Healthy self-care is essential for all of us. It is particularly important to people who have experienced abuse.
The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self by Julia Cameron is a fabulous book and a 12-week fantastic experience. I’ve done the course twice. At the end of my first course, the other participants created a protection circle for me. It was a life-altering experience to be in the middle of the circle surrounded by the strength of unconditional love and powerful prayers. I started the course in Champaign, Illinois where I first saw the book Dance Me to the End of Love by Leonard Cohen featuring Matisse’s The Dance on the cover. That book is the inspiration for this web site and for the work I have done since 1998.
In The Artist’s Way, Ms. Cameron suggests we take ourselves out each week on an artist’s date. Essentially, it is a play date written in ink on your calendar. You go someplace and do something ~ by yourself ~ that inspires you:
Think delight. Think fun. Do not think duty. Do not do what you should do ~ spiritual sit-ups. . .Do what intrigues you, explore what interests you; think mystery, not mastery. A mystery draws us in, leads us on, lures us. (page 21)
Our ability to be creative comes from re-creation ~ play. Think back to a very pleasant memory from your childhood. What did you see? What did you feel? What did you taste? What did you hear? What did you smell? What activity can you engage in today that will bring those same five senses back into play? This would be a great artist’s date.
One of the reasons that so many people love bubble baths is that they heighten all of our five senses. This is also why we often emerge from a “brain shower” with a new solution to an old problem. So, go to the beach. Ride your bike. Play with dolls. Bake cookies. Read a book just for the fun of it. Plant some flowers. Play with your pets. Jump rope. Skip. Draw chalk pictures on the sidewalk. Watch a movie. Play.
My artist’s date this weekend was to go to the local flower and garden show. When I saw this outdoor room, it became my dream retreat. I took this photo to share with y’all to help you understand and appreciate artist’s dates.