17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Artist Mother

I didn't want to have another baby. I was scared of losing my life. I had adjusted well to baby #1 and had a good balance of mothering, wifing, churching, friending, and careering. I was growing my business and nurturing my family. I was so happy with the way life was, and with my one child. I didn't see my life as broken, so why fix it with another child?

I had a personal revelation one day that made it clear that I needed to have a baby. So I did. In order to quell the initial fears I had about bringing another child into the mix, I had a plan. The summer I had a newborn I was going to focus on my creativity by participating in a program called The Artist's Way. It was a 12-week program that had me writing pages every morning, taking myself on artist's dates, and setting goals for my creative self. Though it did take discipline, (I had to go for a week without reading the day after the Harry Potter Book came out...ouch), it was just what I needed to remain focused on the non-mother part of myself.

It has been a year since I did the program, and I feel that everything is clicking. I see the art in the everyday. I have stripped away the many layers of life that have gotten in the way of the raw, rooted talents I was blessed with. I have begun to nurture my inner-artist-self. I know this is God's plan for two reasons: I am experiencing a great deal of adversity: The specifics are not important, just the fact that I am having a DIFFICULT time in many areas of my life that are so unimportant, but just get in the way. The second reason I know it is exactly what I am meant to be doing right now is because I am inspired and energized. All of a sudden I want to take ballet classes, bake, sing, cook, buy organic, make a home-made gift for my daughter's friend, read, and write.

As mothers, the literal and figurative dirty diapers of life start piling up and piling on top of our souls. It takes a great deal of work and effort to climb out from under the stench, but once it is done, the air is so fresh and the perspective so bright. It is worth the work to hold onto that part of you. And the most beautiful thing is when your mothering (which is the ultimate CREATIVE power) can coincide with your artist self, and make your life that much more alive.

For more on my journey, click here.


  • are you still writing 30 minutes a day then?
    posted by Anonymous motherofAll at 5/22/2006 07:58:00 AM  

  • I think the morning pages was meant to be 5 pages(I guess that can equal 30 minutes depending on how fast you write and how big the pages are)? Can't remember exactly. But no, I do not do my morning pages anymore...but I journal probably once a week, and more if I really need to get stuff out of my head.
    I also started blogging which is good discovery as well. But I did do the morning pages almost every day when I was doing the program. The creator of the program certainly wants all her students to continue writing every day.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 5/22/2006 08:21:00 AM  

  • I worked through The Artist's Way when my oldest was about 1 1/2. I think the author likes morning pages to be 3, 8 1/2x11 pages. I wrote 3 pages, but in a smaller notebook.

    I know when I do consistent morning-pages style writing I feel better about my life and getting the things done that I really want to.

    Right before I got pregnant with my #2 (he's turning 2 in a month) I started working on the Vein of Gold book/program by the same author as The Artist's Way but it all fell by the wayside when morning sickness kicked in. Maybe I'll get it out again....
    posted by Blogger Vicki at 5/22/2006 12:43:00 PM  

  • Sounds great, too bad I'm not at all artistic.
    posted by Anonymous momontherun at 5/22/2006 01:21:00 PM  

  • momontherun, the author stresses that you need not be an artist to participate. I think she even refers to "housewives" as being able to benefit. It is about getting in touch with the inner you and what God has give you...whether that is art of a keen ability to balance your check book.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 5/22/2006 03:42:00 PM  

  • I was never disciplined enough to do THE ARTIST'S WAY when I got it a few years ago from a friend. Maybe I'll start up again after I reappear from the haze that is "new mommy land". Good suggestion. Glad it worked for you.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 5/22/2006 05:15:00 PM  

  • Artist's Way is fabulous, and I would recommend it to anyone. And creativity is great alongside parenting whether or not fine art is also involved.

    I did one-page morning pages for a couple years afterwards. But I dropped out eventually. I'm in an absolute funk now, prescribing myself flylady and Artist's Way, if I can just get myself to get started again.

    Blogging is great but doesn't completely serve the morning pages purpose. I wish I could stay keen without the pages.
    posted by Blogger Mabel Maybe at 5/22/2006 07:32:00 PM  

  • From all I have heard, I think the Artist's Way seems like a really great program. I truly believe that being able to regularly tap into your creative brain leaves your entire body feeling energized. And I also believe that creative inspiration is closely related to spiritual inspiration. The trick is, like Kage said, is to clear out all the junk so your mind and heart can recieve both more often.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 5/22/2006 08:25:00 PM  

  • I had never heard of this program until Kage's post and I'm very interested. Thanks for the post - I'm going to check it out and try to make room for it in my life.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 5/23/2006 08:33:00 AM  

  • So Is the Artist's Way a book? Who is the author? I have always felt guilty that I don't keep a regular journal. I keep a journal for each kid and a pregnancy journal but that is all and it doesn't allow me to express my inner feelings and thoughts. I'd like to try out the program. What do you do with all those journals once you fill them up?
    posted by Blogger Brandolyn at 5/23/2006 10:17:00 AM  

  • b-I actually saved mine on a shelf...part of the program is going back and reading it. Another note on journaling...I used to write everyday from age 14 to about 18. Usually when I filled an entire journal, when I started a new one, the first page was always the same. Let's say I started it on May 23, 2006...then I would go back and randomly read every other entry on May 23 or sometimes I would do Marcch, April, Feb and Jan 23rd...I would choose something about the date to read back...I wouldn't read the whole thing, but just parts, and then write a short sentence about each date I picked, on the first page. This was so great because I learned about myself and I could see that I had indeed grown over time. To this day I can visualize certain pages in my journal and find them pretty easily to go and read. Especially the spiritual experiences. So...to answer your Q---THAT's what you do with all those pages...they're not just for your ancestors: They're for YOU
    posted by Blogger Kage at 5/23/2006 01:13:00 PM  

  • That is so cool. I am inspired. Of course I was inspired when Sunny did that enrichment activity on Journaling and speed writing a couple of years ago and was all excited, but never followed through. Maybe this time. Wasn't it President Wilford Woodruf who kept a daily journal for 80 years or something? Amazing.
    posted by Blogger Brandolyn at 5/23/2006 04:46:00 PM  

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