Julia Cameron is an award-winning author, poet, playwright and filmmaker, perhaps best known for her precedent-setting works on creativity, including The Artist’s Way, The Vein of Gold, Walking in this World and The Right to Write. In her latest book, The Prosperous Heart, she presents a 10-week program that guides readers in developing a life that is as full and satisfying as they ever imagined possible.
How is unblocking creativity linked to having a prosperous heart and a life of enough?
I have taught creative unblocking for 35 years. When I’ve asked my students about money, inevitably their responses are emotional exclamations: “Money is the biggest block to my creativity,” or
“I feel like I can handle anything but money,” or “Do we have to talk about money?” I believe that every person is creative, and can use his or her creativity to create a life of “enough”. I have worried about money and found that having money does not end this worry. I have also discovered practical tools that have lifted my students and me out of money worries into a prosperous heart. Prospering is something we can do today, no matter how much money we have.
Prosperity is not just about money, although our relationship to money must be brought out into the light, and we must be brave enough to look at it candidly. Having enough is having a life beyond need and worry. It’s about finding satisfaction in our lives, improving the lives we have, straightening out our finances and creating a life that is enough for us.
What led you to conclude that a prosperous heart is about a spiritual bottom line, rather than a financial one?
My experience of this principle has been cumulative. When teaching The Artist’s Way through the years, I have sometimes been moved to give away memberships in a class in order to help creatively stymied individuals that felt they couldn’t afford the 12-week course. While this didn’t add to my bank account, I felt rewarded on a spiritual level as I watched those students blossom over the course of the class.
What tools do you offer readers in The Prosperous Heart?
Morning Pages remain the primary tool of a creative recovery and for establishing prosperity. Three daily pages of longhand writing—strictly stream of consciousness—work to provoke, photo by Mark Kornbluth clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Counting is another bedrock tool of prosperity; keeping a small notebook tracking every penny in and every penny out puts us in touch with our true values, which is one of the first and finest fruits of prosperity.
This daily writing, coupled with counting, brings emotional and financial clarity. Together, they help us discover our true values—both personal and monetary—and uncover the actions that will lead to a life that is truly our own.
Abstaining from financial imbalance is simple when we stop debting. A commitment to practicing the tool of abstinence plugs the leaks and our personal lifeboat stops sinking. While this may seem severe, it leads straight to more prosperity.
Walking at least twice a week for a minimum of 20 minutes works to put events into a healthier perspective. We may walk out with a problem and walk back in with a solution. Walking also offers the opportunity to encounter sights and sounds that fire the imagination and replenish our inner well of creativity. As we walk, we can experience the richness of the world, as well as our own inner prosperity.
I recommend taking a time out once in the morning and once at night, for five minutes, to sit quietly and consciously count your blessings, or simply rest. Time outs also put us in closer touch with our own inner resources. Ideas often come to us during these periods, which prove to be time-efficient and guided by wisdom.
Through many years of experience, I have seen how the tools explored in The Prosperous Heart help people from all walks of life come into contact with their true value system. When they act in alignment with their values, they naturally feel a sense of prosperity. When they do what they love and do it well, the money seems to take care of itself.
Find the next chapter on personal creativity at JuliaCameronLive.com. Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings magazine.