The Artists Way

Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy suggests getting Julia Cameron’s book The Artists Way and starting her twelve week course in August to help bring more harmony to your everyday life.

Dawna Walter in her book New Leaf, New Life: How To Do Everything And Still Have Time For Yourself says that no matter how many times you read the Artists Way by Julia Cameron it continues to comfort, uplift and inspire when the stresses and strains of daily life get to you and lists it as one of her must have books for the bedside.

Julia Cameron’s book The Artists Way: A Course In Discovering And Recovering Your Creative Self is more than an amazing book, its a practical step by step instruction manual in tapping into your creativity. It is very involved and I want to give myself the best chance of success so I am going to rejig her twelve week course into a 12 month course and suggest that maybe you do the same.  It is quite a big ask to get all of her weekly activities done in a week, every week and in the past each time I have attempted to do this course I have failed to fit it in, got demoralised and quit. This time I am going to plan it much better.

August: Recovering A Sense of Safety

  • Morning Pages
  • Artist date: Five & Dime
  • Time Travel: three old enemies
  • Time travel: monster hall of fame horror story
  • Letter to the editor
  • Time travel: three old champions
  • Time travel: Thank you letter
  • Imaginary Lives
  • Affirmations & blurts
  • Artists date: 20 minute walk
  • Check in

September: Recovering A Sense Of Identity

  • Affirmative reading
  • Time management review
  • Safety circle
  • Enjoyment list & plan
  • Affirmations
  • Imaginary lives
  • Life pie
  • Ten tiny changes
  • Check in

October: Recovering A Sense Of Power

  • Detective work
  • Childhood excavation
  • Friend review
  • Artist brain activity
  • Discovering likes & admirations
  • Check in

November: Recovering A sense Of Integrity

  • Buried dreams exercise
  • Environment assessment
  • Time travel exercise
  • Life pie review
  • Artists prayer
  • Extended Artists date
  • Closet cleanout
  • Situation change
  • Media Deprivation
  • Check in

December: Recovering A Sense Of Possibility

  • The virtue trap quiz
  • Forbidden joys exercise
  • Wish list exercise
  • Five grievances
  • Image file
  • Imaginary lives
  • Time travel
  • Meanness
  • Wish List
  • Creative Blocks
  • Check in

January: Recovering A Sense Of Abundance

  • Counting exercise
  • Money madness exercise
  • Natural abundance exercise
  • Clearing exercise
  • Creation exercise
  • Communication exercise
  • Prosperity & acceptance
  • Check in

February: Recovering A Sense Of Connection

  • Jealousy Map exercise
  • Archaeology exercise
  • Create a poster
  • Stress break
  • Artist date: sacred space
  • Home scent
  • Dress up
  • Treat purchase
  • Collage
  • Five Favourites
  • Check in

March: Recovering A Sense Of Strength

  • Early patterning’s exercise
  • Goal search
  • Fantasy childhood
  • Colour exercise
  • Five naughty pleasures
  • Style search
  • Ideal day Plan
  • Check in

April: Recovering A Sense Of Compassion

  • Blasting blocks
  • Read your morning pages
  • Visualizing
  • Prioritizing
  • Creative U-turns
  • Check in

May: Recovering A Sense Of Self Protection

  • The workaholic assessment
  • Deadlines Exercise
  • Touchstones exercise
  • The awful truth exercise
  • Setting a bottom line
  • Check in

June: Recovering A Sense Of Autonomy

  • Basic principle meditation
  • Creativity notebook
  • Honest changes assessment
  • Nurturing exercise
  • Letter of encouragement
  • Examine spiritual beliefs
  • synchronicity assessment
  • Check in

July: Recovering A Sense Of Faith

  • Procrastination assessment
  • Revisit blurts and affirmations
  • Mend any mending
  • Re-pot plants
  • Create and start using a God Jar
  • Plan a creative project
  • Check in

Now to figure out how best to fit this in to my monthly goals plan and make it workable.





Sacred Sounds

Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy suggests experiencing heaven on earth with an assortment of sacred sounds that soothe this August to help bring more harmony to your everyday life. Experience the profound healing powers and serenity that music can bring.

