Recently I completed the 21 Days of Abundance Meditation Challenge from Deepak Chopra. It’s been a really lovely experience, I got a lot out of doing it, so I thought I would share about it in this week’s blog post. It’s a program that was administered to me through a WhatsApp group started by a friend. He invited me to take it on as it had an incredible impact on him.
He was dealing with a lot of debt, back taxes and stress around money, and during his journey of meditation he created a much better relationship with money and the possibility of prosperity. He got an exciting new job that provides him with the financial stability he needs right now, and a creative outlet that uplifts him. He also started noticing and building new relationships with women, where in the past he had been avoiding potential partners, because of his money concerns, among other blocks.
When he shared his story with me, it got me really excited for him, and enrolled in the possibility of creating abundance for myself. So I decided to take this on, hoping to transform some of my own blocks that I have around money, prosperity, abundance, success, love and relationships.
I have this disempowering story that I tell myself about how there is no way for me to be wealthy and prosperous as an artistic person. That I’m just stuck with less, because of the way I wound up, and that gives me an excuse not to have to make any effort at all. Because, I’m just going to fail anyway, so what’s the point in making the effort?
But that’s a bunch of bullshit. With that attitude I’ve already accepted failure and I know better than this by now.
This way of being has really stopped me from seeing a lot of the abundance already present in my life, and all of the possibilities that are open to me. Being a creative person doesn’t mean that I have to be a starving artist. That’s just the story I tell myself to make it ok for me to be lazy in my creative practice, irresponsible for my debts, and limited body of work to show for it all.
When I started this challenge, even to begin with, just the daily guided meditations with the melodious sound of Deepak’s lovely voice, taking me to a place of calm, was well worth taking on this practice. During moments of stress or strong emotions I was able to get present and calm. It’s a great way to start the day, or take a break in the middle of it to just chill-the-fuck-out. I’ve even been redoing them since I completed my 21 days.
On top of this sense of calm this program provides, the tasks that it asked me to take on each day were really enlightening. Almost every single day of the challenge I journaled in my notebook, with pen on paper, about 5 or 6 pages. There really is a different experience when I handwrite versus type out my writing. There is something slightly more personal and creative about it.
When I was younger, I often found that I needed to write my essays, or creative writing projects out by hand first, and then go back and type them out into the computer after. The creative process always came easier to me with pen on paper. Perhaps because when I learned to read and write there were no computers for that. Pen or pencil on paper was the thing.
Nowadays, I tend to go for typing things out to start with, in order to skip a step and save time. But almost any time I’m working on something really creative, like a script or a story, I end up having a bunch of side scraps of paper that I write notes and rework sentences on.
This experience of getting back to personal journaling in a notebook was a lovely feeling. For pages everyday, I really looked at my relationship to money, community, family, love and reciprocity. I looked at how these things are all connected in my life. And, I looked at how my relationship to money is different, the same, and affected by my mother’s relationship to money, and my relationship with her growing up.
I took on giving up the disempowering context that I’ve been living inside of, that tells me I’m not worthy of abundance and prosperity. I’ve had this strange perspective that because I choose creativity and a career in arts and culture, that means that I can’t also find a life of abundance and security. But that’s just not true. The tasks and meditations talked about how this idea of scarcity and lack is a lie. It’s taught to us in order to have us live in fear, and to have us be controlled by that fear.
In reality, there is enough to go around, and my having all I desire in life does not have to mean that another has to go without. This is something that I already believed, yes. But hearing it in the wise words of someone more successful and prosperous than I, kind of cemented the idea for me a little stronger. It was somehow much more valid hearing it from Deepak than the personal ramblings of this wannabe artist/writer-type.
And Deepak says, that indeed the more I give and support others in their journey towards prosperity, the more it will come back to me. I love this idea! It really speaks to me and the kind of life I’m interested in creating for myself. I really want to build this urban based intentional community here in Toronto, with like minded people who think alternatively, and want to help each other in following our dreams. A group of sex positive lovers and friends, raising our children together. Kids who will then take that love, community and prosperity to the next level with their next generation.
This pandemic has made me all the more aware of how much I get from being with people, and how much I suffer when I’m feeling alienated from the people I love. But also it has gifted me new amazing relationships with my neighbours, and my new roommate, whom I share a house and garden with. We have all supported each other in creating this community feeling here at home during this pandemic, and still found a way to safely socially distance from one another in an outdoor space of togetherness in the backyard.
Deepak also talks about how prosperity and abundance don’t just mean money and material wealth, which have never been my main priority in life. I couldn’t care less about money. What I really care about are people, community, love, comfort and having wild and fun adventures together with the people who bring me joy to be around. However, it does take a certain amount of effort, wealth and prosperity to achieve a comfortable life and go on adventures with these people I care about.
Also, there are lots of people who have plenty of money, who are still not necessarily living an abundance consciousness. Maybe they were born into money, and to them, this has always been the ball and chain that has them question people’s loyalties and true friendship. Perhaps the money making has become a prison of golden handcuffs for them. One that has them working too hard and not enjoying any of the richness that their work affords them with the people they love.
True abundance is a balance in all areas of life, not just money. It’s about feeling at peace, comfortable, supported, feeling loved and loving generously with others. Not questioning other people’s loyalties or expecting anything in return for your generosity. It’s about feeling that it “comes back to you seven-fold,” in various ways, as the universe does it’s magic.
An abundance consciousness teaches that if you support someone, the gift of that awesome feeling is the reward in and of itself, and there is nothing expected in return. And, there is a calm in knowing that it will come back to you, in whatever way that it does, not necessarily directly from the person you were able to help, but in the way it’s meant to be.
