7 08 2012

By Julia Indigo/@juliaindigo

Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) Woman in an armchair 1910 Oil on Canvas 

Photo by Tony Hisgett / CC BY 2.0

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everday life.” – Pablo Picasso

All of the art of the Twentieth Century was birthed in Pablo Picasso’s brain. Discuss.

I think I’m on my way back to regular blogging, and I apologize for the unfinished, yet scheduled blogposts which were prematurely published. It’s been an interesting summer… and I haven’t had much to say. But I do miss all of you guys.


10 07 2012

By Julia Indigo/@juliaindigo


Consciousness instigates shifts in outer reality. Recognizing that I have the power to change my world by changing my thinking, I set for myself a gentle vigilance toward negative thoughts. I surrender into the deeper flow of life rather than willfully forcing artificial solutions. Rather than imagine that my yearnings are self-centered or counter to the flow of life, I practice simply blossoming in the faith that I attract what I need simply by following and blessing my true nature.

From Prayers to the Great Creator: Prayers and Declarations for a Meaningful Life by Julia Cameron

Ah yes, the work of Julia Cameron. I found The Artist’s Way years ago, back when I thought that the artist in me wanted to be a visual artist. I dutifully did the Morning Pages, that morning thought-dump that was supposed to free one’s inner artist to be the happy, productive, fulfilled artist that I was.

It didn’t work that way for me. It ended up being a journal of despair – mental masturbation of the worst sort. At least it didn’t leave me in a worse state than when I started. I ditched that journal years ago.

Which is not to say that Morning Pages aren’t valuable for a lot of folks. I also learned a lot about myself doing the Artist’s Way course, stuff that I don’t share publicly. I don’t share it privately, for that matter, either!

I think that Cameron is a marvel, and back in the day the above quote was something that moved me. It still does, today. It’s message is something that I’m still learning. I love that phrase “a gentle vigilance”. It’s all about being kind to one’s Self. I hope to achieve that one day.

How do you talk to yourself? Are you kind to yourself when you mess up? Are you at peace with yourself? Do you hold unsustainable ideals for yourself? Let me know in the comments, and we’ll talk!

Worry: warts and all

3 07 2012

By Julia Indigo/@juliaindigo


Worrying about what’s going to happen is a negative contribution to the future. Living in the here and now is ultimately the best thing we can do, not only for today, but for tomorrow. Things will work out, if we let them. If we must focus on the future other than to plan, all we need to do is affirm that it will be good. I pray for faith that staying in the present is the best thing I can do for my future. I will focus on what’s happening now, instead of what’s going to happen tomorrow.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie

Many years ago I was part of the fellowship of CoDependents Anonymous, a 12-step group based on the principals of Alcoholics Anonymous, for people who have been adversely effected by someone else’s addictions/garden-variety craziness/etc. I found a lot of good there, and one of the things that I became aware of was the work of Melody Beattie. And no, I have no idea how to say her name.

She wrote the first books on CoDA: her books Codependent No More and Beyond Codependency were our bibles back in ’87.  I practically memorized the bloody things, and had a double handful of daily meditation books like the above-quoted The Language of Letting Go. I thought enough of the above quote to type it up on my DOS machine and print it out on an index card. It lived in my flute case for years.

I found it again the other day, and its truth still hits me at my core. In the past several months – oh hell, make it three-four years – I’ve been alternately stressing and obsessing, and actively avoiding thinking about any number of things. Note: I graduated from acupuncture school June of 2007, and you remember what happened in 2008, right? Financial meltdown. Holy. Crap. Student loans, a failed relationship, and no income to speak of.

That being said, I noticed something many, many moons ago. I have been taken care of all along. I look back at my life, and even though I was dealing with a multitude of issues from my past, I still had everything that I needed. Wanted? Nope. But I had what I needed. And I have what I need, today. Every tomorrow I’ve ever experienced has been the same. I’ve received what I needed.

So, why worry? Perhaps because it’s a bad habit, a superstition. If I keep on worrying, then certainly things will turn out okay, right? If I stop worrying and just relax, then everything will go crab-wise, right?

Um. No. I don’t think it works that way.

All my worrying has accomplished is that it’s given me grey hair and acid reflux.

 And… more importantly…

It’s kept me from myself. If I’m worrying about tomorrow, or next month, or next year, then I’m not Here, Now. I’m not with myself. That’s the problem which got me to CoDA in the first place! We CoDependents abandon ourselves to take care of others… and it’s just another kind of addiction. Remember how I said that Steven uses alcohol, nicotine, and women to avoid the pain in his soul? Many of us (okay, I) do the same thing, using socially-acceptable WORRY. If we’re worried, then we’re obviously trying to take care of things, right? That’s a good thing, right?

Um. No. Not when it serves to obscure the reality of our Present Lives. Because worrying is not doing.

Today, do what needs to be done, and leave the rest for tomorrow.

What is your relationship with worry? Are you trusting and carefree? Do you face life with a smile? Or are you battening down the hatches, hoping against hope that things will somehow work out? Let me know in the comments! They are appreciated, as always.

