1st chakra, root chakra, Muladhara


A Nexus of Travelers on the Artist's Way

Solid Snaking it in the Bush
Hello, any and all!

So the experiment I mentioned in the previous entry wasn't an entire failure, though I ended up deleting it... I just got a better idea.

I've created my first real book-based creative cluster at a_spiral_path and am coming back from a slacker-style hiatus. I think the format I've set up will work best if I can get more people on board to co-moderate.

If anyone here is interested, I'm signing people up by the week. Basically, if you do morning pages religiously, you could host a week on a_spiral_path with nary a debit to your time. Starting Sunday, we'll begin Week 3 of The Artist's Way, which I'll be hosting.

All you gotta do for the week you host, is post a couple of that chapter's tasks in the morning right after your morning pages and you're done! Feel free to participate, of course, and come back later to answer those questions in the comments of that day's post if you like.

Not interested in hosting OR posting comments? That's fine too. I have two other members right now who seem content to just watch as I go solo through the program at the comm. If you just want to follow along in your own journal, that works. However, I know there are some seasoned vets watching this space and it would be great if I could have some dancing partners. :)


The Experiment
Frankenstein's Abomination
Hi folks!

I'm doing a beta test of a Creative Cluster I'm running for the second volume of The Artist's Way: Walking in this World. The experiment is basically me doing the last chapter of TAW in the style I plan to implement in that community going forward. Afterwards, I'll delete all the test entries or tag them out, and then close the community when it's ready to accept membership commitments. Please drop by and check it out! If you would like to help me test it, that would be most welcome. I think I have it set up to where you don't even need to join in order to contribute.


The Purpose of Posting Guidelines On-Line
Okay, I finally finished copying the creative cluster guidelines from Finding Water. One reason for posting this to the Internet is so anyone who wanted to start or redecorate their own LJ or online cluster would have a readily accessible digital version on hand to copy and paste to their user info.

Another reason is of course for the purposes of this particular administrative group, as Julia directed it mostly towards cluster facilitators.

I hope you find this useful. ^_^

Creative Clusters Guide (part 3)
A Word to Therapists, Teachers, Writing INstructors and Other Artist's Way Group Leaders. Thank you for the wonderful work you do. While I know that many of you are using The Artist's Way to run groups, I hope and expect that you will go on to explore your own interests using The Artist's Way for your process also. I encourage you to follow your own creative vision, to strive for your own True North. You will find that the facilitation process continues your own growth experience.

I cannot state emphatically enough that The Artist's Way fame and path should not be used in ways that differ substantially from the Artist's Way techniques as spelled out in the book. I have tested the tools for a decade and a half in order to find them roadworthy. I ask that you refrain from presenting yourselves publicly as Artist's Way "experts," though you may use the book within your practice. I ask that you remember that the wisdom of The Artist's Way is a collective, non-hierarchical experience. I have heard of abuses of this principle, such as a group leader's requiring the Morning Pages to be read in the group. This is not in the spirit of the book. Facilitated groups should "graduate" into free, peer-run clusters.

A Word to Therapeutic Clients. Please remember that the book itself remains the primary source of the Artist's Way teachings, and that it is your interpretation, and your work with the book and its tools, that are central to you in your recovery. I remind you that the work is your own, not just something done under the influence of a magic teacher. Please "own" your recovery as your recovery.

Thank you. I am delighted The Artist's Way is used in the many contexts in which it is (such as in colleges and universities, by therapists, and by peer-run clusters). I again offer the reminder that The Artist's Way is intended to be used in keeping with the spirit of the book, as written. There is always the book itself to refer to. This is an individual's journey that may be facilitated by the group process. If you cannot find or start a group, consider you and the book to constitute one!

Pass It On.  To those forming a peer-run cluster, you do not need to make the Artist's Way a moneymaking venture, for me or for you. If you follow the spiritual practice of tithing, I recommend buying the book and passing it on.

