A Note About Possibility and Abundance

I spent the weekend relaxing and playing.

After three years of living in our house, the back yard is finally nearing a semblance of completeness that makes for the perfect place to sit, soak in some sun, get some fresh air, read, nap, lounge. That’s what I was doing on Saturday.

On Sunday my husband Jeremy and I went to pick up a present he got himself for his 50th birthday: a Triumph Bonneville motorcycle. Yes, he fully admits and owns his midlife crisis, and who am I to deny him something that brings him such joy? Seriously, y’all, he was giddy all day on Sunday. So adorable.

After we picked up the bike, we stopped at a cycle gear shop so I could pick out a helmet and we promptly took a ride down River Road, just south of Sacramento, with the Sacramento River on one side and vineyards on the other.

Jeremy has been wanting a motorcycle for years, but kept saying we didn’t have the money for it. Even when we did have the money, he kept saying, nah, I don’t need it.

While I was relaxing in the yard I was reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, specifically two chapters on possibility and abundance, which are inexorably linked if you ask me. Cameron writes about how we are often mean and miserly with ourselves, saying no to ourselves. There are things that we are “not allowed” to do—says who? Says us. And the reason is usually either unknown or arbitrary.

Cameron urges creatives to indulge in luxury as a way to access abundance. Luxury in this context is not opulent, rather a way to enjoy pleasures that you habitually don’t allow for yourself. Sometimes this means investing in yourself—yes, with cold, hard, cash. Take a course. Attend a conference. Hire an editor. Buy a new tool (or toy).

But it could also be as simple as allowing yourself a weekend afternoon to lounge in the sun and read. Or to buy fresh raspberries, as in one of the examples Cameron uses in her book. She writes about one woman working through The Artist’s Way who always told herself that fresh raspberries were too expensive. Yet, depending on the season, they are only about $5, which is a “bargain for a week of luxury.”

Reading this reminds me how so much of our life experience depends on perspective. We are unhappy because we “can’t” buy raspberries, something we really love, because they are “too expensive.” When the only thing stopping us from having them is ourself.

I am often grumpy and out of sorts when I “don’t have time” to read in the sun because there are “so many important things that need my attention.” When the only thing stopping me from having that time is me.

It might sound too simple and frivolous, but I find the reminder of possibility and abundance to be incredibly valuable and urgent given the weight of many heavy circumstances in the world right now.

There is a lot going on, not to mention our own personal and private dramas and dilemmas. It’s easy to lose sight of what is possible and tell ourselves that it (whatever IT is) will never happen. Or that we are not allowed to {fill in the blank} because of {fill in the blank}.

Here’s what it has looked like for me lately: 

  • I’m not allowed to take time to process a situation before responding, because people expect to hear from me right away.
  • I will never say the right thing or make the right decision regarding equity and diversity in my projects because of the way I was raised.
  • I’m not allowed to push boundaries or make people uncomfortable because, as a privileged white woman, I don’t know what I’m talking about.

These perspectives are incredibly limiting and don’t leave room to imagine other possibilities. Instead, how can I reframe these limiting beliefs in a way that allows for abundance—abundance of generosity in my dealings with others, abundance of opportunity, and abundance of my own abilities. I don’t have the answers, but I am working on it. 

Sometimes it helps to allow myself a little bit of luxury: a weekend of relaxing and playing as a way to let my thoughts expand and my mindset to shift. Because—if I’m allowed to do that WHAT ELSE am I allowed to do?

What are you “not allowed” to do that you could make space for in your life this week? If you’d like to share with me, hit reply to this email to let me know. 

Here’s to possibility and abundance.

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