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Are You Doing What You Love?

Are You Doing What You Love?

by Pam Asberry

One of my writer friends gave me a copy of The Prosperous Heart (by Julia Cameron of The Artist’s Way fame) for Christmas. The book jacket states, “The Prosperous Heart presents a twelve-week program for using practical financial tools–in partnership with your creative heart and soul–to guide you to prosperity in all areas of your life. According to Cameron, true prosperity has very little to do with the amount of money we have in the bank. Rather, it is about possessing a prosperous heart and the ability that affords us to see clearly–and appreciate–the aspects of our lives that are truly valuable. With inspiring daily tools, exercises, and strategies, this book guides readers in developing a life that is full, satisfying, and secure–both fiscally and spiritually.”

I am two weeks into the program now, and I think it’s wonderful. I have renewed my commitment to writing morning pages, walking, and “time-outs” (five minutes of quiet morning and evening)–techniques I learned from The Artist’s Way–and added “counting” (keeping a simple ledger of money in and money out) and “abstinence” (refraining from debt). Yes, I know this is common sense stuff. But sometimes we all need to be reminded of even the simplest things.

One of this week’s exercises has proven especially beneficial.

In your journal, number from one all the way to twenty-five. List twenty-five things you absolutely love. When was the last time you were around each one of those items or did each one of those activities?

Here, in no particular order, is my list.

  1. Warm weather.
  2. The beach.
  3. Flip flops.
  4. Bright colors.
  5. Cruise vacations.
  6. Writing.
  7. Playing music with others.
  8. Reading.
  9. Tiny white lights.
  10. Baking.
  11. Trying new recipes.
  12. Candles.
  13. Dresses.
  14. Feminine details.
  15. Making pretty things.
  16. Christmas.
  17. Glitter.
  18. Gardenias.
  19. Scented body lotion.
  20. Eggnog lattes.
  21. Road trips.
  22. Chocolate.
  23. Old quilts.
  24. Anything French.
  25. Doing anything with the people I love.

Three months after Julia Cameron made her own list, she moved across the country, all the way from New York City to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she found herself literally living her list of loves. Although I’m certain that I’m not in store for such a drastic change in my own life, it is clear that a subtle shift has taken place inside me as a result of this exercise. Maybe I cannot move to the beach–yet–but I can make choices every day that add up to a life lived true to the desires of my heart. And I’m here to encourage you to do the same.

Let’s not wait for someday to be happy. Because all we have for sure is this day, this hour, with moment. And we don’t want to look back on a single precious second with regret. No more wasted time. No more wasted money. “The prosperous heart spends time and money along the lines of its true values,” says Ms. Cameron. Here’s to building strong, prosperous hearts in 2013.

And in the spirit of prosperity, leave a comment with the top three items on your list for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card. I’m looking forward to them!

Pam Asberry


Mary Preston - January 17, 2013 - 3:20 am

My top three would have to be:

watching ‘classic’ movies

working on my craft

going for a walk, just for the sake of going for a walk.

Maxine Davis - January 17, 2013 - 6:39 am

Ah, Mary, if we weren’t worlds apart, I’d say let’s walk together and have a good talk. So, that makes:
1. going for a nice walk
2. eating lobster in Maine
3. hubby and I riding around, going no place in particular

Marilyn Baron - January 17, 2013 - 7:55 am

My top three would be:

1. The beach
2. Traveling
3. Writing

I enjoyed your post.

Linsey Lanier - January 17, 2013 - 8:04 am

Great post, Pam. You always inspire me. :) I love the beach, too. Perhaps I love the ideal of a beach. Since I can’t go, I indulge myself in writing about beaches, which requires research. There are a lot of lovely beach videos on youtube. Just look up Hawaii or Maui beaches. Watching them is almost like being there. :)

Elaine Calloway - January 17, 2013 - 8:27 am

Great post, Pam :) And a great reminder to try & incorporate the things we love into our daily grind.

My top few would be:

1. Enjoying a great movie
2. Writing & connecting with other writers
3. Seeing beautiful & inspiring art

All of these things are within my grasp. Even on #3 I don’t have to go to Paris to see a museum. Just browsing around or a cafe with paintings does the trick.

Great post, thx!

Debbie Kaufman - January 17, 2013 - 9:22 am

I think the list is a great idea. It’s too easy to just keep going day after day and lose sight of what we love and what’s important.
My top 3?
1. Sitting on a screen-in porch and enjoying a water view.
2. Cooking creatively.
3. Traveling with my darling.

Anna Doll - January 17, 2013 - 10:31 am

Love this post! I’m in the grasp of the flu, so I can’t guarantee my response will be very lucid, but…
1. Creating beauty…writing, gardening, photography, woodworking, building, anything where I use my hands.
2. Cooking healthy for me and others…using vegetables and fruits I’ve grown myself.
3. Spending time with family, friends, and children. Anywhere. Just talking, reconnecting, learning. Making a difference in that person’s life!


