Why do all Julia Cameron courses take me a year? They are designed to take 12 weeks but not for me. Too many lessons. Too much pondering. Too dense.
Or maybe that’s just me.
I was hoping to provide you, dear reader, with a slew of insights week to week until the 12 weeks was done, but impossible. So perhaps by winter I’ll make it to Week 12, but until then, here we are, swimming in mud.
But two things have worked well.
This is where we track our finances. We write down all the incoming and outgoing. It starts as a giant pain because I’d rather conveniently forget about some purchases I made and I’d rather not pull the receipts out of my purse at the end of the day to write down what I spent. However, over time tracking spending had helped me alleviate the usual worry that flows through my system. Simmers the river. Most days, in fact, I make more than I spend. This I didn’t realize before counting. Here’s how it goes:
Super ugly but useful.
Naturally this leads to the one simple rule that is so obvious, so simple and so difficult:
Which means if you don’t have a job, you don’t get to have drinks out with your buddies. Who is paying for that? Oh right. Your credit card. Or your wife. I’m sure she’s super cool with it. There is no paying for WANTS, just NEEDS.
But those shoes… oh so pretty.
There will always be shoes that are oh so pretty. There will always be other nights to go out with buddies. This might all sound like a drag, but there is a playful aspect to counting:
Beating your score.
Getting the Incoming number bigger than the Outgoing is oh so satisfying. So counting has been working for me. I get a small thrill by seeing the grocery bill go down. And it actually, surprisingly, makes up for those shoes I didn’t buy.
Julia recommends taking five minutes to sit quietly twice a day. So I sit quietly and stare off. This has become so much more useful and less maddening than meditating. Or perhaps this is just as good as meditating. Sure the mind wanders. But that restful time can lead to insights as well.
I’ve been working through a little ebook. There are a lot of ways to make an ebook and I’ve been searching for the right way for me. There are images and photos and design elements. So many parts and pieces. And sometimes when I convert it all the text is fuzzy or the images are slightly off or the layout just doesn’t work.
Oh mon Dieu it’s a whole thought process.
When I try something and it doesn’t work out, I usually figure out another way to go about it during my Time-Outs. These Time-Outs are less high and mighty than meditating. They have less of a serious connecting-with-the-divine feel to them. Yet, they seem to have the same result, minus the didn’t-meditate-today guilt so I’m sticking with it.
I’m not sure when Week 7 will happen, but for now I’m Counting and I’m taking the Time-Outs. If you’re doing the course, let me know how it’s going. And if you know how to make an image-laden ebook look good, let me know how to do that as well.
PS. I’m participating in a Facebook event this Sunday May 17th: Escape to France: Travel Tips from Authors Living in France. We will be giving a way a swanky pdf full of tips about Paris and environ. Join us. It’s all day and I’ve got the 1pm-2pm EST slot.