Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, how has your week been? Have you found any new creative projects you want to pursue? And has any emotional healing happened?

Even though I am working through this creative course for the third time and it is not necessary to do all tasks and essays again I still feel it is a very intense experience. This time it is even more intense because I have the gift of my fellow self-care explorers. And I have the experience of actually finishing this project. Yes, I know we are just at week IV of a twelve-week course but I know I will manage to share this project with you all the way through this time. It is brilliant to experience at last that I can stick with something and commit to my creative life. I feel empowered and that is a wonderful experience.

So what are the check-in questions for week III of “The Artist’s Way”?

  1. How many days this week did you do your morning pages? How was the experience for you? If you skipped a day, why did you skip it?
  2. Did you do your artists date this week? (Yes, yes, and it was awful.) What did you do? How did it feel?
  3. Did you experience any synchronicity this week? What was it?
  4. Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? Describe them

Taken from Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” end of chapter III

photo credit: ushaprabhakar. Description for visually impaired readers: Shadows of two people holding hands on swings. Sky and sea in the background. It says underneath: Shared Joy is a double joy. Shared Sorrow is half a sorrow.

Fellow Self-care explorers experience

I am excited that JoAnna finds this project as brilliant as I do. She is finding a lot of spiritual growth in Music Monday Care & Love and is brimming with ideas. JoAnna shared in last week’s post’s comments that she plans to sketch a suitcase of her parents and will write on it too. That seems a great idea. I can’t wait to see where it leads her. Please visit her beautiful blog and find wonderful good news that always brings more positivity into this world!

It is Sunday around lunchtime when I am writing this post and up to this moment, there is no new Music Monday Care & Love post from Emilia. But I know there is a lot going on in her life so she will let us know when she is ready. Until then please visit her post from last week (her blog is private so you need to ask for permission but its easy and goes fast) and enjoy her music suggestions. Please check out her other posts too because there is an abundance of music to find that is not mainstream. It is like a little adventure. Thank you very much!

I have done the morning pages every day but feel it takes too much time away from everything I want to do. This feeling of “I do not have enough time” keeps creeping up. At the same time, it doesn’t feel like I am “wasting” any time. It’s all actions I want to do that helps me forward on my quest of creating an income and growing spiritually and creatively. There is obviously still work to do when it comes to my attitude.

I’ve watched the last episode of Peter Capaldi as Dr Who as my artist’s date and I still can’t get rid of the feeling that Jodie Whittaker still has to grow into her role as the new doctor. I am watching Dr Who for 11 years and have seen 5 different doctors. All have brought something different to the role but I can’t see this different something yet. And so far I wasn’t too keen on the storylines either. But well, let’s be patient.

I think I actually allowed myself a second artists date this week. I insisted on watching the final of “The Great British Bake-off” even though I had promised myself not to follow it to Channel Four. But I got hooked some weeks ago when I watched it in bed when the best husband was asleep. Even though he is a baker he is not a fan of this sort of programs so I usually give in to his tv choices. Might be that I am just too lazy to choose. I like what he chooses and he does take into consideration what I want too which is great. Well, I insisted on this one and we watched it together and I am so pleased that Rahul won. He is a brilliant baker but at the same time so humble. He deserved this win!!!!

I start feeling a little funny though about my choices of artist’s date: Watching TV? Really? Shouldn’t I be out and about gardening or drawing? Well, that might be my “I should” mentality. If these TV programs are what I want to watch then fair enough. Let’s go for it.

No synchronicities though. What a shame. Or I just do not recognise them yet ;-). And I’ve written in the introduction what I think is also important for my recovery.


My most cheer-me-up music is… well, it changes continuously currently it would be this one: (please bear with the video the music is coming at last. But that is part of the cheer-me -up 😉 )

Music Credits: Camilla Cabello via YouTube

Recovering a Sense of Integrity ~ Week IV of “The Artist’s Way”

In her introduction to week IV, Julia Cameron describes this week as an experience of changing self-definition. She promises us new self-awareness and productive introspection. She also gives us a warning. One of the tasks of this week is what she calls “reading deprivation” which means no reading for a week. And she warns us not to skip it. More about it later.

