Week six of Walking In This World by Julia Cameron, the journaling of thoughts and exercises in this book continues. What I am learning is this is more than a book to read, this is a book to dive deep into and experience. It is a self- journey, a journey of discovery and bring about creative practices and dreams. I just love it. Week six of the book is about defining a sense of boundaries so as to protect our work and protect our time and energy.
Julia talks about practicing containment around our work, protecting our new projects from harm and harmful remarks. It reminds me how vulnerable and exciting I feel when working on a new project. Whilst I also feel it is a huge time of growth, discovering, and lots of not knowing. Therefore it is very important only to share my work with a trusted person who is willing to be encouraging and supportive of my work. If I share it with the wrong person the next thing you know, the project is doomed. It is amazing how many people will tear work apart, or tell you that you can’t do that, or just highlight the limitations and obstacles. It only takes one person to derail a project. Containment; now I know to protect my work.
When it comes to my creative time, I find my time is used up doing something else. It is a busy world and it is so easy to fill up my creative time by responding to other people’s needs, priorities and demands. Another boundary is preserving and protecting my own creative time. Julia suggests an activity to find time to be by yourself. This activity is to list ten ways you could be by yourself, such as get up an hour early in the morning, or take yourself to a cafe and spend alone time there. I now try to carve out some time during the day when my boys are at school. I call these my freedom hours. Even then I notice the interruptions the phone call, the emails, the volunteer work, the housework and other peoples demands. I have noticed that what I see as my time other people see as vacant time, and therefore think it is ok to make demands of me. During the week I have been thinking about how I define this supposedly non working vacant hours as my creative time.
Now Julia also talks about day jobs, now my day job is very important to me, I have a lot of knowledge, and skills in my chosen profession, it is interesting challenging work plus it pays my bills. I value my job and get a lot of satisfaction from it. However I want to add to my life by developing my creativity in other areas of my life. I want to give my creative projects the respect that my day job work gets. I think it all comes down to valuing the way I spend my time, and putting boundaries in place so other people know this time is set-aside for me, for my work. For instance I am thinking about setting aside Tuesday and Fridays as my Project Day’s. During this time I will only focus my attention on showing up and doing my work. By giving them set days and hours, I can honor and make a commitment to my creative time. I can also show others that these are my creative working hours. I see great possibility in this strategy.
My journal prompt this week has been: How am I protecting my projects, time and energy?
I have learnt this week the importance of protecting my creative projects from harm, and also valuing my creative time, and then putting boundaries in place to protect that time from other people’s demands.
I am half way through the book, and I have noticed how I am applying the lessons of this book into my everyday life, and that is both challenging and rewarding. I am starting to bring positive changes into my life.
This week my Artist’s Date was spending time in my garden, finding different ways to capture pictures with my iPhone. I also collaged my June dreams and goals. I did my journaling every morning.
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 week.