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Day 5 of 7

TASKS

7. Take out a piece of paper and plan one week's nurturing for yourself. This means one concrete, loving action every single day for one week: please binge!

8. Write and mail an encouraging letter to your inner artist. This sounds silly and feels very, very good to receive. Remember that your artist is a child and loves praise and encouragement and festive plans.
Day 4 of 7

TASKS

5. List five ways you will change as you continue.

6. List five ways you plan to nurture yourself in the next six months: courses you will take, supplies you will allow yourself, artist's dates, and vacations just for you.
Day 3 of 7

TASKS

3. Buy yourself a special creativity notebook. Number pages one through seven. Give one page each to the following categories: health, possessions, leisure, relationships, creativity, career, and spirituality. With no thought as to practicality, list ten wishes in each area. All right, it's a lot. Let yourself dream a little here.

4. Working with the Honest Changes section in Week Four, inventory for yourself the ways you have changed since beginning your recovery.
Day 2 of 7

TASKS

1. Tape your own voice reading the Basic Principles (see community profile). Choose a favorite essay from this book and tape that as well. Use this tape for meditation.

2. Write out, in longhand, your Artist's Prayer from Week Four. Place it in your wallet.
Day 1 of 7

Chapter Reading, Reflection, and Non-Task Exercises.
Day 7 of 7

CHECK-IN

1. How many days this week did you do your morning pages?

2. Did you do your artist date this week? Let yourself do an extra one. What did you do? How did it feel?

3. Did you experience any synchronicity this week? What was it?

4. Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? Describe them.
Day 6 of 7

TASKS

Cherishing

1. List five small victories.

2. List three nurturing actions you took for your artist.

3. List three actions you could take to comfort your artist.

4. Make three nice promises to yourself. Keep them.

5. Do one lovely thing for yourself each day this week.
Day 5 of 7

TASKS

Setting a Bottom Line

Working with your answers to the questions above, try setting a bottom line for yourself. Begin with five of your most painful behaviors. You can always add more later.

If you notice that your evenings are typically gobbled by your boss's extra assignments, then a rule must come into play: No work after six.

If you wake at six and could write for an hour if you were not interrupted to look for socks and make breakfast and do ironing, the rules might be "No interrupting Mommy before 7:00 AM."

If you are working too many jobs and too many hours, you may need to look at your billing. Are you pricing yourself appropriately? Do some footwork. What are others in your field receiving? Raise your prices and lower your work load.

Bottom Line

1. I will no longer work weekends.

2. I will no longer bring work with me on social occasions.

3. I will no longer place my work before my creative commitments. (No more canceling piano lessons or drawing class because of a sudden new deadline from my boss the workaholic.)

4. I will no longer postpone lovemaking to do latenight reading for work.

5. I will no longer accept business calls at home after six.
Day 4 of 7

TASKS

The Awful Truth: Answer the following questions.

Tell the truth. What habit do you have that gets in the way of your creativity?

Tell the truth. What do you think might be a problem? It is.

What do you plan to do about the habit or problem?

What is your payoff in holding on to this block?

If you can't figure out your payoff, ask a trusted friend.

Tell the truth. Which friends make you doubt yourself? (The self-doubt is yours already, but they trigger it.)

Tell the truth. Which friends believe in you and your talent? (The talent is yours, but they make you feel it.)

What is the payoff in keeping your destructive friends? If the answer is, "I like them," they next question is "Why?"

Which destructive habits do your destructive friends share with your destructive self?

Which constructive habits do your constructive friends share with your constructive self?
Day 3 of 7

TASKS

Touchstones

Make a quick list of things you love, happiness touchstones for you. River rocks worn smooth, willow trees, cornflowers, chicory, real Italian bread, homemade vegetable soup, the Bo Deans' music, black beans and rice, the smell of new-mown grass, blue velvet (the cloth and the song), Aunt Minnie's crumb pie...

Post this list where it can console you and remind you of your own personal touchstones. You may want to draw one of the items on your list - or acquire it. If you love blue velvet, get a remnant and use it as a runner on a sideboard or dresser, or tack it to the wall and mount images on it. Play a little.