I’m currently reading The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. So many wonderful insights in this book for anyone who wishes to rediscover and enhance your own creative process, no matter what form your creative path takes.
In one of the time travel exercises, Julia Cameron asks the reader to write a letter from your 8-year-old self and your 80-year-old self to you at your current age. What would these younger and older versions urge you to believe, feel, pursue? What dreams would they tell you are possible? What would your inner 8-year-old remind you of that you loved to do as a child that made time fly and your heart sing? What would the 80-year-old version of you caution you to be or do or else you would regret not being or doing it when your final day on this earth comes?
I decided to tackle this exercise in a slightly different manner. Below is a little play I wrote based on a true story about me as a 6 year old that I remember through my mother’s retelling of it throughout the years. I also wrote a monologue spoken by my 80-year-old version, predicting what this wise woman would say if I could sit and visit with her.
I hope you enjoy these time travel offerings. More importantly, I hope you try this exercise with your own childhood and future selves. If you could sit and have tea with your Inner 8-year-old and your future Elder Warrioress, what insights would they give you about your True Self and the Purpose for why you were created? What would they urge you to do or be to make your life more vibrant and rounded, and in turn make the world a better place?
Happy, Texas: 1971
A one-act playlette featuring the inner dreams of a 6-year-old girl.
The location is a large wooden stage in the school auditorium of the rural 670-ish person town on a hot July evening. The town’s people are mostly farmers, cattle ranchers and devoted housewives. There is only one school in town – home of the Happy Cowboys and Cowgirls – five churches, no stop light on the red brick main street. It’s a close-knit community, in which everyone knows everyone (and everyone’s business/secrets).
The scene begins with the 6-year-old GIRL on the large stage. Her doting mother has entered her in the Little Miss Happy beauty pageant. She wears a pink frothy dress, white ruffle bobby socks, and black patent Mary Janes. Her hair is perfectly coiffed by her doting mother – blonde ringlets hang perfectly, just touching her slight shoulders. The GIRL stands alone on stage with the pageant’s JUDGE, Kenneth Wyatt, a professional artist who paints western/cowboy-themed oil paintings. It’s the Q & A portion of the pageant. The lights of the packed auditorium are dim except for the bright spotlight on GIRL and JUDGE.
JUDGE: (speaking into hand-held microphone) And, what’s your name, little girl?
GIRL: (speaking into microphone offered by JUDGE, serious expression) My name is Vicki.
JUDGE: And, what would you like to be when you grow up, little girl?
GIRL: I want to be an artist.
Some people in the dark audience giggle aloud at the GIRL’s response.
At the conclusion of the pageant, the GIRL is crowned Little Miss Happy. A sparkly crystal tiara is placed on her blonde head and a white sash with Little Miss Happy printed in gold glitter is placed around her shoulder and torso.
When the mother and GIRL are in the auditorium’s foyer after the pageant’s conclusion, a few town’s women ask the mother if she had coached the GIRL to say, “I want to be an artist,” hoping to win over the professional painter JUDGE. The mother is surprised and replies, “No – she said that all on her own.” The GIRL keeps her artist desire safe – a seed waiting to bud and blossom at some unknown point in the future.
Santa Fe, New Mexico: 2045
A monologue featuring the wisdom of an 80-year-old Warrioress.
The location is the back porch of a brown stucco pueblo overlooking the desert sagebrush and hazy purple Sangre de Cristo mountains in the distance. An octogenarian woman sits in a hand-carved wooden chair. She wears all black except for a vibrantly colored Indian bead necklace and bracelet hand-crafted by a local Native American jeweler. Her white hair is cropped short, a youthful frame for her alert blue eyes and age-lined face. Her fingertips are stained with dots of fuschia, turquoise and purple acrylic paint, remnants from the morning’s art session. An essence of peaceful calm oozes from her being.
WOMAN: (speaking to the current me who has flown in to visit the Warrioress)
“You know those things you’ve always loved to do – art and travel? They’re your breadcrumb trail, clues leading you to the life you were born to live. Remember in 2012 when you were talking with Mom on the phone wondering what in the world your Purpose in life was? You said, ‘The two things I really, truly love are art and travel. Time just flies when I do them, and I’m the most joyful at those times. How can I make those into my career?’
Well, guess what? You CAN. Quitting your soul-sucking job was the best thing, although I know you’re scared to death at times. Don’t worry. Remember that cheesy 1980’s song, ‘The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades?’ Well, better get your sunglasses ready.
Don’t live the life of a dead woman walking.
Dump those limiting beliefs about work having to be hard to be worthwhile and you should pursue your ‘frivolous hobbies’ after retirement. The Universe gave you the gifts and passions you have for a reason. Use them! The Universe is eagerly waiting for you to open your heart and co-create a life of meaning and purpose that will give you an abundant life and serve the world at the same time.
- Believe in your art workshops. You’ll help women around the world find their own True Self and Calling. Help them light their candle and pay it forward to the people in their lives.
- Write the books that are in you. You do have experiences, thoughts and feelings that others will want to read about.
- Follow your intuition. It’s never led you astray. It will lead you to the people, places and actions that are in your path for a reason.
- You’ll soon find your Tribe. Love them fiercely, because they’ll water and nurture your Wild Woman spirit.
- Forgive the ‘crazymakers’ in your life. You’ve pushed them to the edge of their own dreams and that scares the shit out of them. Their drama is really not about you; it’s about their own unfulfilled Callings. Take it as a sign that you’re on YOUR right path and keep moving forward.
Make an impact on this world. Follow the Calling that you know is in you and the Universe will support you in unimaginable ways!”
As she finishes speaking, she sits peacefully staring into the distance toward the purple mountains. Her wise words linger in the air like feathers floating on a breeze. They pierce their bull’s eye mark at the center of my heart.
Now it’s your turn. What encouraging nuggets of wisdom will your wise and wild spirits whisper to you?