Friday, December 02, 2005

My favorite chapter

I must admit that Chapter 5 of the Artist's Way is my favorite chapter thus far. I so identified with its message that I had my husband read it. He is participating in this process with me as I draw him in to discuss a lot of the book. I didn't see it at all like Tracey.

I believe Julia Cameron sums it all up with the first sentence in the chapter: One of the chief barriers to accepting God's generosity is our limited notion of what we are in fact able to accomplish. This hardly implies that we simply pray for whatever material things we want and presto we will get them. In my life this thinking translates to being open, to taking off the blinders and seeing the immense possibility that is available to all of us. We tend to back ourselves into a corner, and then see no other avenues or possibilities for ourselves. If anything I pray for enlightenment, for being able to see a wider range of options. It sounds deceptively easy, but time and again, I have to remind myself that there is not just one option, one correct answer, or only one way to do something.

For whatever reason, whatever events shaped us to be the person we find at this moment of reflection, we have a tendency not to believe that there is abundance, and that we can tap into it. The other thing that happens frequently, or at least it does to me, is that because we have such a narrow vision, we mistakenly pick a course and try obstinately to follow it even though we are given many clues that tell us it isn't the way. I'm sure you've had days where everything just flows...the universe is aligned for you, and you can do no wrong. And then, there are the days where nothing goes right, when you think you should just hide, and wait for a new dawn. Another piece of sage advice from this chapter: We must learn to let the flow manifest itself where it will--not where we will it.

Of course a lot of what I've read applies to where I find myself at this moment in my life. We own a historic motel, and after events earlier this year in which we moved to MN to care for an ill relative, we shut it down and put it up for sale. This wasn't the first time we had it listed, and after almost a year of being on the market, it seems we are no closer to selling it. Don't get me wrong, it isn't a bad gig. I have four months in the winter when it is very slow and allows me to pursue my hobbies and passions. We returned late in August and reopened it. We've decided to take it off the market at the end of the year, and make the best of it here. I'm frequently reminded that it isn't an all or nothing life, that I can pursue some of my dreams concurrently with owning and operating this business. I realize that maybe there are better or at least different things in store for me here still, things that with my narrow vision I am incapable of imagining, and I shouldn't see not selling as defeat. And here is my Wish List Exercise:

1. I wish the motel would sell. (I know...but I still would like to sell it.)
2. I wish I could lose 50 pounds. (Of course that would fix everything...NOT!)
3. I wish I would buy the longarm.
4. I wish I would make better use of my time.
5. I wish I lived somewhere more rural.
6. I wish the wind would stop blowing.
7. I wish the decorating was all done for the holidays.
8. I wish I already had the longarm.
9. I wish for good health.
10. I wish I didn't worry about spending money.
11. I wish my mom was still alive.
12. I wish I could dance with abandon. (and that it didn't need to include alcohol)
13. I wish the mailman would bring me something besides ads and bills.
14. I wish the day would freeze at the moment of the most spectacular sunrise.
15. I wish I didn't have to cook some days. (but there is such a lack of alternatives in this town)
16. I wish I was still young in body.
17. I wish I could really embrace abundance.
18. I wish I didn't feel so restless for a change.
19. I most especially wish for inner peace.


Jane Ann said...

Oh, Hilda! I need to re-read and re-read what you have written--very thought-provoking. (Hardly a profound response, but I need time to digest.) I was flabbergasted at your first sentence because I've been thinking all week that Chapter 5 seemed to be a let-down for most of us! I haven't got much from it except the section on wanting to be left alone. Now you and Tracey and Debra are giving me reason for further thought. THIS is the benefit of doing this work in a group. Thank you for your thoughts.

In the Artist's Prayer exercise last week, I affirmed that I would stop questioning that which I don't understand, and try just accepting it as part of a larger plan. Guess I need to work on that.

Pat/SWquilter said...

I can relate to so much of what you have to say about Chapter 5, Hilda -- and in your wish list "I wish I wasn't so restless for a change" - don't you think that's the universe telling you it's time for one - and that's why you're here in this AW group anyway? Seems like you have the possibility of change coming in so many areas of your life right now - everyday and creative. On the one hand, it's exciting, but sometimes unnerving too -- hang in there, you're moving in the right direction!

Red Fork Hippie Chick said...

Oh, Hilda, I will happily make #15 come true for you the very next time I am in town. You know how I love the Coolest Grocery Store in the Universe ... and I would be honored to cook in Miss Lillian's kitchen.

Rural is as rural does. I recommend a beehive. And more attention to tiny blessings. (My practitioner gave me that second idea as a sure-fire antidote to depression.)

I'm still trying to figure out how to make your first wish happen for you.

I don't dance with abandon, either. But I should. In New Mexico. I should dance in the high desert, under that magic light, to the rhythm of the road and the hum of the neon. And you should join me. We will dance like crazy wild women while our boys sit in the lobby, drinking beer and wondering what's gotten into us.

If I didn't have to be at work tomorrow, I would hop right in the Starlight Express and show up in your lobby first thing in the morning.