- pgs. 275, 276 from Finding Water: The Art of Perseverence, copyright 2006 by Julia Cameron

Creative Clusters Guide (part 2)
1. Use a Twelve-week Process with a Weekly Gathering of Two to Three Hours. The Morning Pages and Artist Dates are required of everyone in the group, including facilitators. The exercises are done in order in the group, with everyone, including the facilitator, answering the questions and then sharing the answers in clusters of four, one chapter per week. Do not share your Morning Pages with the group or anyone else. Do not reread your Morning Pages until later in the course, if you are required to do so by your facilitator or your own inner guidance.

2. Avoid Self-Appointed Gurus. If there is any emissary, it is the work itself, as a collective composed of all who take the course, at home or otherwise. Each person is equally a part of the collective, no one more than another. While there may be "teachers," facilitators who are relied on during the twelve-week period to guide others down the path, such facilitators need to be prepared to share their own material and take their own creative risks. This is a dialectic rather than a monologue - an egalitarian group process rather than a hierarchical one.

3. Listen. We each get what we need from the group process by sharing our own material and by listening to others. We do not need to comment on another person's sharing in order to help that person. We must regrain from trying to "fix" someone else. Each group devises a cooperative creative "song" of artistic recovery. Each group's song is unique to that group - like that of a pod or family of whales, initiating and echoing to establish their position. When listening, go around the circle without commenting unduly on what is heard. The circle, as a shape, is very important. We are intended to witness, not control, one another. When sharing exercises, clusters of four within the larger groups are imporant: five tends to become unwieldy in terms of time constraints; three doesn't allow for enough contrasting experience. Obviously, not all groups can be divided into equal fours. Just try to do so whenever you can.

4. Respect One Another. Be certain that respect and compassion are afforded equally to every member. Each person must be able to speak his own wounds and dreams. No one is to be "fixed" by another member of the group. This is a deep and powerful internal process. There is no one right way to do this. Love is important. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to one another.

5. Expect Change in the Group Makeup. Many people will - some will not - fulfill the twelve-week process. there is often a rebellious or fallow period after the twelve weeks, with people returning to the disciplines later. When they do, they continue to find the process unfolding within them a year, a few years, or many years later. Many groups have a tendency to drive apart at eight to ten weeks (creative U-turns) because of the feelings of loss associated with the group's ending. Face the truth as a group; it may help you stay together.

6. Be Autonomous. You cannot control your own process, let alone anyone else's. Know that you will feel rebellious occasionally - that you won't want to do all of your Morning Pages and exercises at times in the twelve weeks. Relapse is okay. You cannot do this process perfectly, so relax, be kind to yourself, and hold on to your hat. Even when you feel nothing is happening, you will be changing at a great velocity. This change is a deepening into your own intuition, your own creative self. The structure of the course is about safely getting across the bridge into new realms of creative spiritual awareness.

7. Be Self-Loving. If the facilitator feels somehow "wrong" to you, change clusters or start your own. Continually seek your own inner guidance rather than outer guidance. You are seeking to form an artist-to artist relationship with the Great Creator. Keep gurus at bay. You have your own answers within you.

- pgs. 273, 275 from Finding Water: The Art of Perseverence, copyright 2006 by Julia Cameron

Personal Time vs. Administrator Time
Our first official question is credited to cluegirl

"I'll be interested to see what a confluence of creative comm organizers have to say about the business of making safespace and supportive space for artists while still getting time and energy for their own artwork as well. I know that's where my community ran aground -- I found I had to spend all my time maintaining the comm, and didn't get enough back out of it to fuel my own creative process."

Does anyone have any suggestions for this particular challenge? Please feel free to post! I'll try to get us started.

Read more...Collapse )

I realize this doesn't directly address the issue of how to cultivate more personal time vs. group time, but I hope it gives us ideas towards a model that shares the burden more evenly among all members, which could in turn lead to everyone having a more rounded experience. I'm very interested in seeing what other suggestions this group has.

Thanks for posing this excellent question, cluegirl !