Honest Changes

Funny how I wrote earlier about what I feel I “should” be doing for my artist’s date and what I enjoy doing. We do create an official “me” with all its attributed feelings, needs and wishes. What we do here is to dig out the “real” me and what it stands for.

In this part, Julia Cameron describes how we often feel “okay” with things happening to us. We lose a job and its okay. We get a bad critic and feel okay with it. But what does that okay stand for: Do we resign ourselves to the belief that we can’t fulfil our dream? Do we subdue anger and “negative” feelings? Do we plainly deny what is really going on?

According to Julia Cameron, the root of all successful creative recovery is to cut into our denials and have a close look at what is really there. In her experience, most people stop the morning pages when an uncomfortable discovery is made. For example, we realise that our job makes us entirely unhappy and we should change it. The morning pages show us these realities and we have to start acting but it seems so much easier to keep up the illusion of happiness with the regular income and not having to look for a new job. But if we keep the morning pages going no matter how uncomfortable the truth is that is uncovered we move from a discovery to an action plan and then to actually changing something. That is why they are so important.

She also describes the experience of a physiological drama ensuing once we worked against our own needs. We get the flu when we have a holiday and want to relax because we worked too hard in our day job. We get an asthma attack out of nowhere because we help someone whom we can’t help but who uses your energy of helping to keep him stuck. We know these situations that tell us loudly that we are not working to our own good but its so hard to say no and take good care of ourselves. But once recovery has started we cannot stay in these negative behaviours. We have to change them and our bodies and minds usually tell us quite loudly what we need to do. We just need to listen.

Admittedly it is a difficult time when our old life suddenly doesn’t fit anymore but we don’t really know where to go and how to pursue this vague idea of a new life. But if we keep working with the morning pages our new path becomes clearer and we will be able to let go of the old. It is also exhausting to change. One moment we feel ecstatic that the change is happening the next we are so exhausted we do not feel we can go on. Julia Cameron suggests to “put all this in writing”. I think it means, to make these changes “official” and with that give it more credibility. That way we allow ourselves to change. But the morning pages are also supposed to be a resting place for us when we are exhausted. I haven’t experienced this yet. But I assume that I have to take into consideration that I suffer from a mental health condition and I also assume that the book isn’t written with mental health problems in mind.


Description for visually impaired readers: A river surrounded by pine trees and mountains in the background. Writing says: Open you heart. It guides you the right way!

Buried Dreams, an exercise

The next part is an exercise to recover our buried dreams. Those that we don’t realise we have. Julia Cameron suggests writing our ideas down to the next 6 suggestions really fast. Don’t think, just write what comes to mind.

  1. List five hobbies that sound fun.
  2. List five classes that sound fun.
  3. List five things you personally would never do that sound fun
  4. List five skills that would be fun to have.
  5. List five things you used to enjoy doing.
  6. List five silly things you would like to try once

Taken from Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” Chapter IV

This is meant to show us something about what we might enjoy doing but never allowed ourselves doing.

Reading deprivation

Here it comes: Reading deprivation means what it says: For one week do not read! Keep away from your books, from tweets, from emails, from anything written. Of course you can read the tasks that you are meant to do for this course but otherwise keep away. I have never actually fully managed that. I’ve done it twice before and usually stopped reading books, and pages but always checked my emails.

Well, it is up to you how you want to integrate this. The idea behind it is that not reading throws you into your own silence and into boredom from which creative actions appear. You knit instead of reading. You paint that room that you wanted to paint for years. You weed your garden or start baking. It gives room for all those things you want to do but never get around to doing. And it gives you ideas.

