A.R.T.S. Literature

Literature is the backbone of A.R.T.S. Anonymous. Below are excerpts from A.R.T.S. Literature.

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A.R.T.S. Twelve Steps Summary                                                                             

When the blocked artist first joins AR.T.S. Anonymous, they talk a lot about what they need, what they don’t believe, and what they are afraid of. Trapped in avoidance, blocked artists use their past to justify their present behavior.

The A.R.T.S Twelve Steps help us mourn the past. With our blinders off, we squarely face a life-changing moral choice. Do we continue to pick up our defensive, self-defeating behaviors? Or step into a new faith built on trust and wisdom.

The decision is obvious! From Step Six on we learn how to be available for service to our Higher Purpose and be there for others through faith. We will always be guided if we stop and listen to our heart.

Seeing how we used to withhold ourselves by saying “no” to countless opportunities, we make amends for our past behaviors and negativity. When we did not give to someone, when we did not believe someone, when we did not appreciate the gift of another, we blocked ourselves from the flow of goodness.

And all the while through the Steps our faith is deepening. The A.R.T.S. Twelve Steps open us up so The GOD … of our understanding can work through us. 

                               We were not given Gifts to get. 

We were given Gifts to give.

When we arrive in the Twelfth Step we are ready to go forth in life, no longer afraid. We understand that all our creative gifts are in service to mankind. We consciously carry all the principles, wisdom and love we have learned through our Step process out into the world.

We serve humanity. We are deeply grateful for our recovery.

A.R.T.S. Twelve Step Essays Booklet

A.R.T.S. Step Workbooks

        Step Workbook 1, 2 and 3

        Step Workbook 4, 5 and 6

        Step Workbook 7, 8 and 9

        Step Workbook 10, 11 and 12

Pamphlets and Booklets

The literature descriptions are text excerpts from the pamphlets.

Free Beginners Meeting Kit: Set of laminated meeting formats, steps and tools, traits and talent, Goethe and closing prayer, and treasurer’s announcement.

The Anorexia of Avoidance: “And so I try to kill my love of my art, my love of doing my art, and I kill my yearning, my dreams, my appetite, my aspirations, my upward look, and I do not, as Emerson put it, “hitch my wagon to a star.” I’m “safe” from my creative gifts. And meanwhile something once wonderfully alive in me is dying…”

Facing Avoidance: Does my concern about how my work will be received keep me from doing it? Do I make appropriate efforts to share my arts? Do I present, promote, and preserve my art with the respect it deserves?”

The Creative Block and A.R.T.S.: “Blocked artists are everywhere, in all social structures and economic spheres, among the educated and uneducated, in all cultures, no matter what the language or the religion or the beliefs…What we cannot do for our art and our life, causes a wail of grief and regret. The heart does not want to listen as to why it cannot have the time and space to create. The gifts are a Beloved. They will cry forever for the passion that is rightfully theirs.”

The Inspired Life: “The nature of inspiration is that its speaks to us, and beckons us to follow its lead. Inspiration is what breathes into our creativity stimulating us to new thoughts and actions. To be inspired is to receive a visitation –like the sudden soft kiss of the wind upon our cheek.”

Envy to Appreciation:   Envy: “We have made assumptions about the happiness and success of the artists, seeing them without perspective, assuming their lives were free from struggle and suffering.” Appreciation: “We learned more about the real lives of those we envied, their problems as well as their triumphs, and gained a balanced view to escape from self-intimidation.”

When Your Work Is Your Worth: Many of us believed that our accomplishments would be our only means of self-realization– that our work was our worth. We rarely did anything for the sheer joy of doing or just being. We strove to make our art the means by which we would gain. love, power, fame and fortune.

How A.R.T.S. Began: November 5, 1984: “Of course, the big topic of the evening was the question of whether our needs as artists were being met by other Twelve Step Programs. When we were milling about after the meeting, I heard Barbara M. say to someone behind me that she was ” Powerless over creativity.” My head snapped up. I fell like a thunder bolt had heat me. I looked around to see if anyone else had heard what I had, the First Step applied to our Art! From that moment on I had only one burning mission, to make the meeting an independent Twelve Step Program for artists.

1986: A Letter from Our Founder About Step One: “Today I have come to believe the “dis-ease” lies how we mismanage our Gifts, in our attitudes, in how we live, in our instincts run wild, in our compulsive behaviors. I have discovered in A.R.T.S. Anonymous that my dis-ease is in my will. For years I willfully tried to live without using my Gifts. I ran away from them. I tried to outrun my Higher Power.”

The A.R.T.S. Program and Your Spiritual Awakening: “We want to be present for, and to savor, every moment of our growth as artist. We want to lovingly express the pressures idea we are given. Our creative process fills us with wonder and exuberance.”

Powerless Over and Unmanageable: “Rather suddenly, a thought crystallized in my mind. I realized I am powerless over the force in me that is at the root of my creativity. The force within me is so much bigger than me it’s completely beyond my control. Its essence I somehow came to know is far more powerful and vast than I can ever be. I realized this force is intrinsic to my life and existence and I cannot be rid of it without being rid of myself.”

A.R.T.S. Basic: Includes Twelve Traits of the Avoidant Artist;   Twelve Talents for Good Life;   Twelve Tools for Recovery;    Twelve Steps of A.R.T.S. Anonymous;   Twelve Traditions of A.R.T.S. Anonymous.