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The Creative Art of Attention

Lesson 1 of 1

The Creative Art of Attention with Julia Cameron

 

The Creative Art of Attention

Lesson 1 of 1

The Creative Art of Attention with Julia Cameron

 

Lesson Info

The Creative Art of Attention with Julia Cameron

Mhm Mhm Yeah. Oh we love you. It brings me so much pleasure to have this guest on the show. Please join me in, welcoming, tap your keyboards, raise the roof, smile largely clap wherever you are listening or watching the show right now because it brings me so much pleasure to welcome Julia Cameron to the show, Julia, thank you so much for being here and welcome, thank you. It's good to be here and uh to say that you are celebrated in the culture that I come from culture of people who identify as creators and entrepreneurs would be a massive understatement because of course, you wrote one of the most prolific, important and critical Books, books that helped transform millions and millions of lives. And I think you wrote it back in 1992, if my memory serves me correct. And it's called the Artist's Way. And we're here today to not just talk about the Artist's Way, which I do want to cover, but you've also got a new book out which I have to confess I have read. And uh, is every bit the geni...

us that your, your last Book, the artist's way. And I know you've written, I think 39 other books. So this is old hat for you. Welcome to the show and thank you so much for being here. Well, you're very welcome. And I, I think, uh, that this the listening path does follow on the artist's way. So if you skipped 38 books in between, don't worry. Well, as someone who has adopted many of the things that you suggest in the artist's way, as soon as I cracked and I think maybe even page one or two, you're drawing on that book. So it just felt like a perfectly natural uh, continuation in the best way. And it takes us deeper uh, in a arguably a quieter, more introspective way than even the artist's way. And uh I'd like to start our conversation by going a little bit back uh if you could tell us a little bit about your history because I just referenced any written 40 books. Um but give us a little bit of color on your upbringing and how you began to identify as a creative person and started taking steps to share your creativity with others in hopes of their their pursuing their own. Give us a little backstory. Well, it's I would say it has to start when I'm 12 years old. I'm in mrs collapses class and there's a boy who's new to the class named Peter mundi. And I wanted Peter to be my boyfriend, my first serious boyfriend. So I said about wooing him by writing short stories. Well, as it turned out, Peter fell in love with Peggy Conroy, the cheerleader. Uh And years later he said to me, well you fascinated me but you terrified me. Uh And what I found was I didn't succeed in winning Peter's heart. But I fell in love with writing and I wrote from then on out. Uh And I went away to college uh And I went to Georgetown and the regime there said you don't want to be a writer, you're going to be a wife. Uh And this was I was stubborn and I said, but I do want to be a writer. And I began writing more poetry uh And I began um fighting for my right to right. And what year was this? Take us put us at a point in history. Your comment about they wanted you to be a wife doesn't obviously go unnoticed and nor does your resistance to that um old fashioned idea. But give us a sense of when it went in history. That was for you. What? Your 1966 I'm 72 years old now And 191,960, you're 18 then in 1966 you started fighting for your right to right. And what I know about fighting for something is that it can come in many forms and presumably one of those is writing. But were there other things that you did to fight for that? Right, or was just writing enough? Well, I wrote controversial articles for the school paper. Uh we had things like girls had a dress code, you had to wear a skirt, you couldn't sit on the line. Uh And uh I fought for our right to sit on the lawn and for us to wear slacks as well as skirts. Uh And uh I have a friend Dr Hackett who has saved these articles from 1966. And I was feisty, not surprised me, Juliet, not surprised one bit. So when you were protesting, part of what I'm trying to understand is was it marching in the streets, or did you do this with your pen and by putting the articles out there in the world? And I asked this question because there are so many people listening or watching right now that they there there is a thing in their world, they're trying to get through over or around. And my belief is that using your creative skills and the attributes that we all have is a fantastic mechanism to actually free you from from uh those chains. And there's probably lots of other ways, but I'm curious to hear if it was just the pen that you as a as the primary method for your resistance, or were there other things that you would give advice for those people who Um are feel blocked in their life in the way that you felt blocked back in 1966? It was just the pen. I had a teacher who was wonderful who encouraged me to write more poetry. Uh huh. And he published My 1st poems in a little journal and it was greatly encouraging to me to have a receptive audience. So I owe a great debt to Roland flint, Roland flint. We're sending our best to roll in flint, wherever in the universe. The cosmos Roland flint maybe. Um So would I be putting words in your mouth if I said in addition to writing, you were also cultivating a community people of like mind and interest. And or would that be um is that inaccurate? And if so help me understand where I'm