Julia Cameron says in her book that it is possible and that those who usually moan about this exercise the most also benefit the most from it. I think it is one of those things that seem impossible until you do them. It’s going to be interesting, I assume 🙂

Description for visually impaired readers: a pattern of overlapping circles in different red colours. White writing says: Go: Go…, Go ahead, go away, go beyond. Go. (by The Bee)

Week IV tasks

  1. Environment: describe your ideal environment. Town? Country? Swank? Cosy? One paragraph. One image, drawn or clipped, that conveys this. What’s your favourite season? Why? Go through some magazines and find an image of this. Or draw it. Place it near your working area.
  2. Time Travel: Describe yourself at eighty. What did you do after fifty that you enjoyed? Be very specific. Now, write a letter from you at eighty to you at your current age. What would you tell yourself? What interests would you urge yourself to pursue? What dreams would you encourage?
  3. Time Travel: Remember yourself at eight. What did you like to do? What were your favourite things? Now, write a letter from you at eight to you at your current age. What would you tell yourself?
  4. Environment: Look at your house. Is there any room that you could make into a secret, private space for yourself? Convert the TV room. Buy a screen or hang a sheet and cordon off a section of some other room? This is your dream area. It should be decorated for fun and not as an office. All you really need is a chair or pillow, something to write on, some kind of little altar area for flowers and candles. This is to help you centre on the fact that creativity is a spiritual, not an ego, issue.
  5. Use your life pie (from week one). To review your growth. Has that nasty tarantula changed shape yet? Haven’t you been more active, less rigid, more expressive? Be careful not to expect too much too soon. That’s raising the jumps. Growth must have time to solidify into health. One day at a time, you are building the habit patterns of a healthy artist. Easy does do it. List ongoing self-nurturing toys you could by your artist: books on tape, magazine subscriptions, theatre tickets, a bowling ball
  6. Write your own artist’s Prayer (example from the book: O Great Creator, we are gathered in your name that we may be of greater service to you and to our fellows. We offer ourselves to you as instruments. We open ourselves to your creativity in our lives. We surrender to you our old ideas. We welcome you new and more expansive ideas. We trust that you will lead us. We trust that it is safe to follow yours. We know you created us and that creativity is your nature and our own. We ask you to unfold our lives according to your plan, not our low self-worth. Help us to believe that it is not too late and that we are not too small or too flawed to be healed by you and through each other and made whole. Help us to love one another, to nurture each others unfolding, to encourage each other’s growth, and understand each other’s fear. Help us to know that we are not alone, that we are loved and loveable. Help us to create as an act of worship to you) Use it every day for a week.
  7. An extended Artist Date: Plan a small vacation for yourself. (One weekend day. Get ready to execute it.)
  8. Open your closet. Throw out – or hand on, or donate- one low-self-worth outfit. (You Know the outfit.) Make space for the new.
  9. Look at one situation in your life that you feel you should change but haven’t yet. What is the payoff for you in staying stuck?
  10. If you break your reading deprivation, write about how you did it. In a tantrum? A slip up? A binge? How do you feel about it? Why?

Music Choice

And as music choice, I suggest a piece of music you liked as an eight-year-old.

quote by Nietzsche via Without Music Life would be a mistake"
quote by Nietzsche via Without Music Life would be a mistake”


And just to remember how to take part


  1. ~ We invite you to appreciate yourself with a cup of your favourite beverage at the beginning of each week!
  2. ~Additionally Music Monday Care & Love offers exercises and ideas to increase self-care and self-love
  3. ~ We invite you to try them out and do this with music.
  4. ~ Feel free to write a blog post about your experiences and link them to the weekly Music Monday Care & Love posts.
  5. ~ But it is perfectly fine if you just explore our self-care suggestions for yourself and/or share your experiences in the comments
  6. ~ Go and visit your fellow self-care explorer’s posts & blogs and cheer them on so they can come and cheer you on too
  7. ~ I’ll share a round-up & invitation post with a self-care activity & suggestion on what sort of music to share on Monday Mornings.








I am not a health professional. My posts describe my thoughts, my experiences and my conclusions about life, mental health and self-improvement. My described actions always go alongside therapy and do not substitute professional advice from a health professional be it a doctor, therapist or counsellor.

I invite you to try out self-care tools, however, if any of these make you feel uncomfortable please stop and do not go further ahead. Also, if any of the tools suggested bring up issues that need dealing with do not hesitate to reach out for professional help.

