A Sense of Abundance includes wads of money

It’s time to adopt a sense of abundance and embrace the freedom money can bring in week Six, part two of The Artist’s Way Challenge! In part two of each week, I’m sharing the creative exercises from The Artist’s Way and some of my experiences with the process. Activities like these encourage self-discovery and help us realize our true potential. This week’s key topic was learning to allow ourselves a bit of creative luxury.

To recap, Week Six of The Artist’s Way course was, “Recovering a Sense of Abundance.” Cameron wrote,

“This week you tackle a major creative block­­–Money…The essays will explore the ways in which your attitudes limit abundance and luxury in your current life.”

To adopt a sense of abundance doesn’t just refer to our financial status. Money is a big part of the equation, but an abundance mindset also encompasses allowing the genuine joys and pleasures in our lives that what will ultimately lead to creative fulfillment.

The first few tasks have little substance this week, but I’ll do my best.

Morning Pages

My morning pages went well this week. Nothing special to report.

My Artist Date

For my Artist Date this week, I gave my balcony garden some much-needed love. I grew tired of staring up to the balcony when I left the house and seeing this colossal mound of tomato plant. They once were three, but they had wrapped around each other for support and become one. There was definitely a sense of abundance going around. I wish I had thought to take a before picture. It’s crazy how quickly they grow into their new homes and take over their spaces. They’re like weeds.

I trimmed all the suckers (non-flowered branches) and freed the plants to their own devices again. There were finally a few cherry tomatoes ready, so I picked those. I also discovered some additional Black Prince tomatoes within the intertwined stems. None of those are ready, but I’m hoping they will be soon, especially now that the weather’s much nicer.

Task One: Natural Abundance – Rocks

Please note, I haven’t left the house in a week and a half for anything other than my evening walks.

For task one, Cameron asks us to collect five pretty or interesting rocks because rocks can be a daily reminder of our creative consciousness. Unfortunately, my apartment complex isn’t very rocky, so I don’t see very many around here. I’m going to Hocking Hills next month, so maybe I’ll make up for this task then. I’m told Hocking Hills is beautiful and perfect for hiking or other nature-like activities.

Task Two: Natural Abundance – Flowers/Leaves

I see flowers and leaves on my walks.

For task two, Cameron asks us to pick five flowers or leaves. I’m usually more inclined to take pictures of such things, but I just plain spaced on fulfilling this one. I can still do this, though, either on my next couple of walks or maybe even in Hocking Hills. I bet there will be some cool leaves around once fall officially arrives.

Task Three: Clearing – Out with the Old

We’ve discussed this before, but I’ve recently gone through all my clothes and taken about three bags total to Goodwill.

For task three, Cameron asks us to get rid of five more ratty pieces of clothing. I discovered a sock while doing laundry that had developed a hole in it, so I promptly tossed it out. I’ll probably revisit this task when I’ve lost some more weight, but I think I’m set for now.

Task Four: Creation

For task four, Cameron asks us to bake something. This is a task I can get behind. I love cooking and baking. I don’t pull off every dish I make, but I enjoy the process, and I try to clean up as I go along so my kitchen isn’t a total disaster. And food always makes me feel a sense of abundance. Haha.

I get too wound up when it comes to writing. I’m so worried about coming up with something original or perfect that it sometimes removes the joy from the process. When I’m cooking or baking, I can enjoy it without worrying about the results, much like when I’m painting. Part of undertaking the Artist’s Way was my hope that I could embrace this same mindset with my writing, to let go of the desire for a specific outcome.

In continuing with the gardening theme, I made some pesto with the rest of my basil plant. It had been looking distressed for a while, so I harvested what I could and retired it for the year. It had about two cups’ worth of basil left on it, which ended up being the exact amount I needed for my recipe.

My Artist's Date Basil Pesto

I tried out my Microplane Grater/Zester to shred the cheese, and it amazed me how well it performed. There’s so much cheese now! I had only used it a couple of times previously (for zesting), but now I’m sold on its full capabilities.

It was fun mixing up a new recipe again. I love creating sauces, dressings, and soups because they’re so easy to put together. Plus, you have the added health benefit of knowing what’s going into your food. I’ve been eating reasonably healthy lately, but it had been a while since I’d taken the time to put something together from scratch.

Task Five: Communication

Hmm. For task five, Cameron asks us to send postcards to five friends, people we would love to hear from. I straight-up failed at this one too. I’m not even sure I have five friends right now. Only a handful of people have kept in touch with me during the pandemic, and I don’t even keep addresses on file.

I’ve been a bit of a hermit lately, but it’s mainly because I’ve had some unexplained health issues, which has made me wary of going out as much. I’ve even been getting my groceries delivered this month. Or maybe I just have too many excuses. Ha.

