I have a God Jar. In it, I put all my hopes and dreams, joys and fears. A God Jar is a physical representation of a prayer list. Sometimes verbalizing my prayers to God isn’t enough. I find this to be especially true when the prayers take a long time in getting answered. The God Jar reminds me that I prayed about the matter and turned it over to God. Now, I just need to wait on His answer
I didn’t always have a God Jar. In fact, I created my first one about two years after reading The Artist Way. A 12-week course for budding artists, blocked creatives and anyone else who wants to make beautiful things, The Artist Way has transformed my life. I spent the first half of 215 reading through each chapter and completing as many tasks as I could. I opted not to follow the program as recommended. Instead, I extended the activities and readings for each chapter over two weeks, which meant I didn’t finish a three-month course until July. That was perfectly fine with me.
In the final chapter, author Julia Cameron gets to the heart of the matter. She believes creativity is about spirituality. It is about belief in a greater power, who I call God or the Divine interchangeably. In order to create, one must believe not only that God exists but that He is the source of all inspiration. When you learn to tune into your heart, the place where the Divine dwells, your authentic “voice” comes out. According to Cameron, you then create with that voice—writing books, penning plays, authoring poems, drawing pictures, painting canvases, scoring music, singing songs, doing your art in whatever mode or medium most speaks to you.
Most of the time, this creative process works for me. Every morning, I spend the first hour of my day connecting with Spirit and expressing my authentic voice. I meditate. I pray. I read scripture and other inspirational books. All of these practices, part of my daily sadhana, draw me closer to the Divine. So, when I open my notebook and begin to write my morning pages, my faith and spirituality flow out onto the page. Often these morning pages form the first drafts of my blog posts, which I happily share with others full of confidence and a bit of wonder---amazed at how beautifully and easily the words flow from my heart.
That is what happens most of the time. Sometimes I don’t feel inspired. Other times I don’t know what to write. From time to time, I don’t even want to write at all or have no idea of what to say. Or I have a hard time focusing on my Big Hairy Audacious Writing Projects. During these times, when I feel stuck in my writing, I acknowledge the resistance. From reading The Artist Way and traveling on its path the last two years, I know resistance shows up for a reason. Often, my worries and fears are getting the better of me, and I can’t concentrate on my writing until I deal with them. During those times when I feel stuck in my art, I know I am actually having a minor crisis of faith. That’s where my God Jar comes in handy.
Julia Cameron offers the God Jar as a simple but powerful tool for dealing with those fears that haunt all of us but are deadly for artists. She first advises you to select a God Jar. It’s “a jar, a box, a vase, a container. Something to put your fears, your resentments, your hopes, your dreams, your worries into.” Then, Cameron encourages you to use the God Jar. This week, I recognized that I was having a hard time with my writing, because I was worried about my move to the West Coast. Those worries were filling my mind, leaving little room for creativity. I wrote out each fear on its own index card, and placed each card in the God Jar.
My God Jar is a physical manifestation of my spiritual practices—prayer, faith, and surrender. I had already prayed about my needs, but the answers hadn’t yet arrived. That’s when the worries showed up. Whenever God takes longer than I would like to answer prayers, I pull out my God Jar, write down the worry, place it in the Jar, and trust that the Divine will provide all my needs at the perfect time. This practice enables me to surrender even the hard things and those that time more time. While I wait, I will keep making plans and taking care of the prep work. I also will keep trusting God to work out the details, especially those that are outside of my control. With my fears entrusted to the Divine, I was able to go back to my writing. I was unstuck once more.
Crystal Moore began her wellness quest in 2003 after being diagnosed with lupus. Her quest has led her to embrace yoga, faith, exercise, healthy eating, and relationships. Share her journey.