She suggests trying:

  • Chant by Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo De Silos
  • Rosa Mystica by Therese Schroeder-Sheker
  • Vox De Nube by Gaelic Singer Noirin Ni Riain & the Irish Monks of Glenstal Abbey
  • A Feather on the Breath of God: Gothic Voices with Emma Kirkby
  • Vision: The Music of Hilgard von Bingen
  • Piano Reflections by Kelly Yost

Second-hand Book Shop

Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy suggests by starting your search for a choice second-hand book shop in August you can help bring more harmony to your everyday life.

Where I live there are lots of charity second-hand stores but only one second-hand bookstore. Its great for finding surprise treasures that you never knew existed and for just enjoying the sheer pleasure of browsing.

When I’m on a mission and am after something specific I head online, while many peoples first port of call would always be Amazon, I find the shipping far too expensive to my home so greatly prefer Fishpond as my go-to online second-hand book Store.

I am always on the hunt for new sources, so please feel free to share your favourites in the comments.



Book Club

Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy suggests starting or joining a book club this August you can help bring more harmony to your everyday life.

She says that sharing a good book is as rewarding as reading one and suggests that you look at exploring plot twists and character development over food and drink with a like minded group of people once a month. Most of us don’t have enough intellectually stimulating conversations devoted to the exchange of ideas and can be a great antidote to watching to much TV.

Talk to your local library or bookstore for information on joining an existing club or starting your own based on a particular theme like woman’s fiction or classics or whatever else may really interest you.


Childhood Books

Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy suggests rediscovering the books you loved as a child in August to help bring more harmony to your everyday life.

She suggests to head off to a good library the older the better and wander into the children’s section, with or without your own little ones. Sit in the child sized chair and recall the moments of contentment curled up with a good book. She suggests the following books:

  • Little Women
  • Black Beauty
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • The Bobbsey Twins
  • The Little House On The Prairie
  • Nancy Drew: Secret in The Old Attic
  • Nancy Drew: Mystery At The Moss Covered Manson
  • The Betsy Tacy Series

Remember its never too late to have a happy childhood.

Trinny & Susannah in their book The Survival Guide: A Woman’s Secret Weapon For Getting Through The Year recommend the following classic children’s and teenagers books as the perfect collection.

  • Ha Ha Maisy by Lucy Cousins
  • Kipper by Mark Inkpen
  • Pants by Giles Andreae & Nick Sharratt
  • Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney & Anita Jeram
  • Thomas The Tank Engine by W Awdry
  • Babar by Laurent de Brunhoff
  • Winnie The Pooh by A A Milne
  • A Year Full Of Stories by Georgie Adams & Selina Young
  • The Cat In The Hat by Dr Seuss
  • A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
  • Horrid Henry’s Nits by Francesca Simon & Tony Ross
  • The Three Little Witches Storybook by Georgie Adams & Emily Bolam
  • The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy
  • The Chronicles Of Narnia by C S Lewis
  • Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
  • Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  • Arthur Trilogy by Kevin Crossley-Holland
  • Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver
  • The Roman Mysteries Series by Caroline Lawrence
  • Shadow Of The Minotaur by Alan Gibbons
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Lord Of The Rings by J R Tolkien
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams
  • The Scarecrows by Robert Westall
  • Harry Potter Series by J K Rowling
  • Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
  • Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott
  • Junk by Melvin Burgess
  • Asterix by Albert Uderzo & Rene Goscinny
  • Catcher In The Rye by J D Salinger
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
  • The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • Fat Is A Feminist Issue By Susie Orbach
  •  Beloved by Toni Morrison.

Spiritual Masters

Gretchen Rubin in her book The Happiness Project dedicated August to Eternity:  contemplating the heavens by imitating a spiritual master.

She says one of the most universal spiritual practices is the imitation of a spiritual master as a way to gain understanding and discipline. In the secular world, people often read biographies for a spiritual reason. They want to study and learn from the example of great lives, whether those of Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Oprah Winfrey or Warren Buffet. She urges us to find someone who we can relate to, who can inspire us to be a better person in our everyday lives. To study that person, read the books, watch the seminars, attend the workshops. Be inspired.

When it comes to spiritual masters who have me asking myself what would they do in certain situations, the spiritual master who I look to for inspiration is Iyanla Vanzant.

Who are your spiritual masters that inspire you to be the best you?