Posted by: balladofyoko | May 23, 2008

Artist’s Way, Week 3

Highlights of this week:

-I went to the local yarn store and had gotten help with a crochet pattern I was having problems with. Receiving confirmation that the pattern was in fact badly written, the woman proceeded to write out an edited version, and helped me work through the crochet so that I understood how to make the stitches.
-I had a dream in which I dreaded teaching aikido class. I carried that dread with me to class, only to discover that my wishes came true– I had a record 7 students, and created some resounding energy with an active workout and kiais. A couple of students told me that they enjoyed my class. I spent the rest of the week obsessing over what I’m really doing with aikido, however, which I’ll write about later. Anti-synchronicity?
-I had a really wonderful phone conversation with Geminica! We talked about Doctor Who, folks we both know, people we admire, and of course, our work with the Artist’s Way. Despite never having met her in person, we click quite well. I think highly of her and will support her creative endeavors in any way I can.
-I had some problems with writing and the assignments this week– in the last couple of days, I’ve felt rather distracted from writing, which irritated me. It didn’t stop me from doing the morning pages, though.

One of the exercises asked about the traits of people I admire, and how I could cultivate those traits in myself. I admire those who have abiding curiosity, passion, and dedication to whatever they choose to do, even in the face of fear and opposition. I admire those who inspire others to do creative and positive things just by their example, without preaching. And it’s a depressing realization to discover that I don’t know how to be inspirational in the way I describe. It looks like these doubts will be worked on further in the next chapter of the book.


  1. The ways in which you inspire others may not be the same ways in which others inspire you, and thus may be difficult for you to appreciate. You’re wonderfully inspirational in the ways that are natural to your character – a lot more inspirational than you give yourself credit for, I suspect. I know someone who recovered from a 15-year depression and a suicidal nicotene addiction, and found the courage to change her entire life to dedicate herself to the spiritual path she’d been yearning for, entirely due to your influence.

    I also think that you have the same traits that you admire in others, to a greater degree than you recognize. Everyone who appears to have such traits struggles constantly to manifest and sustain them; because we see our own struggles and mistakes at such close range, it’s easy to see our own difficulties and others’ grace while overlooking the obverse.

  2. Your traits that inspire me the most are inspiring in just the way you described. I can believe you “don’t know how to be inspirational” in the way you described, but you don’t NEED to know how in order to be it. You just do it as a side effect of who you are, and that’s exactly the same thing that those people you admire are doing.

    We talked a little about putting yourself out there with your art, despite crushing fear/stagefright; anytime you do that, in aikido or music or wherever, an unknown host in the audience is inspired and given hope, by the fact that you stood up and did that thing. I don’t mean that in a vague subtle sense – it’s absolutely the case that each time you have stood up and practiced something in public you have contributed to other people feeling like maybe they would like to do it, maybe they COULD do it.

    Also very directly inspiring to me is your diligence in pursuing the projects you choose, even when you hit hard times with them, for instance, when you realized your interest in aikido was declining, you had a lot of careful interaction with yourself over the matter and have kept working through it, not just dropping it like a hot coal while looking the other way (my own usual practice). You’ve also shown this diligence and consistency with creative groups, for instance Ravelry and Arts ‘n Crafts Circle; you don’t just drop in, disappear, and appear again a year later; you stick with a group, gently adding a backbone and a vision without forcing anything on anyone, even when you’re not getting much help with it. You don’t let the coming and going of others affect your own commitments. You seem to barely even let the coming and going of your own sense of commitment affect your commitment – and that’s amazing.

    Anyway – I’m glad the Artist’s Way is bringing up these things and helping you sort them out. I’m still thinking about your dog’s curiosity and how it interacts with his survival instinct… probably will keep processing that all week.

    Thanks again for calling. You rock my world.


  3. i’m also inspired by your diligence and your commitment to mastery of the various endeavors you pursue.

  4. I am inspired by your honesty during self-assessment. Although I would say you sometimes tend to skew toward perceiving yourself more harshly than you deserve.

  5. The first few times I read this post, I thought you had gone to the “yam store,” and I thought, wow, that’s a niche market.

    I, too, and inspired by your honest self-reflection and your willingness to take on new challenges.

  6. That first and in the second sentence should be “am.” Clearly I need to wear my glasses more often.

  7. Quiconque: “yam store”- I love it. All sorts of yams, fresh and canned. (Actually, I sometimes read “yarn” as “yam” too!)

    To all: thanks for the kind words. I admit to having doubts about myself, and that I judge myself harshly. It’s hard not to think of myself as some freakshow where people shake their heads in dismay over the things I think and do (and I know my family often wonders about me in that way)– but you know, I can’t *not* do what I do. There’s a lot of stuff out there that interests me– how can I not learn more about world by thinking and doing?


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