wrong? Well, I don't think I was cultivating a community Georgetown was a boys school and I was in the first graduating class of women from Georgetown and we weren't welcome, we weren't encouraged. So Roland flint was a light in the darkness. Uh, and I found myself feeling like if I could just please Roland, I would be on the right track. Well, clearly if he was a willing audience and you know, helped you keep going, then you found yourself uh, an accomplice, even if he didn't know it at the time. Um, So in 1966 you were feisty and does not surprise me a bit having read a lot of your work. And at what point did you shift gears and think about writing for other artists instead of pursuing only the art in the forms of poetry and other ways that you had written in the past? Was there a moment in time when you shifted gears and started writing for the creator that's in every person trying to give us courage. And was there, it was at a moment in time or was that a process? Did that take take time to shift gears? Was there an ah ha moment? How would you think? I think we need to jump ahead? Okay, great. So 10 years later, I was writing for Rolling Stone Magazine and the Washington Post, I am washingtonian and the Village Voice and I was concerned was being brilliant. I wanted to be the best smarty pants you both? Uh the most hot ticket writer. Uh and what happened was I was drinking uh and I felt that writing and drinking went together like scotch and soda and I've got to a point where I realized that the drinking was getting in the way of the writing. And so I quit drinking and when I quit drinking I had someone say to me now you need to let the higher power right through you. And I said, well, christ what if it doesn't want to? They said, well just try it. So I dedicated my writing to a line from Dylan thomas, the force that through the green fuse drives the flower. And I thought I can dedicate my creativity to that creative energy and I'll try and let it right through me. Uh And what happened then was that I stopped trying to be brilliant and I started trying to be useful. Uh And of course what happened was that my writing straightened out, my career straightened out. And I I said to myself, well, if it's a choice between being a teacher and an artist, I'm going to be an artist, I don't want to be a teacher. But then I found out that when I blocked myself as a teacher, I am black myself as an artist. So the two went hand in glove and it sounds to me something like your own career path. Yeah. There is a similarity when I felt my uh I was compelled to to almost in near real time, especially with the Internet evolving as rapidly as it was at the time. Start sharing with others the journey I was on to discover myself as an artist and while it didn't take the form of teaching, it was more storytelling. I think that was uh that anchored somewhere in my subconscious and it created a little bit of a what felt like a virtuous cycle, like a flywheel. The more I shared, more empowered, I felt to take chances as an artist and I could put something else out there and then help others learned from the emotional roller coaster that I had went, went through from just, you know, putting out a book or a photographic essay or you know, or some of my writing or some websites or products that was building out on the internet. And it was it was very helpful. It was very helpful. I think that's fascinating. I've never heard you talk about um your relates the relationship between teaching and artistry as you just as you just did. That's fascinating. Where did that take you? Well, I've I wrote the artist way to unblock about 10 people who were my friends. Uh huh. And I thought, well I'm writing a little teeny manifesto because I felt like artists were mistreated and we needed to stand up for ourselves. So I wrote the artist's way and I shared it with my friends and they shared it with their friends. And then I was publishing it at a little communist bookstore. Uh and uh I was working. I should mention here a man named Mark brian who was my second husband and a great love of my life. He said to me it should be a book, it could help a lot of people. And I said to him, Mark I am the book. And he said no really you must write it down. And I thought that son of a bitch, he says stubborn. So I I started trying to write the book at him uh thinking each week well what does he need to know? Uh and uh so I dedicated the book to him and said without him it would not exist. So this is sort of like we talk, we talk about the muse uh huh And when we talk about the muse, we usually picture the muse as a feminine force. But in my life, the muse has been men. Starting with Peter Monday at 12 years old. Moving on to John Kane at 18 years old. Moving on to martin Scorsese. Moving on to Mark brian. Uh huh. I I wrote from love and from passion and as you uncovered your own passion and used it as you said earlier as the the fuse pushing up to the green, the green stem of the flower. I think that was the metaphor. Um did how aware did you feel like you needed to be? Because what we're really getting to with your newest book, the listening path is about awareness. And so my question is how aware were you at the time that these figures were your muse and you feel like that mattered? Was it important to know that then? Or were you just following the feelings? That's a tricky question. What happened was that I fell in love and each time I fell in love I fell in love with another art form. Uh, and so for example, Martin was my first husband. And from him I inherited a love of movies. Uh and Mark was my second husband and from him I inherited a love of teaching. Uh and I think that I