"The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves." – C.G. Jung
Julia Cameron, who wrote the fabulous book The Artist's Way, created the idea of the Artist's Date – and I'm a big fan of the idea. Here's what she has to say about it:
An Artist's Date is a block of time, perhaps 2 hours weekly, especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist. In its most primary form, the artist date is an excursion, a play date that you preplan and defend against all interlopers. You do not take anyone on this Artist's Date but you and your inner artist, a.k.a. your creative child.
You want to cultivate your inner child, your inner play, your inner delight. You want to take this as seriously as anything else you are doing in your life. You may feel resistance, thinking, "I'm not an artist, so what does this have to do with me?"
But like any artist you are creating something. You are creating a life you love. And you create it, as Jung said, from the play instinct – that which brings you joy and delight.
Listen, I understand how busy you are. I really do. I always have resistance to making Artist's Dates, even though I know how much I benefit from them. But I always make at least one a week and I'm always so glad I do.
I've come to believe that spending time by yourself is essential to self-nurturing and essential to a happy and satisfying life.
As Audre Lorde once said, "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation."
Here are some suggestions for an Artist's Date: Visit an art gallery, rent an old movie, take a walk in the woods, make yourself a picnic, rent a canoe and go to a quiet river or lake, go for a long bicycle ride, browse around in an antique store or a nursery.
If you have any resistance to making this date happen, name exactly what it is and release it. Recognize that your resistance is only a story and know that you can change it.
Find a way to make this happen sometime this week. After you have carved out this time and seen its value, you will not feel the resistance next time.
Share what you plan to do in a comment below. Better yet, let us know how your Artist's Date went!