If money were no object, what would you truly desire to do? This is a question well worth asking. Many delights are well within our reach. We have simply been telling ourselves we can't afford them, that we don't deserve them, or that they're somehow inappropriate.
We often block our dreams with the excuse that we can't afford to accomplish them, when in fact we may well be able to take steps toward them.
What Would You Truly Desire To Do?
"If money were no object, I'd cure cancer," Rich says.
Okay, so he can't do that, but what is this dream telling him? There are ways he can be of service in the medical field without spending money. He can volunteer in a hospital, go on a walkathon to raise money for a cancer organization.
Lindsay wanted to travel the world. "If money were no object, I'd spend enough time in Barcelona to really know the city. But it's too expensive to spend much time there. It's almost not worth going."
Where There's a Will, There's a Way: Thinking Outside the Box
Looking more closely at what she truly desired — time to explore — she looked again at her options of how to attain it.
"I realized I could use my frequent-flier miles for the plane," she says. "And I live in New York. That's a destination, too. Maybe someone in Barcelona wishes they could explore New York."
Six months later, Lindsay spent a month in Barcelona on a house swap. And the person who she swapped houses with became a close friend.
"Maybe we'll do this once a year," Lindsay muses excitedly.
Taking Small Steps in the Direction of Our Dreams
The trick is to look at our desire — what we want, rather than what we don't have or why we think we can't have it. With a little creativity it is often very possible to satisfy urges that seem at first glance to be out of our reach.
As we take small steps in the direction of our dreams, our dreams become more vivid and heartfelt. As Goethe said, "Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace, and power in it."
When we are obsessed with our financial insecurity, we lack the focus and clarity to pursue our dreams. As our money issues come into focus and we are able to ask for — and receive — divine assistance, so, too, are we able to accept the support of the universe for our dreams and wishes.
From Socks to Cinema: Walking the Path of Your Dreams
Calvin, a waiter, prides himself on his good looks and gentlemanly charm. In the oceanside restaurant where he works, he is the star. He listens to his guests, he helps the elderly women to their seats with ease and grace, and he earns the highest tips. His quick humor and intense focus make him popular and often requested.
Calvin discovered his irrational belief that he couldn't afford to go to the movies.
"I buy socks that are more expensive than a movie ticket," he says. "I don't know what I am thinking, but I never let myself go to the movies."
He began to dig a little deeper, looking at his creative assumptions and beliefs. Exploring his childhood dreams, he recalls getting the lead in the school play.
"I loved acting," Calvin says brightly. "I had so much fun doing that." But his father, a businessman, thoroughly instilled in his children the value of a job with a steady paycheck. Now working his way through business school, Calvin long ago dismissed any thoughts of acting. No wonder he won't let himself go to the movies. It's not about the ten-dollar ticket. It's far too painful to watch the acting he wishes he were doing himself.
Bringing Dreams Back to Life, One Step At A Time
Seeing clearly now the embers of the dreams that haven't quite died, Calvin decided to let himself explore acting again — while going through business school.
"I can audition for a play that rehearses at night. I can get my headshot and resume together and send them out. It doesn't have to be either/or. I can go to business school and dip my toe back in the water of theater. And I don't need any more nice socks. I'm going to go to the movies once a week no matter what. Just for me."
Pursuing our dreams does not equal financial irresponsibility. When we see ourselves rejecting an idea because of money, we should be alert to look again at what we are assuming is impossible.
Money will not be the thing that sets your dream free. You will be.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, a member of Penguin Group (USA).
©2011 by Julia Cameron. www.us.PenguinGroup.com.
The Prosperous Heart: Creating a Life of "Enough"
by Julia Cameron with Emma Lively.
A ten-week program for using your creative heart and soul to lead you to prosperity in all the areas of your life. With inspiring new daily tools and strategies that follow in the footsteps of Cameron's groundbreaking The Artist's Way, this book guides readers in developing a life that is as full and as satisfying as they ever thought possible.
Click here for more info or to order this book (paperback/reprint edition). Also available in Kindle format.
About the Author
Julia Cameron has published 30 books, highly praised short stories, award-winning essays and hard-hitting political journalism. Her credits range from Rolling Stone to The New York Times. A novelist, playwright, songwriter and poet, she has distinctive credits in theatre, film and television. As author of The Artist’s Way, Julia is credited with founding a movement that has enabled millions to realize their creative dreams. Julia eschews the title creativity expert, preferring instead to describe herself simply as an artist. Visit her website at http://juliacameronlive.com.