don't, I don't know that the men would have been flattered if I said they were amused, but they were powerful muses for me. Well, as you said, uh, just a few minutes ago, you wanted to jump forward. So I'm gonna take um an opportunity to do so because when your second husband talked you into writing the book that became the artist's way, did it have that same effect immediately that as when you were early in draft and sharing it with one person and one person would share it with another? Was it right out of the gates? An instant success? Or again, this is one of if you are listening to this show right now and you have not purchased a copy of the Artist's Way or if you haven't heard about it, then my goodness, you have to spend some time with this book. Um But that doesn't change the nature of my question. I just want to interject that for anyone who's who's new When you wrote it. Was it an instant success? And we're talking back in 1992. And what was your experience when you put it out in the world? How did you feel? And what was the reception? Well, first of all, we published it ourselves uh and we started getting letters, I am with the State Department in Switzerland, I hear you have a manuscript. So we got letters from odd quarters, uh and we xerox the book and mailed it off and we probably did, I want to say 1000 books that way. And then I wanted to publish the book. Uh and I had a literary agent encouraging me. And then suddenly she threw her heels into the ground and said, I can't represent your book, we already represent Natalie Goldberg. So I said, well, I don't think Natalie Wood mine and and Natalie's has become a good girlfriend of mine. Uh And she's very generous spirited. But what happened was Mark, the second husband was in a bookstore. Uh And the owner said this Julia have a literary agent. And Mark said, well she did, but but she doesn't anymore. And the bookstore owner said here, this woman came in and left me her card. And so Mark came home and said you must call this woman, she's a new york literary agent. And I said I can't call her, I'm too discouraged. And he said I'll call her. And so he called her up and she said well every year at christmas I get a good book and maybe this year it's yours. So um we we sent her off the little hand bound communist bookstore manuscript and she called me on New Year's and said, I love your book. And I think it should go to jeremy torture. So torture was a creativity press who had done things like drawing on the right side of the brain. Uh and she said it to torture and teacher said I'd love to publish it, but they thought it was going to be a little teeny California book because they thought, well, it's maybe a little bit too woo woo for mainstream. So they published 7500 and didn't put out any advertising on it. And what happened was the book caught fire uh huh. By word of mouth, it spread. And it wasn't until we had sold 100,000 books that it occurred to them, gee maybe we should push this book a little bit. Mhm. Leave it to the to the industry. I do that in air quotes to know what to do, right? You're 100,000 books in. And is that a point where your life changed because of that work, or was it more of the same? Mhm. Well, I was teaching all along well, and where are you, where are you teaching now? Well, the first place I taught was the new york feminist art institute, which I had never heard of, but I was feisty and they were feisty. Uh and they said, your first class meets thursday. And so I taught my first class of writers, actors, directors, filmmakers, uh and I taught them to use morning pages, which had become a practice of my own. Uh and they they began unblocking and I thought, well maybe I should teach them the rest of the tools that I use. So I put together um a tool kit And I taught for about 10 years in my living room, uh huh at Columbia College and the Northwestern University. And they basically, I was teaching as a, the floor sample of my own toolkit, uh saying it's unblocked me, it can unblock you, give it a try. There's so in a way you had experimented on yourself for a number of years and developed these tools. Is that a fair characterization and it was the things that you from others? Or was it all manifested from fits and starts and experiments on your own? I would say a little bit of both. There's a book called Wish Craft by Barbara Share and it was an influence on me. Uh and I think um it's interesting this year, I read a book called on becoming a writer uh and In it it was published in 1934 in it. The author recommends getting up in the morning and writing morning pages, but I didn't know that this book existed. Uh and so I would say the tools, mainly we're self generated rather than then borrowed from any place in particular. Well, I would love to flex my artist way knowledge and share with the audience. Um and around uh the couple of key cornerstones of the artist's way, that when you're talking about tools, there's all sorts of frameworks and stuff under each of these headings, but ultimately what I took away from the artist way, this sort of three main points, Um one morning pages to artist dates and three walks and um yeah, you know, I want to I want to make sure we get to your newest book listening path. But as you look back on these three tools, are they a complete set of what it takes to make a great artist, or two to get more in touch with your creativity? And if so, or if not, how should we think about those three key elements of your work? Right, Well, I would say they are the basic tools and that if you work with those three tools of morning pages, three pages of longhand morning writing that you do while you are still vulnerable before