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The Artist's Way (1992)
- The Artist's Way : A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity
- Anger is meant to be acted on. It is not meant to be acted out. Anger points the direction. We are meant to use anger as fuel to take the actions we need to move where our anger points us. With a little thought, we can usually translate the message that our anger is sending us.
- I have learned, as a rule of thumb, never to ask whether you can do something. Say, instead, that you are doing it. Then fasten your seat belt. The most remarkable things follow.
- Growth is an erratic forward movement: two steps forward, one step back. Remember that and be very gentle with yourself.
- Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough — that we should try again.
- What we really want to do is what we are really meant to do. When we do what we are meant to do, money comes to us, doors open for us, we feel useful, and the work we do feels like play to us.
- Art is not about thinking something up. It is the opposite — getting something down.
- Each of us has an inner dream that we can unfold if we will just have the courage to admit what it is. And the faith to trust our own admission. The admitting is often very difficult.
- Creativity — like human life itself — begins in darkness. We need to acknowledge this. All too often, we think only in terms of light: "And then the lightbulb went on and I got it!" It is true that insights may come to us as flashes. It is true that some of these flashes may be blinding. It is, however, also true that such bright ideas are preceded by a gestation period that is interior, murky, and completely necessary.
- All too often too often we try to push, pull, outline and control our ideas instead of letting them grow organically. The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.
Mystery is at the heart of creativity. That, and surprise.
The Right to Write (1998)
- The Right to Write : An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life (Tarcher, 1998; ISBN 1-58542-009-3)
- For most of us, the seductive and unstated part of "if I had enough time" is the unstated sentence "to hear myself think." In other words, we imagine that if we had time we would quiet our more shallow selves and listen to a deeper flow of inspiration. Again, this is a myth that lets us off the hook— if I wait for enough time to listen, I don't have to listen now, I don't have to take responsibility for what is trying to bubble up today.
- Blessings: Prayers and Declarations for a Heartful Life (Tarcher, 1998; ISBN 0-87477-906-5)
- Life is a creative endeavor. It is active, not passive. We are the yeast that leavens our lives into rich, fully baked loaves. When we experience our lives as flat and lackluster, it is our consciousness that is at fault. We hold the inner key that turns our lives from thankless to fruitful. That key is "Blessing."
- Focused on our good, focused on our abundance we naturally attract more of the same. This is spiritual law. Our consciousness is creative. What we focus on, we empower and enlarge. Good multiplies when focused upon. Negativity multiplies when focused upon. The choice is ours: Which do we want more of?
- When I listen to love, I am listening to my true nature. When I express love, I am expressing my true nature. All of us love. All of us do it more and more perfectly. The past has brought us both ashes and diamonds. In the present we find the flowers of what we've planted and the seeds of what we are becoming. I plant the seeds of love in my heart. I plant the seeds of love in the hearts of others.
- The growth of one blesses all. I am commited to grow in love. All that I touch, I leave in love. I move through this world consciously and creatively.
- Love is not love if it compelled by reason and driven by logic — love exists in spite of those things, not because of them. It is a emotion which needs no fuel to fire it or oxygen to feed it; if you have to look for the why, then stop looking; it was never there at all.
- I honor my importance and the importance of others. None of us is dispensable, none of us is replacable. In the chorus of life each of us brings a True Note, a perfect pitch that adds to the harmony of the whole. I act creatively and consciously to actively endorse and encourage the expansion of those whose lives I touch. Believing in the goodness of each, I add to the goodness of all. We bless each other even in passing.