morning glory is a morning routine that works for me, allowing me to slowly unfold into my day. It is lazy, it’s imperfect, and it shows that I am not an early bird riser.

Please share your trouble with mornings or morning glory routine?

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

 

Collage journaling and the joys of life!

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My beautiful life is full of days of listening to music, today I am listening to Cornelius Dufallo‘s (Violinist) album Journaling. It is a beautiful quirky, creative, and playful selection of instrumental songs. This music with a difference distracts me from the mundane of my life, and transcends my living space into a magical and mystical place to sit and write.

 

Music is one of the joys of life, and books is another. Recently I  was also gifted with an interesting book, Albatross book of verse, edited by Louis Untermeyer. This book used to be part of the school curriculum many many years ago. It is old!  It is full of verse from some of the best poets of all time, and I am enjoying reading a poem here and a poem there, it is such a delight and food for the soul. It also has the smell of a book, and I love putting it up to my nose, breathing in and smelling it’s old book smell. It is a simple joy.  Ok maybe I am a little strange.

 

 

Today I took time out to do some collaging into my art journal. I asked my intuitive self what it is that I needed to know. I simply grab a couple of random magazines, cut out some pictures that I felt drawn to and created a collage. I love how the pictures inform me of what it is that my soul wants to know. Yes, my intuitive self has the answers.  It is allowing me to discover what I want to do, and it is also telling me to get out and walk.  One of the surprise images was of clothes blowing on the clothes line, it made me realise how beautiful my home life was, and that washing blowing in the breeze in the suburban back yard is so representative of my life. Taking care of my home and family is part of who I am, and I need to start valuing it more. I am a home body and I am proud of it.   The other thing that stands out is exploring my creativity more and finding my craft, and I hope to be focusing on this more in the coming weeks. Whilst I want to be that lady spending time each day lying back in a comfy chair with my head in a book reading. That image just delights me.  I love the insightful and fun nature of collage journaling, and  even its bossiness. Mostly it is a wonderful self-discovery tool, and gives me an idea of the direction I should be moving in.

 

 

I am continuing with my journaling prompt of what opportunities do I choose today, and if I say yes to an opportunity will it add value to peoples lives, my family, my community or even the world? I feel it is worth while continuing with and that I am more mindful of the decisions I am making.

 

 

Happy journaling, and if you are looking for inspiration try doing your own journaling collage, whilst if you are stuck on what to journal about try using a journaling prompt.

 

 

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

FRAN DISHON

 

 

Finding an hour a week for an Artist’s date can be challenging. Do you take yourself out on regular artist’s dates, why or why not?

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The Artist’s Date is an idea from Julia Cameron, a date with yourself, an hour a week where you can do anything you want, as long as it’s fun and not related to work. It is your time, no companions allowed, just you. Whether or not you are an artist or not, we all have a creative side to us, that gets depleted and needs re-filling.

 

 

This week I made one of my adventure walks my artist’s date. This time I took my camera for a walk with me. It was about playing with my camera and seeing what images I could create. The funny thing was some one stop to ask me if I was a photographer. I thought I must have looked serious and in control when taking my photo’s.

 

 

I found a new path to follow and discover the nature of Autumn and suburban parkscape. I noticed an empty playground and I wonder where were all the children playing these days. I discovered places to sit and rest. I enjoyed being out in nature and listening to the sound of birds. I found a path to walk along and capture images of the suburban parkscape. It was a fun learning and creative experience.

 

 

It was a fun learning and creative experience which had been planed. I had this block of time scheduled in my calendar for Friday.  However, it almost did not happen, there were so many other things I could have done, more washing, a newsletter, weeding the garden, calling a friend. I stopped myself and said this hour for myself is going to happen, one hour of play to exercise and play with my camera. Finding an hour, a week for an Artist’s date can be challenging. All those to do’s like to get in the way.  Yet this hour a week leaves me feeling refreshed and inspired. It makes me feel alive and puts a bit of spark back into my week.

 

 

What’s your favorite artist’s date activity to spark your creativity?  Do you take yourself out on regular dates, why or why not?  Please leave a comment would love to know your thoughts.

 

 

Wishing you all a wonderful day?