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10 Principles of The Artist's Way

--by Julia Cameron (Dec 03, 2012)


It is my experience both as an artist and as a teacher that when we move out on faith into the act of creation, the universe is able to advance. It is a little like opening the gate at the top of a field irrigation system. Once we remove the blocks, the flow moves in.

Again, I do not ask you to believe this. In order for this creative emergence to happen, you don't have to believe in God. I simply ask you to observe and note this process as it unfolds. In effect, you will be midwiving and witnessing your own creative progression.

Creativity is an experience -- to my eye, a spiritual experience. It does not matter which way you think of it: creativity leading into spirituality or spirituality leading to creativity. In fact, I do not make a distinction between the two. In the face of such experience, the whole question of belief is rendered obsolete. As Carl Jung answered the question of belief late in his life, "I don't believe; I know."

The following spiritual principles are the bedrock on which creative recovery and discovery can be built. Read them through once a day, and keep an inner ear cocked for any shifts in attitudes or beliefs.

Basic Principles:

1. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy.

2. There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life -- including ourselves.

3. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator's creativity within us and our lives.

4. We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.

5. Creativity is God's gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.

6. The refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our true nature.

7. When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God: good orderly direction.

8. As we open our creative channel to the creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.

9. It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.

10. Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.

--Julia Cameron


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16 Previous Reflections:

 
On Jul 30, 2017 Nel wrote:

 I have a silly question... Are the morning pages supposed to be single or double space? Thanks



On Jun 8, 2017 Veronica Verduzco wrote:

 I started my 12 weeks but for many reasons I stop, I was almost in week 9 and I really felt the difference, is it possible to continue where I left of or should I start again on week one?



On Mar 8, 2016 Aristotle wrote:

 Laddu kavala nayana



On Dec 27, 2014 rdokoye wrote:

We're not all creators in this world, so I like to look at creativity as more of a skill set bestowed upon us, by a Higher Power, like my ability to navigate through complex computer issues, such as Shdoclc.dll problems, all of which fit into the same category.



On Feb 9, 2013 Bonnie O Neill wrote:
 When we create, we are the embodiment of the Creator.  It is as simple and glorious  as that. 
With gratitude to Julia Cameron who creates simply and gloriously. 

On Jan 23, 2013 Justin wrote:
 well! idwifing the creative process means that the inspiration and source of the creative process is beyond us and comes from our higher power. We simply help the creative inspiration to be born into reality. By the way, Lookboard is where modern design furniture meets exploration, creativity, and urban chic. Shop (or merely muse over) furniture, decor, and lifestyle necessities.

On Dec 10, 2012 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.  Such a beautiful thread of the visible and invisible ripples of Wednesdays! :-)   Thank you all, beloved family, for sharing your heartfelt experiences. They fill my heart with joy to see how we are responding to this critical time in the history of the Earth.   Last Wednesday, I don't think I was able to completely articulate what I wanted to share during the closing gratitude at the Kindness Temple in Santa Clara. So Today, during silent Monday, I'm going to give it another try:   As many of you know, love for Astrobiology --the understanding of the origin and evolution of life in the Universe as we know it and as we don't know it-- has been the seed of my wish for truth and the sense of awe and wonder in front of the vastness of this multiverse and the wholeness and the livingness of reality. Every time I look at the Milky Way it evokes a profound sense of the sa  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all. 

Such a beautiful thread of the visible and invisible ripples of Wednesdays! :-)

 
Thank you all, beloved family, for sharing your heartfelt experiences. They fill my heart with joy to see how we are responding to this critical time in the history of the Earth.
 
Last Wednesday, I don't think I was able to completely articulate what I wanted to share during the closing gratitude at the Kindness Temple in Santa Clara. So Today, during silent Monday, I'm going to give it another try:
 
As many of you know, love for Astrobiology --the understanding of the origin and evolution of life in the Universe as we know it and as we don't know it-- has been the seed of my wish for truth and the sense of awe and wonder in front of the vastness of this multiverse and the wholeness and the livingness of reality. Every time I look at the Milky Way it evokes a profound sense of the sacred. Our home in the Universe.
 
Now think/feel about all the electromagnetic radiation the Earth is receiving constantly. We are showered by this multicolored light, this infinite number of wavelengths that all of a sudden, in a singularity, kisses us in spacetime. And our closest reminder of this all encompassing light is the Sun. Life in the living being of the Earth is a response to the Sun's unconditional love.
 
Life on Earth could be seen as a response from the Earth to her star-centered universal world. Life on Earth is an expression of love. Millions and millions of species have been created out of this colossal celestial encounter.
 
