Posted in Cool Tools, Fitness Challenge, Writing Challenge

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron (first half)

AW_bookimageThe Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron has lived on my shelf for a while now, and I’ve promised myself for some time that I’d get to it. It’s kind of like a workbook with a program to follow, made up of 12 chapters for 12 weeks. Cameron must be doing something really right, because 2016 was the book’s 25 year anniversary, and it is still selling strong. And Goodreads calls it “the seminal work” on creativity.

The two keystones of the program are the Pages and the Date. Cameron’s original vision for morning pages was three pages hand-written, first thing in the morning. You can write anything, with no structure and no limits—you writing one morning could be complaining about a coworker, the next morning it could be your grocery list, the next an idea that just popped into your head. It isn’t mean to be Your Art, just a way to clear your mind. 750 Words stretches the definition a little, calling them daily pages, and that works better for me since I run in the morning and write in the evening. (If more than one of your habits recommends itself as your “first thing,” well, you can’t exactly have everything tie for first.) I do enjoy hand-writing, but I love the organization of doing everything on the computer. (Maybe it’s a generational thing.)

The other major component of the program is your Artist’s Date, which you do SOLO, just you and your inner artist. It can be an adventurous drive or a quiet walk, a visit to a store or a park or a museum; it can be anything you want that sparks your soul, but no one else is allowed to accompany. Of course, simple as it is, people (read: I) still have trouble. There are weekly writing exercises to help you stretch your wings and there are weekly Check-Ins to gauge and monitor where you’re at with it. The Check-In questions go something like this: 1. How many days this week did you do your pages? 2. Did you do your artist date? 3. Good stuff? 4. Bad stuff?

Here’s a quick run-down of how I’ve done with the first half of the book.

Date Range Week Notes Run 3 pts 750 Write Date
Monday Jan 29 – Sunday Feb 4 Week 0 Gave myself a freebie week to ease into it 5 of 7 x x 4 of 7 (n/a)
Monday Feb 5 – Sunday Feb 11 Week 1 got sick 2 of 7 x x 2 of 7 Yes
Monday Feb 12 – Sunday Feb 18 Week 2 got new running shoes, started using 750 Words 5 of 7 x 7 of 7 7 of 7 No
Monday Feb 19 – Sunday Feb 25 Week 3 emotional writing 4 of 7 x 7 of 7 7 of 7 No
Monday Feb 26 – Sunday Mar 4 Week 4 Mar 1 started Blue & You Fitness Challenge 6 of 7 4 of 4 7 of 7 7 of 7 Yes
Monday Mar 5 – Sunday Mar 11 Week 5 I had a birthday! 6 of 7 7 of 7 6 of 7 7 of 7 Yes
Monday Mar 12 – Sunday Mar 18 Week 6 broke my writing streak bc I stayed out too late w friends 5 of 7 7 of 7 5 of 7 6 of 7 Yes
Monday Mar 19 – Sunday Mar 25 Week 0 fell off the habit, got discouraged, started up again 5 of 7 7 of 7 6 of 7 6 of 7 (n/a)

 

 

Posted in Sneak Peek

Roses 🌹 > Diamonds 💎

Roses   🌹     >    Diamonds   💎

Just a little sneak peek of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way: I’m currently in Week 6 (the halfway mark) and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. This week is about luxury and the silly little things that really don’t cost a lot but make us feel pampered, like we’re really doing something extra special for ourselves. Whether it’s a certain candle scent, raspberries on your ice cream, or a Gerber daisy on your night stand. Treat yourself. You’re worth it, and you deserve it.

Emma Goldman

Posted in Jobe Update, Special Announcement

36 on 36

Did you know that when you get older (I’m looking at you, twenty-somethings) you get emails from the most unexpected senders wishing you a happy birthday? I have received no fewer than four happy birthday emails from: my dentist’s office, Lane Bryant, my mortgage company, and my chiropractor’s office. How odd! The barrage of well wishing on Facebook I expected, but this made me feel, well, somewhere between “grown up” and “old.” Hah! I also had two recent moments where people younger than me taught me how to do something tech-related, and that’s really a surefire way to feel “old.” (I’m putting it in quote marks because I don’t actually mind my age at all and a friend of mine said the 40s are her favorite decade yet.)

