Tag Archives: authenticity

The Artist’s Way Week 5-6: It’s not a Cosmic Power Struggle, Ashley

“Most of us never consider how powerful the creator really is. Instead, we draw very limited amounts of power available to us. We decide how powerful God is for us” (Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way).

I have very high standards for myself. Maybe sometimes too high, which is why when I see a job that needs to be done I assume that I am the only one who can do the job well or even right. Maybe that makes me overly critical of others, but what I know it does is point out my major weakness: knowing when to delegate. I tend to want to have control over the situation. Someone who looks at life more negatively might call me a control freak, but I like to consider myself a task-oriented perfectionist.

Stop rolling your eyes.

However you see or interpret these character traits, I know others struggle with similar habits. Personally, I struggle to see anything beyond the practical as being useful, which in turn makes my artist-self cry.

Why do I limit myself? Why would anyone limit themselves in this way?

“Drawing on the limited power available to me” is exhausting and, quite frankly, lonely (Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way). This is why I find team work so empowering—sure, it frustrates me, but when we all put our limited powers together we can accomplish much more (that’s why group work can be powerful too—yes, there is always a weak link, but yes it is more effective sometimes. Students, stop rolling your eyes.).

Like Captain Planet (Yes, I’m stuck in the 90s—deal with it). Earth, fire, wind, water: When our powers combine…(and you’re welcome for having that theme song in your head for the rest of the day)

Alone, Earth is only able to accomplish tasks that require terra firma attention. But what about pollution in the oceans? He needs help! So they combine to form ultimate power: Captain Planet, taking pollution down to zero (not just 30% or whatever).

Beyond that, God is not Captain Planet. We don’t summon our own powers together to create Him. So if together we create a unique kind of power, how much more powerful is our creator when we stop “limiting our flow by anthropomorphizing God” (Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way)?

God is not a “capricious parent figure” (Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way). He has more power than we can imagine and when we open ourselves up to that possibility, God becomes less man-made. He’s no longer the Jesus with the nicely trimmed beard and white robes, blue sash and striking Bradley Cooper blue eyes. He’s rugged, raw and untamed. Most importantly He’s powerful—able to reach beyond the limited self-image you’ve boxed in for yourself and help you reach for the stars—or better yet, the Milky Way, because we might as well aim for a big cosmic goal with a God like that on our side.

Our society tells us that we have to have more—but what if more doesn’t mean “STUFF”—crap—made in Taiwan electronics that fill you with radiation, damage your retinas and rot your brain?

What if more means more of…you? More of a sense of self…of possibility of experience?

What if we stopped putting our faith in the dollar and started believing in something authentic?

If we really believed in this kind of authenticity, would our beliefs about God change? Would our beliefs about ourselves, our jobs, our futures—any of it change?

Which begs the question, how do we shift our perspective and our lives to start believing more in what is real and less in the constructed realities?