Life, Podcast, Soul Homework

Podcast #31- No Resolution

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January doesn’t seem like the ideal time of year to reinvent myself. I heard somewhere that making resolutions at this time of year makes no sense, and I agree. It’s winter. We should burrow down, take care of ourselves, and be gentler on our bodies.

As a result, no resolutions will be made until the spring. Maybe even no resolutions at all.

I also brought up the woman who asked strangers in bookstores about their favorite book of all-time. I didn’t know what mine was at the time, but after some thought, I now know. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.

I found this quote last month and liked it.

I also said that I enjoy a good guilty pleasure book. I’m not always about soul homework. I even have a book about the gossip on the Real Housewives on hold at the library! I enjoy a good Tori Spelling tell-all, just in case you thought I was all Oprah’s book club all the time.

From my friend Rita’s blog, I learned of Julia Cameron’s follow up book titled It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond.

I discuss the three components of Julia’s books:

Morning pages

Artist’s dates It’s not necessary to be an artist to attend the dates; it’s simply a word. Similarly, when she mentions God, you don’t have to be religious; it’s simply a word.

My grownup-version of a sticker notebook. To learn more, you’re going to have to listen to the podcast.

In the new book, she also recommends taking solo walks twice a week. But they aren’t a deal breaker for me since they sound too much like a resolution, and we aren’t doing resolutions right now.

When researching Julia Cameron for this post, I came across this New York Times article, about her growing up north of Chicago. Of course, I had to dig up where she was born and raised, and discovered it was 10 minutes from where I live.

The Memoir is an added component in Julia’s second book that I did not discuss on the podcast. It’s a weekly activity that helps you recall past events.

This quote from her book jumped out at me since I’ve heard it said so many times, even by myself:

“One especially heartbreaking sentence I have heard over and over from my newly retired students is, “Oh, my life wasn’t that interesting.” The truth is that every life is fascinating. And when we are willing to look at, and thus honor, the life we have led, we inevitably bring ourselves to a place of both power and self-appreciation.”

Here are some other links that tie in to what I talked about:

If Your New Year’s Resolutions Have Crashed Already, Try This Instead

Morning pages (and variations)

This Terrible Self-Help Book Is Actually Making Me a Better Artist

Why everyone you know has read “The Artist’s Way”

Four Habits I Learned from The Artist’s Way

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments on the podcast, or The Artist’s Way.

26 thoughts on “Podcast #31- No Resolution”

  1. Yes, I WAS listening. I saw you posted yesterday, but I had to wait for the right time to listen and I did so as I was undecorating the big tree.

    I never make resolutions. Not sure why. Maybe I know I won’t keep them? But my goal this year is to be more present daily and make some progress in areas of my life that need it. (health, connections with family/friends, etc)

    When you mentioned collecting stickers, I immediately conjured up this vision/sight/feeling of having a new page of stickers. I loved the ones that smelled, but I lived for the puffy/textured ones! It brought back good memories for me.

    Happy new year to you and yours. XO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that you were listening when I said your name. That makes me so happy. By the way, thank you for listening. It means so much to me.

      This year, I’m also holding myself accountable for mindfulness (being present).

      I had those stickers in my mind too! I loved my puffy ones as well as the scratch and sniff stickers!! I like how we both had those on our minds.

      Happy New Years to you and your family, friend. XOXO

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, now I need to look at that article and see where Julia Cameron grew up too, since it might be near where I ate pie at Baker’s Square and worked at Burger King.

    I’m not really into resolutions. I might try now and then to get better at something . . . like washing towels every Thursday. See what I did there? Keeping the bar super low. Makes it easy to feel accomplished, plus gives the family clean towels once a week.

    I hope to one day read the Artist’s Way. I’m committed to my book club books and this month’s book is crazy long, but every once in a while I finish a book well before the book club and I hope to squeeze this gem onto my list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was going to just tag you in the post. It IS the place where you grew up.

