Since I invited others to join me on a creative journey, some people who have visited have mentioned a book called, “The Artist’s Way”by Julia Cameron. If you have not read the book and you enjoy seeking inspiration, INDEED – I definitley recommend it! It is a 12-week program for people to connect with their creativity. It requires discipline and a commitment, but it is worth it if you’re ready to truly make some personal discoveries! The mental-dumping idea is also practiced in “The Artist’s Way,” but in that program, they are called, “morning pages.”
Through the years, I have read a number of books, attended workshops, retreats, events, was an art major, an art therapy major, graduated with my degree in psychology, and worked at a number and variety of jobs, including nearly 10 years in the field of human services and one fantastic summer college program at Walt Disney World. Ultimately, I’m picking and choosing from things I’ve either participated in or used in my line of work and I’m sharing them with you. They are only a small number of the many things that I have found useful. On that note, today I am drawing from a book by Dr. Stephen R. Covey, that I’m sure many of you are familiar…It’s called, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The book, as a whole, is another great read, but today’s excerpt is based on, “starting with the end in mind.”
So, for Day Three on The Chatterbox Blog’s Creative Journey…
I am going to ask you to think about something morbid. Please don’t resist because you don’t like thinking about death. If you can go to an alternative location it would be great. You don’t have to, but if you can, I suggest that you go to a church, a graveyard, or a place that you can go to quietly meditate. It seems that, when done in one of those locations, that the activity is really powerful.
Once you find your place, I want you to get in the frame of mind of attending a funeral. Imagine getting dressed, driving to the church and you slowly coming to the realization that you are not only attending a funeral…you are attending your OWN funeral. Now, think of four people: one from your family, one from your church or community, one from work, and one friend. What would you like them to say about your character, your contributions and achievements? This activity may be really difficult for some people, some might resist doing it, others still might laugh about it and question the purpose. Whatever your response, I encourage you to give it thought and to really consider what you would want said.
When you finish, you might find that you have discovered your key fundamental values, your definition of success, and it will help you to start over with a clearer understanding of your destination…it will allow you to “start with the end in mind.”
So being that you are not dead, think about what you are doing with your life NOW. Do you take responsibility for your behavior or do you find yourself complaining and blaming others? How are you dealing with the difficult circumstances in your life? How are you enjoying life’s pleasures? Are you someone who works hard or would prefer to hardly work? Are you appreciating those people around you? How do you respond to others? Where are you focusing your energies? Are you living in a way that would result in those four people you chose, to say the things you’d like them to say? If not, perhaps you should invest more time into the things you hope to be better at. Only you and your values, choices, words and behavior will determine what people will say about you. YOU make choices about what you will and will not contribute. YOU CREATE the image at the end of your life…so start creating!