What I'm (not) giving up for Lent

Well, usually, I give nothing up for Lent. Yes, call me a bad liturgical Christian (I know, that’s one of your favorite insults right? See, I knew it!)

Instead of “giving something up” I tend to take on disciplines for Lent.  In the taking on of something there is an intrinsic giving up.  Every “yes”, is a whole bunch of “no’s,” to choose is also to exclude.

I’m starting my Lenten discipline three weeks early (liturgical over-achiever, I know. I’m giving you new insults in case you need them) this year.  Lent begins officially with Ash Wednesday, which this year falls on February 17th, and ends with Easter Sunday, which this year is April 4th.  So Lent is essentially 6 and a half weeks, and the discipline I’m taking on is 12 weeks.

I’m going to start the 12 weeks course that is The Artist’s Way, and the very first discipline the author asks me to take on is that of writing “morning pages.”  Basically, I have to give up a half hour every morning of drooling into my coffee cup and instead write three long hand pages of anything and everything that pops into my head.  Should be interesting.

As I just got the book today, I’ll be starting tomorrow.  My week tends to run from Tuesday to Tuesday, so I’ll have only 6 days this week, but that’s okay.

I have discovered that certain things get done better when you do them first thing in the morning, though it’s not always essential.  The work out I’ve been doing seems easier and more beneficial (wakes me up!) when I sort of roll out of bed, down some water and get right to it…  But since I already know that stuff happens, or as one of my friends puts it, “life gets in the way of life” which I’d like to amend to “life gets in the way of living” because sometimes the “stuff” that happens gets in the way of doing the things that are most fulfilling, I won’t beat myself up if I miss a day, or do it in the afternoon, or right before I go to bed.

I do intend to actually do it every morning as these types of exercises both physical and mental tend to be more profitable done every day.  I particularly plan to do it every day as religiously as possible for the first 3 weeks because if I can pull that off, it will be ingrained.

Anyway, I’ll probably find goodies to share from my morning pages, and I’ll probably have fun stuff to relate from artist dates (yes, dates with my own inner artist! I needed someone to make me do this regularly).

Anyone else out there been wanting to do the Artist Way?  Want some virtual (or if you’re in Nashville, actual) support/community? Let me know!

By the way, Julia Cameron totally stole “my” concept that everyone is in fact creative.  Of course she first wrote this book when I was like 13, but still, she stole it from me, k?  So if you’re feeling adventurous and want to discover your inner artist and want company, let me know too!  After all, if art is the conversation of the soul, then conversation is important 😉

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. old farmer mark

    have fun with it…i have that book laying around somewhere…never really applied it but i liked it

    1. Anna

      Mark, how do you "unblock" when you're up against a blank sheet of paper or whatever… does the back and forth between writing and farming help the creative process for you?

  2. Anne

    Ach! Today we began a bible study that involves an hour each day of work. I would SO love to join you with this discipline–I've started it a couple of times before and it all broke down when it came time to do the artist date. If only Cheekwood were a little closer! I will, however, cheer you on, and look forward to your morning revelations.

    1. Anna

      bummer! I mean, not that you're studying the Bible (that tends to be a good thing, ya know…) but it would have been fun to do together… Speaking of which, let's reschedule that long lost coffee and photo shoot, I can't wait to collaborate with you 😉

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