      I believe that the lower we keep the bar, the easier it is to accomplish things. 🙂

      I think most people don’t read her book because they struggle with the homework, and I understand why. But it’s good homework, I promise.


  3. 100% on the resolutions thing….winter IS the time for rest, dreaming and scheming, and regeneration….plenty of time in the spring to ramp up the energy to make things happen. Great post, Kari!


    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree about not making resolutions on January first. I’ve had better luck, and luck it is, when I make resolutions on September first. I can get into the back to school vibe then and use it to nudge me forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a fantastic idea. I would never thought to do that then.
      By the way, I wrote about saying “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit” on the first of the month a while ago. You mentioned cleaning your coffee pot on the first of the month since that is how you remember to do so. Because of you, I do that now. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I read The Artist’s Way many years ago. I started morning pages at the time and didn’t get very far. Good intentions. I didn’t know she had a follow-up book either. Was just looking at the reviews on Amazon and it seems it’s pretty much a rehash of the original but that’s OK…I’m going to get the book from my library (they have it!) and see if I want to at least attempt to get back into this.

    I don’t make New Year’s resolutions either. Even though I hate winter, I like January because it’s a low-key month where we’re kind of hibernating, so it’s a good month for reflection.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t write three pages every morning. I can do 1.5, and that is good enough. Julia wrote both books before a pandemic. I think she’d agree that 1.5 pages a morning in a pandemic is acceptable.

      I wasn’t aware of the follow-up book until Rita mentioned it in her post a few weeks ago. I only received it a few days ago from the library, but I’m already enjoying it.

      I now enjoy winter far more than I did previously. I figured out why I disliked winter so much. It came to me ironically while I was writing my morning pages, lol. It’s absolutely changed my perspective on winter.

      January is a good month for reflection. I’ll remember that and you when I’m working on my morning pages tomorrow morning. XOXO

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve never been a fan of the resolution but I like “New Years”. I like lists and plans and goals. I make mine 3 times a year – new year, my birthday, and September (because back to school always feels like the real new year). I like your plan to not resolve this year. I think we’re living through enough without expecting too much from ourselves!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I, too enjoy making lists and setting goals. I think that’s why I enjoy Julia Cameron’s books so much. I’m a sucker for any book that begins with “list 10 ….”

      You and Ally both suggested September, which, now that I think about it, makes sense.

      I agree with the idea of living through enough without expecting. It takes everything I have some days just to cook meals and make the coffee. And that’s okay. 🙂


  7. I’ve never read The Artist’s Way but I do think every life is fascinating. Everyone has a story, every single person. This is why I love books that really delve into ordinary lives. My favourite books of all time: The Blind Assassin, Diary of a Provincial Lady, and Lives of Girls and Women. I don’t make resolutions but I do feel that January feels like a fresh start. I make goals throughout the year and I do think about them in January, but I don’t make any NEW goals, if that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that everyone has a story. I’d love to read everyone’s memoirs. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the library could be filled with ordinary (read: us) people’s autobiographies? That is one of the reasons why I enjoy reading blogs so much. It’s a glimpse inside someone else’s world.

      I do enjoy the fresh start that January brings. I don’t want to make people feel bad if they make resolutions. That wasn’t my intention at all. It’s just not something I am ready to do. At least not this year, LOL.


      1. Oh gosh, I don’t think you sounded at all like you were making people feel bad! Not at all! I totally agree, make resolutions/ goals or don’t, no big deal either way 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Kari I like totally died. I WAS listening! And right b4 u said my name, you’d just gifted me with an ear worm song bc you said “I’m only human”. And my brain cannot resist a cheesy Human League ref, so now I’m humming: I’m only human by Human League. (Tangent: when I saw the title for this podcast I really, really hoped you’d intro it & say: “Nooooooooooo Resolution” – like the Noooooo Reservations TV show.)

