The flowers I bought myself this week

I am now officially halfway through The Artist’s Way and twice as far as I’ve ever made it before.  That in and of itself is an accomplishment, but it’s beginning to feel likely that I will complete it this time.

  • Week 6 Theme: “Recovering a Sense of Abundance.”  This chapter asks us to tackle our beliefs about money and its connection (or lack thereof) to art.  Artists of all stripes tend to convince themselves that it is not possible to make money by making art, or even worse, that money corrupts art.  Clinging to these beliefs limits the ability for all kinds of abundance to enter our lives because we somehow feel unworthy, or that the art is not worthy.
  • Morning Pages: I did the morning pages every day except the day Katie Davis and I recorded the Brain Burps podcast.  I got out of bed that day charged up and ready to go.  What’s interesting now is that I’ll realize I missed later in the day and then everything feels “off” somehow.  I guess that’s what happens when a practice becomes a habit.
  • Artist Date:  I had two full days at our Breckenridge ski rental to myself.  I spent most of the time dreaming about and planning not only 2012 but the years beyond.  Then I made a tactical plan to support the goals and dreams.  The time I wasn’t working was spent walking the dog with the views of mountains all around or soaking in the tub with a book.  So yes, I’d say it was one heck of an Artist Date!

Any “Aha” Moments? 

  • Because money and abundance is such a charged topic, I actually thought this chapter gave it short shrift.  It dealt mostly with the ways in which we can be miserly with ourselves, suggesting we allow more luxuries, however small, into our lives.  One thing I did was buy myself fresh flowers.  I love the sight and smell of flowers in the house, but I almost never buy them because it seems like such a frivolous use of funds.  I’ve decided that I’ll buy them once a month from now on.  I didn’t notice any additional flow of prosperity into my life as a result of allowing myself that luxury, but maybe over time… 😉
  • One thing I realized is that I have to confront my overall fear of numbers. I’ve been living in avoidance of them for so long because I consistently tell myself I’m no good with them.  Can’t do that if you want to run a business and make money.  My most common recurring nightmare is that I have a math exam of some sort coming up and I haven’t attended any of the classes so I know nothing and have no way to pass.  Maybe if I believe I can learn to manage numbers (and actually take steps to learn), I will one day have a dream where I pass that exam!
  • Overall, I do believe that doing what you love leads to abundance of all kinds, that there is enough money to go around and that creating art is a worthy livelihood.  I don’t feel deprived in any way.  I’ve always had everything I needed and most the time what I’ve wanted.  I want money to support my family, yes, but I view luxury as experiences – travel, classes, dining, recreation, etc., rather than things.  I view money as the means to have those experiences and the freedom to choose how to live my life.  If there is one word I associate most with money, it is freedom.

A few favorite quotes from the Week 6 chapter:

“Most of us harbor a secret belief that work has to be work and not play, and that anything we really want to do–like write, act, dance–must be considered frivolous and be placed a distant second.”

“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 feels like play to us.”

“Because art is born in expansion, in a belief in sufficient supply, it is critical that we pamper ourselves for the sense of abundance it brings to us.”

What are your beliefs about money, art, and doing what you love to do?

Week 5 Check-In

Week 4 Check-In

Week 3 Check-In

Week 2 Check-In

Week 1 Check-In

The Artist’s Way

Categories: Creativity, Family, Goals, Spirituality, The Artist's Way, Travel, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , ,



  1. This was a beautiful post Julie and made me think, and made me dream.. I have a feeling 2012 is a turning point in my life… can’t put my finger on it… but I have this feeling! after winning two prizes, there is a possiblity of a permanent Managers job comming up (fingers cross – will know mid February), and I have order with my writing, and a recent reuniting could open doors….
    As for counting, well I was never very good at counting and hated exams…. the art I am focusing on, is in my writing, and I to love the sight and smell of flowers in the brightens any day, therefore I won’t believe it to be frivolous, if I earn money then I can afford to travel, that’s my choice, ….. oh and I love to dream… ahhh yes this will be a good year!…

  2. Such a good post. I completely empathise with you on the numbers/maths/money front. But it is good to have a reality check and face the future with common sense!

  3. Hi Julie,
    I’m enjoying reading your progress through The Artist’s Way. I won the book in a giveaway recently so I think this is a sign I should take the plunge. I think that if at the end of it all, you’ve acquired a few new and positive habits, it will have been worth every bit of the effort. Bonne continuation!

    • I think it is a sign Dana, but only take it on if you feel ready. Or try it and forgive yourself if you leave it behind (that’s what I had to do twice before this).

  4. I love how you have approached sharing this with blogland. I appreciate your feeling of success in reaching this point – I usually make it through a few chapters and then get hooked on going forward. My kids wake up EARLY and when I try to get up before them it becomes some warped competition in their minds – so morning pages never work. (I also home school three of my four!).

    My heart and spirit are with you as you persevere – I look forward to you reaching the Beginnish line (that meaning the end is always a beginning!).

    • Ha – warped competition over who gets up first! I can’t imagine trying to do it while homeschooling. Thank you for your support!

      And yes, every ending is a beginning and every beginning an ending… I’ve always believed that.

  5. My recurring nightmare is that one of my children is missing and I cannot find him/her. As I search the landscape changes, and I start being distracted by the things I see around me until (GASP) I realize that I forgot to keep looking for my child! If that isn’t family/work conflict, I don’t know what is!

  6. So happy that you have gotten further with the Artists Way. Sounds like it really is having an impact on you this time. Enjoy reading your thoughts and will celebrate your completion. It’s a great program requiring lots of discipline. I did it when I didn’t have all the technology distractions — mid-90s. Doing it now would be a challenge. I applaud your efforts.

