This is part of my work in the Julia Cameron Artist’s Way series. The work this time is from the book the Artist’s Way at Work: Riding the Dragon. The responses are self-examinations and assessments based on work through a daily series of exercises. While I do keep some material offline as it can be very personal and jarring, I often opt to be fairly open about my experiences, both positive and negative.
In this check-in, I’m asked to make a list of pearls of wisdom I’ve gleaned in my life. I’ve actually learned many, perhaps a few have stuck. The ones that seem relevant to me right now:
1)Be easy on yourself. There will always be people in the world looking for an excuse to be hard on you, so no need to do their job for them, because they’re going to do it anyway.
2)When people are hard on you, especially as an adult, it’s because they’re turning attention away from something in their own lives they don’t want to deal with. This may not be universal, but does seem to be specific to my own experience.
3)Taking a positive approach to life is hard work, much harder work than the usual negativity flow.
4)Context is everything, and few people share full context – because few people pause to really listen and understand another person’s full context.
5)You cannot stay in a relationship where a person has contempt for you and expect to have a healthy life. This is true even (especially?) if the person regarding you with contempt is your own parent.
Not my wisdom, but encountered in the Happiness Project for marriages – and I think it applies to all relationships. Relationships are damaged by these behaviors:
Contempt (the worst)
Stonewalling (the next worst)
Criticism – fixable, but over time is corrosive
Defensiveness – fixable, but over time is erosive
This is usually applied to couples that divorce, but it is also applies to family relationships, friendships, even co-worker relationships. It is possible to deliver feedback without making it a critique of a person’s character. It is possible to respond to feedback without making it about justifying your behaviors.
2)Morning pages are still going. I already acknowledged that the media fast did not succeed this time, because it’s just too harsh. Creating a sense of poverty is the exact opposite of what the artist’s way experience is supposed to produce, and this coincided with a point where a)I have a huge review pile that’s already past deadline since 3 books are about 2012 prophecies and b)I had already cut my TV watching to a weekends only policy that I was struggling with, as I used that as a timeout. I don’t want to do timeouts in the evening on weekdays, because that’s workout time and time with Mike (around his thesis.)
I still need to do the file clipping exercise, so I’m doing that today around my reading and going dancing tonight.