the artist's date

In her book, The Artist’s Way, one of the fundamental self-care practices that Julia Cameron teaches is ‘The Artist Date’. In other words, it means having “me” time. Unlike the name suggests, you don’t have to necessarily be an artist for this practice; anyone can do it. 

Cameron explains that an artist’s date “is an excursion, a play date that you preplan and defend against all interlopers.” It’s your sacred time for yourself, and a couple of hours a week is enough. 

The best part is that you can do anything that you want during this time. The only rules are:

  1. You have to do it alone.
  2. It has to be fun (for you).
  3. The time should not be edifying i.e. dedicated to learning or instruction such as reading, listening to an audiobook or taking a class. 
  4. Just follow your curiosity, and go wherever it takes you.

As we carve out some time in our hectic schedules and spend it with ourselves, we start hearing our inner voice again. It’s always there but we are able to hear it more clearly. It tells us how to be good to ourselves.

We start becoming kinder to ourselves and paying attention to our needs and desires. We give ourselves the opportunity to re-align and steady ourselves, and focus on stillness and tranquility. And this gives us a renewed sense of life and rejuvenates us. As Cameron writes, “If we don’t give some attention to upkeep, our well is apt to become depleted, stagnant, or blocked.”