Riding the Dragon: Check-in Week 4

This is part of my work in the Julia Cameron Artist’s Way series. The work this time is from the book the Artist’s Way at Work: Riding the Dragon. The responses are self-examinations and assessments based on work through a daily series of exercises. While I do keep some material offline as it can be very personal and jarring, I often opt to be fairly open about my experiences, both positive and negative.

Reminder to self: you don’t have to do EVERY exercise.
1. Morning pages: still do them, still need them. I call them “stashing my crazy” but they really stash what drives me crazy. I’m still on that odd fence between authenticity and getting along with people; a recent situation came up where I do have to consider how much I value the friendship. If I’m too authentic, I could lose two friends, but there are behavior patterns over years I’m not happy with. It’s a tough call. I also have been in poor physical and mental health in recent years, and I’m doing SO MUCH better than the last two times my friends saw me, I’m not sure if that would make a difference in behavior.
2. Are you using any other “reflective technologies?” – hm, I’ve found if I meditate, I don’t overeat. I do go for walks, especially since Minnesota is experiencing a west coast winter at the moment. A health scare has kept me out of the gym for two weeks, but I’m going back next week and looking forward to it.
3. Maintaining time-outs? No. December has been crazy overpacked. While I know I need one, I’m also working hard to improve my connection with friendships and that’s time consuming. I’m going to see a slowdown in January, at least.
4. Are you beginning to be more lovingly candid with friends/family? My short answer is no, but this is also because I’m already pretty straightforward with people. I had a conversation the other day where I asked someone point blank if I was the only person that was honest with him. (He said only in one context. I’m not part of other parts of his life.) The big frustration for me is that to improve my social life, I often have to spend time biting my tongue. There are a few people I am safe – or THEY are safe – with me being 100% candid. It’s not that I criticize people, but we run into disagreements, like one the other night where an avid biker insisted that automobile drivers run stoplights in the face of oncoming cars just as much as bicyclists do. (Void in Portland, where I’ve seen bikers honor traffic law beautifully.) She insisted it was my perception, but I’m equally positive a collection of traffic camera data will indicate my perception is pretty damn close to the facts. It’s a hard road between authenticity and constant, unnecessary conflict.