In turn, we human beings, are an effect of this astronomical love. As such, we pay forward in any way we can. Wednesdays is one of such expressions. The unconditional love poured from Santa Clara to all beings, could be seen as a mirror of our star. The Mehtas in their star-like home, radiate with lovingkindness our beings in all senses. The questions are:
 
What is our response? What is our expression of love? What is our "Life on Earth" equivalent? How do we honor what was more profoundly meant by the Sun? 
 
Are gratitude, stillness, generosity, courage, beauty, wisdom seeds planted at "Love on Wednesdays"?
 
Who recognizes we are the living Earth, the Earth herself expressing through us her gratitude to the whole Universe? Who can feel Mother Nature is on "our side", in everyone's side?
 
What is the meaning of the Earth? What is the meaning of life on Earth? What is the meaning of our existence? 
 
How is it that our hearts and minds can be filled with love and wonder so easily? What if every home turns into a "Kindness Temple"? Would this be our expression of a self-fulfilling utopia?
 
Life needs very little and will always serve to balance out what is separate from reality. Ego, for me is always kept in check, always balanced by life.  Life does not support ego, because ego is a separation from the deep reality of life. That's why I come to Wednesdays. To still my mind and serve life with a broken open heart.
 
Smile and be Moved By Love on Wednesdays and every day... :-)

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

In radical love,
Pancho

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On Dec 9, 2012 Narendra wrote:

 How do you relate to the notion that creativity is a spiritual experience?  There are several stages of creativity 1) Imitation or copying 2) Re-creation or creatively reorganizing known objects/patterns and 3) Creation of a new patterns/objects. Nature creates new patterns through mutation within the local limits of the environment. Chaos, randomness or freedom, appear to be the platform for this new ‘original creation’. When this new creation is in harmony with the environment it becomes a stable pattern for reproduction. If it is not, it is discarded. These creations are like the notes in the music of nature. All life forms exhibit this process of ‘natural creation, mutation and selection’. These stages can be related to the three layers of brain-mind. For example, what appears to be creativity for survival is preprogrammed by nature as the operating system. This is also the creativity expressed through copying, 2) emotional creativity as in arts i  See full.

 How do you relate to the notion that creativity is a spiritual experience?  There are several stages of creativity 1) Imitation or copying 2) Re-creation or creatively reorganizing known objects/patterns and 3) Creation of a new patterns/objects. Nature creates new patterns through mutation within the local limits of the environment. Chaos, randomness or freedom, appear to be the platform for this new ‘original creation’. When this new creation is in harmony with the environment it becomes a stable pattern for reproduction. If it is not, it is discarded. These creations are like the notes in the music of nature. All life forms exhibit this process of ‘natural creation, mutation and selection’. These stages can be related to the three layers of brain-mind. For example, what appears to be creativity for survival is preprogrammed by nature as the operating system. This is also the creativity expressed through copying, 2) emotional creativity as in arts is the next level of creativity, where creativity is expressed as reassembling a known set of patterns. 3) The original, intuitive or spontaneous creativity is a rare step beyond the subconscious into the common or the spiritual consciousness, when we become a ‘channel’ for expression of a higher consciousness. This happens in a semi-trance state between the chaos of our ego-soul-mind and the tranquility of higher consciousness, when we momentarily become the original creative ‘force’ of nature as ‘knowingness’ or the blissful flow of ‘the self’. As the author points out, belief is a function of our mind and ‘knowingness’ is a function of the ‘common conscious mind’. This is the source of all original creation – ‘the mind of God.’  Can you share a story from your life that illustrates this?  As the author suggests, there are moments in our life when creativity becomes a spontaneous flow and we experience it as ‘the bliss of creation’. When this becomes more frequent, we can be in a ‘genius’ layer of consciousness in a particular aspect of life. This is more common in arts than in structured science. Art as in singing and music has been a spiritual path to higher consciousness all over the world. There are notes, melodies and rhythms that resonate with different layers of our consciousness, as in ‘mantra chanting’. What does "midwife-ing and witnessing your own creative progression" mean to you?  As the question suggests, it is a way of helping universal consciousness or universal creativity to express itself through us, by removing the interference of our own conscious and subconscious mind, through meditation and witnessing. Witnessing is a process of observing our emotions and thought processes. As emotions become love and thoughts are reduced, the creator or the artist becomes the ‘process of creation’ in a blissful semi-trance state of common consciousness. Music written in such a trance state can induce a similar trance state of common consciousness in the listener and in the environment.

