The Best Tool To Unlock Your Creativity
There’s a science behind why we lose site of who we are. And science behind how to get it back.
But I don’t need the science. Science sometimes makes it worse. I’ve had comedians tell me this. I ask them to break down WHY something is funny.
Because they’ll lose their funny.
Some things can’t be explained.
Or shouldn’t be explained.
I’ll tell you what I do when I’m blocked.
I got to the Hayden Planetarium. Julia Cameron said she pets bunnies.
I like that.
Her books have helped me get unstuck for two decades.
She wrote “The Artist’s Way,” “It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again, “The Prosperous Heart: Creating a Life of ‘Enough’” and more.
I had her on the podcast. Which was an honor. Because she’s one of my heroes.
She read two poems.
She spoke from her heart.
She gave countless exercises of what you can do to get unstuck. And reconnected with your authentic self.
I’ll be listening to this interview for the rest of my life.
Just like her books.
They’ll become my guides.
- Find out how you can claim a free copy (for a limited time) of new book, “The Side Hustle Bible” – [0:00]
- Episode preview – [1:01]
- I introduce Julia Cameron, one of my heroes. And the author of the classic book, “The Artist’s Way” – [4:18]
- What I do to get my creativity muscle working every day – [5:30]
- Julia says how to “line yourself up to be authentic” – [6:47]
- I ask Julia to describe the connection between integrity and writing morning pages. She says that the purpose of writing morning pages is to connect yourself with the present moment. When she does this, she says, “I find myself telling the truth.” She discovers how she’s doing. And connecting with that truth connects her with your authentic self – [7:29]
- “When you do morning pages, you puncture your denial. And you find yourself saying, ‘Here’s how I actually feel.” – Julia Cameron – [8:48]
- Why morning pages remind me of vipassana meditation – [9:14]
- Why writing down how you actually feel helps you relieve emotional pain – [9:56]
- Meditation vs. morning pages. Meditation makes people feel like they don’t have to do anything about their problems. Morning pages makes you say, “I better do something about this,” Julia said. “They move you into action.” – [10:32]
- “We have a fear of commitment. And the fear of commitment stands between us and accomplishment.” – Julia Cameron – [12:02]
- I explain why Julia’s books have been so helpful to me – [12:26]
- How Julia’s book gives people permission to try and unlocks your creativity – [13:12]
- Julia tells a story about someone who used morning pages to finally follow their creative dream – [15:27]
- I ask Julia her opinion of the 10,000-hour rule – [16:30]
- Book recommendation: “It’s Never too Late to Begin Again” by Julia Cameron – [16:52]
- Julia says why we shouldn’t disqualify ourselves from being creative in life. And lists some myths that we shouldn’t let block us – [17:30]
- TV show recommendation: Vinyl on HBO – [18:51]
- “Great artists can be frightened and keep going anyway.” – Julia Cameron [19:30]
- I ask Julia how much technical skill someone should have in order to pursue something – [20:05]
- How morning pages help you listen to yourself and discover a great truth – [21:11]
- “The spark of inspiration often leads us forward.” – Julia Cameron – [21:50]
- The role of divinity in creativity – [21:55]
- The problem with waiting for lightning to strike… Julia says, “ I believe creativity is like an underground river. When we write morning pages we drop down the well into the river of creativity. Morning pages miniaturize your inner-critic. What you’re doing is training your inner-critic to allow you to create freely.” – [22:40]
- How to practice being non-judgemental toward yourself – [24:29]
- “Morning pages train you to pay attention to your own mind.” – [25:02]
- How morning pages help people deal with unresolved grief – [25:50]
- Go play. Set an “artist’s date… “a once a week, solo, festive expedition to do something that thrills or enchants you” – [26:21]
- “How to get ideas is to play.” – Julia Cameron – [27:42]
- Julia says what creativity is – [28:45]
- Why it’s important to have a spiritual practice – [29:30]
- How petting bunnies or going to the planetarium can “unlock further creative” – [31:02]
- Don’t confuse morning pages with your art. The morning pages help you unlock your art. It precedes it – [32:14]
- Why I coming up with 10 bad ideas a day helps exercise the creativity muscle – [33:20]