Task Six: Favorites

For task six, Cameron asks us to list our favorites in ten different categories. They were:

  • Cars – There are many beautiful and fancy vehicles out there from brands, like Aston Martin, Ferrari, Mercedes, and Mclaren, but I’ve yet to see anything more beautiful than the 2004 Saleen S7 in dark red. The curves ❤
  • Dogs – All dogs come from Heaven, but Mastiffs and Dachshunds have a special place in my heart.
  • Flowers – Stargazer Lilies. Beautiful and exotic.
  • Trees – Speaking of a sense of abundance, I love spending time in nature. Plant life is so unique and plentiful. Redwoods and Sequoias live for thousands of years and tower over everything in their path. Japanese Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) only bloom for a couple of weeks in Spring, so they’ve come to signify new beginnings and remind us that life is short, and thus we should celebrate it. When the Rainbow Eucalyptus sheds its bark, it reveals a vivid green underneath. As it matures, the green moves through different colors of the rainbow-like a live painting. Here’s a list of some awesome trees. Overall, I don’t have a favorite tree, but I love how Spanish Moss adorns Live Oak trees in the South.
Spanish Moss on a life oak tree
So gothic and whimsical.
  • Fruits – Apricots, Figs, Mangoes, and Nectarines when they’re properly ripe.
  • Vegetables – I love eating my veggies. They’re good for you, and they can be so versatile. If I had to choose a favorite, I could probably narrow it down to peppers, but I’m not sure I could choose a favorite type. I love them all from sweet to hot.
  • Desserts – Key Lime anything. This one’s easy. I love dark chocolate too, but there’s nothing like fresh key lime in a cheesecake, tart, or pie.
  • Entrees – I like how simplistic and versatile stir-fry dishes can be. Any kind of BBQ is delicious, especially veggie kebobs and brisket or pulled pork. Sushi is probably my favorite meal, though. If you want to get specific, I love it when sushi places can make me a Spicy Scallop Handroll.
  • Musical Groups – Pantera will always be my all-time favorite. They remind me of the good times in my childhood, and I’ve never lost my love for heavy metal music. These days I listen to a lot of symphonic black metal, but I’ll listen to anything, and I actually mean it. I have dance party mixes for when I want to feel upbeat (and convince myself to clean the house), and sometimes I just need to throw on some 1950s and 60s rock-and-roll or doo-wop to connect with my inner old woman.
  • Colors – Purple. Think the flat purple on the Minnesota Vikings helmets.

Task Seven: Reread

For task seven, Cameron asks us to reread the Basic Principles and our own (or her) Artist’s Prayer each day. Here is my Week Four link, which includes Cameron’s Artist’s Prayer as well as my own: Artist’s Prayers.

Task Eight: Clearing – Environmental Changes

We need to change our home environment sometimes. We definitely need to make changes when things get cluttered and unorganized, but sometimes we need to make changes just for the sake of it. I find this especially true during the pandemic, when many of us are spending more time at home because of remote work or fewer social engagements.

For task eight, Cameron asks us if we’ve recently changed our home environment and encourages us to do so if we haven’t.

I changed nothing major in my environment this week, but I tossed out some outdated spices and other majorly expired items in my pantry. I can’t stress how superior fresh Ginger is when you’ve been using an old ass jar of the spice for too long. Thanks to my favorite spice dealer, The Spice House in Chicago!

Task Nine: Acceptance

What does flow mean to you?

For task nine, Cameron asks us if we have noticed any new flow in our lives and reminds us to say yes when freebies come along.

I’ve experienced no new flow in my life recently, but I would never say no to a freebie. I’m open to a sense of abundance!

I’m basically living the same pandemic lifestyle as I have been since earlier in the year. I’ve also spent the past few months trying to figure out what I want from the next chapter of my life. As far as working goes, I know I would prefer not to go back to the typical 9-5 lifestyle. I enjoy working remotely. I love the freedom of working for myself. The lack of traffic is also a plus, and I still get to listen to audiobooks when I’m on my walks, so I’m not missing the literal car time.

I know that I need to take more accountability with my writing. That’s the most challenging part about working for yourself. You must make your own decisions, create your own goals, and meet your own deadlines. That’s the flow and balance I’m trying to reach.

Task Ten: Prosperity

Have your thoughts about money changed at all? Money isn’t everything, but it’s a big part of feeling a sense of abundance.

For task ten, Cameron asks us if we’ve noticed any changes to our financial situation or our perspective on money.

Mainly, I’ve come to accept the financial uncertainty I’m currently living. I know I haven’t been consistent enough with my (public) writing to see any significant economic benefits. Lately, I’ve just been studying topics and testing various ideas to see what works. I haven’t figured out how to make much money from my interests yet, but I expect that will come with time and a solid plan. Half the battle is figuring out what you really want. Goals don’t matter unless you take specific actions toward them.

Final Thoughts (Check-In)

I’m not going to lie. I enjoy the luxury of having nice things, and because of this, money has been the primary motivator for me throughout my life. This hasn’t always been a positive thing, but I like the experiences money can bring. It offers us freedom in seeking the experiences that bring us joy.

I used to crave stability. One thing the pandemic has taught me is how freeing it can be to trust in yourself. I was always so worried about where my next paycheck would come from before, and now I understand it’s much more important to enjoy what I do. I guess I’m learning to enjoy the process, as they say.

Money isn’t evil. There’s no limit to how much money you can make if you decide what you want, set the right goals, and take the right actions. A sense of abundance is available to all of us. We don’t all have to be CEOs either. It’s okay to want whatever you want. We need to overcome the perception that money or time is holding us back from our true potential. So stop selling yourself short and stop accepting a life of scarcity.

You can find my previous Artist’s Way posts below:


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