My state of lucidity is extreme. I am irritated not to have been able to attain this for so long, but there it is. Anyway to shore it up I am taking notes on that Cameron book without reading it. This will be better since I can create my own flash cards as it were, for my purposes.
1. Safety. This is about treating oneself well. WATCH DAILY
2. Identity. This is about putting your work ahead of work for others. WATCH DAILY
3. Power. This chapter speaks directly to me since power is what I always seem to have gotten into trouble for having. Apparently many are made to feel guilty/ashamed of achievement and are willing to renounce achievement and development just so as not to have to go through that again. (That is so much more to the point than trying to unravel meaningless phrases like “fear of success” or “procrastination.”) It is more painful to be blocked than to work and finish, but my feeling after a certain point that one more bath of guilt/shame would be lethal so I would take the pain over this alternative. I think I am over this but it has been really key and it may need maintenance.
4. Integrity. This means access to self and voice. I lost those in Reeducation. It is also a wound I have from academic jobs, having it turn out that my neutral expertise was in fact considered dangerous. Their loss was why I stopped being able to wrap my mind around any of my writing enough to finish it out. I think I am over this, too, but again it has been key, and thorny, and may need maintenance.
5. Possibility. This means, you do things that add to your energy and reserves, meditation, recreation. You can live now. I remember when I first lost this, and I was very concerned. I also remember much later, when the idea of having it seemed shockingly self-indulgent. I have been noticing lately how little I still do this, comparatively speaking, and how important it is, what a difference it would make. I remember when I was a champion at it. Of course it caused me to get more done (but that was when I believed I deserved that).
6. Abundance. I think this means living beautifully and allowing yourself to enjoy work and put enjoyment first. That, once again, used to be something I was very good at.
7. Connection. I am interpreting this as connecting to your work. Lately I have been a wonderful writer of abstracts, funding proposals, and even book proposals but you have to really connect to the work to follow it out. This is where I have the anxiety issues I have, and so this topic is connected to topic 3 as well as topic 4. The voice of my enemy says a version of you should not be doing this whose roots are in those topics. The answer is to let the work carry you, because it should be done.
8. Strength. This is about artistic losses, roles you did not get. I have talked quite a lot in this weblog about projects I did not get to do but here is my problem: I am fine with not having done the projects, in terms of ego. I think what pertains to me more are items 1-4, especially 3-4. It is the pieces of self and the time I amputated that I long for. The trap I keep falling into is saying this was my fault, my error, which is one of the causes of the anxiety I feel.
So the trick is not to fall into that trap, and to use strength as the antidote for anxiety.
9. Compassion. This is about pressing on when you want to give up, when your piece does not seem good, when you want to take a U-turn. Academics say not to be perfectionistic and that is what I do find discouraging. In ceramics you have to keep on going and make the piece good. It is “compassion” because you do not at this point say your piece is awful — you look at its good points and strengthen them, and finish it.
10. Self-protection. This is about pacing so you are strong for the long term, and also about not fearing that rush of synapses. I started to experience those as anxiety when I was working in an impaired state from Reeducation, and I get them when I am working to a deadline and have not given myself enough time. In the former instance, before Reeducation, I would handle this, I would decide what to use and what to save for later and what was going to cause me to change something structural now. This is how to do it. It is connected to time and pacing because the rush of synapses is not a problem if you have given yourself enough time.
The last two terms are autonomy and faith, and I think what is meant is continuing on to the next project when one is done, and surrendering to the project, sinking into it, letting it guide you, rather than feeling all administrative about it. Part of what I find so destructive about prospectuses and plans is this last (yes, I know plans can change, but I like to work from a sketch. I could say more about these two terms and perhaps make use of them, but I think they get a bit redundant so I am stopping at the ten key words, in the way I have remade them for me.