Every other sentence in Julia Cameron’s timeless book about art and creativity is quotable. Not only does she include some pretty amazing quotes from fellow artists, but her own words throughout the book strike nerves and fervent highlighting every single time I read them.
We’ve finished week nine of our Artist’s Way group about recovering a sense of compassion. I wouldn’t say that it gets easier each week to read and digest the nuggets of wisdom. It does get easier to show up though. Easier to show up to the “mourning pages” and easier to plan an artist date. It gets easier to show up for weekly meetings and read through the chapter and activities. Perhaps simply because we’re nearing the end, and with that end in sight it makes anything possible.
So this week, the quote that is singing out to me is:
Blocked artists are not lazy. They are blocked.
Of course it speaks to me, because one of the primary negative messages I hear on repeat in my head is that I’m lazy. I have so many ideas, thoughts, curiosities, and interests, that it’s literally impossible to pursue them all. In the time I have, with the energy available, I pursue what I can. And yet, I am constantly met with the monster of laziness on my back. If I ever stop to rest or just think and dream, I think of all that I “could” be doing instead.
I’m getting better though. I’m learning. Having multiple invisible illnesses will do that for you. You choose your battles and the battle over whether or not I’m lazy is just one I don’t have the energy to fight so hard anymore.
Fine, call me lazy, I’ll shout back to the voice in my head. It works sometimes and the voice of doubt and resistance retreats for a bit to plan a new strategy. In the meantime, I enjoy the rest and the openness that allows for me to find what resonates.
So the process goes, again and again. Now, with Julia Cameron’s words, I am armed with authority. I am not lazy. I am often blocked. Blocks come from fear. Fear is not laziness. End of story.