your ego gets involved and says, you can't say that. So you write morning pages, you take an artist state once a week, you go out and do something just playful and festive uh and you take a walk and you integrate the information that you got from the other two tools. Uh and I had a review recently where it said Julius tools are simple and repetitive and I think it was intended as an insult, but I thought the recipe to greatness right there. Right, What is the greatness, if not a thing done really well as a habit? Right. Well, I found myself thinking simple and repetitive tools, that's exactly what I'm aiming for. So when I wrote the listening path, I talked about those three basic tools from the artist's way. Uh and I should say that when I wrote the artist's way, I didn't know to put it in walks as a basic tool. I got to week 12 of the artist's way the final week and I said, Oh Yes ps exercise, it'll help. Uh huh. But now I've been teaching another 30 years uh and so I know to say walk, it is so true. I have um I would like to share just small personal anecdote here. Um I have been using morning pages on and off for Probably 10 years and there is a very strong correlation to when I am uh both successful and fulfilled. I may have one or the other, but usually don't have both unless I have morning pages as an active, as an active part of my day. The 2nd artist dates. That was so helpful for me to really understand when I was bailing on the things that everybody else had for me to try and understand that I was creative and to um sort of clear out some of the things that were blocking in my head and go take in the work of others or go to museums. And that was hugely informative and walking. I'll share that. I was blocked earlier today. I woke up early and it's morning pages and It was 10:00 and I hadn't gotten unstuck and The walk a short walk, it was 15 minutes and I came back refreshed and have had just an amazing day until now where we're recording. So to say that your work has impacted me would be a radical understatement. And I want to personally say thank you here in the middle of our show. Uh and I also know that You sold five million books. So I'm I'm five million of the artist's way. So I'm, I'm not at all alone and I'm wondering how you mentioned 30 years on and you look back, you clearly felt something else needed to be said, which is why you wrote the listening path. So tell us why, tell us what was it? And what was the idea That generated this amazing six week program called the listening path? Well, I moved from new york to santa fe. And new york, as we know is loud, hectic, noisy, busy. And I had lived there for 10 years and done a lot of writing there. Uh, and then I thought I'll do an artist way tool of things that I love. And I started putting down mountains, clouds, chile, black beans. Uh, and I saw, oh, my heart is in the southwest. So I moved from new york to santa fe, Where I knew two people, uh, Natalie Goldberg, ah and uh a woman named Alberta Hans, teen who raised championship horses. Uh and uh I got to santa fe and it was quiet. Yeah, and I, at first I missed the sirens, I missed the hubbub of the city life. But then after a little while I noticed that I was listening differently and I would listen to the car of a raven where the trill of a songbird or the skitter, skitter, skitter of a lizard crossing the path. And I thought, oh maybe there's something to this, deeper listening. So I began to try to listen more deeply. Uh starting out with uh I was already doing the three basic tools, the morning pages, the artist dates and the walks. Uh and I started consciously to practice them. Uh and I found myself listening to my environment with heightened awareness. And that became the first layer of the listening path to listen to the noise, is that we habitually tune out to try instead to tune in and keep a log of pleasant, unpleasant, pleasant, unpleasant and change the unpleasant if I could. The second tool was talking to others. And I realized that I needed to learn to listen more deeply, and I started asking people about what made great conversations and they said, well don't interrupt. And I realized that a lot of times when we're listening, we're waiting to say what we have to say next, and we tune out the partner that we're sharing with, and we cut them off, and I said don't cut them off, stick with it, be patient. And that became the second layer. So then uh the third layer was one of listening to our higher self. And you asked me before about did I use pen to page as a weapon or as a tool? Uh and I said yes, I used it as a tool. So you're now doing a layer of, could I hear about X. And you're listening to your higher self? Because we lots of times I have an idea uh that an issue that's troubling us and we think, who do I know that I could ask for help and we sort of interview people we think might be wiser than ourselves and we don't say to ourselves, maybe I'm wise enough, maybe I'm wise enough. And all three tools. Morning pages are the states and walks are designed to convince you that maybe you are wise enough. So then I'm going through the whole book here. But uh it's just so lovely. I couldn't have begged you to do it any other way. I'm grateful, keep going. Well, the next chapter is listening Beyond the veil and this is listening to people who have died and passed on that we miss and that we wish we could still be in contact with. And for me, I had to people jane's cecil an actress and Alberta Einstein, a horsewoman and I would try to find them in the ethers and I would say, can I hear from jane? And I would hear Julia, I'm right by your side. There's no error in your path. You are well and carefully