It was 15 or possibly more years ago that I first became aware of the book ‘The Artist Way’ by Julia Cameron. Designed as a 12-week programme, The Artist Way is a course in discovering and recovering your creative self.
The first time I read this book and actively participated in the programme I was in my early 30’s and for some reason I recall feeling a little embarrassed about talking about it. Why? I have no idea… perhaps because of what I thought people may think of me. First time round I read the book solo, diligently reading the chapters week-on-week, and doing the suggested tasks and exercises. Flicking back through the pages, I recall enjoying the process but understand now that I wasn’t fully involved or truly committed to the process.
Fast forward to September 2021 and I get the ‘whisper’ to check my bookshelf, look for this book again, and flick through the pages – I guess hoping for inspiration to strike and it did.
On reflection, I’m sure reading this book and doing the programme solo did create some shifts in me and in how I did things back then. Yet I recall wondering about the power of sharing the experience with a friend or with a like-minded buddy, creating a group with whom I’d be able to bounce ideas around with, share synchronicities, highlight and discuss resistance to certain exercises, and what ‘doing the work’ was creating for me.
Moments of synchronicity
It’s funny that I now spot moments of synchronicity every day. It’s actually strange to think there were so many before but I was blissfully unaware of them. Having heard and acknowledged the ‘whisper’ and found the book in my lounge, I messaged my friend Adeline who I’d been on holiday with in August – the ‘All of you is welcome‘ retreat – and asked her if she’d heard of the book, and if she had, would she consider doing The Artist Way together.
I love the way the book is described on the back cover…
The Artist’s Way helps to demystify the creative process by making it part of your daily life. It tackles your self-doubts, self-criticism and worries about time, money and the support to pursue your creative dream. It has already helped thousands of people to uncover their hidden talents – it can help you, too.
This was back at the end of September, and in the first weeks of October she’d ordered the book, felt similarly inspired to dive into the programme, and so our joint adventure of ‘The Artist Way’ commenced.
Moments of inspiration
Throughout the book, in every chapter, Julia Cameron highlights several quotes. Some resonated more than others. Here’s a selection of those that really caught my attention.
“No amount of skilful invention can replace the essential element of imagination.” – Edward Hopper
“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.” – Edgar Degas
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin
“Satisfaction of one’s curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life.” – Linus Pauling
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein
“With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity.” – Keshavan Nair
“Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.” – Ovid
The power of sharing
If you’re reading this article, you may be wondering ‘Why is she sharing all of this?’. And the answer to that is having gained so much from doing The Artist’s Way a second time, and sharing the experience with Adeline, some of our friends have been asking about what we’re doing as they’ve recognised changes in us, a transformation if you will, in the past few months.
Many people in my friendship groups are interested in personal development, in challenging the norm, experimenting with new structures, and like to try on new behaviours that serve them better than previously held patterns, learnt from years of unconscious conditioning from those around us.
The Artist’s Way gives a fresh perspective. So, in response to friends asking if we’d do the programme again with then, we – myself and Adeline, will join them in supporting and exploring their journey as the new year unfolds.
In real terms, what this means is we’ll host a weekly check-in for those interested in doing The Artist’s Way and are looking to gain from the support and energy working in a group brings. We won’t be offering any advice, but we will hold the space for you to explore and discuss what you’re learning so that what you take away, truly lands and makes a difference in your daily life.
Join our weekly check-in
If you’re keen to find out more drop me and Adeline an email. We plan to start the weekly check-ins on Sunday 6th February, 60 minutes in duration online, 6-7pm GMT, and we’ll host them for 14 weeks. Why 14 weeks? We’ll use week 1 to frame up and make introductions so everyone feels comfortable in the group, weeks 2 – 13 will be for the 12-week programme – each week has a theme and topic as you’ll discover when you purchase and start reading The Artist Way, and in week 14 we’ll do a completion – a process we’ve learnt from our coaching endeavours at Natural Success. This process helps to concretise what’s been learnt and what you want to carry forwards.
A new adventure and refreshed creative ‘you’ await in the wings – take a leap of faith and join us on a journey of creative discovery and recovery.
Getting started – Sunday 6th Feb 2022
If you’re looking to do things differently in 2022 and have a desire to be more creative in all areas of your life, we would love you to join us! There’s real joy in sharing experiences and learning together.
The Artist Way, weekly check-in
Sunday evenings, 6-7pm GMT (online / Zoom)
14 weeks, one check-in a week
Starts Sunday 6th February 2022
Finished Sunday 8th May 2022
Find out more by messaging me or Adeline Segaux
In return for participating we would ask you to make a donation to Mind – the mental health charity.
The book, The Artists Way, by Julia Cameron, is available to purchase in many book stores, online and on the high street.
With love and creativity,
Emma and Adeline
Photo taken at Goring, West Ferring, Summer 2021