Biggie, Seashells and Manifestation

I have a story that goes all the way back to New Year’s Eve.  It’s a good one — Kate was really excited about it and wanted to blog about it right away — but I was like, “Well… not yet”.  The story needed more time to develop.

I’ve been pretty blessed in my life and my career, because I’m able to access creative advisers on the other side pretty easily.  Sometimes they just show up on their own; I always try to listen because they all have something unique to teach.  So it was with the Notorious B.I.G..

I had never been a fan of his music previously, but his song “Juicy” had ended up on my iPod and I found that I was enjoying it.  Then I listened to it a 2nd time.  And then I noticed his energy around me.  I would describe it as “boyish”.  He felt young but self-possessed.  Class-clownish.  But super-focused at the same time.  I felt like I understood him right away, energetically.  He said, “Your relationship to money is fucked up.  I’m gonna help you sort it out”.

My relationship to money was, indeed, fucked up.  Actually I’m still untangling it.  The myth of the Starving Artist is a pervasive one.

At any rate I had to admit that Biggie was right, and furthermore I couldn’t point to any heroes of mine or any artists of any kind that I admired who had healthy relationships with money.  Not one.  They were penniless painters, alcoholic writers, and agoraphobic, opiated musicians.  (Aside:  I’m like, “…Sorry guys”.  They’re like, “Nope — that’s fair”.).  Biggie made money making art, enjoyed spending it, and was totally unapologetic about it.  That was unprecedented in my world.  Clearly I had some things to learn.

Later, Kate and I watched the movie The Secret.  Say what you will about it, I did learn a few things.  I was inspired by Jack Canfield’s experience to try to manifest $10,000 for myself.  With art.  I had no plan whatsoever, and I was pretty vague about my expectations around it.  Knowing it had to be something that I could believe I could have, I just said, “Okay.  I want to have a plan in place for making $10,000 by the end of the year.  Not the 10k itself; just the plan”.

Nothing happened for a long time after that.  I was still resolved that my plan was coming; manifestation is not always instant so I tried to be patient.

(Aside: I did have some prior experience with manifestation which bolstered my confidence with it and allowed me to be patient.  I had manifested a car for myself maybe 15 years earlier using techniques I’d read about in one of Julia Cameron’s books.  A free car had presented itself within a few weeks.  So I knew this would work).

So the year began to draw to a close with no plan in place for my 10k.  Oh well; it was just an experiment.  Kate and I stayed in and shared a bottle of wine.  As we talked she suddenly said, “Biggie’s here.  He wants to talk about your art”.

Sure, why not?

He says, “I’ve got a business plan for you.  I want to you do it, though.  I don’t want to go through this with you if you’re not going to do it. Will you do it?”

Me:  “Yeah”

Biggie:  “Okay.  You’re going to paint fuckin’ seashells”.

Me: “…”

Biggie:  “Everyone’s got a spot in their bathroom that needs a fuckin’ seashell.  You’re gonna paint a hundred of them”.

At that point he goes into some more detail — take this many, send them to that gallery.  Reinvest.  Make prints.  Send remaining originals to 2 other galleries.  Etc.  He says,

“That’s how you’re going to make your ten thousand dollars”.

Now I’m laughing because a) I’d forgotten that I’d set that goal at all, and b) I said that I wanted a plan for 10k “by the end of the year” and now it’s… like 11:30 on New Year’s Eve.

I’ve been good on my word and I am creating 100 seashell paintings.  I’ve recently photographed them and they are up for sale on my Etsy site; if you would like to own one of the first batch of the hundred I would be honoured to sell them to you guys.

Seashell Painting 8

I also managed to screw my courage up to get my work into a gallery in the nicest resort in town; they’re scheduled to exhibit in a month or so.  So that’s really exciting.  It’s going to mean really great exposure for me and my work and it’s also one of my favourite places to hang out.  Kate and I both went for our birthdays and had absolutely the best champagne and cheese plates I’ve ever had while enjoying an unobstructed view of waves breaking on the wide open, sandy ocean beach.  I’m totally thrilled to be getting my art in there because everything about it is so top shelf.