To recognise when you need to stop and when to reach out for professional or any other help is one important part to learn when it comes to self-care.

Please look here if you need further guidance:






Government of Canada


  1. I’m happy for your confidence and feeling empowered to complete this project. (Though not surprised since I know you had it in you.) A couple things are jumping out at me from reading this post. One is that I like your watching Dr. Who as an artists date. I haven’t watched it in years as my cable is limited, etc. But it did make me realize that reading a Star Trek novel which I’m about to finish is good for me. I hadn’t read Sci Fi in a long time and it’s a good escape from sorting through my parents’ stuff. The other thing I realized is that going through old photos and consolidating them into albums is creative. It’s also emotionally challenging. Maybe I’ll blog about that. The exercise to get rid of a low-self-worth outfit (You Know the outfit) made me laugh out loud. I answered those questions about fun activities and dancing kept coming up which is weird because I’ve never considered myself much of a dancer – have a hard time learning steps, but it can be fun if I make up my own step. So I’m going to dance to “Happy” within the next 30 minutes:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi JoAnna, how weird: Dancing comes up for me too. And it always has. Maybe it is not so much about knowing steps or following a pattern but moving our bodies to music to find a different way of expressing ourselves. I used to do that many years ago with music I liked. I might actually start that again. Hope you had fun dancing to “Happy” 🙂 . That outfit thing makes me laugh too. But I’ve done that already earlier in the year so I have none left to throw LOL. Guess it’s more about creating new and more positive outfits. One thing that’s come up is definitely to take more care about my hair and do something nice with it every day. I usually just put them together with a rubber hairband but currently do a ponytail with some lovely hairclips I have. Maybe I post a selfie on next weeks Music Monday post. I can imagine that putting family pictures into albums is emotionally challenging. But I also think it is way of grieving and letting go. A positive way. And you create wonderful memories with it. So, I am off. Have planned several blog posts over several blogs today. Need to get going. Thanks so much for being a part of Music Monday Care & Love