lead. And then I'd say, let me hear from Alberta and she would talk like a horse show woman and she would say Julia, you're a champion. I give you a blue ribbon on this book. So what happened was that I found myself afraid to share with my friends that I was talking to dead people and I thought they're going to think I'm too whoa. But gradually I started sharing with my friends ah and I found that they took the guidance very seriously and that they believed it was possible uh, to reach beyond the veil. So when I talked recently in London, I was teaching the book and I thought now when I get to this chapter, everybody's going to dig their heels in and say Julia, you're to woo. But what happened was when I got to the chapter of Reaching beyond the veil, the class lit up and became very excited and very interested. And it was clear that they had been just sort of waiting for someone to give them permission to reach beyond the veil. So I gave them permission and then I said, now you might want to do a chapter on talking to your heroes, people that you didn't know but you admired. So we write to our heroes and we're calling forward attributes of ourselves that we may not have noticed. I had a woman say to me Julia, my hero was Einstein. And I called for help from Einstein and today I'm smarter. Yeah. So so I found that the book spoke to people all of it more clearly. Then I can speak myself. Uh and the final tool of it is listening to silence. And I think many of us are sort of scared of silence. Uh we find ourselves walking. Uh and uh meditation seems formal and formidable. Uh and daunting. And so I don't call it meditation, I just call it listening. And I had a friend jerry who said Julia, I'm terrified of silence. I have my radio, I have my my internet, I have my television. Uh and you're asking me to turn them all off. And I said, yes, yeah, Try it for two minutes. And he said, well, could I call you back? I said, okay, try and call me back. And two minutes later my phone rang and it was jerry and he said, I turned off all my devices. It was terrifying. And then I got the most wonderful idea of what my work pattern should be this week. And I said, well, that sounds like inspiration to me. Do you think you'll try it again? And he said, well, yes, maybe. So. I think the final chapter of the listening path is the yes, maybe chapter. Uh and hopefully people will use all six weeks tools cumulatively. So the have a pattern of their own basic toolkit, the three tools, And then the six other layers of listening. Uh and I think, uh I think they are deeper, deeper tools perhaps uh that are this way tools, because I'm not sure if you found it that way, reading it. Well, I'll share the way that when I um I did find it deeper on a couple of different axes. Um I have a, I'm very lucky man because I'm married to an incredible human. Her name is Kate and she is uh an awareness coach, a meditation and mindfulness coach and former schoolteacher, lifelong producer of films and videos. And and has managed so much of my personal creative career in a very creative fashion and of itself. And um she's incredibly gifted at teaching and got me into meditation and mindfulness and I could not help but substitute. Um and this is, you know, um we all we rarely know what work are creative endeavors are going to do out in the world. So I guess I'm sharing with you some of the work that your latest book has done on me. And it it I was reminded how much listening is, it's just it's awareness for me. It is if attention is one of the few things that we have in this life, literally what we decide to focus on, then there's a world where your attention is the most important thing in our lifetime, whether that's too, you know, a walk in the forest to the lizard scattering across the path as you said, or two, another person that you care deeply about or to ourselves. All of those are our functions of where our attention is placed. And to me that felt so um there's a metal layer here because there are exercises like, you know, go for go do this work and sit like this and think about, you know, listen to the birds, you know, their their tactics. But what I love about this book is that it got me so my attention so placed in what I would consider be to the right places, the places where our wells of humanity, our connection, our um Mhm. It's just it's incredibly powerful. And so between morning page, morning pages and the listening morning pages specifically as an exercise and just this willingness to do this six week program and pay attention to the things that you instruct us to pay attention to. I immediately felt grounded in a way that I hadn't in the past, certainly in the past uh 10 or 12 months, we've had a pandemic going on and um it was very grounding to do the work. So that's just how my experience was. But I want to say thank you. And uh I'm curious if, well, feel free to respond to that throw rocks or, or or tell me more, uh dr Julia. But also I'm curious, well, I'll stop there for a second and then if you have any comment, um, and then I'll ask a follow up. Yeah. Well, I just want to say that the timing of the book is a little bit uncanny. I wrote the book. I gave it to my publisher who is amused for me, another masculine muse Joel for Latinos. And he brought the book out and we couldn't have known about the pandemic when I was writing the book. But as we were publishing the book, we began to realize that maybe it was speaking to a deep need that we had for a way to creatively channel are are often chaotic creative energies. So the path, wow, was straightforward. Uh, and uh, I think that's all I want to say about that, that resonates deeply with me. And