Buddhism

Artist’s Way, Week 7-Almost tossing in the towel

There have so far been two times I almost tossed in the towel during the Artist’s Way. The first time was the second week in, because I simply didn’t have the energy to wake up early enough to both workout and write morning pages. I had only just started my workout routine and resented being thrown off that path so soon and replace it with morning pages. I prioritized writing over exercise as usual though, and now I’m glad I made that decision. It is insane how after two months, my entire lifestyle has now changed, and I’ve been able to work both these things in addition to sleeping meditation.

A little more than halfway, I wanted to give up again, this time because it was the second week in a row where things felt so rushed that I wasn’t able to enoy the fruits of reflection that the exercises had to offer.

Believe it or not, I did not get much out of the collage, which from what I’ve been seeing on the Facebook, is several people’s favorite part. I managed to scrounge together a little under ten magazines, and she only gave us twenty minutes to flip through quickly and pick images that fir our life or interests. The thing is, she also wanted us to have twenty images, and in order to get that many, I had to stretch my time into thirty minutes. It struck me how appropriate one of my magazines was for this collage, and how one of them I didn’t cut a single thing. And of course being a perfectionist, even though I don’t really refer to the magazines anymore, I hate the idea of devaluing them by cutting into them, or what a person would think if I lent it to them, or if I accidentally cut out a part of an article that mattered to me. In any case, I ended up with a mostly cliched collage-love, working out, travel, excitement…the one thing I was very surprised by was how many phrases I found that matched the idea of growth (a quarter of the images surrounded just that). I was also pleasantly surprised I found things surrounding natural healing and healthy eating habits–something I’ve been working at for years.

Thanks to the exercises, I also wound up in a Buddhist temple, got to light incense in honor of what the Buddha represented, and got invited to join in a class. I was out of town on Sunday, otherwise I would have attended their Sunday service just to see what it was like. I still intend to this upcoming weekend. It’s funny because I was sad that I missed the Chicago Architectural Tour where they opened all these amazing buildings to the public for the weekend–and this temple was one of them. It’s funny because I’ve considered myself spiritual but not religious. For a while in college I was looking for a religion that fit me, and although Buddhism appealed to me (Both because I had friends who followed it and I liked that it dealt with enlightenment more than an omnipotent power. Additionally they seemed non-judgmental of other religions and more accepting overall). However when I tried to follow it in college I just felt pretentious, mainly because most of the people at my school seemed to use it as an intellectual/spiritual superiority over us uninformed non-Biddhists. I really didn’t want to join in on this or “fake it ’til I made it.” How ironic that after three years of practicing nonreligious spirituality, that circumstances would lead me back to Buddhism. It’s funny because everyone has been recommending meditation and rhis would be a supportive network to start doing that.