Thanks to Psyche who recommended it, and Gabriella, who delivered it, ‘The Artists Way’ by Julia Cameron is beginning to set my ‘artist’ free. And the key tool for me seems to be ‘the morning pages’. This is where I sit and write three pages and basically empty my head before I start the day.
Who would have thought that writing three pages of totally uncensored ‘brain dump’ could be so powerful? But my God it is. Out onto that page comes anger, frustration, sadness, joy, nonsense, confusion, prayers, complaints, dreams, beliefs, affirmations, fear, love… all of me. I don’t stop to think. I just write. Yes I am doing all the other exercises too, and they are revealing and helpful. I think that this course has real power to transform. I have more energy. My passion for life burns stronger. My creative lights grow brighter.
A month ago I was feeling very blocked. I had declared my intention to write a transformational book, but it was going nowhere and I had no confidence. I felt I had no good ideas, and nothing to say. I was confused. I felt stuck. My creative soul shrank. I was starting to prefer ghastly Argentine TV to facing a blank page.
Today the TV is off. I have started work on a real book and this time I have greater belief. Twelve months ago I wrote notes for this project but did nothing. Now I have got those scribbles out again and with another year’s experience behind me I am on the case.
I am working on writing a small but ‘essential guide for the tango traveller’ to Buenos Aires, the Sallycat way. After all, who better to do it than me, who came here as a beginner in tango with no knowledge of Buenos Aires, but who survived? Who better to do it than me, who meets and emails with hundreds of tango travellers all over the world who ask me all sorts of questions that I find myself answering over and over again? Who better to do it than me, who has an open mind about all things tango, and will be able to draw on the experience of many friends whose preferences are slightly different to mine? How better to do it than in the Sallycat voice: simple, honest, open?
I am well aware that every tango traveller will craft their own journey here in Buenos Aires, will discover their own tango joy, will have their own adventure, as I did. But oh how I would have loved a little guide I could hold in my hand: to give me some tips before I left home, to be read on the plane, to offer some idea of what to expect, to inspire and motivate, to be agreed with, to be disagreed with, to grant me the feeling that I was not alone. Oh how I would have loved that.
And I hope that you will love it too.
I want the guide book to be small and not overwhelming. I want it to be practical, useful and realistic. It will not consist of long lists of every milonga in town, or of every teacher available. No, no, no… these are available on line and in the Tango magazines. Rather my intention is to gift you an insider’s insight, into where to start and how to get the best possible experience out of your ‘tango holiday’, ‘tango journey’, ‘tango adventure’ in Buenos Aires… from an ordinary tango dancer ‘on the ground’, from one who has been through it recently, from me.
I know what I want to offer in this book. But I am open minded and if you want to tell me what you would like to see, I will listen. I hope to include some ‘Friends’ recommendations’ and so I may contact you for your input. I know I don’t know everything, and I have learned that to ask is the answer, so I will ask. I want the book to be highly regarded in the tango travelling universe. I want the book to be valuable and offer something you cannot easily find in one place, anywhere else. I want to do my best for you guys out there who have yet to arrive in Buenos Aires. So help me if you can.
I have no idea yet, if this book will make it to mainstream publishing, or whether I will self publish it, or whether it will be an ebook. For sure it would be nice if it made me a bit of cash. So far, all the help I have given to tango travellers, I have given from my heart: it costs you nothing, and me a bit of time. I don’t mind that. I love to connect. But life is life and in the end I will be over the moon if I can pay at least one bill a month from selling this book. I hope you will support me by buying it when it arrives.
I am learning that my artist is very vulnerable. It is young, just beginning to grow and needs help to keep flourishing. I have had some fabulous support for this project so far (Tangobaby, I salute your inspiring creativity and thank you and love you), and I pray that you guys out there will support me. If you don’t, and if the book never sells a copy, well that’s ok too. At least I will have tried. And I will have a lovely memento of my own tango travels. With this venture I am going to try to stay unblocked, shut my inner critic up, and just have fun researching and creating. I am passionate about doing this. It is coming from my heart, from a desire to smooth the way for others. It will bring me joy. And as you all know, I believe that if I do the things that bring me joy, God will take care of me. I have nothing to lose.
I remembered in the past few weeks, that once, many many years ago, I was on a ‘personal development’ training course offered to me by my employer IBM. In one of the exercises, which was a wonderful experience involving talking about key joyful moments in our lives, we arrived at our ‘core process’ as they labelled it: perhaps our soul’s purpose, perhaps our heart’s desire, perhaps our reason to live. Writing my ‘morning pages’ brought mine, long forgotten, back to me. Do you know what it was?
Giving my spirit in magical creation
In the moment I remembered it, I cried. I realised that I am actually here in Buenos Aires walking hand in hand with my soul. Twenty years ago this was my ‘core process’ and I had it written on a piece of paper, but back then I was selling computers and feeling very lost: when I read the words, I knew they were me, but I could not see how my life and my soul would ever meet. Now, well… Oh my God. They have. They have actually met. I am in touch with myself. My life reflects my soul’s longing. I am following my heart.
And so I will have a bash at writing this book.
Let me know what you think eh? I can take it and I will love to hear your voices.
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