you couldn't have picked a better time. And I think the quiet, whether you're scared like your friend or you cherish it, um, it has a way of affecting us, silence our own thoughts. You know, I I think that the most important words in the world are the ones we say to ourselves. And you know, that that part of the book where you're talking about listening to your higher self also really resonated. The question that I wanted to ask from earlier is, you know, I heard you, in a sense, judging the work you've said a couple of times. Woo woo. But in particular that when you were listening beyond the veil that you might have had students question that as a either a tactic or concept. Um, and I'm wondering with someone who has written about creativity so much and had such an incredible creative career on your own, what role, if any, does judgment still play in your life and work? Well, we're talking here about Nigel uh Nigel is a critic that's been with me since I was young and I it's a critical voice that says that what I'm doing isn't good enough, isn't deep enough, isn't daring enough. Uh And Nigel, I picture Nigel as a british interior decorator, uh with impossibly high standards, uh so that nothing I do can ever match Nigel's expectations. And I think um I think people will say to me Julia, how can I get rid of my critic? Uh and I feel like the answer is I don't think we can we can miniaturize our critics, we can make Nigel is a cartoon character now. So when he pipes up negatively, I just say Nigel, thank you for sharing. But when I I wrote this book, uh Nigel was full of opinions. Uh and uh I turned the book in uh and I thought oh, they'll reject it. Yeah, because I had been listening to Nigel's poisonous words uh huh. And when they came back to me and said we would love to publish this book, I thought, do you know what you're doing? Uh And I had to trust uh that there was a higher path that knew what it was doing. Uh And uh so I can't share that. I'm beyond fear because I'm not beyond fear, but I've learned to sort of step around the skirt of fear uh and uh keep working. Are there any other uh thoughts are technics advice on managing Nigel other than stepping around him? I think humor is important. I had I wrote a mystery novel called The Dark Room And it had 19 good reviews And the 20th review was very negative uh and it was in the new york times. Ah and I I felt like I should go outside of my house in new york wearing sackcloth and ashes. I was very embarrassed and ashamed by the title, by the reveal. And then I thought I need my sense of humor back. I'm being too dark, I'm taking this too seriously. So I wrote a little poem that said, this little poem goes out to Bill Kent. He was the reviewer who must feel awful the way that he spent his time reviewing carl young instead of on the book I had done. And I found that writing, I call it rhymed inventory writing rhymes when things are painful uh is a wonderful way to get past the wound. This little poem goes out to marry whose value system is very scary. Yeah, it's more, well, there's lots more. Oh, I think that's incredible. What a gift you've just given us. Are there any other tactics specifically for dealing with? Maybe not the actual critic say the critic that it was in the new york times you mentioned Nigel is we're the only or the primary tool that you use for uh for shutting down Nigel. Are there others? There's a tool that I think is important and I didn't know how important it was when I wrote it and it's in the back of the artist's way toward toward the end of the book. And it's a tool called blasting through blocks. And it's a tool to undertake when you're procrastinating when your fear has got you landlocked uh when you're critic is loud and what it is is you write your resentments, your angers and your fears connected to the project that has. Then you read it to what I would call a believing mirror, believing mirrors. Somebody sounds like your wife is a wonderful believing mayor she is. I want to share something just in real time. Here I had the book open to a dog eared page and I had my finger directly on believing mirrors, believing mirrors and that troops were there. It is, if you can see it's this way believing mirrors. It was like literally when you said it, I just got chills, I was looking at that phrase and I said, I wonder this feels very much like believing me or so sorry, keep going. I just like that was divinity in action right there. So you read it to a believing, you're believing there is somebody who reflects back to your strength, your courage, your positivity, your possibility. Uh and uh they don't have a need to fix you. They just have a need to listen. Yeah everyone needs a believing mirror. I'm guessing right now there are people who are tracing in their mind, some believing mirrors in their lives. Any advice for people who are blocked and believe that they don't have that Or would you say that there's not looking deep enough or um how would how would you answer someone who raised that question? I would say you need to audition your friends. Uh huh. Keep a little tablet and say this person is a believing mirror. This person is a doubting mirror. Uh I I want to put a plug in here for harry potter. Uh and uh a a lot of the archetypes in harry potter. Uh huh. Resonated for me creatively. So I think well when we are looking for a believing mirror, we sometimes I need to go back to humor him. Were so powerful and I ah one of my 2021 commitments to myself is to, I mean I used to, I feel like I laughed out loud so many times a day and often tried to bring humor and at some point I just have started taking myself too seriously. So part of my 2021 is to