I love the idea of paying it forward. In my life I have been lucky enough to have been supported by some amazing people, who have helped me out when things were tough, and it made such a difference for me. On top of being grateful and letting them know how much it meant to me, in any way I could, and paying people back in full as soon as possible when that’s been agreed upon, it’s even more wonderful when in my moments of success in my life, I’m able to pay it forward to another friend who might be struggling for a time.
It feels so good to be able to do that for someone else, and it really does pay itself back every time, in ways that we might not always be present to right away. Doing this challenge has really made me so much more present to all the gifts, generosity, friendship, love and abundance that already surround me every day. And, how I can be passing that on to others as well, adding to the bounty.
There’s so much that I can do for others, even when things are uncertain financially, like they are at the moment. Living an abundance consciousness means that I can find a creative way to give and create abundance around me and for others. I can make a nice meal for my roommate and friends, I can host a BBQ, or I can organize a picnic in the park. I can water the communal garden in my backyard, or give some cucumbers away when I have more than I need and my neighbors crop has failed to produce. There are so many little things that I can be doing to increase the abundance all around me.
Early on in this challenge I was excited by having been contacted about a PA job on my first union Tier A TV series production. It’s something that I really need to do in order to get the experience required to get into IATSE as a 2nd APC. The job was not a particularly exciting one, but I was excited by the possibility of getting past the roadblocks that have been preventing me from joining the union as a coordinator.
As I prepared to go back to work in production, and started putting some other areas of my life in order. And with my confidence up, I started dating more, looking for a partner to have children with again, and I got more and more excited and hopeful. And then, I got to the all important day when Deepak talks about the Persian tale of “This too shall pass.” How important that lesson was for me! No matter how many times I have to relearn it.
It talks about how the bad times and the good are both lingering moments in our lives. We don’t get to hold on to either of them for very long. This was preparation for what was to come.
At the end of my challenge, I was hit with a few major disappointments. The first of them, this gig I thought was going to be a sure thing, crumbled in my hands and took several weeks to do so, leaving me confused and unsure what to prioritize. The second, a relationship connection that seemed very promising and was monopolizing a lot of my daydreams, just wasn’t at all what I hoped it might be. And thirdly, the rats or squirrels devastated my finally ripe tomato crop!
None of these things are a very big deal, no, but when it’s been a rough go, you’re a little more sensitive to these things. I was down, and I was embarrassed to admit that, because I was supposed to be creating abundance! Lol! I was almost at the end of my program and I felt more frustrated and lacking abundance than when I set out on this journey.
The next day was all about “living on the fat of the land”, taking care of myself, and doing all the things that are satisfying, comforting and luxurious to me. Well, yes please!!! I’m feeling pretty sad and hopeless right now! This is exactly what I need! Bring on the luxury!
But I didn’t just chilled-the-fuck-out for the whole day, I cleaned up a bunch of shit around the house, cause that’s what I do when I’m mad. True story, the best way to get me to clean up my mess is to disappoint me or make me mad! Lol! That’s how I get my power back, I need to DO something. Usually that’s cleaning and organizing.
Then I spent my afternoon and evening lounging in the backyard in the sun, doing my writing, chatting with my family over a video call and enjoying the gorgeous summer weather in the back garden, with all the lovely plants and flowers. Then I had a lovely meal and a relaxing evening. I felt so much better after an emotional release and some luxurious self-love pampering.
So the next day, I’m chilled-the-fuck-out, and it’s all over, it’s done, day 21 and I’m complete. And I haven’t even realized, but I’ve hit the seven switches of happiness as Chopra calls them: 1. Give to your neighbour, 2. Transmit love and light, 3. Let go of things that do not serve you, 4. Indulge and live life to the fullest 5. Give Thanks, 6. Give of yourself and be of service to others, and 7. Forgive others.
Well I’m not exactly roll’n in coin or anything… but a few days after I completed the program, some emails I had sent out a couple weeks back finally got through and created a response. Maybe there is another work opportunity for me coming up, and this one would mean working with some people that I really like, and on a show that I really like and will actually be proud and excited to work on too.
Then a date with a new guy who’s my own age, and in the arts as well, he gets my weird sense of humour, and also I get his. We have a good time together. We made out in a park under the stars with bats flying in the sky overhead. And he’s interested in seeing me again. He’s open to the possibility of non-monogamy with me. And that thing I thought might be impossible to find is suddenly possible again.
And I know what you’re going to say…. “This too shall pass.” And you’re right! There’s gonna be upsets to come. It’s not gonna feel so exciting every day and maybe this new job opportunity and this new relationship thrill will not pan out the way I hope they will. But, that’s not important right now. What’s important is I’m just gonna keep rolling with it and being grateful for what I have at this moment.
I’m indulging in this moment and I’m not attached to the way it’s supposed to be or stay. It’s just gonna be how it’s gonna be, and that’s it. But at least I’m hanging with people who wanna be with me, doing stuff I think I might want to do with my life. And, taking time to enjoy myself and the gift of this big collective pause to reflect on what I really want. And the rest, as they say, will follow.
And now CERB came back for another month, just as I needed it to. And there will be something similar to follow after that, they say. So, I’ve got time to figure things out.
Also, I was inspired with a wicked new idea for another series that I got a chance to pitch to a broadcaster at Banff. They loved the idea and said they know there’s an audience for it right now. And, I have the connections in my neighbourhood to make it happen. No rush, it can be a slow side-project that we work on and get something ready for the RFP that comes out in early winter.
Things are coming together, I can see the abundance happening everywhere. My friends treated me to an amazing Drag Show performance after a wicked time at Hanlan’s over the weekend. The abundance that is my veggie garden, even without any ripe beefsteak tomatoes. The wonderful celebration we had for my friends who are having a baby very soon. The possible new job opportunity working with some lovely people I could learn a lot from. And the possibility of a new relationship spark.
Bring on the abundance!