I have always respected the process of stating one’s goals in writing, getting them on paper and then working full force on achieving those goals.
What I have often done in the past is this: I have taken the time to write goals and then they got buried in a drawer in a notebook somewhere. I didn’t interact with my goals once I set them or they became a vague idea of something I had hoped or wanted to do but never engaged with much again.
I’ve changed my approach as my life has changed.
It is just Samuel and me now, the girls are grown up and out of the house. They are onto their next adventure and consequently, I need to grow as well which for me means doing things differently.
This fall season, I created a bucket list as prompted by one of my personal growth groups. I approached both the creation and the execution in a very different way.
I didn’t just write a list and put it in a drawer.
I wrote a list of categories and then I took my time in filling in the blanks via not only language, but also using art. I art journaled. I am making a mobile with autumn colored book pages, die cut in the shape of leaves. I am continuing to work on both. I revisit the categories in my daily writing notebook.
I am allowing the how-to’s to gently enter my consciousness rather than stand underneath the end-result and shake it until whatever is loose tumbles out and I mistakenly or clumsily shout “Eureka!” and blindly follow whatever drops first.
The first droppings, I have learned, do not always morph into what is the most effective or productive. My art journaling makes my goals, my hopes and my aspirations into living and breathing possibilities which bend and shift and grow as I bend and shift and grow.
Julia Cameron reminds us, “Growth is a spiral process, doubling back on itself, reassessing and regrouping.” It feels grounded to take this approach, one moment at a time.
In taking a calmer, quieter, non-language based approach (which is really odd for a writer) I am also able to soak more of my spirit, more of my intuitive nature into the work. It is less driven by force and more open by flow, instead. It is more soothing, this gentle movement of color and objects and messiness in the process perhaps because, as Maria Montessori once said, “Growth comes from activity, not from intellectual understanding.”
Intellectual understanding comes from the actions, the gentle nature of the art finding its way onto the page. I know my goals are much more at the forefront of my mind than they have been in the past using my previous techniques.
What have you got to lose from trying it out? The new year is coming soon – why not start considering what you want to create now, a little bit differently?
Julie Jordan Scott inspires people to experience artistic rebirth via her programs, playshops, books, performances and simply being herself out in the world. She is a writer, creative life coach, speaker, performance poet, Mommy-extraordinaire and mixed-media artist whose Writing Camps and Writing Playgrounds permanently transform people's creative lives. Watch for the announcement of new programs coming in Fall, 2015 and beyond.
To contact Julie to schedule a Writing or Creative Life Coaching Session, call or text her at 661.444.2735.
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