why the starving artist is going out of style

My mom always told me: “Money doesn’t grow on trees.”

My dad always told me:

"Just put it on the Amex.”

Let’s face it – we all have money issues of some kind.


We spend too much, are scared to spend anything, don’t value ourselves or our services as much as we should, get jealous of others’ wealth, don’t feel like we deserve it… the list could go on.

I bring up the topic of money today for a few reasons:

  1. At our Creative Fridays workshop last Friday, common themes emerged after a meditation about receiving a gift: “I don’t deserve it,”  “It feels shallow to want money,” “I can only pursue my dreams when I have enough money.”
  2. Spring is sprouting and it’s the season of green and growth (not to mention tax season coming to a close!)
  3. Tomorrow is the New Moon in Taurus, which is a natural fresh start for our finances, sense of value, and self-esteem.
  4. In energy medicine terms, our relationship to money is housed in the same place as our creative drives: the second chakra (your lower abdomen and reproductive area).

Interesting coincidence, huh?

Now, I don’t claim to have this all figured out, but what I have learned from my own experience with money and creativity is this:

Feeling blocked with money, feeling like you don’t deserve it, or feeling like you don’t have enough will affect your creative expression.

First, you won’t feel free to create if you are only worried about survival. (Remember Maslow’s pyramid in psychology class?)

Second, if you’re caught up in your head worried about money or blaming other people for your issues with money, you’re not being a clear channel for the creative flow.

And third, as ironic-ly glamorous as the “starving artist” lifestyle may be, at the end of the day it’s not fun to eat ramen noodles every night.

So I have a challenge for you.

For the next week, pretend as if you have all the wealth you would ever desire. Live into the feeling that you have enough and are enough.

How to do this?

Here are some ideas:

  • Tell yourself every morning when you wake up “I am enough. Abundance flows to me.”
  • Get a piggy bank and decorate it with beautiful things and pictures of your dreams and desires. Contribute to it as your creativity fund.
  • Decorate your houseplants with money (like I did in the photo above).
  • Track your expenses. Knowledge is power, so know where your money is going.

“No matter how much or how little money you have flowing through your life, when you direct that flow with soulful purpose, you feel wealthy. You feel vibrant and alive when you use your money in a way that represents you, not just as a response to the market economy, but also as an expression of who you are. When you let your money move to things you care about, your life lights up. That’s really what money is for.”

- Lynne Twist, The Soul of Money


Remember: The more you receive, the more you can give.

So be open to receiving your worth (beyond what you might think is your worth).

The world needs your creative signature.

Tell me – how does it feel to be enough? What wealth do you already have around you? What other practices and reminders can you create in your daily routine?

Please share with me in the comments below!

UPDATE: If you're re-reading this during the month of July and will be in the Brooklyn area, join us on July 13th 2012 for our Creative Fridays Workshop on: Valuing Our Work. 

Start valuing yourself now!