health & happiness personal

Pulling Brain Weeds

September 12, 2011

Okay, as promised, I started The Artist’s Way creative self-recovery program last week, and this is my first weekly check-in.

How many times this week did you do your morning pages?
I did my morning pages every day this week! However, I didn’t exactly do them first thing in the morning. (You may have inferred that I have regressed slightly on being a morning person. You are correct. Probably should adjust my 40/40 list . . .) Technically, I did them in the morning if you define morning as “before noon.” One of these days I’ll get up when the alarm goes off.

The point of doing them first thing in the morning is to clear all the mind chatter and nagging thoughts that typically bounce around in there so your creativity has space to flourish. It’s a little like pulling weeds in the garden that is your brain. Although it wasn’t the first thing I did every day, I have to say that the journaling has been incredibly cathartic. I have already started a new project that sprang from my mind this week. I actually have the entire thing laid out; I just have to put it into action.

I have kept a journal since middle school, and I can’t help but notice how much happier I feel when I write regularly as opposed to every once in a while or in times of crisis. Needless to say, I am feeling much more focused and calm this week.

Did you do your artist date this week?
Uh, well . . . no. Frankly, I felt guilty about asking someone to watch Scarlett so that I could go play. Rationally, I understand how important it is for me to refill my creative well, if you will. But I can’t help it: I just feel guilty about taking time for myself. I feel it’s indulgent and that my family likely has more important things to do than I do. I can see how silly and ridiculous this sounds, and I was always so quick to judge all those women on “What Not to Wear” about putting themselves last, but now that I’m a mom, I totally get it. Clearly, this is an area I need to work on.

Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery?
I’ve started this program twice before, so I’ve already done the Week-1 exercises twice. (Third time’s the charm.) Nothing surprising surfaced this week from the tasks as I was fairly thorough in doing them the first (and second) time. However, as I mentioned above, keeping a daily journal has already made a huge difference in my well-being. I’m sold.

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