Sunday, February 15, 2009

Progress Along The Way: Week 6

" I'd rather have roses on my table than damonds on my neck."
Emma Goldman

What, you may ask, does a Pileated Woodpecker & Chapter 6 of the Artist's Way have in common? Not much really, but this week's chapter is entitled "Recovering A Sense Of Abundance". Part of the abundant life I live is being surrounded by the wildlife I treasure. This photo, obviously, was taken when the days were more salubrious, but the Pileateds are still around at this time of the year munching on the special Woodpecker Blend food that we provide for them. Woodpeckers, and other birds too of course, comprise portions of my 'Artist's Dates' - I love to just sit and listen to the birds sing & watch their antics at the food bars! But I digress.....

Right under the heading for this Chapter the books says "...This week you tackle a major creative block - money..." Wow how true is that?! I wanted so much to study art when I was young. My father thought that this was a bad idea and he managed to instill in me a great fear of poverty when he disinherited me for my wayward ways! I always needed my money for 'serious' things like rent, food& bills. Buying art supplies & jumping off the "I want to make art" 'cliff' was always just a bit too scary. I grew up amongst some of the luminaries of the art world in New York's village scene. I noticed how many of the artists needed to schmooze galleries and benefactors in order to squeak by. I always knew that I was not a schmoozer - and so I decided early on that I probably could not make art for a living.

Ms.Cameron writes: "...Nobody's going to pay me to be more creative.....We are awfully sure about that. Most of us harbor a secret belief that work has to be work and not play, and that anything that we really want to do- like write, act, dance (paint, draw,quilt) - must be considered frivilous and be placed a distant second (to paying bills etc). This is not true...." She goes on to say:" What we really want to do is what we were really meant to do. When we do what we are meant to do, money comes to us,doors open for us, we feel useful, and the work we do really feels like play to us...."

I know for myself that my day job, which I am, truly, grateful to have and which pays for the health insurance that I need, leaves me feeling rather useless, un-necessary, unfulfilled and barren of creativity. My sewing and art work gets me into the flow that I love so much. Being in that 'flow' is the best "drug" around - and best of all it is free. To access this wonder drug all we must do is that which we love to do, the things that fulfill us and make us whole. There is, at least in my mind,a dichotomy in that I must work - at least half time- in order to be covered by my health insurance. Who wants to get older and have no coverage? Not me. Of course I have always had money issues. Although my father wanted me to marry "the banker's son next door" I always knew that this sort of man would not be appealing to me. I was brought up to appreciate wealth, but never accumulated any for myself. I wanted a genteel rural life, not a crazed urban existence. Here I am - living near the sea & surrounded by wildlife. Happy & content with a man who supports my art(s) and loves me . We certainly are not wealthy, and although I wish at times I had money to buy my quilting machine, or more art supplies or whatever, I am at peace most of the time. It's my sense of abundance discovered.

The chapter tasks included some questions that I think are quite revealing, and I thought that I would list them here for you to consider:
1. People with money are_________________________
2. Money makes people__________________________
3. I'd have more money if_________________________
4. My Dad thought money was______________________
5. My Mom always thought money would_______________
6. In my family, money caused______________________
7. Money Equals_______________________________
8. If I had money, I'd___________________________
9. If I could afford it , I'd ___________________________
10. If I had some money, I'd___________________________
11. I'm afraid that if I had money I would _________________
12. Money is____________________________________
13. Money causes:________________________________
14. Having money is not ____________________________
15. In order to have more money, I'd need to __________________
16. When I have money, I usually __________________________
17. I think money____________________________________
18. If I weren't so cheap I'd ____________________________
19. People think money_______________________________
20. Being broke tells me__________________________________

I am continuing to enjoy going through this book. Honestly, writing about the chapter every week has really helped me too since writing about it allows me to distill the things that 'spoke' to me the loudest from the week's work. I hope that you will consider answering those questions yourself. It's quite interesting to work through them, walk away from the answers for a week or so and then return to read them again. Have any of the answers changed?

I am also interested in how many of you out there in blog land have worked your way through this book? Your thought?

Happy SUNday - or MONday to some of you I imagine !


tiedyejudy said...

Hi, Marie. Well, I am right where you are in the book! And I recognize similarities in our stories, regarding parental messages about what we should do with our lives, versus what we wanted to do. While I can understand my parents wanting me to be able to support myself, and I was successful at that during my careers, I have always known I needed to be creative as well. One of my reasons for retiring when I did was that I was able to take my insurance coverage with me... another very important reason was that I would have more time to spend on my creative pursuits. I find that having a lot of money isn't necessary for me to create... just enough to buy fabric (usually bleached muslin), dyes and chemicals for dyeing the fabric, thread, and some notions. I also have drawing and painting supplies, but don't use them up as quickly.
I am finding that the book, the exercises and the morning pages are really helping me to re-order my priorities to put creating on the top of the list, instead of the bottom! My house is not immaculate, I spend lots more time in the studio than I ever have before, less time in front of the T.V. or computer... and I haven't had a true "artist's block" in a couple of years! We are half-way through the book, and so far it has been remarkably helpful to me! I can't wait to see how we feel when we reach the end...
Have a great week!


Serena said...

Thanks for posting these. I actually haven't read this book but sat in on a few classes at a local church that taught from it. Very nice!

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