Creative Clusters Guide (part 1)
by Julia Cameron
(reprinted without explicit permission, but since this is in regard to creative clusters, public sharing is implied by the author.)

When THE ARTIST'S WAY was first published, I expressed a wish for Artist's Way groups to spring into being. I envisioned them as peer-run circles--"creative clusters"--where people would serve one another as believing mirrors, uniting with the common aim of creative unblocking. It was my vision that such circles would be free of charge, that anyone could assemble one, using the book as a guide and a text. Many such peer-run circles did form and many more are forming still. Such artist-to-artist, heart-to-heart help and support are the heart of The Artist's Way movement.

Not surprisingly, many therapists, community colleges, wellness centers, universities, and teachers soon began running facilitated Artist's Way groups, for which they charged a fee. The Artist's Way groups were led rather than simply convened. To the degree to which they adhered to the spiritual principles of creative recovery and introduced people to the use of the tools, they were--and are--valuable. Any group that starts with such a leader should, however, rapidly become autonomous, "graduating" to a peer-run, nonprofit status.

There are no "accredited" Artist's Way teachers. I chose not to franchise The Artist's Way but to offer it as a gift, free of charge. It is my belief that creative recovery at its best is a nonhierarchical, peer-run, collective process. In this it differs from the academic and therapeutic modes. Any professional using The Artist's Way should realize that autonomous, peer-run creative clusters must remain the eventual goal. Facilitated groups can serve as a sort of bridge to this end.

In my years of teaching and traveling, I have frequently encountered excellent results from peer-group clusters. On occasion, I have encountered situations where The Artist's Way has been unduly modified. Whenever there is a misplaced emphasis on intellectual "analysis" or therapeutic "processing," there is the risk of undermining creative unfolding. Very often, what could be interpreted as "neurosis" or a deep-seated problem is simply creative resistance.

The Artist's Way and all my other "teaching" books are experiential books. They are intended to teach people to process and transform life through acts of creativity. Both books and all creative clusters should be practiced through creative action, not through theory. As an artist, I know this. The Artist's Way and other books are the distillate of thirty years of artistic practice.

It is my belief and my experience as a teacher that all of us are healthy enough to practice creativity. It is not a dangerous endeavor requiring trained facilitators. It is our human birthright and something we can do gently and collectively. Creativity is like breathing--pointers may help, but we do the process ourselves. Creative clusters, where we gather as peers to develop our strength, are best regarded as tribal gatherings, where creative beings raise, celebrate, and actualize the creative power which runs through us all.

- pgs. 272, 273 from Finding Water: The Art of Perseverence, copyright 2006 by Julia Cameron

Membership and Posting Now Open
Just thought I'd drop a quick note that membership and posting access are now open. Since this is a forum for the free exchange of ideas, it simply makes sense to lift the restrictions.

If you have any ideas, suggestions, questions, or issues concerning the operation of your creative cluster, please feel free to post them here.

Happy travels!

Welcome to the Way
Salutations, and welcome to the nexus! Well, let's get right into it, shall we?

For a long time, I’ve been wanting to join a creative cluster to experience the Artist’s Way. In searching Livejournal, I found lots of communities, but very few that were active. Practicing solo, I’ve thought about why it may be difficult for groups to work out in an online format. Not having any experience with running a forum, I can’t say I have the answers. But I do think there are some people out there who do, and want a solid stomping ground for their members. This is an attempt to help our clusters and practices along. Please forgive me if I seem too forward for a newb; I’m just eager to participate in a stable online Artist’s Way community.

1. My first of three initial proposals for making the Artist's Way work on Live Journal is to contact active administrators and invite them to this community. Centralizing our efforts might help us all out. We can orchestrate schedules and levels as well as share tips, tricks, ideas, and even members.

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embodyment , ladyspeak , ink_smear , lipglossgecko , rediscover_me , shinywen , dewdropsonrosa 

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d_dangerlove , mingsmommy , peridot_lines , zamboni12 

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cavalaxis , shiv5468 

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elle_cosette , koola 

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abandonedworld , xtremeroswellia 

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