    But (but!) right after you pondered who was listening (me! me!) I had to pause bc life. Ha! Life’s a tricky you-know-what! I promise I will finish bc I want your Artist Way insights. (Second tangent: I sorta wish the book was not a book but was instead a blog or a magazine/newspaper series. I’m not very good at reading nonfiction books. They’re imposing. But blog installments and nonfic magazine/news articles? No problem. Hmmm. I should buy the book and then turn each chapter into a Zine at Kinko’s, mailing chapters one at a time to myself every month…. occasionally late to add realism. Then I’d read the poo out of it! 🙂

    Hope everyone is healthy and/or feeling better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve got an ear worm now. But I love ear worms because MUSIC. 🙂

      So it’s ironic that you mention this because her second book isn’t as interesting to me as her first. I’ve done a lot of skimming. I also wish it was a magazine.

      It’s funny you mentioned zine because my friend Rebecca recommended turning my book into a zine because it’s less than 100 pages long. But aren’t zines illustrations? I was considering simply converting my book into an e-book, which I could accomplish in a day, BUT I need cover art. So I need to get started on that. (READ: find a cover artist)

      Ella is completely recovered from Covid, and we are doing fine. Thank you, science. 🙂


      1. I checked with my inner teenager and she says Zines have no rules. If you have change for the copy machine, you can make anything into a Zine. Go nuts. 🙂

        I would love to see your book as an ebook. I heart e-ink readers – they’re easy on the eyes, you can scale font size, increase space between lines and way less allergens. Super user friendly. I adore physical books but they’re less customizable.

        Also – I did finish this podcast and, holy carp you nailed it. I think I returned around the 9 min mark? You should timestamp somewhere in there as the “shirt gets real” mark. I am so motivated now and also understand the book’s main tasks. Bonus points for the “Don’t tell me you don’t have time! You have time!” section. I laughed so hard and also now feel slightly guilty. I’m thinking you are an excellent teacher! 🙂

        So happy Ella is better! Yay science!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve recently started following some journaling accounts on TikTok, and they’ve encouraged me to start doodling in my morning soul homework. I LOVE THIS. I also created a notebook exclusively for quotes that I enjoy, which I’ve been reading like a good book. I feel like that is very zine-like.

        I need to get started on cover art. My books needs to be published in 2022. No more farting around.

        In that moment, I felt very much like a motivational speaker. Or a drill sargeant. 🙂


  9. Will you use the stickers on your morning pages?

    I have read The Artists Way but this new one intrigues me more. Where I live now I can do those walks. The dates may take longer than an hour given that some of the places I’d want to go are an hour’s drive away! On the upside, I could probably list those on morning pages! I also want to write a memoir and have been doing some webinars and courses to help me focus on that, including one I did earlier today.

    The practice of morning pages is something I have struggled with mentally after reading The Artists Way and so have never done them. I guess I could consider jotting down more thoughts on the subject of memoir (and maybe also on blog and other things I’d like to write) on morning pages.

    I took some notes from the memoir webinar I took today and from your podcast so maybe I’ll refer to them and maybe even start those morning pages tomorrow! If that works out, and/or if I think I need even more guidance with my memoir, I will probably add It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again to the list of books I’m looking for to start sometime in the future (some of them sooner than others) because they may be related to classes I’m thinking about signing up for or as selections for book clubs I have joined with varying levels of commitment to actually showing up on schedule for discussion of a particular book. I am signed up for way too many of both classes and book clubs to be able to read everything for ALL of them as scheduled!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great question concerning the stickers. I’ll probably just use them around the house. They’ll serve no purpose, and the child in me will love that to pieces.

      I’ve discovered two other Julia Cameron books since recording this podcast episode: The Listening Path (which I’m now reading) and Seeking Wisdom, which I purchased while on an Artist’s Date. I didn’t connect with the Seeking Wisdom book, so I’m putting it aside for when I’m ready. However, I enjoy the book The Listening Path. Morning pages are something I struggle with as well, so you’re not alone. I can’t write three pages every day, even though I know it’s an important element of the whole package. I suppose if the morning pages aren’t in me, they’re not in me. I can’t make something that isn’t there appear.

      Have fun with your book clubs and classes! I hope something good comes from them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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