Week 6: Amplifying, Unifying, and Dividing

Quick Recap: I’m getting through Quarantine 2020 by doing the 12-week creativity recovery challenge in the book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.

Chapter Six: Recovering a Sense of Abundance

Chapter Six is about “tackle[ing] a major creative block—money. You are asked to really look at your own ideas around God, money, and creative abundance.  The essays will explore the ways in which your attitudes limit abundance and luxury in your current life. You will be introduced to counting, a block-busting tool for clarity and the right use of funds. This week may feel volatile.”

This week was hella volatile, and not just because of this chapter’s focus. Not only are we in the midst of fighting a virus pandemic, but we are also in the midst of fighting the pandemic of racism. The death of the innocent black man, George Floyd, by the police went unpunished and uncharged, and caused violent and peaceful riots all over the world. It has forced those of us with privilege to finally wake up to the injustice and start doing the work —the work we should have been doing all along—to change systemic racism. Those of us who have stayed in our lane—our comfortable lane of privilege and ignorance— are ashamed, and are riding up to fight alongside our fellow Americans and black community.

This moment in history is both unifying and divisive. We are seeing those who stayed home during the Covid-19 pandemic to not only protect themselves, but to protect their communities, and consequently, we are seeing those who selfishly didn’t. We are also seeing the pandemic of racism more clearly than ever before. We are seeing how we haven’t supported the black community, and are seeing who is choosing to taking action and change that, and who isn’t. Because of what we are seeing, we are unifying and amplifying, and yet at the same time, we are dividing. We are using our judgement, and making hard cuts of those things and people who are toxic, close-minded, and displaying the traits narcissism like self-centeredness and actively remaining ignorant. We are making our circles smaller, letting go of relationships that aren’t healthy for us or for equality as a whole. We are standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves and making it known.

Community and taking care of each other is more important than it has ever been before in America, the land of the individual and independent. Making changes, lifting each other up, and fighting for equality have become the most important thing in order to keep our fellow citizens alive. The importance of human lives is at stake; we are finally opening our eyes and seeing how our individual way of life supports or denies it in high definition.

This week, my “sense of abundance,”—my white privilege—was revealed loud and clear. Because of the color of my skin, I have the ability to think about what I want to do with my money, outside of keeping me and my family alive. With white privilege, I can contemplate my abundance. I expect help even if I don’t need it and can get help easily when I do need it. I can get loans, I can ask my family for money; I have more choices than others do.

This lack of equality is unacceptable. Everyone should have the same privileges and be treated equally.

The quote that stood out to me in this chapter:

“The actual block is our feeling of constriction, our sense of powerlessness. Art requires us to empower ourselves with choice.”

I choose to change and to be an active advocate for the black community. I apologize for not listening, not paying attention, and not doing enough to help. I apologize for not caring enough, because I while I do care about them, I have not done the work show it. It was not enough. I want the black community to have the same freedoms and privileges that I do. I want them to not fear for their children, I want them to have the same amount of opportunities, and I want them to have a life of abundance. I will support and create change by:

  1. Showing up: paying attention by attending rallies, conferences, and concerts, voting for leaders that are fighting for change, and by reading books and exploring art by black artists.
  2. Listening: watching black-made movies and documentaries, reading news and articles, talking to the black community, and most importantly, not making it about me.
  3. Financing: donating to causes that help the black community, shopping at black businesses like restaurants and retail stores, and hiring black.
  4. Speaking out: amplifying them on social media, continuing to be open and vocal about racism and injustice (even if I get it wrong and need to be corrected). I will not stay silent.

“Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.” – Oprah Winfrey

This Week, I:

  • Educated myself on racism and the black community
  • Brainstormed ways to support and amplify the black community not only right now, but forever
  • Spoke out on social media and talked to my friends and family about the systemic racism and how we can do our part to change it
  • Did the Morning Pages every morning and completed the Tasks and Artist Date
  • Wrote chapters 7, 8 and half of 9 for my YA Fantasy
  • Spent on average 4 hours a day writing/working rather than my usual 5-6, as I was very distracted with the state of the world and black oppression
  • Hung up two more giant wipe board walls to use when I brainstorm
  • Filled up a garbage truck of household junk and furniture and made space
  • Got angry. Felt stressed, overwhelmed, ashamed, and at times helpless and powerless.
  • Took long walks and bike rides with my kids
  • Had long and tough conversations with my husband and friends and family
  • Made hard and necessary decisions to let go of close-minded, toxic relationships until something changes