And I’m so grateful to all my helpers on the other side who continue to motivate and inspire me.

I also have a tip to share for anyone who may have read this and thought to themselves, “Damn, my relationship with money is fucked up too — what do I do?”.  Here’s a tip I picked up recently for reshaping your relationship with money.  You’ll be drawing on your intuition here, so I’ll walk you through the process.  (Btw I recommend this process whether you have the money you want or you don’t, so you can fully participate in the Economy of Awesomeness!)

First try to encapsulate the idea of your money as a whole, in your mind.  Past, present, future.  Flowing in, flowing out.  Get in touch with any feelings around that.  Money is energy; you are in relationship to that energy.

Next, think about that relationship.  You and money have a long history.  When you think about that relationship, what do you feel?  Gratitude?  Resentment?  Abandonment? Expectation?

The next step is to sit down and write a letter to your money.  Really imagine that your money is a person.  You can get specific if you want to imagine what this person might look like, but it’s not really necessary.  Just talk about your feelings, whatever they are.  You might be surprised to learn how you really feel about money.  Continue the process for 30 days.  It might seem like a lot but this will give you a lot more time to uncover hidden beliefs and allow you to reshape them to best serve you.

It does require a time commitment — is it worth it? Well, I’ve been at it for 3 weeks now.  And now while I fear I may lose people with the very mention of manifestation — I know some people think it’s “magical thinking” — I’m just going to go for it anyway and tell you another story about it:

I’ve taken out two student loans in my academic career, and paid these off.  Each time my lenders — different lenders, years apart — misfiled my paperwork so it appeared to them as if my loans were not repaid, and they continued to try to collect.  Without grievance, and from a detached point of view I can look at that and say, “Wow, how bizarre.  What are the odds of that?”.  I therefore I had an outstanding loan that was not really outstanding at all, that my lawyer seemed powerless to resolve.

So, I wrote letters to my money, and after 14 days a digital copy of a release from this loan materialized in my inbox.  This loan that had sat paid in bureaucratic limbo for more than a year.  (What had released the first loan, you might be wondering?  Applying for the 2nd one.  It remained in their system until the day the funds were released.  I literally had to call them and say, “Hey, you guys approved this second loan.  A condition for approval is that I have no outstanding loans — therefore, there is no outstanding loan.  Makes sense, right?”).

Magical thinking or not, it is hard not to think that my energy around money was holding these debts in place.  And Biggie was right — my relationship with money was fucked up.  And you know what else?  My thinking is magical.  It’s magic.

Besides clearing away several thousand dollars of energetic debt, in 3 weeks I also gained several hundred dollars of unexpected income.  Not bad.

So yeah, I think it is a worthwhile exercise.  If you’re already happy with how much money you’ve got coming in but you don’t like how you’re getting it, you can change that, too.

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10 thoughts on “Biggie, Seashells and Manifestation

  1. I couldn’t agree more with Biggie’s notion that there is no virtue in being broke. When I was a starving artist, I was always stressed out, wondering how my expensive NYC rent was going to get paid. I had no energy left to really focus on my craft. I was emotionally poor too, as it left me feeling angry and bitter all of the time. I was a person I didn’t want to be: toxic, petty and ashamed. I felt stunted. I was constantly focusing on funds that were lacking, which just perpetuated the lack in my life.

    I look back on that time, and i wonder why i wasted so much energy. There are probably lots of reasons why i let myself be distracted with that, mainly a lack of self love and self belief. I have since let that go, and I make no excuses for what I do have, and I don’t feel guilty that I feel abundant in so many ways. That sounds crazy, but it’s easy to get used to being broke, and when your friends are starving artists or just broke too, you can feel bad if you start to have more. Having children made the shift easier. If I couldn’t love myself enough to shift the paradigm, I sure as hell could do it for my kids. I try to honor my money, and I am grateful that it continues to manifest. I think it comes down to self love and feeling deserving of it. It is about believing humbly in your heart that you can tap in to a source that is ever-abundant. It is there for everybody. Believe it in your heart.