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Bee. 🙂 Yeah I’m still around. 🙂 I’ve just had a bit of a chaos lately, mostly feline related chaos, and also got a little sick this week, and I doubt I’d be able to make a post about my recovery for this week, so I decided I’ll write a little bit here just to let you know I’m still going haha. Actually, another reason why I find writing the post this week hard is because along the way I find so much stuff in my mind that I’m still deeply emotional about, that is often personal, or more often hard to just describe! I definitely wouldn’t think that working with this Julia Cameron’s book would open so many new, but old things for me, old issues that are coming up now. I can definitely see some healing process going on, even though, as you wrote in the previous Music Monday post, for me it’s also a rather gentle and slow change.
    But as I am working with my very snarky and sarcastic inner critic I see some rotten stuff that has been growing in my mind happily for years, some wrong and destroying patterns of thinking, my inner critic ruling me over. Working on all these things is hard, but I think I can do fairly well, and my Mum is very supportive for me lately, too, even in the areas in which we’ve never got along particularly well and it helsp me a lot.
    and I love all those writing exercises in “The Artist’s Way”, I’m doing a whole lot of writing in my diary lately haha.
    Last week was particularly hard for me because of a lot of old, suppressed anger coming out at me, I often felt overloaded with emotions and stuff, it was very painful at times. I think healing and recovery is a bit like removing a splinter – Mum had to remove one from Zofijka’s foot recently, hence this metaphore came to my mind – when you have it, it’s painful, even though sometimes you try not to care, but eventually you have to remove it, or it will be getting worse and worse. The removal may be very painful, as it was for Zofijka, but once it is done you feel relieved.
    And although I still have a lot of rotten and negative stuff to get rid of, that was how I felt when finally all those waves of anger passed away and left me – relieved and much lighter.
    I’m also doing a lot of work with the affirmations and my blurbs still, which I find helpful, and also interesting. I also manage to keep up with my creative writing as I wanted, for my imaginary life as a writer, and I’ve written a short story last week, and didn’t get rid of it yet haha, despite re-reading afterwards.
    And the artist’s date last week was a pure pleasure for me, I am learning new things in riding and am very happy about it, also I always love to chat with my instructor.
    This week I didn’t do my artist’s date because I’m sick, which is quite a pity, the more that next week my instructor will have a surgery so I won’t be going then either. Maybe I’ll come up with some replacement artist’s date for this purpose. 🙂
    I have still a lot to do yet from the tasks for this week and I may not do all of them because of all that’s going on, nevertheless I find it fun.
    So far I’ve done all the writing exercises, the letters to myself, and my artist’s prayer (which I actually did quite well and I like it a lot), and wrote about my ideal environment (which I set in Sweden 😀 ).
    When I read your post earlier this week I was wondering a lot as for what I’m supposed to do with the reading deprivation, as most of my life – as much out of necessity as well as my lifestyle and likes – evolves around reading. My areas of creativity are mostly writing and languages, so they have a direct connection to reading, and because of my limitations like blindness I do most things via my computer, so it involves reading as well, even if via speech synthesis but I still think it’s more like reading than listening.
    Besides, I’ve had such a time mostly without reading in September, when I was without my laptop for a month, so barely read anything, and I had just a couple books to read so I finished them quickly and wasn’t able to get new ones. So in this month I was able, and forced to in a way, to confront with my own silence, which was good in a way, as it opened my eyes for some things, with which I was working veeery intensely in therapy, but it also put me in a lot of anxiety and depression because of not many external stimuli, I didn’t have many possibilities to reach out for support, other than in therapy, which unfortunately my therapist had to cancel twice during that month so it didn’t help things to get better, and I was simply utterly bored and scared and depressed all the time, also not particularly able to channel my energy in any creative way other than playing with Zofijka, listening to music, and thinking what I will be writing about when I finally get access to my computer and all my scribbles hahaha.
    It’s definitely a good exercise, to sort of isolate yourself from the external world and confront with your internal one and find the time for things you’ve never done before, but given my various anxiety triggers as well as my overall life situation I’m not sure how I should approach it.
    So I decided to put it off for now until I find some strategy as for how to adjust it to myself so that it is doable, and won’t increase my anxiety and trigger me. I need to think about some productive things I could do during this week off reading, prepare for it emotionally and physically and find the right time, it could be sometime around Christmas perhaps.
    Maybe when I’ll think about it more and analyse it I’ll find a way to do it.
    And I’m looking forward to exploring my buried dreams later this week, that should be interesting.
    So that’d be my little, or not so little actually, update for you this week. Ah, and to my encouragement playlist this week I added Kevin Kern’s piece “Bittersweet”, it’s an instrumental piece and I love it since years. I didn’t know it when I was 8, but I just felt like listening to this piece this week and it reminds me about holidays by the sea I spent as a child with my family, and it just sounds nice so I decided on it. 🙂
    Have a lovely evening. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Emilia, so lovely to hear from you. So sorry you are having a hard time of sorts. How are your cats doing now? Hope they are ok 😗 don’t worry about adjusting the course to your needs. I have to admit I didn’t do the reading deprivation either. Well, I haven’t been reading any novels but still am on social media and for blogging you just have to read too. I think it is very good that you take good care of your wellbeing. I think many of this sort of books are not written with mental health issues in mind. That is why it is crucial to only do those exercises that do not trigger anything. There is always the choice to get the book or do the course on her page later on. I find it helpful to work through it more than once. It’s my third time and in many ways its more beneficial now because I can work on the issues which are still important. So sorry you could not ride twice and hope you find another little adventure to do 😗. Your music suggestion sounds interesting. I see if I can find it on YouTube. Need to take some time for your blog. I am building a new page and a blog specialising on self-care which takes quite a bit time and I had some trouble with anxiety too. I wish the day had 48 hours and even then I think I could not get all in I want to do 😚 Sending you a big hug.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Bee. 🙂 Unfortunately both of my cats are quite stressed recently, Sasha is very stressed actually, so that he is ill. It seems to be because of Misha not accepting him, and rejecting him and constantly spying, it really upsets him and makes him unsafe, and Misha feels unsafe too because someone new is on his territory and it’s hard for him to come to terms with it. And so we have to somehow deal with poor ill Sasha now, and at the same time we’re looking wherever possible for a new, responsible carer for him, because it’s over a month since he’s with us and things don’t seem to get better, and we don’t want Sasha to suffer, he’s generally such a cheerful baby he just doesn’t deserve it, and neither does Misha.
        I’m glad I’m not the one who struggles with implementing this reading deprivation in life, I can do a week without reading books if I don’t need them, but without all the rest it seems nearly impossible, so yeah, if I’ll find a manageable and safe way, I’ll do it as I can, but if not, I’ll just leave it.
        Don’t worry at all about catching up with my blog. I know how new projects can be time and energy consuming, and I’m glad to hear you’re running another blog too, so focus on it as much as you can and need to, other things can wait haha.
        I’m sorry though that you was dealing with anxiety, that is never good. I hope things are better now and you feel more peaceful. 🙂
        Hugs. 🙂 🤗
        Here is that Kevin Kern’s piece:

