Okay yes, I’m using Brené Brown’s quote while simultaneously finishing off my bookcrush series on The Art of Asking, by Amanda Palmer. To be fair Brené Brown is quoted generously in The Art of Asking, and even wrote the forward. You would also be correct in assuming that soon you will be seeing quotes from Brené Brown, as her work has been instrumental to me in the last several years.
The ideal sweet spot is the one in which the artist can freely share their talents and directly feel the reverberations of their artistic gifts to their community, and make a living doing that. In other words, it works best when everybody feels seen.
Lets expand on the idea of who is an artist. Some of us aren’t performing on the street or otherwise, some of us aren’t at home painting or drawing or making things that someday someone else might own. I do, obviously, write, but when I read this, I don’t think about my writing. I think about teaching yoga, facilitating, and coaching. The parts of my life that are interactive are also coincidentally my livelihood. This is where this dance of valuing my work and asking for enough happens.
I also know how easy it is for me the moment I feel stress to assume the answer is more money. I’m not saying money doesn’t matter at all; if you don’t have enough money for healthy food, a home, and clothes, then absolutely figure this out. Speaking for myself, when I’m stressed about money, I know that I have enough food, I am adequately clothed, and I have a home. If I step back and get super honest with myself, money isn’t my main problem. The usual culprits I encounter are: fear of the future, feelings of inadequacy, and the grossest of all, shame. Now, to be clear, these are things that deserve help, but they won’t be solved simply because I made more money. In fact, if I’m not caught up in dire predictions about my future, or feeling bad about myself, you know what I can do? Think straight, and get creative about solving cash flow issues!
I am not currently plagued by overabundance but I have seen how scary it can be for those who suddenly have way more than enough, and I have been a witness to the truth that being wealthy doesn’t solve underlying issues.
How much is enough without being too much? For people who struggle more with self worth it’s easy to get caught in a trap where it’s hard to accept income for our gifts, or hard to accept enough that we can live in ease. There’s wisdom in Palmer’s quote pointing to the sweet spot being one where we are able to “feel the reverberations of their artistic gifts”.
The answer to the question of how much is enough or how much is too much isn’t formulaic. It’s learning to feel for a sweet spot, where we spend our energy on our gifts rather than survival, and learning how much to give back to stay connected.
I also want to point out this can be true even if we don’t feel like we are directly making money using our biggest gifts. No matter where the income originates, we can have enough, we can feel known by our loved ones and community, and we can feel the reverberations of what our gifts have to offer the world.