Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Learning About Myself....

Today I'm going to 'fess up. I decided to try one more online book club and told Robyn that I would do The Artist's Way with her group. I told her upfront that I have a bad track record with this kind of thing. STOP! Right there! What did I just do? I set myself up to not participate. And guess what? Last week, week #1, I didn't! I came out of the box already prepared to fail.

I did morning pages a few days but then "something" always came up and I didn't do them. And since I didn't do the morning pages I had no reason to do any of the other things either. I did read the chapter....I almost always read the books when I join these book clubs. At least that's something!

So where is this going, you ask. Well, I have made a commitment to myself that this time I will participate. I will do the morning pages, and read the chapter, and do the other exercises, and even join in on a discussion now and then. I've already proved to myself that I can be disciplined because I've done a page in my journal every day since March 1st. It isn't that. So what is the reason I haven't participated in these book clubs? I love to read. Can't be that. Could it be that I don't think I'm as smart as all those other people and that if I open my mouth and discuss what I think of the book that they will all laugh at me?? YES! It all goes back to school....back in the dark ages. I was always terrified to answer a question for fear of being wrong and having the kids laugh at me.

So here we are with my first breakthrough from The Artist's Way. Not anything to do with art but something very important all the same. My lack of confidence in my mental capacity has held me back so many times and it's trying to do so again. But I won't let it. If I say something stupid in the book discussion what's going to happen?? The world won't come to an end. And if anyone is laughing I can't hear them anyway because we're all online! I guess they could put that little "LOL" thing on my entry but I could live with that. So there you have it. My huge "ah ha" moment from this morning's morning pages.

And here is my art journal page....

Aug 26:

I must say I was disappointed when I scanned this one. It looks so much better in real life than it shows here. I tried toning down the magenta color but then it washed out the black too much. This one just doesn't scan like it really looks. So use your imagination! In case you aren't able to make out what it says here it is: "Big crowds of people are not my favorite thing so if i could have NYC all to myself for 24 hours that would be great! I could go everywhere and see everything without having to be in a big crowd."

I hope whatever you do today it's fulfilling....


  1. I have had a totally frustrating day. I just made myself a snack and broke the toaster oven. I feel so overwhelmed...and I'm wondering why I'm saying all this! heeheehee! Maybe I thought I was supposed to confess, too! Love your post! Talking to you has helped! lol

  2. Hi Janet....I was just like you in school. I would never raise my hand and was always afraid of being wrong.
    But your opinion of a book is just as important as anyone else's. Interpreting a book is like art...there is no right or wrong way. Don't let anybody intimidate you.

    YOU GO GIRL!!!

  3. Three cheers for Janet! Hip, hip, hoooooray! Glad you've made a breakthrough and gladder still you voiced it. Thumbs UP! And here I always thought the silent ones were sneering in arrogant superiority to the rest of us...

    You GO, girl!

    And I can't even IMAGINE having NYC, or any other city, to myself for 24 hours - that sounds scary to think of. Who would you ask for directions and with no 'people watching' to do there goes my cheap entertainment! (forever on less than a budget) But it's YOUR fantasy - and your lovely journal.

  4. I struggled with that fear in school too. The internet has helped me overcome it some - but sometimes I still cringe after I've commented on something. Good for you Janet, in facing your fear!
    (I don't much care for crowds either, but two's company right? So if you get that NYC deal, and want some company, let me know :)

  5. I love that you are fighting the fear. I read a thing today that I thought was so true. It went on about fear for awhile and how we never finish fighting it. We'll probably have fear until the day we die and be fighting it. I thought it is probably true. I know when DH ask me if it ever going to get easier, I usually tell him, "I don't think so!" We usually chuckle about it and gird up our loins and continue on with the day. I think that is what it takes. Keeping on, keeping on!

  6. Wow! What a breakthrough!I can't imagine anyone ever, ever laughing at what you have to say. I always appreciate your wisdom and I'm glad you'll be speaking up. :)

  7. GO JANET!! I am so please that you will be following through and continuing on this journey.

    I have always been afraid to speak out at fear of being laughed at too. I was never the smartest kid in school and was often picked on. I have found blogging and groups such as these has helped me so much to come out of my shell and be myself again.

