Is it half empty, or half full? Both, man! Quit being such a mind slave. Drink more water.
As artists, we frequently have interesting and frustrating barriers to live with and grow through, or to carry along for our whole lives. One big worry in our society is fairly obvious: money.
It’s hardly uncommon an issue, but as creatives, it can be a hindrance unique to our process… unless it’s not.
A perspective for you to consider: money’s a very practical idea, and a concept integrated across cultures and social constructs. We can’t simply ignore it or hope to win the lottery (which, if you have no respect for money, isn’t a good thing at all).
Until we replace our reliance on fiat currency with a more holistic, beneficent energy, store of value or form of trade — or get rid of it altogether — we need to smooth the wrinkles out so we can enjoy more of what life has to offer… now.
Alleviating it’s negative influence is important, as with anything that blocks our energy, for it opens up our creative flow when the nagging worry of how to eat, live, drive, travel, save, help, donate, etc., is less prevalent.
We give money too much dominion over our sovereign selves. This has to change, too, but in the meantime, make an effort to loosen it’s grip.
Derek Sivers wrote an excellent article about balanced, happy people (sivers.org/balance). The idea is exceedingly simple: have a well-paying job and seriously pursue your art for love, not money.
I’ve tried variations on this theme over the years with limited success. The problem: I’ve always allowed the job, whether shitty or interesting, to eat up too much of my mojo and thus allowed the other programs and fears around succeeding at my art(s) only pile on the suffering.
The guilt, or shame, or inadequacy around failing/succeeding are all-too-often spirit-crushing ideas that we should work to let go, whenever they come up — don’t judge them; love them, and let them go. What’s real is when you’re in your zone, experiencing flow in your element, and diving deep into your creative outlet(s). Focus more on that, not the endless and inane external niggles and noises.
It’s all perspective. If we can orchestrate it so that we have a decent income — that also doesn’t harm the earth, people, or our minds and bodies and spirits (hey, it’s possible!) — we are liberated in our creative pursuits to just be and do them for the sake of being and doing them. That’s it!
Nowadays, there are a lot more options for working from anywhere on the planet, too. Look again. Be open.
Whether or not money is earned through your art is an unpredictable animal and a cognitive disease that can paralyze. Some are able to use it as a motivator, which is awesome. I’ve never been able to. And worrying about feeding yourself is gross. Life is so much more.
So feel into it, as ever. You may not need to struggle as much as you do, with a little shift in consciousness and perspective. Let life show you the options. Trust yourself and give your art room to breathe.