“Recovering a Sense of Abundance”
What would a nontoxic god think of my creative goals?
I am exploring and experiencing my fluid understanding of a creator, creative abundance, and money. I’m halfway through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and this weeks topics are challenging in many, many ways. Too many times I have made decisions based on what I thought what I was supposed to do and completely ignored what I truly wanted to do. Where does that come from? Likely it has something to do with ideas about behaving in ways to please a Creator. Is it really necessary to think of our God as a paternalistic authority? What if what I wanted to do was what I was supposed to do, even if it wasn’t sensible? What if it would have cost me money?
What if Shakti Gawain is right in saying,
“The more we learn to operate in the world based on trust in our own intuition, the stronger our channel will be and the more money we will have.”
What if Julia Cameron is right in saying,
“Looking at creation, it is pretty clear that the creator itself did not know when to stop. There is not one pink flower, or even fifty pink flowers, but hundreds. Snowflakes, of course, are the ultimate exercise in sheer creative glee. No two alike. This creator looks suspiciously like someone who just might send us support for our creative ventures.”
What if Paul Hawken is right in saying,
“Always leave enough time in your life to do something that makes you happy, satisfied, even joyous. That has more of an effect on economic well-being than any other single factor.”
Last week, I shared the ambitions I have for the year ahead. And just like I have said in previous posts, sometimes writing and sharing ideas is what makes them become true. At times, abundance seems to arise out of the little bits we give into the universe. It is up to us to think in terms of abundance rather than scarcity.
Yes, I know that is starting to sound like economics. For me the only way to learn economics was to learn from a Bateson. I wrote a little about my favorite people that I’ve never meet on one of my first entries. Anthropologist Gregory Bateson and his daughter Mary Catherine Bateson are social theorists that see productivity (of any kind) depends on the discovery of new forms of flexibility. In Composing a Life, Mary Catherine Bateson explores the human engagement in two distinctly different economies: The economy of finite resources and an economy of flexible and expanding resources.
A system that relies on finite resources is based on scarcity. In every day human life, activities are competing. All exchanges become zero-sum games. “If I go to the grocery store, then I can’t spend my afternoon with my creative endeavors.” “If I put off buying those supplies I wanted, then I can pay that bill.” The logic of Ifs and Thens require us to approach the most important aspects of life sensibly. We spend our time saying, “if only” and “I wish I could __________________”
Cameron reminds us, “Creativity is not and never has been sensible. Why should it be? Why should you be?” But how many times have we said, I’d like to do the creative things I love, but….
The other system of economics in which everyday life unfolds relies on flexible and abundance resources. Activities are mutually enhancing. In the economics of expanding resources, the more you give the more you get. The games are no longer zero-sum. They become win-win. In this system, our energy does not just come from food and rest, but from using energy. We gain energy by exercising or having lively dialogue with a friend. We gain more by allowing more to happen in our lives—by allowing ourselves to become unstuck. In order to truly embrace the dynamics of this system, we must be willing to give ourselves the things we need to function at our best. Too often we let fear and guilt deprive us of the joys and luxuries that we so deeply want.
I want to encourage you to try something.
If you didn’t fill in the blank in the “I wish I could” statement, please do so.
Now put whatever it was you wished for in a new phrase. “I wish to ______________.”
Does it sound different? Does it feel different? Do you think perhaps our creator hears it different?
I suppose God has the Internet, because God must be reading my blog. I cannot begin to describe the degree to which I have been experiencing abundance in the past week. I’ve been allowing myself to meditate, write, and read in ways that work for me. I’ve sold two books, had orders for jewelry, met a local writer, found opportunities for part-time teaching, got involved in an awesome artistic and instructional collaboration for the North Dakota Junior Duck Stamp Program, started working on a (paid) grant project, was asked to serve on four grant review panels this spring, made an amazing connection with one of my readers, and had some great phone conversations. I rearranged and decorated an office for myself. I designed five new jewelry styles. I made my bed in the morning. I did the dishes at night.