The Listening Path
If you’ve been a reader of this blog, you know I’m a big fan of author Julia Cameron. Her book, The Artist’s Way, had a profound effect on my thinking and my daily practices. It’s been nearly a year and five journals later that I implemented her Morning Pages practices. When I saw it was on sale for $2.99 on Amazon Kindle, I snapped it right up (disclaimer – the price is higher now). This book introduces a six-week program focused on develop a deeper approach to listening. She reiterates the basic concepts from The Artist’s Way – Morning Pages writing, Artist Dates, and Walking. Each week of the program introduces a new way to listen:
Week 1 – Listening to our environment. Pay attention to the sounds around you.
Week 2 – Listening to others. How often do you listen, REALLY listen when others talk?
Week 3 – Listening to our higher self. This concept aligns with “going with your gut.” She advises asking yourself the following questions to guide decisions – big and small:
- What do I need to know?
- What do I need to accept?
- What do I need to try?
- What do I need to grieve?
- What do I need to celebrate?
Write the questions down. You will be surprised at the answers.Week 4 – Listening beyond the veil. This practice involves connecting to the world beyond and requires a spiritual openness to the belief that there is life after death.
Week 5 – Listening to our heroes. Find someone you admire and write to them in your journal. Address them and ask for their guidance. Write down the answer you hear
Week 6 – Listening to silence. We live in a noisy world, full of distractions. Carve out time for silence.
Although this book serves as a creativity booster, read The Artist’s Way first. This book focuses on listening, but the tools are primarily the same as given in The Artist Way. I do like the five questions given in the section on Listening to Our Higher self and use them for journal prompts – especially when I’m feeling stuck.
The Creative Cure
Jacob Nordby first appeared to me in The Listening Path. It is no surprise, then, that Julia Cameron wrote the introduction to his book, The Creative Cure. I was thrilled to see his book was on Amazon Kindle for $.99 (disclaimer – the price is higher now). Jacob’s process is a path to finding your inner creative self. He highlights the enemies of creativity as socialization, traumatic experiences, and rejection. I personally have felt the negative effects of all three. His tools for creativity are just two: journaling and meditation. He suggests setting aside then minutes to ask yourself the following questions:
- What am I feeling right now?
- What do I need right now?
- What do I need right now?
The book contains numerous other exercises to finding your creative self. I found the exercises innovative and transformational. What I like about Jacob is his authenticity and approachability. His methods are easy to follow. He even provides a free journaling handbook at the following link:
Order the book and follow the process. It is easy and forgiving. Jacob speaks from experience and is willing to share what he learned from pushing through a major life failure to finding his creative self.
Find Your Artistic Voice
Lisa Congdon is a self-taught artist who shares in this book her journey to finding her artistic voice as well as insights from artists interviewed. I saw this book on Kindle Unlimited (disclaimer – it’s no longer available in Unlimited) and “borrowed” it as I feel I have yet to find my voice. Lisa and the artists interviewed provide helpful insight and strategies into how to find your voice. Lisa’s colorful and delightful artwork is sprinkled throughout. This book guides readers with strategies for identifying and nurturing what it takes to develop a voice. She is a big proponent of starting the process NOW and pushing through fears and doubts.
Starting now and continued practice is the key factor in finding your artistic voice. Most artists struggled early in their career with finding their voice. You are not alone. All artists need a creativity booseter shot.
- We all have self-doubts and an inner critic that needs silencing.
- Practice, practice, practice
- If you see a book you like on Amazon at a good price, order it now as the offers and prices change.