No matter how uncreative you may feel today, it’s never too late to live a creative life tomorrow.
Some 12 years ago I was laid off from my job, a result of the crash of the dot-com economy. At the time, I was as a lead content strategist — basically a glorified copywriter — for a giant website-building company that offered luxurious offices with perks such as weekly massages in a candle-lit room, brainstorming weekends at beachside resorts and kitchens stocked with gourmet treats.
Then the layoffs began. I’d get to work on Monday and find that the person at the next desk had vanished. The disappearances accelerated until half of my team ceased to exist. Next it was the business development division — the people responsible for bringing in the jobs. Once full of bright-eyed MBA graduates, their office space was soon vacant — just empty desks and chairs.
I knew my time had arrived when I came to work and saw the message light flashing on my phone. It was my supervisor, requesting I come to his office. Sure enough, it was my turn to pack my box and go home.
I was devastated, but getting laid off gave me time to finally crack open a book that had been sitting on the shelf for years. It was an oversized paperback written by Julia Cameron titled The Artist’s Way. The book changed my life.
For years I’d felt that my creative energy was stifled and I bristled with resentment when my bosses referred to “the creatives” and did not include me. Fact is, I counted the hours until five p.m. and dreaded Mondays. I’d spent way too many years in my corporate cubicle practicing politically correct, adult behavior and showing up for one reason only — a paycheck.
The Artist’s Way changed that for me. I faithfully did the readings, wrote my morning pages (a type of stream of consciousness journal done in longhand) and did the exercises, even when they seemed childish and silly.
I learned about “poisonous playmates” — the so-called friends who damage my self-esteem, about “crazy makers” — the people who demand endless attention and I took “artist dates” — adventures where I rediscovered those things, once pushed aside, that inspired and ignited my creative energy.
I uncovered the joy that comes when you break free of old, self-limiting ideas that demand that we look, be and live like everyone else. With this book in my hand, I unlocked my imagination and remembered my childhood dreams — dreams that once felt so capricious that I was embarrassed to say them out loud.
The Artist’s Way gave me the courage to go back to school to pursue a journalism degree, despite the awkwardness of being the oldest undergrad on the USC campus, and I started living what many would consider an impractical life. (“You’re too old to start over!”) But it was my life and I finally felt as if I was honoring my true gifts, my creative spirit and my Creator, and that book was the key that unlocked the door.
I realize that not everyone is supposed to be a writer, painter, poet or some other intrinsically “creative” type, but everyone, and I do mean everyone, is creative and has imaginative energy that is often repressed and dismissed but longs to be liberated.
When was the last time you heard your creative voice? Maybe it’s time to listen. No matter how uncreative you may feel today, it’s never too late to live a creative life tomorrow.
The Creative Life: Live It!
Want to uncover your creative energy in a supportive, group environment?
Kelly Morgan (who just happens to be single, which makes us like her even more) has been teaching a class, the Artist Way, based on Julia Cameron’s book, for more than 10 years.
A student of the book herself, Morgan says she finally stopped telling others they were more creative than she was. “I started doing what I loved doing even when it wasn’t practical and listened to my intuition … that’s how I changed my career from one of silent desperation to one that I’ve loved for almost two decades.”
Morgan’s next Artist Way class begins on Monday, October 1, at the Gateway: Portal for Growth & Wellness, 2511 Barrington Avenue, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90064
This class meets for 10 consecutive Mondays from 7-10 pm and costs $395. If you are a SingularCity member, you will receive a $25 refund on the night of the first class.
To sign up go to: http://www.creativelife.com/Register/AWW/AWW.html