The Darkness Within

26 06 2012

By Julia Indigo/@juliaindigo


“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” – Carl Gustav Jung

Such is the theme of my WIP, His Original Sin. Steven Canelli, for all his good points, cannot – WILL not – face the pain that drives him. It’s easier to use – whether it is alcohol, nicotine, work, or women – and, in spite of his prodigious intelligence, he takes the ‘easier’ way out time after time, until he hits bottom. It isn’t that he doesn’t see the endpoint. He uses (that word, again!) his brilliance to rationalize his actions.

That’s the way it always is, isn’t it? People in general won’t face facts until they have to, until they have no other choice. I know that’s been true in my life. I refuse to enumerate the many times that I continued on a particular path in spite of that nagging ‘oh dear, this isn’t going to end well’ feeling, that inner warning system maxed out in the red. Usually when I’ve stayed with a course (never mind the looming brick wall) it’s been because I felt that I had no other options. The truth? I had no other easy options.

In Steven’s case, it’s easier to just pour another drink, light another cig, or chase another skirt. Easier, until it becomes impossible to overcome the consequences of his actions. Perhaps that’s why I adore this character, in spite of his behavior. He’s me, in a different body, making different choices, avoiding different pain… but still running, running, running, until he can’t run any longer.

(And what is he really running from? There’s a hint of it on this page.)

Thanks to my good friend Gayle Greenlea for posting the Jung quote to Facebook. I hadn’t intended this Tuesday Quotes blogpost to become copy about my book, but it fits so well!

What about you? What are you running from? What situations aren’t working in your life? Where could you make other, harder, choices, which might result in beauty? Where are you holding back out of fear of… success? failure? Let me know in the comments.

Oooh boy. I could go on and on with those questions, and probably will, in my journal!

Be This

19 06 2012

By Julia Indigo/@juliaindigo

Seven advice of Mevlana


In generosity and helping others be like a river
In compassion and grace be like the sun
In concealing others’ faults be like the night
In anger and fury be like the dead
In modesty and humility be like the earth
In tolerance be like a sea
Either exist as you are or be as you look.

The Adjustment Bureau

12 06 2012

By Julia Indigo/@juliaindigo

This post went out this morning with out the proper editing! I thought I’d changed the time for the upload until I had time to edit it.


The below is from a wonderful post by Ginny, which turned my crank about three weeks ago. The quote below is from the movie, The Adjustment Bureau.

Most people live life on the path we set for them, too afraid to explore any other. But once in a while people like you come along who knock down all the obstacles we put in your way. People who realize freewill is a gift that you’ll never know how to use until you fight for it. I think that’s the chairman’s real plan. That maybe one day, we won’t write the plan, you will.

The below is what Ginny wrote about the movie, which inspired me:

Right?  If you think about it, our families, our friends, our social environment all serve as The Adjustment Bureau.  When we step off the grid a bit, they are quick to try and rein us back in.  What ensues is usually so unpleasant we become afraid of stepping off again. But there are some people who just don’t give a crap what others think or feel and grasp their own fate by the throat and just take it.  They just take it.  And they do so with no other proof, no other evidence than the gnawing in their entrails that tells them there’s more for them over there, doing it this other way.

I am one of those people. For whatever reason, I stepped off the grid, escaped the hammering that the culture I grew up in (middle class, 1960s Texan Conservative Religious) gave me. I did not escape the interior hammering, though — I beat myself up with it for years. Not so much today, but I still can hurt myself when I forget that the ‘normal’ I was born into is not the ‘normal’ for me.

One thing that makes it easier for people like me to step off the grid of societal expectations is finding one’s tribe. In high school my original tribe was the band. I was a Band Geek. I was good at it, and I loved the camaraderie. Later, in college, my tribe was ‘music major’. Then it was ‘professional musician’ – and still is. Today I’ve joined another tribe: unpublished writer (what a fun bunch WE are!), though I haven’t joined Triberr. (grin)

More importantly, I hope that at fifty-four I’ll soon be able to be a tribe of one… in relation with your tribe of one. My parents’ generation believes that to love each other, we must like the same things, believe the same things, value the same things… BE the same. I’m not sure that my generation has totally escaped that, but the one after us has. They understand that when we are truly ourselves, then we can truly be with another, making that choice to be together. And creativity is spawned from the friction inherent in the differences.

An Eastern Perspective on Goals

5 06 2012

By Julia Indigo/@juliaindigo

Remember that when you are unhappy it is generally because you do not visualize strongly enough the great things that you definitely want to accomplish in life, nor do you employ steadfastly enough your will power, your creative ability, and your patience until your dreams are materialized.

Several years ago (more like ten, I think!) I read Sri Paramahansa Yogananda‘s Autobiography of a Yogi. The man’s story blew me away, and I had to have more of his wisdom. At this time in my life I do not follow him, but I thought enough of the above quote to print it up and keep it in my flute case ever since.

I know that when I first encountered The Secret and the Law of Attraction I thought that the concept of ‘as you think, so will your life become’ was a new thing. Then I read Sri Yogananda, and sure enough, it comes straight out of Hinduism, with some extra added New Age/Quantum Mechanical froth.

