The Artists Way all the way!

I have got to tell you about a book that is changing my life!!! All creative people, artists, painters, cooks, illustrators, designers, teachers..etc. (The list goes on and on). I bought this book a couple years back, at that time I was not ready to take on a journey with a creative self-help book. Let alone have the energy, to deal unpack and manage all the pollution that I had allowed to stifle not only my creativity, but caused me to be blocked on every level. Over the last few months I have been ready to detoxify myself and not only nurture myself, but let go of so much.

This book is “The Artists Way” by Julia Cameron.  My sister, Jenna, is a writer and she decided to do this book as a way to understand herself, create change in her own life and grow from a knowledge of YOU (knowledge of YOU=yourself). The changes I saw consistently occurring in my sister, inspired me to start my own journey. BIG THANK YOU TO YOU SIS…FOR INSPRING ME.

This book is a 12 week program, and I am technically on week 4 of the book. I am not taking each week as a week, I do each week as about ten days..allowing myself to really get a grasp of the information and do the work. The other thing is that if I tell myself, that this must be completed in 12 weeks then it will go by the wayside. I had to be honest with what I knew about myself and how I would create.

So you’re probably thinking at this point…why is this book so good? Well, really there are two key aspects of this book that make it amazing.

MORNING PAGES

Each morning you free write 3 pages in your journal about anything…you could write the same thing over and over again. You could write “I hate this.” You could write about how much things suck…I personally use it as a time to write out my thoughts…you know those insecurities that if they don’t get out on paper rule your day…or cause self-doubt. (Other people have these right?) Well, just doing the exercise, of trying to fervently write has not only created so much freedom, but allows me to begin my day with a clear head. Life Changing!

ARTIST DATE

-What’s an artist date? Is that where like two artists get together and paint eachothers bodies and talk about how symbolic little shit is? No…though that is fun too! The artists date is about setting aside two hours for yourself and doing a new activity..ALONE! Yep, I said it ALONE…….I know you are all getting a little anxious at this point…but the greatest power you can give yourself is to go somewhere alone. Try something new. Have a new experience with just you! It’s empowering to put yourself in what could be new situations, and test yourself…but more than that…get to know you.

Thus far reading through this book and doing the work, has not only allowed me to have a greater understanding of myself…but created a fearlessness in myself in many situations…scenarios. I used to get creatively blocked for weeks at a time, and this book has completely led me to understand why that happens…and how to work through that.

Now what I will warn you of is this is not easy work…you have to delve deep inside yourself and unpack some serious tar…and waste that has collected and festered…but if you take the time to be less numb examine yourself…and truly learn who you are inside and what makes you tick. It will not only bring you the greatest happiness…freedom of fear…and ability to pursue your dreams with wild abandon like never before.

 

If you are an artist ready to take a journey to you, then I would highly recommend this book. Do your research…see if it’s something that works for you…if you are ready…but ultimately know that this resource will be something that changes your trajectory…so be ready for the amazing and beautiful journey ahead.

 

 Cheers

BenJ

A light of realization

There’s a moment in time when a light turns on. It’s not just any light either, it brightens…and highlights a room of your mind that you never knew existed. A light in the house of your soul. There are so many compartments of each person as an individual. Each individual’s soul home (that’s what I call the compartment that makes up your inner being), has light and dark…areas crammed with shit…and other places yet to be discovered…or renovated to exist as new change in you.

A light turned on in my mind, a light that showed me that thoughts I was allowing to cause self-doubt and fear were sabotaging my efforts to create. It was causing me to lie down and sleep, more than necessary, to not produce…to distract me from my real goal…I was exhausted by racing around in a hamster ball that seemed to be going nowhere. The realization is I was locking myself in place and not allowing myself to move.

I reminded myself that if every day, you are not striving in small steps towards your ultimate goal…you lose sight of the big picture and get distracted by anything around you…stop dead in your tracks and stay where you are, instead of pushing forward and moving through the experience.

If I don’t keep my ultimate goal in mind and take the small steps daily to move toward it, I will never arrive.

Today, the realization of examining where you spend your time, where you allow your mind to wander can change your whole life path. I am making the decision to sew positive seeds in the soil of my mind and take the small steps to go forward…to what I want to accomplish…and who I want to become.

What small steps can you take today? Is there a goal you want to achieve…but don’t know how to get there? What can you do today that will prepare you to move forward in learning and growth for tomorrow? Leave me a comment with your journey below. I love to hear and learn from you.

Cheers

BenJ

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Fly to time

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I will rise,
from the ashes in my life.
Covered in soot.
Categorized,
by the demons that terrorize
the corners of my mind.
I feel the fire growing
and I was meant to fly,
like a bird in the sky.
‘Cus a Phoenix is born
from fire,
once we realize
the ash isn’t what is called life.
I will let this fire burn,
grow my wings,
release the urn of ash
that holds me back.
Because
its time
to be refined,
and like a phoenix from the fire,
I
SHALL
FLY.

