I’m currently in week three of the program called “The Artist’s Way”. This is a very successful program that allows artists of any medium to remove the blocks stopping them from achieving their greatest potential. The program has been around for over 20 years and is very effective. There have been quite a few popular writers who credit the book with allowing them to write their first bestsellers.
The Artist’s Way is a book you must be ready for. Several years ago when I first received the book as a gift, I quickly realized that going through the book was something that would take a lot of work. I wasn’t ready to put in the time and energy to do so. Therefore, the book went onto a shelf, forgotten, until I was reminded of it again by the person who gifted me the book in the first place. She decided to go through the program again, and was excited at the results of the first several weeks. Encouraged by her words, I decided to give it a try again. And I’m glad I did, as the book has become the next logical step for me on my spiritual journey.
The first two weeks of the program deal with the baggage that we pick up and carry in our lives. That baggage stops us from opening our creative and spiritual outlets. This is Shadow Work at its deepest levels. The book encourages you to go into those moments of baggage; the moments where you felt crushed, belittled and beaten down to the point where you decided that it wasn’t worth trying anymore. Once there, you work through them by doing the exercises spelled out in the book to let them go. The more you work with these moments, the more you open yourself up to the possibilities of reaching deeper creative potential. (Or, in some circles, one would call it reaching the divine energy within each of us and allowing it to come to the surface in creative endeavors.)
Now that I’ve gotten through weeks one and two, I can see more opportunities for me to start writing, something I haven’t done since my childhood. Poems have started to flow from my thoughts, and I’ve been inspired to start writing fictional work again. I’m excited that I’ve reached this point. It’s very much like the first initiation into a bigger world of opportunity and wonder.
Now, on week three, the author speaks to some of the synchronicity that can happen during this stage of the program. If we truly have stuck with the exercises and gone deep, we have released some of the blocks to our creativity. Now the path is clearing and we are open to new things to come into our lives and change us for the better. The author speaks to possibilities of a class opening up, meeting the right person to mentor us, or any number of opportunities that can happen once we are opening ourselves back up.
I’ve been here before. You and countless others have also been here before. This is where the Gods/The Universe/whatever creative force you believe in starts paving the way for you to make permanent and lasting changes in your life. You have been given the first bites of how a higher state of energy feels; an amuse-bouche of the clarity, wisdom and connection you will have. Here is the opportunity to become more authentic to yourself and to grow in power and strength. This is a beautiful and exciting place to be. This is the flash of insight and surge of power we get after an initiation. This is the “a-HA” moment of realization. This is the decision that is finally made, the opportunity and resources that become available, or even the push of another door closing that forces you on the path you were meant to walk.
Everything is aligning the right way and it’s all there for the taking. But are you ready? Are you ready for the hard work that happens after the spiritual awakening or the initiation? Sure, we have the moment of clarity, we feel altered, more in tune with the earth or with the Gods. We feel the power within our hands, we see the path and opportunities open before us and we want to feel this way for the rest of our lives. But these opportunities aren’t going to stay open without work.
Whenever we are trying to better ourselves in anything – school, career, personal life, physical changes to our bodies – everything we attempt to change pushes us to come to a point like this. Any time we try to make ourselves better we first start to uncover the path, and now we need to change the daily habits to allow us to walk that path, one foot at a time.
So, how do you start to walk that path? Perhaps we must radically change the way we eat, live, move or work to keep that moment of clarity in the forefront of our mind. Perhaps we need to figure out the best way for us to get rid of habits, or take the time to meditate on why we have the habit in the first place. Perhaps we need to learn to trust the new energy in our bodies more and not be as reactive to the negativity of others.
We can even have help to do these things. Perhaps a new app, a new piece of jewelry or an affirmation posted to our bathroom mirror is enough to engage that spiritual energy within us, to remind us of the place we opened to and dared to go. Maybe checking in with a mentor or teacher is a possibility. If we feel like we need help on this journey, we will get what we need to stay on the path, as long as we choose to keep trying.
But keep trying we must. Just because we ask for a crutch or additional aids doesn’t mean we are not relieved of our own work. We can try getting up earlier all we want to do the meditations or prayers of gratitude. But the alarm clock will only get us up if we stop hitting the snooze button.
And we must be vigilant with our changes. Studies have shown that it takes a minimum of 21 days to get into a habit. But drop that new habit, even for a day or two after those 21 days, and you may find yourself right back where you started. No wonder most gyms in the United States get insanely busy in January, but die out in February.
The good news in this is that if we can’t make the change in habit or action, we will get another opportunity to do so. Perhaps the class date will pass, perhaps the memory of the initiation falls away. But another class will become available when you are ready. The initiation energy and attunement is still there and still open, ready to be utilized. If you have the will to keep trying, the opportunity will stay open.
Sometimes however the opportunity takes time to present itself again. I was reminded of “The Artists’ Way” about five years after I was first gifted the book. I’m very glad I picked it up this time around. And next time I hope I don’t have to wait another five years for the opportunity.
Photo from Deviant Art