Warrior Training: Focus To See the Light

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”

— Aristotle Onassis

In all these years teaching and attending workshops and retreats, what really moves me is just how often difficult life transitions spark the desire toward creativity.

It’s when things fall apart, when we’re suffering, that we tend to search out, or be open to finding, something that helps us heal, mend, recover, regroup.

Dark moments happen to everyone. We all face illness, death, disappointment. There is divorce, downsizing, addiction. Depression. Anxiety. Money issues. Betrayals.

It was at a workshop with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estès, where I heard her say that at a certain point in a woman’s life, she has one big decision to make: Whether or not to be bitter.

In other words, are we going to be a victim, or are we going to be the heroine of our life, and live into the story with the happy ending?

dark side of the moon creative block card, front sideBeing able to focus to see the light is what spiritual, creative warriors do. Today’s journal prompts will help you get started strengthening your light-focusing powers.

There’s another piece I want to share with you, too, in case you are stuck in a bout of creative darkness.

It might be that you’ve lost faith in your art, can’t see the value of your work, or are just stuck, stuck, stuck in massive procrastination and avoidance.

I’ve been there, and also been pinned down by most all of the dark moments listed above.

What To Do When You’re Overwhelmed and Can’t Create gives you a step-by-step creative project you can do right now to get yourself headed in a lighter direction, while meeting you where you are.

Journal Prompts

Make a list of 10 things that are going well for you right now:

Make a list of 10 things you are appreciating, that you can see / hear / taste / smell / touch right where you are sitting:

Make a list of 10 books, movies,  and/or songs that make you feel good:

Make a list of 10 things you are grateful for:

Keep this list handy for when you need help focusing on the light, instead of the dark.

For your creative journey…

Dreaming on Paper: The Creative Sketchbook shows you how to create magnificent mixed-media art journals as a contemplative practice. It’s the foundational course required for more in-depth study and the facilitator training.

No experience in art or writing is necessary to attend any of my workshops. Absolute beginners are welcome! I’d be honored to be your creative journey guide.

One Response to Warrior Training: Focus To See the Light

  1. Monica Freire January 28, 2016 at 9:09 am #

    I am not sure this relates to today, but I thought you might appreciate this poem that I received today from poets.org (poem-a-day) – a cringe a little posting this because it is copyrighted but I think it is okay in this closed environment..?) – I especially like the poets comments at the end and the idea working to get at the spark within oneself.

    I Have This Way of Being by Jamaal May
    I Have This Way of Being

    Jamaal May

    I have this, and this isn’t a mouth
    full of the names of odd flowers

    I’ve grown in secret.
    I know none of these by name

    but have this garden now,
    and pastel somethings bloom

    near the others and others.
    I have this trowel, these overalls,

    this ridiculous hat now.
    This isn’t a lung full of air.

    Not a fist full of weeds that rise
    yellow then white then windswept.

    This is little more than a way
    to kneel and fill gloves with sweat,

    so that the trowel in my hand
    will have something to push against,

    rather, something to push
    against that it knows will bend

    and give and return as sprout
    and petal and sepal and bloom.

    Copyright © 2016 Jamaal May.

    About This Poem

    “The poem keeps negating its considerations while essentially building on the first idea, which is also one way to think of struggle and growth. I think the closest anyone could get to an honest answer about who they are is a metaphor that shifts and evolves as they try to express it. In that reach towards articulation we might spark, within ourselves, broader ideas and questions about the world we grapple with.”
    —Jamaal May

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