The Prosperous Heart
by Julia Cameron

Tarcher/Penguin, 2012. ISBN 978-1-585-42897-7.
Reviewed by Laura Strathman Hulka
Posted on 02/29/2012

Nonfiction: Life Lessons; Nonfiction: Faith/Spirituality/Inspiration; Nonfiction: Creative Life

I have been a follower of Julia Cameron for many years. This new book, The Prosperous Heart, and its message, takes techniques from The Artist's Way and applies them to how we look at money. The subtitle, Creating a Life of "Enough," is a message that we all need to read, hear, and implement in our lives.

This is a twelve week program of regaining your balance and connection with your money and your financial perspective. Cameron "trains" you through these lessons in using your creative spirit to connect with your prosperity in all aspects of your life. Her message—you cannot separate your finances from your spirituality or any other portion of your life—resonates with me, and will probably be a factor in how any reader relates to the message.

The key? "Prosperity is a spiritual bottom line." We are works in progress, evolving, the goal is not to be completed, but to be enriched, growing, learning and experiencing it all from a healthy, balanced perspective.

Cameron gives us the basic tools to practice and learn during the twelve weeks.

  • Morning Pages have been an element of Cameron's teachings for many years. The author calls it "...the primary tool of a creative recovery...(and) also a primary tool for establishing prosperity."
  • The next basic tool is Counting. It's a simple technique: you learn to habitually count money in and money out.
  • Third is Abstinence. STOP going into debt. No more borrowing. Period.
  • Fourth is Walking. What? What does walking have to do with growing in prosperity? It is an opportunity to "immerse yourself in the present." It is a way to embrace our own inner connections to the greater world.
  • Next up is Time-Out. Yup. Just what it sounds like. Taking time for "self-appraisal" and "self-approval. Twice a day.

Once you have these five techniques under your belt you're ready to read on and learn during the twelve weeks how to change and embrace growth when dealing with prosperity.

Cameron encourages us not to get hung-up on labels. She uses "God" often in this book, but reminds us that whatever approach we take to the good in our lives, and whatever our religious base, we can take a renewed, healthy approach to develop our creative, prosperous heart. Each of the twelve weeks of study (from The Money Myth to the Prosperity Plan) will give you guidance in finding your own path to that life we are all seeking—flourishing, resourceful, imaginative and enriching in all its permutations.

Twelve weeks is a guideline—if you take longer reading/participating in one chapter to establish a comfortable understanding of the techniques, then give that to yourself. One chapter a week is enough though, for as Cameron reminds the reader, "be gentle with yourself." After all, twelve weeks (three months) is not too long to devote to yourself and your well-being, is it? There are optional exercises at the end of most chapters, which you can do, or not do. Some chapters will resound with you, providing "ah-ha" moments, others will be arduous and uncomfortable. Sometimes, she says, "when my students shake the apple tree, oranges fall. And oranges may have been just what they were looking for, after all."

Read an excerpt from this book.

Julia Cameron has been an active artist for more than thirty years. She is the author of twenty-eight books, fiction and nonfiction, including her bestselling works on the creative process: The Artist's Way, Walking in This World, Finding Water, and The Writing Diet. A novelist, playwright, songwriter, and poet, she has multiple credits in theater, film, and television. Visit her website.

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