So the other weekend we’re at the theater to see Black Panther and I’ve got the text-messaged scan code on my phone (look at me! so saavy!) but the ticket check kid (who looked about 15) told me I needed to turn the brightness up on my phone and I stumbled lamely, “What? But, I don’t–” at which point he said “here let me show you” and proceeded to school me in a super fast method of adjusting brightness that I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW EXISTED. So while I’m still reeling from that embarassment, I’m in the car with my own kid (who is 15) and he says, “oh, I like this song, what’s it called again?” to which I, of course, replied, “no idea,” so he says “that’s what the info button’s for.” Now, I scanned the buttons again to be sure, but I felt pretty certain I had never seen a button reading “info,” and I was right. There wasn’t one. “I don’t have one of those,” I replied confidently, perhaps a little triumphantly, even.

“Mom,” he sighed, “the button with the letter i,” at which point, I swear to gods, he pointed out a button I never knew existed in my vehicle (which I’ve had for many years) and lo and behold, we were given the band name and song title. EGAD. I had no idea what this would feel like, no longer being at the forefront of technological advances, and I’ll admit I giggled with glee when the tables were turned, so it’s only fair I get my come-uppence now, I suppose! Sheesh.

Well I’m just tickled that I’m turning 36 on 36, so that’s my fun for today. Keep shining,
Jobe

happy birthday

Posted in Cool Tools, Fitness Challenge, Writing Challenge

Fitness & Writing Challenges

Hello and welcome to March. Is the weather where you are as gorgeous as it is here? Yesterday I was able to wear a sleeveless dress (joy!) without leggings (wasn’t even cold!) and I even threw on some colorful jewelry. The Spring comes, and with it the season of looking and feeling our most alive as everything around us is waking up. Yay! (Yes, I know, I’m not very subtle when it comes to season-favoritism.)

March 1 marked not one but two special occasions for me: the beginning of the Blue and You Fitness Challenge (which sadly you can only participate in if your workplace offers Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance) and the beginning of the monthly Writing Challenge on 750 Words, which anyone can join and happens every month! I was pretty excited to see both Welcome emails in my inbox (and when I used arrows to block stuff out only to then discover that MS Paint does, in fact, have HEARTS.)

gmail view

So, Fitness. What do you do for exercise? I enjoy swimming but find going to the pool something of a big fat hassle, so I don’t often manage it. Likewise I like the dog park but don’t take the doggo nearly as often as I should. For good ole dependable daily exercise, I use my trusty treadmill, set up in front of the tv. 3mph for 45mins means 2.25miles “run” (jogged? run very slowly?) while I bliss out to an episode of whatever I happen to be watching. Currently, The Magicians. Since I’m a really big nerd when it comes to visual encouragement, I made (found hi-res images and added the quote) and collected (google image searches) a bunch of little thingies.

But I would be remiss in my bloggess duties if I didn’t also goob all about the writing challenge. I started using the site 2/12 so I was too late to join up for February but using it has already upped my average writing sessions from 4ish per week to 7 per week, because I get a little x in my little green box in my little strand of green boxes if I continue to write every single day! And I am a total sucker for pressing the food bar. On the site you get stuff like this:

750wordslr5Vi5FiPLH

While in your email you get stuff like this:

nudge

lr5Vi5FiPLH

badgesI’m pretty into it. (You don’t actually get that pencil graphic, I stole that from a Facebook ad.) Are you excited yet? Because you can also earn badges like these (over there, on the side, no, the other side… grr, you know what I mean). Of course if you don’t know about the indelible connection between writing and birds, you’re in for a treat, because Anne Lamott is the bomb. (Do people still say that? The bomb? Well anyway she’s really cool.) I have no idea if the connection to Lamott is what Buster and Kelli were thinking about when they started the site up years ago, but it’s undeniably part of the ongoing literary consciousness now. In conclusion, go out there and kick this week’s (and month’s) ass. That is all.