The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

Posted by: DVULI | August 22, 2022

Transformative sabbatical with DVULI Recommended Resource, "The Artist's Way," by Julia Cameron, for spiritual and creative growth.

by Eric Johnson (Los Angeles 2010)

Eric JohnsonThis year I was given an opportunity afforded to few of us in urban youth work.   

I took a sabbatical, and it was transformative.  

I came back not only rested and revitalized but free from fear and self-sabotaging mindsets. I went from the verge of a breakdown to breakthrough living!   

I want that for all of you.   

My 100% DVULI Recommended Resource is The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. Introduced to me by my dear friend, fellow DVULI alum, and gifted spiritual director, Archie Honrado (Los Angeles 2010), this book serves as a tool that will help anyone shift to a sabbatical mindset–whether or not you can take leave as I did. 

The Artist’s Way provides daily and weekly exercises designed to help readers reflect as a form of therapy that will enhance their personal and professional life.  

The core idea behind “sabbatical” and “Sabbath” is rest, and we are called to it daily. Rest is a spiritual practice. When we become too busy to rest, we lose the capacity to love God and our neighbor. One of the ways we can find true rest and true “Sabbath” daily is through journaling. The Artist’s Way is a 12-week course that requires you to journal answers to reflective questions. At the start of your day, before you turn on your phone or do anything else, you are required to journal three pages known as “Morning Pages.”   

My daily journal answers have saved my life! I recall in 2010 at NC1 when Gordon MacDonald spoke about the power of journaling during his restoration process. You can’t hide when journaling. You don’t lie when journaling. You rest and find Sabbath when you journal. Additionally, journaling produces evidence that the core values of balance and accountability are being lived out in your life.  

No wonder DVULI provides us with a lifetime supply of journals! (Click here to request a new DVULI journal.)  

I am reminded of Jesus’s words in Matthew 11:28:  

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?   

Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.   

I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.  

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.   

Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”   

(The Message)  

This is the sabbatical life, and The Artist’s Way will help you get there.