  7. That recurring dream you have…about the math test – woah! It was like reading a description of my own recurring dream. Julie, I’m so glad to have found your blog recently. Now, I’m off to write my post for tomorrow!

  8. Another wonderful post. You are accomplishing and learning so much! Thank you for sharing it with us 🙂

  9. I also have the math dream. I wonder how many other people out there do too. When I was in school my mother told me to minor in something you love and major in something you can earn a living in. For this and other reasons, I minored in German and majored in engineering. But the assumption is: you can’t earn a living doing something you love. I’m slowly coming around to the idea that you can also earn a living doing something you love.

    • @Miranda – glad I’m not the only one!

      @Susanna – thanks – I’m happy to share

      @Hannah – Not only am I coming around to the idea of earning a living doing something you love, I also want to show my children that it’s possible. I don’t want them to have to choose between what they love and what is “practical.”

  10. Julie, I enjoy reading your “aha” moments! Just wanted you to know I gave a shout out to your blog in my post today ( as one of my blogs I follow every day…;0)

  11. Congrats on reaching the halfway point! I must say, you have made my muse jealous with your artist’s date. It sounds fantastic.

  12. Yay – you’ve reached the halfway point! Congrats! 🙂

    When it comes to money, I tend to be a bit of a penny pincher. I don’t like to spend unless necessary and even then I’m always out for a bargain. I know what its like to struggle, so I’m probably hyper aware of the value of a dollar and how hard I had to work for it.

    • And it’s a good thing to be aware of. I think Cameron is focusing more on self-righteous deprivation, and to let us know it’s okay to be generous with ourselves sometimes. It will help our art.

  13. Oh that is such a complicated question for me, probably because I make it that way, but I have such hang ups about work and money and happiness. Even though I am currently making a go of what I always wanted to do, i have major guilt because I am not currently bringing in any money. I don’t think there is a day that goes by that I question what I am doing.
    I know I need to focus on gratitude and what’s really important!

    • I know exactly how you feel! I have both guilt and anxiety about not bringing in any money. But now I’m trying to channel that into the more positive thoughts that I both CAN and WILL make money doing what I love. It WILL happen – and it will for you too.

  14. Whoops–meant to write–“that I DON’T question what I am doing.” Because I do, unfortunately question it!
    Maybe that typo is my head trying to tell me to chill out??
    ha ha

  15. Yay! You’ve made to the halfway point! Congrats! 🙂

  16. Another great post, Julie. The money topic is tricky indeed. Also wanted to say congrats on the Brain Burps podcast, and on all your accomplishments last year. Wow! (In the spirit of the anti-resolution, I’m trying not to beat myself up for being such a slacker in comparison!)

  17. Okay, I know I’ve said this before, but I will say it every time I read these posts. I love your Artist’s Way posts. You have such a lovely way of analyzing the chapters which gives me new insights into the book … and myself. 🙂

    Thank you for doing these posts, Julie!

  18. I love your Artist’s Way posts, Julie. You’re a gem for passing on the knowledge and teaching us through what you’ve learned.

    I’m a number phobe, too. Did you ever watch the Wonder Years? Winnie, the main character’s love interest, is now a math GENIUS who teaches women to overcome such fear. Totally in awe of her. I think many women are told or expected to stink at math… 😉 Cheering you on, calculator in hand!

    • August, I LOVED The Wonder Years, and I’ve even thought about reading Winnie’s (don’t know her real name) book. My niece got a copy of Kiss My Math a few years ago and I almost stole it home with me. 😉

  19. These past 6 weeks of posts have been wonderful to read. Congrats on how far you have come and thank you for sharing with us. I am intrigued to take the journey at some point and pick up the book. We shall see.

    Unlike almost every one of the people who have commented, I have actually learned to understand, become obsessed about, and LOVE working with numbers and money. After a nasty divorce I found myself in a bit of a financial bind, living in NYC and alone. Therefore, I took the reigns and discovered how I could become “in control” of my finances and therefore experience the freedom and peace that comes from that knowledge. I LOVE my budget and have been working with one religiously since 2008. I have also helped many friends create budgets and coached them through making it work for them. If you need any pointers or help in that area…let me know. Its truly empowering! 🙂

    • Wow Marcie – good for you! I may take you up on your offer to give me pointers. I so want that feeling of empowerment that comes from being adept with numbers. It’s an independence thing for sure.

  20. I’ve attempted this book a couple of times too, and it’s really, really good. I’ve never finished it, though. I like how you are blogging about your progress. It’s interesting, and I bet it is keeping you accountable.

    I just recently purchased another one of her books, Finding Water. I’m planning on starting it by February. Not sure why I bought it. For some reason, it seemed to just jump out at me.

    Maybe I’ll try this tactic, blogging about my progress in hopes I can stick through the whole thing and finish it. =)

    • Jackie – I highly recommend blogging your experience. It most definitely keeps you accountable. I know people who are reading each of the posts, so now in addition to letting myself down, I feel I’d be letting them down if I don’t stick with it.

  21. Julie, this was one of my favorite chapters when the Chicks and I were working through the Artist’s Way. It really caused me to face some harsh realities in terms of my beliefs. I won’t say I’m past those obstacles, but at least I recognize them now. Now that we’re in the second book, blogging about it has helped keep us on track better than with the first one. Keep going with it!

  22. Really enjoyed your post. I’m currently on Week 6, so let’s it will be as positive for me as it was for you. Look forward to reading Week 7.

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