- Julia says that the 10,000-hour rule is a “form of emotional terrorism” – [34:17]
- We discuss where the 10,000-hour rule came from and if it’s accurate – [36:56]
- Proof that you can have something meaningful to say and achieve great success without having 10,000 hours – [39:30]
- You’re never too old… I’m 51. And Julia is 71. So she says, “To me, you seem like a baby.” And that I can be just in the beginning if I want – [40:21]
- “If you have a passion for something, it is, in fact, timeless and ageless.” – Julia Cameron [41:25]
- How Julia felt when she found out Pete Townsend used “The Artist’s Way” and morning pages to unlock his own creativity – [42:23]
- Why we need to put age aside… Julia says she has a play going up right now. And she did her best writing on it when she was 70 – [42:49]
- I ask Julia when she started writing morning pages in her own life. It was 1980. She tells a story of how the morning pages unblocked the novel she was working on – [44:04]
- The real concept of morning pages is to clear the pathway so that something magical can happen in the other 23 hours of the day – [47:25]
- Don’t try to have your morning pages be brilliant. Julia says “That’s a mistake.” – [48:06]
- How I accidentally haunted Julia – [49:05]
- Why you shouldn’t let science prevent your creative process – [50:09]
- Julia’s creative family – [51:29]
- Why it’s important to remember what you love about people – [53:19]
- How surrendering leads to creative victory – [54:14]
- I ask Julia what drives the connection between spirituality and creativity – [55:48]
- When Julia was 29, she was a “blackout drunk.” She got sober. And realized she believes in “the creative energy of the universe” – [56:04]
- Stop trying to be clever. Or impressive. Just let the energy of creativity work through you. This is how Julia’s career took off – [57:21]
- Julia reads a poem for us – [58:59]
- Why we get blocked to begin with… school, jobs, the government, society, etc. all give us messages in life. And we have to unlearn them – [1:00:52]
- Remeber who you are… Julia says why morning pages and artist’s dates can help – [1:01:25]
- I ask Julia her definition of success – [1:01:49]
- Julia shows me the crystals she wears – [1:02:22]
- The two words Julia says lead to prosperity – [1:03:51]
- Find what delights you [1:05:18]
- Some of the prompts and lists Julia gives in “The Artist’s Way” to help unblock people. Example List 25 things you love – [1:06:48]
- A Native American tradition you can do to get a snapshot of your value system – [1:08:12]
- Exercise: Write “I love to _________.” List the activities you love. Then go to the top of your list and write the date of the last time you let yourself do that activity – [1:09:55]
- What can someone do who feels stuck in their day-to-day routine… Julia says go to a children’s bookstore. And let the child-like part of you pick a book – [1:10:35]
- Julia reads another poem about coming home to yourself – [1:12:03]
- I ask Julia, “How have you seen people embrace the idea that ‘it’s never too late?’” – [1:14:32]
- I ask Julia to say what “freedom” means to her – [1:17:10]
- Julia says the last time she felt great fear. And how she faced it – [1:18:32]
- One of the practices Julia does to have faith in herself -[1:19:35]
- I ask what Julia wanted to be when she grew up – [1:20:08]
- Julia gives me a suggestion of how I can feel less discouraged by the 10,000-hour rule – [1:21:00]
- The three books of Julia’s that I’ve read over and over again over the decades – [1:21:40]
- Exercise: take a 20-minute walk twice a week… Julia says “Walking walks us into a stable self.” [1:22:25]
- I thank Julia for coming on the podcast and for having a huge impact on my life – [1:24:33]
- You can experience Julia’s poetry and music on juliacameronlive.com [1:25:28]
- Movie recommendation: “I Know Where I’m Going” – [1:25:48]
- I thank Julia for coming on the podcast – [1:26:16]
Links & Resources:
- Read “The Artist’s Way” and “The Artist’s Way Workbook” by Julia Cameron to learn more about Morning Pages
- “It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond” by Julia Cameron
- “Walking in This World” by Julia Cameron
- “The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life” by Julia Cameron
- “The Miracle of Morning Pages: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Most Important Artist’s Way Tool“
- by Julia Cameron
- Follow Julia Cameron on Twitter
- Visit juliacameronlive.com for poetry, music, video courses and more from Julia Cameron