    I am really looking forward to sharing this journey with you :)

  8. I was always afraid I'd be called on in class. I've never figured out where that came from. WoooHoooo for learning about yourself and saying so!

  9. I'm the other side of the coin. One who never had any fear of speaking up or answering the question. However, on the artistic side, I always thought I was smart not creative AT ALL. I found that it may take some doing to get me out of my comfort zone and try...My one dear friend had quite a time convincing me to use blank pages for a journal class she had. I Needed! lines and a black pen. Yrs, later I now usually have lines but I used colored pens and pick the color mood of the day when I start.

    My brains are balancing out these days. Good luck to you with the book. It was a real breakthru for me when I first did it.

  10. Hey Janet. I have always longed to belong to a book club, I was going to join the library one, but it was full, and I also have the fear, of either I didnt read the book, the same way every one else did and dont have the same thoughts on them. I also love to read, and disect the book, maybe we should all choose a book and have an online bookclub. lol

  11. Thanks for visiting my blog, Janet... It reminded me of how much I enjoy visting yours!

    This post is an ah-ha... especially the "STOP!" Good you caught that one!

    I didn't really take to morning pages either until one day I just started writing off the lines... waves of writing, spirals of writing, upside-down writing... And stickers! Oh boy, my morning pages are full of stickers and I write around them. If I don't feel like writing, I use a BIG FAT marking pen or a dull crayon. Three pages go quickly when I do that! I also change pens and colors frequently... anything to keep Little Robin happy and engaged.

    I respect your commitment and you for making it! Love, Robin

  12. First off the bat, Janet...I cannot imagine the word "fail" and you in the same paragraph! So, you with your determination within has mandated a new regime!! Wonderful for you...We need to find out about OURSELVES oft times! Your magenta page is lovely, and thanks for the writing explanation....I wish I could have Los Angeles to myself, and NO CROWDS...Don't do well in crowds!!
    And, thanks for the visit..

  13. My gosh Janet, are you SURE we are not related in some mysterious way? Every time you tell a tale, I've been not speaking up in school because, etc. etc. Or, maybe it was just the times. I tried The Artists Way a couple of years ago. Did the morning pages....for about three days. Stopped. Gave the book away without even finishing it. I'm not saying it isn't a good book, it just didn't interest ME, so that's why I quit it. Maybe that's why you were having a problem getting in the groove. It just isn't YOU!

    Now that artwork you are doing on your own...that's awesome! xoxoxo

  14. so glad you are joining in Janet. It is damn hard to stick to the morning pages i know.. I didn't do mine today because I was up at 3am journalling, then went back to sleep.. so I figured I had done mine earlier than usual. hang in there! and do what you can xo

  15. Hi Janet,
    Just found your blog today.
    WOW, Woman, you are SO HONEST.

    You have inspired me to open up more. I grew up in 13 different foster homes and was ALWAYS the "new girl" in a load of different schools.
    VERY shy and afraid of speaking up. Suffering abuse as a child can have this effect also. Never feeling like I fit in. Like I was constantly laughed at.
    Well, it sucked.

    But you just opening up and admititing your struggle makes me admire you.
    I have a hard time admiting when I am wrong, and accepting criticism. It cuts me to the core and all those freaky inner voices start up...can't, shouldn't,never,blah blah blah.

    This mess has kept me from being authentic. has gotten better. I am also of a "certain age", and learning to accept myself and all the crappola that got me to a pretty good place in life now.

    Also, as Artist's we tend to fight being shoved into any kind of box and schedule.
    I am finding that having "rituals" instead of schedules

    Just be JANET cause as far as I have read and can see, you're pretty darn good at it, and all these people commenting on your blog can't be wrong.

  16. I know this is an old post Janet but I have been working through your blog (and Loving every minute of it) This has struck such a strong chord with me, This is exactly how I was at school always too scared of speaking out loud in case they laughed at me. I even tried to get on Facebook this year to get over it but to no avail. Blogging and an online journalling course that I am doing at the moment is the only way that I have found helpful. I agree with you that even though we can see a picture of each other, if you laugh at me I cant "see" it. What prisons we put ourselves in and only we can get ourselves out of it.
    Thanks for being you Janet and putting yourself out there.


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