In this long awaited sequel to The Artist's Way, which has sold nearly two million copies, Julia Cameron presents her continuing thoughts and exercises on manifesting the creativity that lies within us all and is an expression of the Divine. "The universe is alive with energy. It is fertile, abundant, even raucous so are we. Most of us are high-spirited, humorous, even pranksterish with the least encouragement. What is lacking for so many of us is precisely the least encouragement. We buy into the notion that life is dreary and difficult and something to be soldiered through," writes Cameron, who has spent 35 years in the arts and 25 years teaching creative unblocking. Much of the material in this inspiring manual is intended to buoy up the spirits of those who yearn to live a vibrant and full life commensurate with the energy of the universe. The author is a cheerleader or coach who offers plenty of encouragement for those embarking or continuing on the creative path.
Cameron recommends three essential tools for this "spiritual unfolding." The first she calls Morning Pages, three pages of longhand journal writing at the beginning of the day. She notes: "I dip my pen to the page with the same methodical devotion that a woman in the high mountains of Tibet scrubs clothes in the stream, scouring them against a rock. It is a ritual, a way to start the day and a way to come clean before myself and God. There's no pretending in Morning Pages."
The second essential practice is to go on an hour-long solo adventure at least once a week to refill or unplug your artistic consciousness; she calls this an Artist's Date. The third is walking. Cameron elaborates on this practice: "Nothing brings home the beauty and power of the world that we live in like walking. Moving into our bodies, we embody the truth that as artists we are out to make a 'body of work,' which means we must encompass more than each day's march. A Weekly Walk helps us to acquire such an overview. It allows us to find both perspective and comfort. As we stretch our legs, we stretch our minds and our souls. St. Augustine, himself a great walker, remarked, 'Solvitur ambulando' 'it is solved by walking.' ".
In the twelve weeks of exercises and imaginative suggestions, Cameron covers a variety of subjects including expressing yourself, mapping your interests, being nice to yourself, setting boundaries, learning to navigate the learning curve, talking heart, and discovering a sense of dignity. In a chapter titled "Discovering A Sense of Adventure" the author writes: "To be an artist you must learn to let yourself be. Stop getting better. Start appreciating what you are. Do something that simply delights you for no apparent reason. Give in to a little temptation, poke into a strange doorway, buy the weird scrap of silk in a color you never wear. Make it an altar cloth, set your geranium on it, frame it-try letting yourself be that nasty, derogatory little word, 'arty.' Drop the rock. A lot of great artists work in their pajamas. Ernest Hemingway and Oscar Hammerstein both worked standing up because they liked that."
Cameron comes up with some useful rituals including using a "God Jar" to hold your sacred hopes and dreams and making sure that you have a "believing mirror' in your life, someone who gives you positive input and encouragement on your creative projects. Walking in This World is a valuable course that offers plenty of material for those interested in "discovering and recovering the creative self."