One of my strong suits is visualization. It helps me get into my characters as I write. But willpower? Patience? I think that Sri Yogananda is making a great point. Speaking as an American, it seems that we are even less patient than we were back when he lived among us, over fifty years ago. I’m sure he would be pulling his (incredibly lush and long) hair out, when confronted with 21st century people like yours truly.

You can find more of the Wisdom of Sri Yogananda here.

A Dancing Star

29 05 2012


I say to you, on must have chaos in oneself in order to give birth to a dancing star.  – Friedrich Nietsche

A well-known quote by a well-known writer. Whatever you may think of Nietsche, his life is the perfect illustration of his quote.

And who among us doesn’t feel that we have chaos within ourselves? Perhaps there is someone somewhere who can’t identify with that sense. I certainly do. I remember when I found this quote the first time. I had been in therapy for a while, digging deep into my own internal chaos. The combination of depression, anxiety, repression, and codependency felt bottomless at the time – though, of course, it wasn’t. I thought that I was broken. I wasn’t. I was discovering my own humanity.

This quote gave me the hope that someday I would birth that dancing star. And looking back, it seems that I have… or am… or will. Which reminds me of the notion that time is what keeps things from happening all at once. Wait, what?!

[Backspace. I don’t want to go there right now! I don’t have the time to delve into Quantum Mechanics, the Arrow of Time, and everything else that goes into that thought!]

Where was I? Oh yeah.

Do you want to be famous? I have. Or I do. Hard to say, but fame has always been part of my fantasy world. Because if you’re famous, then you must matter, right? Yeah, I know, that doesn’t follow. But to Younger Julia it does, and she wants to matter more than anything. So the quote also hooks me that way. “I have Chaos in me! I’m a-gonna be a Dancin’ STAR!” (said with my best fake-Texan accent.)

Truth be told, we all have within us the potential to be that Dancing Star. Some people will never meet that potential, whether through fear, degrading life circumstance, or other inhibiting factors. Perhaps that Dancing Star is simply the Spark of the Divine within.

What do you think? Do we all have that potential? Do you want to be famous, a well-known Dancing Star? Does this quote appeal to you, or make you shudder? Let me know in the comments!

(Picture of datura bud from here.)

Carte Blanche

22 05 2012

By Julia Indigo/@juliaindigo


I wish I could eat an unimaginable dessert in a strange new land. I wish I could breathe twice as deeply as I do now. I wish I could go all the way, never look back, have nothing to lose, feel no guilt, leap across the chasm, praise mysterious heroes, dance in the street after midnight, and worship a wildly responsive female deity.

I the above was written by Rob Brezsny, of Freewill Astrology fame. I remember when I found this quote many years ago, back when I was more bound up in parental, societal, religious, and personal expectations than I am now. Shortly after that time I discovered the phrase Carte Blanche. That phrase resonated with me as I struggled to free myself from the web of conditioning that was a large part of my familial inheritance. I was ‘domesticated’ by that upbringing in the way that women in the 1950s were.


In our household it was as though the 1960s never happened. Once I was on my own the discongruency between my domesticated character and my inner true self caused me no end of grief. I was like a time-traveler, vaulted into a future for which I was essentially unprepared.

I have made peace with my history; today the dissonance of my past finds its way into my writing. Steven Canelli lives a life very different from mine, yet with many of the same self-defeating beliefs. He’s as much a prisoner of his ruinous upbringing as I was… but with less psychological understanding of his own motivations. While I started out as a sheep among wolves, he is successful and self-satisfied, until his compulsive habits and addictions destroy everything he holds dear.

Tuesday Quotes: A Belated Mother’s Day Tribute

15 05 2012

By Julia Indigo/@juliaindigo

It says something about my relationship with my Mother that it never occurred to me to write a Mother’s Day post. If you’re interested, I wrote a detailed comment to Caitlin Kelly’s Mother’s Day post. I won’t rehash that here, except to say that today my relationship with my Mother is the best it’s been since I was three.

The following quote was originally part of a 1991-92 Smithsonian article about some kind of seals. I’ll never forget my reaction when I read it, for I cried. At the time my relationship with my mother was bloody awful, and it got worse before it got better. I yearned for the kind of oneness with a nurturing, accepting mother, the kind that the mother seal demonstrated.

Of course, no one has that kind of mother. And the mother seal? The sceptic/realist in me knows anthropomorphism when she sees it. But that need, that desire, is the root of much religious thought: the Loving Father, the Divine Mother.

In the end, psychologists say that the only way to truly get that love is to give it to yourself. That’s a difficult thing to accomplish, when you don’t have good role models. But perhaps, just perhaps, the mother seal can step in to that role. After all, there’s a reason why I thought of this quote today (I’m writing on Mother’s Day), isn’t there?


“The pup stayed under its mothers chin, rolled onto its back again and gave her face a flippered embrace. Then its little mouth and white lips came ajar, curling into a self-satisfied smile, and enigmatic smirk that revealed its pink mouth and throat. The mother’s lidded eyes drooped; she looked blissfully mindless. What I saw in the dreamy pleasure of the pup and the fierce, tender affections of the mother was a glimpse of absolute contentment.”

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