Well, Week four got shunted forward slightly. By slightly, I mean I sort-of-almost-skipped it. A combination of work-related extras, life-related anxieties and not finding time for my reading/exercises meant I learned too late about reading deprivation, was going to have to cram my written exercises...I thought it best to just begin Week Four yesterday, which is what I have done.
I DID do all my morning pages still, though, which is good! It wasn't completely wasted.
I have really come to realise, especially in this week when I didn't do any exercises/artist's date/me time, what a disservice I do myself by not looking after myself properly. The creeping feeling that I need to eat better and exercise more is becoming stronger and stronger, and the yearning for some quiet time in my day, or to do yoga, is so much more noticeable. I am going to try a simple avoidance of crisps and chocolate for the rest of this week, I think, and the week after - I will try to include, in my check-ins, a record as to whether I am feeling any better.
I am finding the reading deprivation - and for me, this extends to the reading of Facebook, Twitter, and simply to letting my mind wander off in an unproductive direction for hours on end - really, really hard. I am constantly catching myself. Constantly. Especially when it comes to focussing my mind, now we're into the evening and I'm tired, I am starting to struggle in the latter end of my to do list because it is taking quite an effort to stay focussed and I just don't have the energy for it. I AM achieving more in the precious little time I have to myself, and this is hugely beneficial in the evenings when there is so much preparation to do for the next day, and it is nice to have to time for observation on trains or on walks to and from places. I will start to itch to put my headphones on and dance eventually, though, and that is one of my biggest time-wasters.
I reviewed all my Artist's Way work so far yesterday and created a sheet full of activities and pass-times that make me feel better spiritually and artistically to draw on when I have an afternoon free or am looking for inspiration for an Artist's date. I also wrote my Artist's prayer, and it goes as follows:
I speak to you, the magic in the universe.
I present myself as a vessel for that same magic.
I open myself to the magic of creativity, and offer myself as an artistic instrument.
I surrender all that is harmful and doubtful, and I open myself wholly, in heart and mind, to new ideas.
I trust in your reach, infinite possibility and power for good.
I trust in my own strength to do your work.
I ask that you help me live my life by curiosity and possibility.
I ask that I will never be restricted by feelings of doubt, worthlessness, or despair.
I ask that I be healed by my art, and that my art possesses the power to heal others.
Help me to be a loved and loving creature,
And help me to move through this life, and into the next, with the sense of having been touched by magic.
I have been struggling with the word "God" for some time now. It too closely resonates with my Christian past, and everything I have come to reject from that particular branch of faith. I do not want a deity to lean upon, or hide behind - I have made my peace with the openness of that particular question, and I choose to believe in Love and Hope. And what word can there be for that, if not Magic? My prayer appeals to all that is well and wonderful in the world, in a hope that I might spread that Love and Hope.