Chapter Ten contains one of my favorite “secrets” so far in The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women book blog discussion group. I hope this entire “gateway” is as exciting and stimulating as this secret is.
“When we are in touch with true abundance, it permeates the fabric of our lives.” – Gail McMeekin
Just today, I needed reminding that abundance is not only financial, and McMeekin did it early on in the chapter. As we save money for first and last month’s rent for a new home, it is tempting to fall back into scarcity thinking, but Source has reminded me – through the Next Chapter book discussion – of a myriad of ways that I am blessed and that abundance is flowing into my life. My dentist has suggested that the partial that I’ve had trouble with from day one be replaced (at no cost) rather than repaired. My father-in-law has been generous and accommodating with his car. My husband got off work almost two hours early. I spent most of the day with one of my dearest friends, enjoying her company as I do few others. One of my cats has been particularly affectionate today. I had to make an unexpected run to the nearby grocery store and truly enjoyed my interaction with the friendly cashier. My late night snack of sugar cookies and chocolate milk tasted exquisite.
It is easy to see abundance as only relating to our finances, but one can be abundant (or scarce) in any area of one’s life. Some people would see my list of blessings – if they saw it at all – as a coincidence, or just life running its course, but I choose to see it as evidence that I’m living a life infused with abundance. With John’s long commute, I have so little time with him these days; having him off work two hours early definitely provided us with a relative abundance of quality time together! Spending the day with Sandra – having lunch, shopping, and just hanging out – is further abundance in my relationships. Every item on my list is evidence of the plenty in my life.
“Every day I do what I want to, which comes from self-knowledge and commitment. I have a vision of what’s important to me and how to accomplish that. I want to live my authenticity with grace and beauty.” – Cathleen Rountree
I’m just now coming to the place in my life where it is important to me to really and truly live my life the way I want to. I’m developing the self-knowledge and commitment that Rountree is referring to, and it isn’t always easy. I struggle constantly with the concept of inspired action versus developing discipline and making a commitment to myself. I want to live with a certain amount of discipline – creating every day, for example – and yet, I know from experience how important it is to let the actions I take be inspired. I sense that there is a fine line to be walked between these two, and I’m not yet sure of where that line is.
Taking creativity for an example again: Elizabeth Gilbert, in her TED lecture, talks about the importance of showing up and doing your work on a regular basis. That really resonates with me. I think there is something to be gained from showing up, playing with your tools, and doing your work. I know people who say they can’t work unless they are inspired, but Gilbert – and I – would argue that it’s easier to be inspired when you’re doing the work. It’s easier for an idea to find you, if you’re sitting down with your tools – whether they are paint, fabric, beads, or words – and working them with regularly. My limited experience (and Gilbert’s more vast experience) seems to bear this out. But, I don’t always feel inspired to show up and do the work, even though I passionately believe in it. So, you can see my problem here … And yet, I’m convinced that this issue has something to do with living my life as I truly want to.
I long to live the life that Rountree refers to, the life in which she does what she wants to, and lives her “authenticity with grace and beauty”. I’m still figuring out what “living my authenticity” means! I try always to be true to myself, while being considerate of others, but as I’m just now paying enough attention to myself, getting to know myself, it isn’t always easy to be true to myself. “True to myself” changes!
McMeekin offers several Challenges in this chapter, my favorite being the first one, “Your Personal Abundance”. I had so much fun picturing, and then writing about, my ideal life. Since we’re getting ready to move, and will be making several changes in our lifestyle, this was a particularly meaningful exercise; some of what I wrote about will surely come to pass as John and I create a new life for ourselves in our new home.
What are some of the ways that abundance and plenty are showing up in your life? How does “living your authenticity” look? What would your ideal life look life?