Refined by the fire of inspiration

 

I have this overwhelming sense of gratitude for the amount of positive response I am getting on my artwork. I have always hoped that my art would convey a sense of colorful joy that makes others smile. I have had the question of where does your inspiration derive from often…and I can say that you can only have true joy when you have had to rebuild a foundation of your life that had completely crumbled into ash and soot.

On paper…my life’s story would look like a movie tragedy…raised in a Christian home….raised by a wonderful mother who eventually lost a 5 year battle with cancer…a father whose alcoholism got the best of him…being Gay in a movement of religion that condemned your sexual orientation as a path straight to fiery depths…that’s the short story of it all.

You see this was my experience…it created me…that was one of the hardest times I have faced in my whole existence…there were moments when I didn’t want to be…where I didn’t think I could survive that much pain…loss….confusion….or grief.

It has taken years to learn to cope…to see the world not in darkness but in light…and see myself as a light…lit and awakened from my experience.

My mother would always say, “When you feel you are at the end of your rope and want to let go…hold on…because that is when breakthrough will happen.”

As an artist, you create the world you live in. I wanted to create a sense of joy that went back to the simplicity of childhood before life…had altered…jaded…or tarnished my pure and wild imagination. To go back to my simplistic nature…where imagination was still present and the world was still the one I created.

Creating is the best sort of therapy for me…because it allows me to revisit, re-imagine and reminisce about what was…and what is…and what is to become.

There was a point in my journey to here…where I wanted to give up on creativity…because it was painful…it was reminder of loss…but if you look at it with fresh eyes…and visualize color and beauty overtaking the thorns that remained…soon enough your point of view conveys…what you were meant to give this world.

If you are in that moment, where it feels too much…that your dream is too big…or that you can’t because of any pain in your life…just remember one thing…

A phoenix is born from fire and ash…and though mythical in nature…it is a representation of the beauty that can transpire…if you hold on long enough for yourself to be refined.

At that point..YOU will be unstoppable.

Image

Resisting me

I began a new journey today…a journey of self discovery. One where I simplify the time I spend obsessing over things to no end. To stop and ponder in curiosity instead of always beating myself for what I should be doing. I ponder. I ask questions to myself silently within the confines of my own mind. 

I wonder what for so long..what have I put off that I have been avoiding that it makes me feel heavy internally? In these times of question and moments of self awareness..I feel stuck for a bit…stuck on this landing of life…looking down and the thirty flights of where I have come from and the hopefully 30 more that I have left to go..but I can’t move. I can’t backtrack. I can’t go forward.

I ask myself, “What are you not doing that you are supposed to be?”

“What are you resisting?” 

Yes, I have conversations with myself luckily they are just internal monologues…though every once in awhile..I hear myself speaking out loud…and begin to realize the people aren’t staring at me on the street because I am wearing neon cut off pants and paint on my face.

Just two days ago…the what became a truth that I have ran from for sometime. You see, I worked so hard on transforming my external body…that I forgot about who I was inside…and if this individual was growing…I didn’t water myself. We are each like a garden…if we don’t visit to water…take the time to prune and nurture…then it can become over run with weeds and forgotten about.

I was resisting me and in that resistance I had suffered. (Weird thought I know) 

This month has been a whirlwind of realizations…I connected with a new friend that showed me that we are each delicate creatures that need to be nurtured connected and touched. In these moments I spent with this new friend, I learned that loving yourself is the greatest gift you can give the world. Loving yourself isn’t selfish either. 

It’s unleashing the best you…so that you can be everything that you need to be and give to this world in your lifetime. One small step for Benj Curtis…and as I move from that landing space and up the staircase I take one step at a time…moving towards a greater understanding of me…my creativity…and knowing that there is so much value in taking a moment of simplicity, to just observe and breathe. 

NEW Product: “Wonder of the Galaxy”

I looked up to the sky the other night with the stars shining bright…I was outside in a t-shirt and flip flops..(I was wearing shorts too..don’t worry) and in pondering the night sky a thought came to me.

“…and when I look to the sky…I wonder how long I will fall before I fly..”

A resounding thought of contemplation and one that lead me to the instantaneous creation of artwork to be posted on multiple items across Society6.

Prints starting at $25.00

Wonderment of Galaxy Art Print

Phone cases and Skins starting at $15.00

Wonderment of Galaxy iPhone & iPod Case

Pillows starting at $20.00

Wonderment of Galaxy Throw Pillow

Rugs starting at $28.00

Wonderment of Galaxy Area & Throw Rug

Shower Curtains starting at $68.00

Wonderment of Galaxy Shower Curtain

Not to mention clocks, t-shirts, onesies, tote bags and laptop skins.

What other types of images would you like to see from BenJ Curtis? Leave in the comments section below.

Thank you for the ongoing support.

Cheers.