The other day, I heard Jessica Murray, an astrologer, state that image-generating capacity of the human mind determines what happens. At this point in my career, it’s an undisputed truth. As an architect, I envision something, draw it up, and it materializes. Seeing my personal life as a work of art, on the other hand, is a skill I had to work hard to develop.
I went through image-generating training in Architecture School. Still remember that freshman year, sitting at a dorm-room desk, trying to wrap my brain around a two-dimensional drawing, hopelessly unable to visualize it three-dimensionally. It took practice; I got a hang of it, eventually.
As an architect, I’ve been taking image-generating ability for granted since my twenties. Yet, as a flawed human, I struggled with the concept a lot longer. Until The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. With her blessing, I started collaging, going on Artist’s Dates, filling journal after journal with Morning Pages. Reciting my own Affirmations, trying to picture the Universe’s invisible safety net.
Julia Cameron, teacher, author, artist, poet, playwright, novelist, filmmaker, composer, and journalist eloquently forced me to imagine: “as I create and listen, I am led” and “I deserve love.” I didn’t quite believe it at the time. But listened to that “still, small voice that is at once our creator’s and our own” until I felt it.
She explained how it works: “In my experience, the Universe falls in with worthy plans and most especially with festive and expansive ones. I have seldom conceived a delicious plan without being given the means to accomplish it. Understand that the what must come before the how. First choose what you would do. The how usually falls into place of itself.”
Longing for “intensified, brilliant life,” I embraced the idea that the most important aspect of image-generating is to begin.
And not to give up. No matter how unknown, daunting, and scary it appears. Thus, I turned to the archetypal design slash building to construct a life worth architecture books. Margaret Young said: “You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.”
Image-generating is about gaining clarity, making sense of where you are going and why. For that, one needs to focus, pay attention. Skeptical or not, if there’s “a divine plan of goodness for my work,” I might as well be deliberate.
Subsequently, I read Eric Maisel’s book Coaching the Artist Within, signed up for his training, became a creativity coach, and started writing a book of my own titled Live by Design: Architectural Insights into Constructive Thinking. It was an attempt to marry the principles of architecture to the principles of self-help.
As a result, I landed a teaching job, which allowed me to come up with my own system of image-generating described in the first 5 steps of DIY Like an Architect: 11-step method. Which, in turn, guided me toward the concept of architect on demand. Well… Julia Cameron writes quite a bit about “being of service.”