In February of this year I started a new book by Julia Cameron, The Prosperous Heart: Creating a Life of Enough. Guess what? It is about money.
I started working with Julia Cameron’s books in the late 90’s, beginning with The Artist’s Way. Her books are about bringing out the artist that is in all of us. They consist of a twelve week plan, with activities each week.
The Prosperous Heart helps reveal my current relationship with money by Cameron’s usual practices of Morning Pages (three journal pages of freehand writing each morning), exercise and time for myself. This time she added Counting. I am to count every cent that comes in and every cent that goes out. Now figuring that I started in February, I should be just about finished with this program. But I’m not. This morning my bookmark was on Week 5. I haven’t kept up because of the Counting. I never got past the first week in counting. Each week I thought I would start counting, but I didn’t. At the end of each lesson I was supposed to document what I learned from counting. I skipped that question. My fear got the best of me.
This morning I realized that unless I am counting, I will not get the benefit of the program. So I am starting over. I read Week One this morning. I will count. I will break through the fear. I need to be accountable to myself. “In knowing our spending patterns, we know ourselves,” Cameron writes in her introduction.
I love the word prosperity. We usually think of money in relation to prosperity, but Cameron has a broader definition. “I think prosperity is about having ‘enough’–having a life beyond need and worry. It’s about more than prosperity in financial terms. It’s more about being satisfied, about having a prosperous heart.” I like that.
As I was writing this morning and planning on counting, I remembered a book of Cameron’s I bought several years ago on eating. I found it on my bookshelf, The Writing Diet. This book utilizes the Morning Pages and keeping track of everything I eat. And my feelings. So I figured that if I am counting my money, I may as well count what I eat. I am not happy with my weight and shape at all.
Cameron has four questions for me to ask myself when I want to snack:
1. Am I hungry?
2. Is this what I feel like eating?
3. Is this what I feel like eating now?
4.Is there something else that I could eat instead?
So I dug out the journal I used in 2008, when I started this program and wrote my breakfast, lunch, 3PM snack and my dinner. We’ll see if have an evening snack to write in.
Maybe you wonder why I blog on my struggles with money and food. Number 1, I don’t think I am the only person who has these issues. If my struggles can inspire someone else to begin looking for answers, then I’ve added to the health of our world. Number 2, this blog post states my commitment to my healing. It is known that when someone shares a goal with others, they are more likely to work at it.
To my Prosperity and Health!