Coming to Vancouver for my son’s liver transplant brought about many changes to my life and my thinking. This amazing time of stress and worry has offered me a precious gift – time. Once my son’s condition levelled out (that took over 6 weeks), I found myself alone with my own apartment, far from my family. (See a pattern here? Yes, I felt like an 18 year old venturing out for the first time, BUT with all the maturity and experiences we wish our children had when they left home for the first time.) There are times I have laughed at the “finding myself” phases of this experience, and, yes, beaten myself up verbally for being so “self-centred” and “selfish”. Financially this is a terrible strain, and I have left my husband and family behind to make it all work out. Ah, but the FREEDOM!
One of the first things I did was to hang out at my local Chapters store. It is only 6 blocks away – what a terrible temptation for a book lover! I found a reference to an author, Julia Cameron, with a series of books about creativity and art. Her books are Christian based but written to encourage everyone to find their own sense of the Creator. She then focusses on the creativity that is in you.
I picked up her book The Artist’s Way and started reading. She offers a 13 week process to bring about change in your life. Her assignments are self exploratory trips into your thoughts and experiences to release your inner creative self. After I got through the first week, I picked up The Artist’s Way Workbook. These books travel with me to the hospital and back daily. I read, write and, yes, agonize over the assignments. Some have been easier than others, and some I have had to leave and continue ahead, only to find myself going back again and again to try to resolve some deep issues from my past or present.
This process has brought me to a new place in my life. I am feeling more centred and stronger. Going through the roller coaster of recovery with my son, I have found a source of strength that I had lost along the way. Life can do that to you – take away your focus and perspective. It is only by going back to who you really are, not what you have become, that you can find that source of love and strength and renew your faith.
I highly recommend these books to anyone. It doesn’t matter what your age or your lifestyle, this process is a journey of self discovery and strength. Yes, the focus is on becoming more creative in your life, but it doesn’t mean only for writers, painters, actors or serious artists. This is for the Mom who loves to take pictures of her children, or Dad who doodles on the margins of his notes at work. This is for the teenager that loves to dance and sing in her bedroom, but is too shy to go to the high school dances. Everyone can benefit from these books.
You will probably see my references to this author and her fabulous writings frequently in my blog. I now have 3 more of her books and they are all fascinating reads. I have listed them below, but these are only a few of her many books. Her writing is easy to read, but not necessarily easy to accept. She tells the truth and many of us have trouble with facing truths about ourselves. We can only keep trying.
1. Prayers to the Great Creator – ISBN: 978-1-58542-682-9
2. The Right to Write – ISBN: 1585420093
3. Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance – ISBN: 9781585424634