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s a good decision. As I wrote I don’t think many of these sort of books are written with readers with mental health issues in mind. So it’s in our responsibility to keep it in mind and that is why I have the disclaimer on the bottom. But maybe I should emphasise that you can skip what doesn’t feel right. I am so sorry that your cats are not doing well. There is a tv program here about pets and they had two cats on that did not get on well. So the owners were advised to start getting them accustomed to their scents. They stroked a tissue along each cats cheeks. It has to be without other scents so tissues are good. Then they put the scent to the other cat to sniff on. When they are used to that they mixed both scents on new tissues and got them accustomed too. And when they are used to that they slowly got them together more and more. But they said it’s a very long process and you destroy everything if you get them together too fast. It’s so stressful when your pets aren’t happy. It was bonfire night here where they have lots of fireworks here and we were a little worried that our dog got stressed with it. But she is not bothered at all and we are really relieved. We only have her since January. Thanks a lot for your understanding and the video. Will check it out later. Hope you have a great day!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wow, that’s an interesting idea about getting cats accustomed to each other this way, and it definitely makes sense. Unfortunately, my Mum is quite an impulsive person and despite all we were telling her, on the first day when Sasha came to us, she decided to “just out of curiosity”, introduce them to each other. She’s now really regretting it, but sadly I don’t think we can change it now, you can’t go back in time and start it all over again. Plus I’m not even sure if everything would be done the way it should be, that they would get along. Misha is a very speciffic, incredibly sensitive and withdrawn creature, while Sasha is so different and, when not sick and stressed out, very outgoing and playful, so I guess they’re rather clashing unfortunately. That’s all so sad and will need time for us to get over it, but we want Sasha to be happy first and foremost, and later today a woman who’d like to get him will come to us and we’ll see how it goes.
        I’m very glad that your dog wasn’t scared of the fireworks. 🙂 That’s really good. Our little Misha is very anxious and when we had him for the first year, we were also afraid whenever we could hear some fireworks, that he’ll get scared, but surprisingly fireworks never made any stronger impression on him.
        Have a very nice day. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. How did it go with the woman? Did she and Sasha like each other? I am so sorry for all of you that it didn’t work out with Sasha. It’s such a shame! 😚


      5. She, or rather they, as it turned out to be a family, have just left, with Sasha. 😦 I wasn’t there when they came and met him, wasn’t even able to say goodbye to him, but apparently they were in love with him and my Mum was very impressed with them. It seems to be a very nice and open-minded family and they’re artistic people, the woman writes books for children, mostly about cats, and she said she’ll send us some, and the girl – for whom they bought Sasha – is in an art college and seemed to be very calm and smart and caring for him. So I think he will have a good home, and that’s what counts most, although I’m really sad he had to leave us, and I wish I could cry and get it off, but I can’t, although my Mum was tearful almost all day yesterday and Zofijka is sobbing and sulking, I just can’t. But that was the best option for him and I’m happy he can have a new, better life now.

        Liked by 1 person

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