artist date : a sunny balcony & a book

4 Feb

Artist date # 2

photo-15

It’s been a looooong time since I took myself on an artist date. It could be the very reason I’ve been feeling creatively challenged recently. Now that we are finally settled in our new home I decided to pencil in an artist date with myself every Friday afternoon. I was planning on going to the museum last Friday but switched it up last-minute and decided to spend some time with my new Marianne Williamson book instead.

Marianne is a internationally acclaimed spiritual author and lecturer. Six of her ten published books have been New York Times Best Sellers. I went to one of her lectures (she speaks every Monday night in LA! I’m going tonight!) many years ago and loved her. She’s incredibly inspiring. I picked up her book “A Return To Love” last week because I have been feeling tapped out from my spiritual place recently. I always that I am disconnected when I start feeling anxious…all the time- about everything and nothing. My anxiety is a huge red flag that I am not in a trusting, connected and spiritual head space. Because really there’s nothing to feel anxious about.

The day of my date, I almost ditched it to tackle the million and one other things I had to do…like unpack more boxes, wedding planning stuff (ugh…wedding planning stuff is a full-time gig!), writing, errands blah blah blah. I felt bad about spending a Friday afternoon reading…for enjoyment. I felt like I could be doing more productive things with my time. But, then I realized that reading for enjoyment is productive! It’s feeding my soul! My creativity! Why the hell would I feel bad about that? Isn’t it crazy how taking time for yourself can feel decadent?

So I went for it and I spent Friday afternoon…sitting in the sun on our new deck with a diet coke, a luna bar and Marianne. I had SOOO many AH-HA moments (as Oprah would say) while reading it. Thought I’d share a few of my favorite excerpts.

~ A Return To Love ~

When we were born, we were programmed perfectly. We had a natural tendency to focus on love. Our imaginations were creative and flourishing, and we knew how to use them. We were connected to a world much richer than the one we connect to now, a world full of enchantment and a sense of the miraculous. So what happened? Why is it that we reached a certain age, looked around, and the enchantment was gone?

Because we were taught to focus elsewhere. We were taught to think unnaturally. We were taught  a very bad philosophy, a way of looking at the world that contradicts who we are. We were taught to think thoughts like competition, struggle, sickness, finite resources, limitation, guilt, bad, death, scarcity, and loss. We began to think these things, and so we began to know them. We were taught that things like grades, being good enough, money, and doing things the right way, are more important than love. We were taught that we’re separate from other people, that we have to compete to get ahead, that we’re not quite good enough the way we are. 

**

You’d think we’d have some compassion for ourselves, bound up in emotional chains the we are, but we don’t. We’re just disgusted with ourselves, because we think we should be better by now. Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking other people don’t have as much fear as we do, which only makes us more afraid. Maybe they know something we don’t know. Maybe we’re missing a chromosome.

**

Love casts out sin or fear the way light casts out darkness. The shift from fear to love is a miracle.

**

A course in miracles likens us to sunbeams thinking we’re separate from the sun, or waves thinking we’re separate from the ocean. Just as a sunbeam can’t separate itself from the sun, and wave can’t separate itself from the ocean, we can’t separate ourselves from one another. We are all part of vast sea of love, one indivisible divine mind. The truth of who we really are doesn’t change; we just forget it. We identify with the motion of a small separate self, instead of the idea of reality we share with everyone. 

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6 Responses to “artist date : a sunny balcony & a book”

  1. Maddison @ Miss Imperfect February 4, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    This so speaks to me, I also am a big anxiety struggler, and it has begun to rear it’s head, I find focusing on the moment does wonders for me. But I do love the sound of your artist dates and do feel the need to get some of that soul nurturing love from Gabby Bernstein at the moment, I haven’t yet fully read or become aware of Marianne Williamson, although I have heard a lot about her.

    • katemcclafferty February 4, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

      I so agree with you- focusing on the moment is a HUGE help. I keep hearing about the Gabby Bernstein! I must go pick up her book!

  2. maddisonvernon February 4, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    Wow, I love this, I too am feeling my anxiety coming up this week, and I hate it because it is just that feeling of anxious for no reason, it likes to make a reason up. I love your artist date idea it sounds beautiful, I know that for me living in the moment, trying to stay grounded helps me. But also listening to Gabby B’s lectures helps a lot as well. Haven’t yet read one of Marianne Williamson’s books but have heard a lot about her.

  3. christine February 17, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    I need artist dates more often. Whenever I have a chunk of baby-free time, I never have good ideas of what to do. Taking notes from you.

    • katemcclafferty February 19, 2013 at 10:14 am #

      I write a list of ten and post it in my office. Then depending on the day and my mood just choose one!

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