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    • I can so relate to all of those feelings of basically feeling poor in every way. And I don’t think it sounds crazy to feel guilty about your success. I definitely sought out people to commiserate with. There was sort of an expectation set up by profs, peers and other practicing artists when I was in school that when we made art, we would apply for grants. And we would exhibit in galleries that were funded by grants. It was like “pure” art needed to be untouched by profit and to conduct yourself otherwise would be tacky. There was a whole poverty mindset around the art world that I was immersed in.

      I like what you say about honoring your money and loving yourself. It is *so* important for artists to get paid well! It honors us and replenishes our energy and reminds us that what we do has value. Yay! Thank you for your uplifting comments, Laine.

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  2. Yes, it’s also about feeling rich on all levels. There are people way, way “richer” than me, but honestly I don’t care about that. I don’t worry about what others have, if it’s more or less than me. I have what I need. My bills are paid. I experience joy every day. I have gratitude. I have love oozing in every direction. I see beauty everywhere. That is success to me, being able to relish the moment, this very one. It sounds like you know you have the power to manifest. You are making it happen. It’s not tacky to be paid for the work you do, or for services you provide. You are honoring yourself and contributing to the world. Keep rockin’.

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  3. Love this post Miss Sweetie! Whether one struggles with not enough money or feels guilty because of their infinite resources, it all comes down to respecting and appreciating the flow and the source. I totally agree with Lainie -it is NOT tacky to get paid for the work that you do – I think it keeps all energy flowing nicely when you get back what you give and vice versa – this is the same with money.

    Beautiful art work too, btw – I have some wall space that could use some beautiful sea shells…..

    xoxoxoxo

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    • Thank you for the compliments! 😀
      So true about appreciation. I was just tidying up my art area yesterday and going through my things and organizing, and just got really excited about all the great supplies that I have, like a little kid. It was great. Now I feel inspired to work with my oil paints which I haven’t done in a long time.

      If you have any questions about my work please feel free to drop me an email and we can discuss! kathryn.cunningham@hotmail.ca

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  4. It’s funny, I’ve never really “understood” money. The appeal, the draw. In fact, I’ve so convinced myself that it is something that causes more harm than good that I’ve probably held myself back. I’ve always done ok for myself, but I think that making peace with any resentful or residual feelings I have about money is a great idea. And it’s one that I probably wouldn’t have even thought twice about had it not been for this.

    I’d never known much about Biggie, but I saw his name on the blog and a few nights later he made a dream appearance. Seems to be a very clear way for spirits to communicate with me. Anyway, we were hanging out, watching this little boy and girl play. And he told me fondly how “crazy” they all think I am, which is sort of a running joke now. And he told me I needed some of those things you use for swimming, to go over your eyes. I asked “Goggles?” He said yes. That was about it. I’m still not sure what he meant by goggles. But maybe he’s willing to help me out with this money thing. In fact, by talking to you and you posting, he already has. Thanks for posting this!

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    • That’s so rad that Biggie came to visit you! He’s been such a great help.
      Interesting dream. It’s totally all about what it means to you, your symbols, but I wonder if maybe the goggles are an invitation to look at things differently. Or to dive in. You know? Like when you try to open your eyes underwater and you can see well enough if there’s enough light, but with the goggles suddenly everything comes into sharp detail.
      So cool! Thanks for sharing that. 🙂

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  5. Wow!!Sweetie, I love this!Amazing!! I need to work on this. I have messed up money images I think. I mean I must becasue I never have any and cannot work either because of illness. I think it is body problems and health that really is off for me. I loved this and thank you!! Blessings and many thanks!! Jan xoxo

    Date: Fri, 17 May 2013 14:54:05 +0000 To: jandrake007@hotmail.com

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    • Thanks Jan 🙂
      It can be *so* challenging. Good luck with it and stay strong. I’m finding it helps to think of money as a friend and as a creative force. I’m starting to recognize that I saw money as aggressive and uncaring, so I’d made it my enemy. I had to re-frame it. Now I try to imagine money as an analogue to Mother Nature now, bestowing blessings. It’s all about what works for you. 🙂

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