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On Dec 5, 2012 a wrote:
 amen, David

On Dec 5, 2012 David Fetyko wrote:
 Midwifing the creative process means that the inspiration and source of the creative process is beyond us and comes from our higher power. We simply help the creative inspiration to be born into reality

On Dec 4, 2012 a wrote:

Creativity is very much a spiritual experience.  Creative gifts are unseen to the naked, human eye.  Unless spoken or demonstrated, creativity remains hidden (spiritually "packaged").  Something we experience, creativity is a personal gift.  Example:   Taking a class room of children, given identical time and supplies for a project . . . each will "create" something uniquely magnificent (just as God did with our finger prints)!  We have no idea what their little "mind eyes" are seeing or thinking, but God does.  When God told us to be fruitful and to multiply, He meant for us "to create".   In union with the Him, we think, act . . . and create.  Allowing the creativity of the Heavens and earth to flow in and through us, heightens/maximizes our personal creative potential. Finally, in creating us, God had a specific plan and purpose.  We need to be "midwife" . . .  step asi  See full.

Creativity is very much a spiritual experience.  Creative gifts are unseen to the naked, human eye.  Unless spoken or demonstrated, creativity remains hidden (spiritually "packaged").  Something we experience, creativity is a personal gift.  Example:   Taking a class room of children, given identical time and supplies for a project . . . each will "create" something uniquely magnificent (just as God did with our finger prints)!  We have no idea what their little "mind eyes" are seeing or thinking, but God does.  When God told us to be fruitful and to multiply, He meant for us "to create".   In union with the Him, we think, act . . . and create.  Allowing the creativity of the Heavens and earth to flow in and through us, heightens/maximizes our personal creative potential.
Finally, in creating us, God had a specific plan and purpose.  We need to be "midwife" . . .  step aside . . . to our own creative juices . . . and the miracles He births thru us.               

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On Dec 4, 2012 david doane wrote:

All is one, and creativity begins with living that.  Each being is an expression of Being, or Spirit.  Being is the ground or source of all life and all creativity, and as I am in touch with Being, open to it and allowing of it, I am open to and allow creativity to flow, to pass through me, like opening that gate at the top of a field irrigation system that the author speaks of.  The key to that gate is to recognize that I am in union with Being, and to be open and allow, which opens and allows all channels, right brain and left brain, beyond rational and rational, unconscious and conscious, seen and unseen, to flow.  That experience of union with Being or Spirit is a spiritual experience.  I've learned in my life that I am most creative, in writing and living, when I think minimally, let my writing and behavior flow, hang loose, trust the process, give myself leeway, and not double-think which stops my flow.  In writing, I am most creative when I let  See full.

All is one, and creativity begins with living that.  Each being is an expression of Being, or Spirit.  Being is the ground or source of all life and all creativity, and as I am in touch with Being, open to it and allowing of it, I am open to and allow creativity to flow, to pass through me, like opening that gate at the top of a field irrigation system that the author speaks of.  The key to that gate is to recognize that I am in union with Being, and to be open and allow, which opens and allows all channels, right brain and left brain, beyond rational and rational, unconscious and conscious, seen and unseen, to flow.  That experience of union with Being or Spirit is a spiritual experience.  I've learned in my life that I am most creative, in writing and living, when I think minimally, let my writing and behavior flow, hang loose, trust the process, give myself leeway, and not double-think which stops my flow.  In writing, I am most creative when I let myself write without interruption and then go back later and edit what I wrote, rather than edit as I go along.   When I open and allow, I am midwifing and witnessing my own creativity, or the creativity that is moving through me, and I love it.  I have moments of being that way, and still hold myself back much too often.  

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On Dec 4, 2012 Gretchen wrote:
 I have "done" The Artist's Way as either a group experience or on my own - and I can't tell you how powerful Julia's lessons are. Get the book and don't just read it, but DO it. It has profoundly changed me in ways I can't begin to explain.

On Dec 4, 2012 Syd wrote:
Your creative flow in your writing is beautiful Julia.  Your ten principles awaken important qualities within the soul and your ten principles express the highest form of creativity, self-creation.  You appear to have discovered yourself in creativity.  You also appear to not be merely an artist and teacher but a creative life-enhancing individual.  This to me is the highest form of creativity.    It appears your creativity is maintained by the act itself and allows you to continue to transcend self-consciousness.  I just want to simply say thank you for bringing your good and beautiful soul into the world, for being an exceptional teacher, and bringing your richness to the light of day.
 


