My Spiritual Path to a Higher Creativity

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My Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

by Deborah Weltman | St. Louis, MO

I’d never have walked my Camino, nor written a book about my Camino lessons, had I not first studied and taught the book The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. When I began to read and do The Artist’s Way work, I was hoping to jump-start myself back into creating visual art. That once-deep desire had retreated as I taught public school art, and later, opened a picture-framing business. Sadly, somewhere along the way, I lost my original joy in creating visual art. 

What came from my Artist’s Way studies was an understanding that my Creative Self now wanted to write, to tell stories that shifted the reader’s perspective and encouraged them to become their Best Selves. I called this type of storytelling “receiving wisdom through the backdoor of the mind.” My thought: when reading fiction, biography, and autobiography, we gain empathy for the characters, are open to new perspectives or ways of seeing, and may become willing to change our mindset. All these backdoor, unconscious changes affect us more deeply than being told, “Change your mind!”  

Arrow path to Higher creativity, on trail.
Mid-path waymarker made of stones. Camino Francés, Spring 2011. Photo by Deborah Weltman.

Over the years, I wrote daily Artist’s Way journal pages. I also wrote fiction and personal stories on gaining wisdom. In sharing my own life experiences, I offered my reader a chance to learn by empathizing with me. I wrote monthly e-newsletters, designed personal growth classes, and, surprising to me, one morning as I journaled, ten years of “wanting-to-walk-the-Camino” popped out from my subconscious mind, traveled down my arm, my fingers, my pen, and onto the page in front of me. The Divine spoke to me, directing me to quit my “wanting” to walk the Camino and just DO IT “…or your life will be forfeit.”

I walked! I had a perfect-for-me pilgrimage, complete with needed life lessons; great natural beauty; (mostly) welcoming people; some anger, pain, and rescues; and empathy galore! I journaled throughout my Way, and a plethora of soon-to-be-stories (plus memories of cross-cultural kindness and caring) returned home with me. My Camino lessons, my stories from the Way, offered me a perfect creative opportunity to encourage others, to show them how I had moved forward into my soul-adventure, and how they could, too.

I remain open to the muses. I will continue to write as long as the stories keep coming. Perhaps there is another Camino in my future with more stories to share?

Editor’s note: A review of Deborah’s memoir Camino Lessons: Losing Twenty-First Century Fears on an Ancient Pilgrimage Trail (Terra Art Publishing, 2021) appears in the Summer 2022 issue of La Concha.

This story was featured in our Winter 2024 issue of La Concha. The theme was “The Artist’s Way”, and you can find the full issue in our archive here.

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