Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Artist's Way: Week 1

As I mentioned in my last post, I am going to try to complete the Artist's Way workshop over these twelve weeks of summer.  I have managed to successfully write three days out of three, so I feel victorious!

The program mandates that for each of the twelve weeks I must write daily morning pages (that is, three pages in long-hand or 750 typed words) every single day --- as well as complete one artist date each week.  I have maintained a fairly consistent routine of morning pages for the past three years, so that activity has not been a problem  The artist date,  however,  has proved to be a bit more challenging.  But today I took myself on a photo safari of the Kansas City Zoo.  I walked the entire zoo (approximately two miles) so that I could get the lay of the land for future safaris... and I took approximately 330 pictures.  I quickly deleted more than half of those when I returned home, but I managed to find a couple that I really enjoyed.  One, a picture of a mother giraffe giving hugs to her baby... and the second a geese family out for morning stroll.   It is my hope to visit the zoo at least twice a month and take many more pictures of these fun-loving animals.

The specific writing activities, however, have not been nearly as fun. In fact, I have been forced to face my "inner critic" and I have discovered that she is not a very nice person.  I was appalled at the venom she spewed in my direction and a bit taken aback that I would befriend such a shady character.  The next day I was asked to write this inner critic a letter.  I decided that it might be good for me to put a name with this faceless foe and I did a quick google search of "evil female names"  After contemplating several, the one that seemed most accurate to me was:  DELILAH

My inner critic is deceptive... just as Delilah.  She has tried to convince me that perfection is attainable and that I am a failure for not achieving that status.

My inner critic has also betrayed me, for she led me to believe that she was my friend... always helping me strive to be a better person.  But the reality of the situation is that my inner critic is my worst enemy.  She has no desire to see me succeed.  She does not have my best interests at heart.  She has convinced me that self-confidence is synonymous with arrogance... and she has crippled me.

But... not any longer.  As of today, I have told Delilah to pack her bags.  And while I know that she will not willingly leave... and that it will be difficult for me to let go of a nearly fifty year relationship (no matter how caustic)... I am resolute that she is no longer welcome here.

Good riddance, I am sure.  But I hope that I find another faithful companion who can authentically cheer me on....


  1. Oh, but Delilah will always be there. Always.

    As a student of personality types (the Enneagram), for the past 20 years, I've discovered that there is only one personality type with so harsh an inner critic, which just doesn't seem fair. You (and I) are both style ONE, the perfectionist, but just realizing that our inner critic is such a stern taskmaster is half the battle.

    Knowing that other people don't suffer as much from it can help us to try to look at the world more frequently through other lenses, and realize that we don't need to be as hard on ourselves, and on others, as we've been.

    The upside of being style ONE, is that when we feel really good, when we're "integrating/growing", we go to style SEVEN, which really is a much lighter, more easy-going style.

    Style SEVEN has almost no inner critic at all, but a very lot of the happy-go-lucky, inner child.

    I try to "be in seven" as often as possible, although it's hard much of the time.


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