March 13th, 2009
The creative process gives back tenfold. It is by definition abundant and unending.
~ Cathleen Rountree
I really love the latest chapter in The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women, which I'm reading with Jamie Ridler's wonderful book group. The chapter is all about living in abundance and that is what I'm all about right now.
Abundance is one of the things we talked about a lot at the retreat I attended last weekend. While I don't agree with all the Law of Attraction stuff out there, I think some of it is valid. I believe in a mix of articulating your vision for your life, calling it out (in the form of writing or vision boards or whatever works for you), and then taking action. The action piece is important.
Since leaving the retreat, I've been spending a half-hour every day clearing clutter in my studio/office space. I know a lot of artists are clutter collectors and I am definitely one of those people who has trouble throwing things away. But I also know that when I'm able to release clutter, I feel more clear and more open to bringing good things into my life.
I tend to get overwhelmed easily, so the idea of clearing all my clutter tends to just freeze me up and I do nothing, but doing it at a set time (I chose 11-11:30 a.m.) and for just a half hour (set a timer), really helps me out. It's along the same lines as SARK's micromovements, but having the exact time set up helps too. Accountability also helps me, so knowing that I was going to check in with my fellow retreat participants helped keep me on track too.
I love 12 Secrets' author, Gail McMeekin's explanation of abundance,
When we are in touch with true abundance it permeates the fabric of our lives. It includes passion, both romantic and creative; positive relationships with people, animals, and nature; life experiences you crave and enjoy; personal and professional challenges and growth; and individual moments to savor. Abundance invites us to live the life we desire instead of settling for less.
Yes! Part of inviting abundance also includes getting rid of "scarcity thinking," releasing things we no longer use, no longer fit, or no longer love (or maybe never loved, but held onto out of guilt!) Christine Kane has a great post about the reasons we cling to clutter and how to let go. I recently took Jennifer Hofmann's office spa day workshop and one of the things she talked about asking yourself, with each item in your space, "do you love this and does it support you?" This is such a beautiful, gentle way of making choices for the stuff in your space.
I also loved what Gail McMeekin had to say about Positive Priorities,
...a life of Positive Priorities - life choices that express who we are and what we want for ourselves - is in itself a creating act....own up to what it is that truly nourishes you.
Indeed. So, for me and my de-cluttering escapade, that has meant getting rid of the cheap-o plasticy shoes I bought at Tar-jay that feel awful on my feet. It also means, replacing the office chair that is literally falling apart (anyone have any recommendations for an awesome office chair?) It also means, surrounding myself with things that bring me delight, burning delicious smelling candles (I love the ones from Zena Moon!), and wearing clothes that fit, feel great, and that I love.
What are the positive priorities in your life? What makes you come alive? For me, daily creative expression is huge. Laughter is essential, as is movement (getting to the gym, doing yoga, dancing in my pajamas, etc...). Other priorities include time to myself, connection with people I love, learning, and time in nature. I'm also learning that my physical environment is something I want to make a priority and bit by bit, I'm making changes to reflect that.
Hey, there's going to be a super fun celebration call with the 12 Secrets book club and I'm going to be on it with lots of inspiring women! You can sign up for that here.
Also, be sure to sign up for my free Intro to Virtual Art Picnics call right here!