Getting Ready for the Artist’s Way: a sneak peek into the LHF Greenhouse

English: A sprout in a lightbulb.

Image via Wikipedia

I’m sure you’ve noticed I’m very excited about the LHF Greenhouse, and want to make sure everyone who can benefit from becoming a member has the information they need to make a decision about joining.

So when my engineer boyfriend pointed out the invitation page does a great job of explaining what the greenhouse will feel like, but not such a great job outlining the “what exactly will we be doing” part, I was a little worried.

I tried to write a post to fill in that information gap.  I thought about making a list of the books we would read, and the sort of assignments we’d do.  I tried to create a calendar of events, and to share a schedule for group conversations.

Luckily for both of us I gave up on that post.  Not only was it really, really boring–it wasn’t very accurate.  There is not a good way to tell you what the LHF Greenhouse will be like for the first group of members because we’ll be discovering what works and what doesn’t as we go along.  Which is all well and good, but isn’t very helpful if you are trying to decide if you should join.

Since I can’t really tell you what to expect inside, I decided to show you.

The LHF Greenhouse and The Artist’s Way

Cover of "The Artist's Way: A Course in D...

I love working with people right before and right after they discover what ignites their passion.  In that moment, when they first realize what they are called to give back to the world, people exude a life force that is amazing to behold.  Sadly, for many that bright light burns for just a moment, and then gets dampened by the stress of everyday life.  It never goes out, but it’s easy to miss–until you go looking for it.

I created the LHF Greenhouse to help people find that light–and then to protect and nurture it until it grows strong enough to face the pressures of the world on its own.

Because The Artist’s Way played a crucial role in helping me rediscover my own life’s passion, our work in the LHF Greenhouse starts there.  The following mini-lesson, designed to supplement the introductory chapters of the book (“Introduction, “Spiritual Electricity:  The Basic Principles,” and “The Basic Tools”), may be a little confusing if you’ve not done the reading.  Still, it should give you enough of a taste of what’s inside for you to decide if the LHF Greenhouse is a good fit for you and your buried dream.

If you like what you see here, come join us inside!

Same Ideas, Different Voice

As an interesting example of serendipity, this TED video about the creative process was shared with me on Facebook last week.  If the religious overtones of “The Great Creator” don’t resonate with you, Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Dobby the House Elf” metaphor might work better.

A Note about Your “Inner Censor”

Julia Cameron writes about the inner censor as a mean, nasty voice that needs to be torn out.  If that metaphor works for you, skip on to the next heading.  If, however, your inner censor feels like too big a part of you to ignore completely, or if the idea of tearing out part of who you are is jarring, it might help to think of your inner censor as a monster who is little, sad, and afraid.

Desire Trumps Doubt

If you’ve read the introductory chapters and have come up with a long list of reasons why this process has absolutely no chance of working for you, welcome to the club.  The first time I worked through the book, I, too, was pretty sure it wasn’t going to work.  But the book came with a strong recommendation from a trusted friend, and I desperately wanted to believe that I was a creative person–even though I’d spent most of my life insisting I was not an artist.  So I did the exercises anyway, just to see what happened.  It turns out, Julia’s insistence that you don’t have to believe in the process for the process to work is true.  That having been said, if your doubt is overwhelming, and your view of what can be gained is foggy, it will be hard to find the motivation to move forward.

Assignment:  What if it’s true?

The following assignment is designed to help pump up your desire to unblock your creativity to the point where it dampens the voice of your doubt.

Take a moment to imagine what your life might be like in 12 weeks if it turns out you are a deeply creative person capable of bringing new paintings, designs, ad campaigns, stories, jewelry, information products, websites and/or social movements into the world.  What does it feel like to be that person?  How does that version of you spend your time?  What do the people in your life start to notice about you?  Take a moment to write (or draw, or create a collage) about your reflections.

Note:  This assignment does not require you believe the vision you’ve created will come true.  In fact, the more you doubt the future you’ve described is possible, the more important it is to complete the lesson.

Share!

Part of the benefit of doing this work as a group is we are able to learn as much from the journeys of our fellow travelers as we are from our own.  To that end, I invite you to  share your thoughts, questions and reflections from the intro chapters with a comment below.   If you’d like to share the results of your “homework” we’d love to see that as well.

Want to receive future lessons and to be part of a community working through The Artist’s Way together?  Join us in the LHF Greenhouse!  Click here for more information.

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