lighten up a little bit. Um and I'm wondering since I'm That is a uh ambition of mine for 2021, can I take any personal advice here? Well, this is where Artists States are so important. Uh I find when I assigned morning pages, I say I have a tool, it's a nightmare. You have to wake up 45 minutes early and right introspectively and people will say, oh work on our creativity, oh, I gather it and they'll dive into morning pages. But then if I say now, I have a second tool for you and I want you to take yourself out once a week and do something festive. And in other words, I want you to play. And immediately the arms are crossed, the skepticism emerges. Uh and people say play, I don't see what play has to do with working on our creativity. Uh and uh what I have found is that we have an expression the play of ideas and we don't realize that the play of ideas is actually a prescription play and you will have ideas. So, during a pandemic, you can't go out of the house, perhaps for an artist state, but you can look around your house and say, what can I do? That's festive here at home. Uh and it might be, oh, take a bubble bath. Oh, paint your fingernails and toenails. Scarlett. Oh, listen to a podcast that we don't usually listen to. Oh, listen to some drum music and dance a little bit. Uh, and what it is is you want to do something that would enchant an eight year old and maybe you have Children in your life and you have, I have an eight year old granddaughter who has read all of the harry potter books, wow. So Being chanted like an eight year old, let us, I will take that as a prescription. Um, again, I have to Say, thank you so much for writing the listening path. I'm holding up an advanced copy here. Thank you for giving me one so grateful to have you on the show. And the last question is you, you have with the artist way and with the listening path, you've given us a roadmap and timeline do these chapters like weeks. And that was a very useful format, I found in both cases. And I'm wondering for folks who are, who want to get ahead and want to read the whole thing in a sitting who you know there overachievers and ah some of you listening may know a few. Um was was the was the intent to keep this experience slow. Is that one of the prescriptions? And if so, do you give advice openly to people who want to sit down and read your book cover to cover? I find I'm finding that people tend to read this book in a gulp and then I need to say to them, okay, now circle back to the beginning and go apace. Uh but I have found uh that more so than the artist's way this this book tends to be devoured. Uh and I think uh that's because we have such a huge appetite um for creative change. Uh consider me spoken to because you you you just pegged me. I'm at a moment right now that I got so many different things going on in the best way and I feel a little bit stuck in the rut. That was and it couldn't have come at a better time. I want to say, thank you for helping break me out and break some old habits and start some new ones where to pay attention and spend my listening. Um so grateful to have you on the show and I just want to give a very overt plug for both of the books that we have spent the majority of the time here discussing the artist's way and the listening path. Listening path being the newest from our guest today, Julia Cameron. It has been such a treat to speak to someone who has had so much influence on so many and myself included. So grateful to have you on the show. Um, our community. I know because I've I've mentioned you, I've I've written about you in my own book, Creative Calling. Uh, morning pages is scattered throughout there. And uh, and the community always responds. If I'm ever, you know, lecturing or, or talking about the creativity, the science and the art of creativity can't get through uh, a discussion, a conversation question without your name coming up. So thank you so much for having such a powerful imprint on on the creative community worldwide. So grateful for your work and congratulations on the new book. Thank you. We're looking forward to having you back for your next book. I'm not quite sure when that is, but um really, really grateful And thank you so much for being with us. Ladies gentlemen signing out from an amazing conversation today with Julia Cameron again. The listening path is her latest. Please check it out Julia. Anything else you'd like to say before we sign off? Well, I'd like to read a poem. If we have time. We we shall, we will make time. A lot of times we say that creativity springs from pain. But I have found that creativity springs from deep Wells of Joy. This is called Jerusalem is walking in this world. This is a great happiness. The air is silk. There is milk in the look that comes from strangers. I could not be happier if I were bred and you could eat me. Joy is dangerous. It fills me with secrets. Yes, this is in my veins. The pains I take to hide myself as sheer as glass. Surely this will pass the wind, like kisses the music in the soup, the group of trees laughing as I say their names. It is all hosanna, it is all prayer. Jerusalem is walking in this world. Jerusalem is walking in this world. Thank you so beautiful. And thank you again so much for being on the show. What an amazing sign off. Um grateful to know and thanks so much and congratulations on another stunning work of genius. And I hope our paths cross in person at some point because I feel like I want to continue to shower you with praises. You've impacted the lives of so many uh congrats on your success and um and thank you again for being on the show. You're very welcome. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Mm.

