Sunday, July 19, 2015

July 19. Freedom to Explore

Artist's Date Exploration

When I first read Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way, I liked all the activities she recommended for reconnecting with the creative self, except for one. Artist's Dates. This meant going out on a SOLO expedition. Exploring was something I did with others, definitely not by myself. I dreaded the idea of heading out by myself to visit unexplored territory and was afraid I'd end up talking to myself, out loud, or that I'd feel awkward and not have fun. This one activity was too far outside my comfort zone and I couldn't see how it would help me develop my creative abilities. If it turned out horribly, I'd just skip doing it in the future.

Wanting all the benefits of her program, I reluctantly went out on my own one weekend morning. Here's what I did before heading out:
  1. Recognized the fear of going out by myself. 
  2. Decided to be curious
  3. Asked myself, "What's the best thing that could happen?"
  4. Did it anyway
  5. Enjoyed the unfolding. Improvisation can be a good thing and the brain says yahoo to novelty
  6. On returning,  jotted some notes about what I liked
That outing was fun. I went wearing my magic jeans a friend had given me (ripped to bits, with all kinds of patches and fun little what nots all over) and visited a local antiques shop I had passed in my travels. I ended up in a conversation with the owner, a delightful woman who commented on my unusual pants.  She was wearing a remarkable bracelet made of fused glass and when I commented on it, told me the artist who created it had a studio next door. She insisted on introducing us.  I met the artist, toured her studio and then signed up for classes. After doing the class, she recommended I submit my work to an upcoming art exhibition. I did, got into the show and won an award.

Going on an Artist Date resulted in:
  • Making new friends
  • Expanding my creative work
  • Entering a show and winning a prize
  • Realizing how stepping out of old routines added some unique and fun experiences
All because of one little outing and a lot of curiosity. And I am introvert.

Allow yourself the freedom to go exploring, step outside the comfort zone, have fun and discover what can come your way.

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