Chapter nine of Walking In This World by Julia Cameron is all about discovering a sense of resiliency. This really delved into the six negative emotions worry, fear, doubt, restlessness, insecurity and self-pity that we all find ourselves confronted with from time to time. She gives valuable advice and guidance on how to find ways to accept them and work through them.
Personally I found these emotions showing up in my journaling practice of morning pages. My journaling helps me to dump them all on the page, some of them have substance and most of them are just rubbish thoughts. I have come to realize that I am awesome at worrying about things. I often indulge in a pity party. I often experience doubts which some of them I would be wise to listen. Finally I have a terrible habit of unrealistically comparing myself to others. So this was one chapter I needed to delve deep into.
Fear friend or foe. Julia states that fear can be our friend, it gives us clues, for instance, I fear my writing is not good enough. Fear is showing me an area I can take actionable steps on to improve. Fear is useful, it is trying to tell us something, and it can lead to more creativity. For instance I could do a writing course, to improve my writing. Fear is guiding me.
Doubts can be intuitive guides to something we need to examine more thoroughly or deeply. Doubts can be useful guides, especially when we start to examine the facts of the situation. Doubts can help us identify real problems that we can then develop real solutions to.
Time wasting pity- parties. Instead of being consumed by self-pity and expecting others to come to my rescue I can take control of my situation, be empowered and come up with my own solutions. She also states that self-assurance is the antidote to self-pity. She provides a great journaling exercise of writing 50 things down that you like about ourselves.
Worry, oh I get so lost in my worries, they gobble up all my energy, yet once I put them on the page they don’t seem so bad or demanding of my attention. Worry is often just wasted attention and energy. Worry, comes from our stories and is emotional and not based on facts. My imagination is brilliant when it comes to making up stories especially focused on things to worry about in my life. Awareness of this is useful in redirecting my thoughts and energy. I like the exercise of creating positive affirmations and a mantra. She suggests using a mantra during walking. I chose to say the universe always supports me, and guides me in the right direction.
Insecurity, that terrible act of comparing ourselves to others. This reminded me that I am my own worst critic, and that we are all at different places with our work and talents. This shows up in both my writing and speaking. I notice that they are way better speakers than myself, and they seem so good at it. I can beat myself up for not being as good as them, or I can focus on improving myself. It is ok to be where I am at with my work, and I am better of focusing on improving on my last project.
Restlessness surprised me, because that was about being ready and open for change in my life. This made sense because I have all this energy, I feel scattered and indecisive, I am irritable and unsettled. I have this feeling there is more to my life and there is something else I should be doing. Julia Cameron states: “Restlessness means you are on the march creatively. The problem is, you may not know where.” I have found Artist’s Dates helpful when dealing with my restlessness, because I can spend my time doing something for the fun of it, for an interest in it, or purely because I am curious. Currently I am doing a soulful painting course, now I am not a painter, however the process of doing my bad paintings is revealing and inspires me in other areas of my life. The process of painting for that one hour allows me to enter a flow state of mind, and that is when my inspiration comes. Artist’s dates allow me to explore, and discover new things, they are part of my practice of being open to possibilities, opportunities and change. For me the power of my Artist’s Dates can be describes best as, “follow your strange creative cravings and you will be led into change a step at a time.” Julia Cameron
Julia reminds us that we are all confronted with fears, doubts, worry, insecurity, restlessness and self-pity and will experience it. However we have an opportunity to turn some those emotions into creating positive actions. We can also recognize that some of those emotions are energy focused in the wrong place and that is something we can change.
This week’s prompt is: What signal is fear/doubt sending me ?
As usual there are exercises to do like making positive affirmations for our fears, and a mantra for walking, so we can impress our minds with positive thoughts. This chapter was very intense and gave me a lot to focus on in my journaling. There was so much in this chapter that I felt I couldn’t digest it all in one week. The highlights were looking at the six emotions negative emotions so as to understand them and learn ways to move through them. It was also about identifying ways I already use to move through them. It also highlighted the importance of my journaling process of morning pages, and how artist’s dates have helped me deal with my restlessness.
Do you have a book that you could engage with, journal about and even apply parts to your own everyday life?
Wishing you all a wonderful day!