Class Description

There's a common misconception that artists have a monopoly on creativity...But the very act of making waves - no matter the career - is a creative one. The Chase Jarvis Live Show is an exploration of creativity, self-discovery, entrepreneurship, hard-earned lessons, and so much more. Chase sits down with the world's top creators, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders and unpacks actionable, valuable insights to help you live your dreams in career, hobby, and life.

ABOUT THIS EPISODE:

If you’ve been honing your creativity for awhile, you might have come across The Artist’s Way, by legendary author Julia Cameron. Her work resonated with me in more ways than one, including helping myself and millions of others work to cultivate creativity and grow my craft.

Julia joins me on today’s show to talk about her life journey, upcoming book, The Listening Path, and the heart-warming backstory behind her bestselling creation, The Artist’s Way.

The Queen of Change is credited with starting a movement in 1992 that brought creativity into the mainstream conversation— in the arts, in business, and in everyday life. With over 40 books (both fiction and nonfiction) published, and a successful career as a poet, songwriter, filmmaker, and playwright, Julia’s story is a must-listen for any creative mind.

In this episode, we unpack:

  • Julia’s experience fighting for her right to write and writing controversial articles for the school paper.
  • Unblocking oneself as an artist and a teacher and how finding a career path in the process.
  • How The Artist’s Way began as a tool to help about 10 friends unblock themselves creatively, then went on to sell more than 4 million copies
  • Not trying to be brilliant but rather focus on being useful. Julia shares how her career straightened out following the learning.
  • Listening beyond the veil – how to listen to the noises that we habitually tune out from, talking to others, listening more deeply, and not interrupting.
  • The idea of Blasting through Blocks — it’s a tool to undertake when you’re procrastinating or when your fear has got you landlocked, or when your critic is loud.
  • The Believing Mirror is “somebody who reflects back to your strength, your courage, your positivity, your possibility, and they don’t have a need to fix you. They just have a need to listen.”
  • Jerusalem is Walking in this World – a poem by Julia Cameron.

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