On today's episode of Creative Space, we're addressing topics from Week 1 of Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way," which is all about recovering a sense of safety.
There are three core ideas that I cover in this episode: shadow artists, core negative beliefs, and affirmations.
From my own past as a journalist to the nuanced struggles of being a shadow artist, we peel back the layers of suppressed creativity and the impact early discouragement can have on us later in life.
I also dive into an exercise from "The Artist's Way" that illuminates the power of affirmations in silencing our inner critic or "Censor." By transforming negative commentary "blurts" into positive affirmations, we can move from being creatively blocked to unleashing a fulfilling creative life. If you've ever been haunted by a sense of creative inadequacy or felt like your artistic voice was stifled, this episode offers a beacon of hope and actionable steps towards claiming the creative life you deserve.
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Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Creative Space, a podcast where we explore, learn and grow in creativity together. I'm your host, jennifer Loge, and just as a reminder for the next few weeks, we're going to be doing something different. On the podcast, I'm doing the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron for the first time, and last week we talked about the introductory chapters and this week we're diving into week one, recovering a sense of safety. It's funny as I'm going through this book, I'm highlighting so much that the pages are practically yellow. There are so many oh, my god yes, that's me moments, and if you've done the Artist's Way yourself, I'm sure you can relate. One concept that Julia brings up that Steven Pressfield also brings up in the War of Art is the idea of a shadow artist. Basically, if we don't get the early encouragement in our creativity, we may never tap into it. And if we do tap into it in our early years and our parents offer cautionary advice instead of support, telling us it's something we should do as a hobby and that we need to get a real job, well, this is where shadow artists are born. Just so you know, shadow artists, according to Cameron, are people caught between the dream of action and the fear of failure of being an artist. In the book she cites a few examples, like Edwin the millionaire, who was a gifted visual artist but was pushed into finance by his father. So he surrounds himself with other artists and supports the other work of artists with donations and everything, but he himself is creatively blocked and unhappy. He suppresses his inner artist child. Then she talks about people who build careers close to the art they love but not the art itself. This resonated with me when it comes to journalism. I wouldn't say it was my first love, but I loved writing about music and the arts. I loved promoting great work. I felt a real joy and sense of purpose from that. However, where I think I went wrong in those years was not staying on top of my own creative output as a singer-songwriter. Sure, there are only so many hours in a day, but I've found, at least lately, that even small bits of time add up in the long run. That's something I could have done back then, but I didn't know what I didn't know. I also was stuck, I think, from the epilepsy diagnosis. It clipped my wings. For a long time I thought a career as a singer-songwriter would be too unstable for someone with a health condition like mine. But through doing this podcast and working with my therapist and different mentors, I'm discovering that there are many roads to Rome, especially with all the technology advances we've had in the last decade alone. But I digress. So that was Shadow Artists cool concept, although if you are one, don't feel guilty about it. I say just find that balance. Make some time for that thing you love every single day. Julie Cameron also spends a lot of time talking about core negative beliefs, which is Owa a big one for me. She says we get these beliefs from culture, but also from our family, friends, coworkers. It's amazing how the negativity thrown at us, especially when we're younger, how it makes a lasting impact. In doing the exercises this week, some really painful memories came back for me. That explained why I needed to free my voice in the first place, why most of the songs I've written over the years are pretty sad, even though most of you know me as optimistic and cheerful. Julia suggests that we use affirmations to get over these core negative beliefs, and I am all for it. She suggests a few like I deserve love, I deserve fair pay, I deserve a rewarding creative life, etc. She also says to pay attention to the objections that may come up when you start saying these affirmations. The negative inner voice, which she calls the sensor, might say who would love you or who would pay for your art, things like that. She calls those negative comments the negative commentary blurts and encourages us to take the blurts and turn them into positive affirmations. So it's a really cool practice and a great way to uncover what's blocking you. It would take a really long time to go through every concept in this chapter, but those are the ones that stuck with me the most. Now, apart from reading the chapter and meeting with my creative cluster, I did my daily morning pages and my artist date and over the course of my first week of the Artist's Way I had a breakthrough of sorts. So I've been using TikTok as a music practice log and I forget what day it was, but I couldn't stop laughing playing Seals Kiss from a Rose, and I know it sounds dumb, it sounds completely stupid and some of you might be thinking you think it's a breakthrough that you can't control your laughter when you're performing Okay, but that's the thing. I've always been so serious and brooding in my songs and at the piano for the most part, and it made me so happy to be able to laugh when I was making music. I felt like a kid, and that's the vibe I want to carry with me when I make music, when I'm creating anything. I'm not saying that I only want to write happy songs, but I want to approach music with a sense of play, approach creativity with a sense of play. So for me that was a big deal, that was a breakthrough, and it was only a weekend, so yay. So that's all I have for this episode of Creative Space. If you're interested in checking out the Artist's Way by Joliea Cameron, I've linked to it in the show notes. My name is Jennifer Loge. Appreciate you taking the time to listen. Until next time.