Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Artist's Way

In July, the day before my scheduled blog post here on a A Slice of Orange, my mother passed away after only three weeks on hospice. She had moved into an Alzheimer's care facility in March but had not yet reached the "tipping point" when a patient is no longer cognizant of reality. For this I am grateful. Ultimately, she succumbed to kidney failure. She was not in pain, but it was difficult to watch her struggle to hold on until my brothers arrived from out of state.

Not surprisingly, I did not have the time nor the state of mind to fulfill my obligation to write a blog entry for A Slice of Orange.

These last few weeks -- months, actually -- have been a deeply spiritual journey. All of life is a spiritual journey, as I see it. But some times much more than others.

Since starting this ARTIST'S WAY blog on A Slice of Orange, I have had to choose my words carefully because spirituality can be a sensitive subject, open to different interpretation by each reader. For this reason, I have avoided delving too far into the spiritual aspect of our creativity . . . of the Source of our creative natures, whether it is called God or Divine Mind or Universal Intelligence. But as the months progressed, as I have struggled with my own spiritual challenges during my mother's illness, I have found it harder and harder to step gingerly around this subject.

And now another aspect must be considered --

A Slice of Orange is owned by the Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers of America -- a business-oriented nonprofit organization that must adhere to state laws governing nonprofits as well as laws of the Internal Revenue Service. For this reason, the chapter blog needs to have basic guidelines for content. Understandably so.

Ultimately, the OCCRWA board is held accountable by the National organization to follow state and IRS laws. One of these rules is that the nonprofit business organization cannot benefit any individual, but only the group as a whole. In simple words, no author can be singled out for publicity. And yet, that is exactly what my blog has been doing for THE ARTIST'S WAY author, Julia Cameron. Also, I have been promoting the ARTIST'S WAY workshops at the Bodhi Tree in West Hollywood. I don't receive any compensation, but it is an endorsement that is appearing here in the chapter's blog.

As a member of the current OCCRWA board, I understand the need for regulation of subject matter and language, as well as the limitation of author promotion. While I did vote in favor of the new guidelines, I knew that the spiritual basis of the ARTIST'S WAY would no longer be appropriate material for A Slice of Orange as a representation of the chapter. These rules are in the best interest of OCC's blog to serve as an encouragement to writers while following the letter of the law for nonprofit business organizations.

For quite some time now, I have been drawn more and more toward a spiritual calling. This past year as my mother's caregiver, I have put almost everything else in my life on hold. I am now at a point where I can take a bolder step toward this calling, perhaps even ministerial school. (Stranger things have happened! )

Thank you, OCCRWA, for allowing me to share my own thoughts about the ARTIST'S WAY these months. I have enjoyed this opportunity.

Namaste'
- Gillian Doyle

www.gilliandoyle.com