This chapter is about the joy and the art of self-discovery:
The past traumas certainly can burden anyone from “creative self-discovery.” the author explains about using a mentor-muse, he calls it Joy.
The joy we once had as children. “Joy is the essence, the fuel, and the energy of the creative life.”—love this quote from the book!
He explains how we lost track of joy, and seeking it in others and acceptance of others. As well as failure and rejection. “we try to live the life others want us to live or become who others told us to be and acquire what others told us we should want.”—How true is that?
Let me share a little: When I was young, college was expected, I was told along with others in my generation, go to college and you will have anything and everything you want. So off to college. I studied art, but I had to figure out how to make art a living to not go against the norm. —the society norm. I really wanted to own an art studio, self-employed in the small town I grew up, but…
off to graduate school to study art therapy and counseling. Now don’t get me wrong I like helping others, but honesty if I can do it again, I would have spent the time and money and energy into owning an art studio. But I heard a nag at me, get a job that offers vacation days, sick days, 401K and other incentives, mainly health insurance. You won’t live a good life unless you have those. So I studied and struggled through graduate school and not to mention the torture of writing a thesis.
Then I got the job with PTO days, 401K, health insurance and the incentives. Well what were the incentives? I got free supervision to increase my licensure for practicing counseling in my state, but still have to take another exam. Another expense. I hate exams, terrible at exams, but I did it. I passed. And onto working and making money. Oh I guess at this time, I am to shut up, because I got the job with PTO, 401K and health insurance and the incentives.
Where’s the joy? I am screaming mad. Was I fearful of trying something that went against the social norms and my family’s expectations? YES! I would be a failure if I left everything and went for something that was different and no one else in the family ever did.
So I compromised. Did I? I left my job of 7 years and went into private practice. I went against part of the social norm. I am now working as a contract worker. So no more PTO, 401K, and incentives. But I had to buy my own health insurance, and anyone in American knows how expensive that is! Where’s the joy?
Let me step back a little…I worked mainly as a counselor, I did some art therapy. Meaning sitting at a chair talking and processing with clients was most of my day for about 6 hours. If I did art, I was not making it, it was the client who got to make the art for about 20 minutes, then we processed it using the counseling process.
I lost my creativity and my feeling of being creative after I witnessed something in elementary school. After that year it seemed more traumas occurred and I spent countless years of anxiety especially during school. I saw too many teachers get angry and yell at students, toss them out in the hallway and throw things. I saw too many times someone physically assaulted-even at a young age. I saw too many times health issues getting out of control. I heard too many times people teasing me. I heard too many times that I wouldn’t go to college because I am not smart enough-insert–laughter. I saw my mother’s death. I am now seeing my aging father getting thinner and weaker. I did not do art during these times to help in my healing. i didn’t know I needed healing. I had no idea I was traumatized until I started taking a better look at my life experiences. I never felt my life experiences were important, but other lives are more important. I grew that my sisters, my brother and my neighbor and cousins lives were more important and my experiences were none. Why did I get silenced from a life I should have been living and instead was living a life of a silent nightmare and no one knows what I experienced?
ART IS MY JOY.
The author included a few questions in this chapter:
Question 1: what am I feeling right now?
Tired, bored in life, depressed, sad and have too much physical health issues from having rheumatoid arthritis, my back is tight, my neck is tight and I guarantee after I finish this blog and wash the morning dishes, I will want to take a power nap. Not to mention I just work up for the morning.
The author mentions to “answer the question as it relates to your inner world.”
I really can’t stand the people who were once in my life. I am angry at them. I am angry at myself for holding onto those friendships. Once they found someone else more interesting they dumped me like I was trash. I cried for days and years over these people. I am angry at the men who acted as if they wanted to date me, but they were tied to some other girl, one was married. Where do these people get off to destroy me and my beauty and love that I can give to others? I am angry that there are people in my life today, that don’t realize how I have been lonely for decades, but they think I am fine. I have to put up a front, if I don’t everyone will “fix me up” with their choice of who I need to be with. Ughh, trust me, I was once asked by someone who wanted to fix me up. NO!
Oh and those people never really supported me with my art and my dream of having an art studio. They popped my dream. But I had no choice but support them on their dreams of marriage and family. Whatever!
Question 2: what do I need right now?
I need some paint and canvas and throw my anger out on it! I need someone who will mentor me to own an art studio, even though I have debt and need health insurance and need to still pay on my mortgage. I need to find a way. I need to find a way to show the art skills I know from being an art therapist all my life. I need to have time to write the book about art journal making that I want to self-publish in the next 5 years. I need to not work 6 days. I need to work on not wanting every expensive thing for my home renovation in order to not work so much. I want to work from home. I don’t want to work for the current private practice. I want to work for a telehealth counseling center for 4 days and them work on my book and art the remaining days. I want to go against the expectations that everyone has for me. I want to own my own art business.
Question 3: what would I love?
I would love to have an art studio that has endless storage for supplies. Has space to rent for artists to us for their personal art work. To offer art classes, no therapy. To energize the community with art and creative activities for all ages. I would love to work on more YouTube videos and have time to write my book. I would love to sell my art.
I can tell from this writing, there is still anger in me about my past friends and relationships. There is fear of going against everything I worked hard for and vulnerability to do this alone. This chapter really did not hold back on getting me to think about fear, failure and vulnerability. This chapter certainly did not hold back on pushing to get me there quickly. It was a force that needed to happen.
Today my plan is to work on a painting for a few hours. Then I will be concentrating on the cross stitch and most likely will be watching Hulu or Netflix this afternoon. I will be cooking lemon chicken in a crockpot today. And if I have the motivation, maybe do some small house cleaning in-between.
coming up in posts: more about this book and the exercise I am willing to share. And more updates of knitting, cross stitch and painting.