On Dec 4, 2012 Ricky wrote:

For my whole life my mom has been the driving force behind how I have viewed creativity.  She on many occasions uses what I do on a regular basis as an opportunity to praise my efforts, yet at the same time minimize her own.  This has always left me feeling uncomfortable, and frustrated, because I have seen her efforts toward living a tough life with brilliant creativity.  It has been a struggle for the past few years to remain upbeat at each encounter with her while she consistently denegrates herself in an effort to build me up.  And, this toxic interchange has helped me be focused and think outside the box she has placed the definition of creativity in with my own children, who live with incredible creativity.  Recently I have helped her redefine her personal definition of creativity to drop the implied societal focus on 'artsiness' to how eloquently she writes down her passionate pleas when advocating for community matters, how wonderful her traditi  See full.

For my whole life my mom has been the driving force behind how I have viewed creativity.  She on many occasions uses what I do on a regular basis as an opportunity to praise my efforts, yet at the same time minimize her own.  This has always left me feeling uncomfortable, and frustrated, because I have seen her efforts toward living a tough life with brilliant creativity.  It has been a struggle for the past few years to remain upbeat at each encounter with her while she consistently denegrates herself in an effort to build me up.  And, this toxic interchange has helped me be focused and think outside the box she has placed the definition of creativity in with my own children, who live with incredible creativity.  Recently I have helped her redefine her personal definition of creativity to drop the implied societal focus on 'artsiness' to how eloquently she writes down her passionate pleas when advocating for community matters, how wonderful her traditional meals taste, and how wholeheartedly she lives when she opens her home to stray and abused dogs.
This is how I have changed my definition of creativity in recent years.  In fact, I can't imagine not approaching each moment any other way now.  Creativity is the pinnacle of the art of letting ego 'prakriti' go, and connecting deeply to the most inner divine 'purusha'.  It is applied in every breath we witness, and can be found in every present moment we share.  It celebrates free will.  It reflects deep love.  It is a beacon of pure clear light inspiring more acts of creativity.  It is witness to the manifestation of why we are here.  It becomes a glimmer of hope during desperate times.  It affords healing within crisis.  It resists the anticipation of duplication.  It is singular in the materialization of optimistic desire.  Creativity is not only how life has evolved, it is how we have returned to the most simplified core of enlightenment-recognizing we have been here before-‘seeing’ the extraordinary in the ordinary as Derek Ludwig put it so eloquently, until we no longer see a difference.  It is the confidence with which we move about facing the ‘mundane’ tasks of the day inspired to make a difference and being open to uncommon possibilities.  It is encouraging the baby steps taken and slowing down enough to smell the roses.  It is self-expression, but not the little s self, the divine big S self!  It is ‘knowing’ why we are here and revealing purpose and passion.

Albert Einstein:  There are two ways to look at the world.  One as if nothing is a miracle, and the other as if everything is a miracle.  Creativity is the expression of the most miraculous in every moment, the focus in every step, the awareness in every breath, the love in every encounter with every thing and every one.  Creativity is life processes of various inputs and outputs, and the way we can affect change our whole lives.  Creativity is the expression of our uniqueness, coupled with responsibility.  It is a reflection of our understanding we are all in this together!  
 

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On Nov 30, 2012 .Conrad P Pritscher wrote:

 Midwiving and witnessing my own creative experience is what I would like to do all the time.  It is paying attention to my present experience.  It is noticing what I notice..  This is facilitated by Sharon Begley and a psychiatrist named Schwartz when they stated: "Through mindfulness you can stand outside your own mind as if you are watching what is happening to another person rather than experiencing it yourself… Mindfulness requires direct willful effort, and the ability to forge those practicing it to observe their sensations and thoughts with the calm clarity of an external witness… One views his thoughts, feelings, and expectations much as a scientist views experimental data – – that is, as a natural phenomena to be noted, investigated, reflected on, and learn from.  Viewing one's own inner experience as data allows one to become, in essence, his own experimental subject." When we are open, we can call that experie  See full.

 Midwiving and witnessing my own creative experience is what I would like to do all the time.  It is paying attention to my present experience.  It is noticing what I notice..  This is facilitated by Sharon Begley and a psychiatrist named Schwartz when they stated: "Through mindfulness you can stand outside your own mind as if you are watching what is happening to another person rather than experiencing it yourself… Mindfulness requires direct willful effort, and the ability to forge those practicing it to observe their sensations and thoughts with the calm clarity of an external witness… One views his thoughts, feelings, and expectations much as a scientist views experimental data – – that is, as a natural phenomena to be noted, investigated, reflected on, and learn from.  Viewing one's own inner experience as data allows one to become, in essence, his own experimental subject." When we are open, we can call that experience creativity and/or spirituality.. Openness appears to be a key.  my dictionary defines "open" with 93 lines.  Even a definition of open is almost open

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