Pam Asberry - January 17, 2013 - 10:41 am

That’s a great list, Mary. As a matter of fact, walking is one of the “basic tools” Julia Cameron recommends in the book I am reading. I need to get back to it. Thank you so much for your comments!

Pam Asberry - January 17, 2013 - 10:43 am

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all go for a walk together, Maxine? And I have never been to Maine, but I enjoy lobster dinner night when I go on a cruise and I’m sure it would be even better in Maine!

Pam Asberry - January 17, 2013 - 10:43 am

I might have been able to guess your list, Marilyn! ;-)

Pam Asberry - January 17, 2013 - 10:44 am

Hawaii is another place I’ve never visited, Linsey. I love writing about beaches, too. As a matter of fact, one of my good friends suggested I expand my short story from “Seasons and Seashells” into a novel. I am strongly thinking about it!

Pam Asberry - January 17, 2013 - 10:46 am

I can relate to your list as well, Elaine. And it’s wonderful that we live in a world where we can do all three of those things without ever leaving the comfort of our homes! Which just might come in handy in view of the wintry mix we are expecting tonight. Brr!

Pam Asberry - January 17, 2013 - 10:47 am

I don’t have a water view, Deb, but I have a lovely wooded area behind my house. You have inspired me to look into screening in my deck. That would be quite nice! Thanks for sharing your list!

Pam Asberry - January 17, 2013 - 10:49 am

I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well, Anna! We are definitely kindred spirits. I love making things with my hands and cooking with fresh produce, although I will admit I’m not much of a gardener. But it’s #3 that is the be-all, end-all for me. Get well soon!

Hildie McQueen - January 17, 2013 - 8:36 pm

I am so making this list!!! Love this post. I try to live my life to the fullest remind myself of what is important!

Carol Burnside / Annie Rayburn - January 17, 2013 - 9:04 pm

Hey, Pam. It looks like we were on a kindred wavelength this week with the ‘do what you love’ theme. Excellent list you’ve got there. I don’t know if they’d be 1-2-3, but three things that would definitely make my list would be
1. Spend more time with family.
2. Do something creative every day
3. Spend more time on a beach.

Maria Malaveci - January 17, 2013 - 9:10 pm

1. Reading
2. Snuggling with my kids and my husband
3. Baking!


Pam Asberry - January 17, 2013 - 9:16 pm

Thanks a million, Hildie! Welcome to PFHT. :-)

Pam Asberry - January 17, 2013 - 9:20 pm

Great list, Maria! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.

Marilyn Baron - January 17, 2013 - 11:18 pm

Maria reminded me that I need to move reading up on my list of favorite things. Reading gives me a lot of pleasure.

Connie Gillam - January 17, 2013 - 11:25 pm


I’d rather read than watch television.And my next favorite thing is going to the beach, which is where I’m headed this weekend. It might be chilly, but I’m going to love it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mary Ann Woods - January 18, 2013 - 7:05 am

I would agree with all the other posts about the beach. There’s just something about the view and sound of water that puts me in a super relaxed mood. I also love a good book. My favorite thing in my life is my almost-three-year-old granddaughter!

Tia - January 18, 2013 - 10:33 am

My top 3
1 Babies
2 Kittens
3 Books


Pam Asberry - January 18, 2013 - 11:27 am

Me too, Marilyn!

Pam Asberry - January 18, 2013 - 11:28 am

I’m JEALOUS, Connie! I wish I were going to the beach this weekend! But I *will* be at GRW tomorrow, which is the next best thing! :-)

Pam Asberry - January 18, 2013 - 11:29 am

And a book at the beach, Mary Ann, is a little slice of heaven on earth! :-)

Pam Asberry - January 18, 2013 - 11:31 am

I am a cat person myself, Tia, but my middle child is allergic so I can’t have one. But I do love my dog! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Pam Asberry - January 18, 2013 - 11:32 am

I saw your comment but failed to reply, Carol! We are kindred spirits, indeed! :-)

Erika - January 18, 2013 - 1:41 pm

I feel I am doing what I love but I’m always adding to the list. I tend to be over-motivated. I think it is super important to find what you love and do it. Thanks for the post!

Dione Sage - January 18, 2013 - 4:21 pm

Great post, I love the list and agree with all 25 items..those make me happy too!

Jennifer - January 18, 2013 - 6:43 pm

Spending time with family and friends, being a cruise, and watching the sunset! :)

Elle - January 18, 2013 - 6:51 pm


flowing water


Sandy Elzie - January 19, 2013 - 3:59 pm

Hi Pam,

Road trip with hubby, cruising with Hubby, any time with my granddaughter.

Pam Asberry - January 19, 2013 - 6:13 pm

I tend to be over-motivated myself sometimes, Erika. That’s why making this list was helpful; it helped me remember what is truly most important to me. Thank you for your comments!

Pam Asberry - January 19, 2013 - 6:18 pm

Glad you enjoyed it, Dione! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

Pam Asberry - January 19, 2013 - 6:20 pm

How about watching the sunset with family and friends on a cruise, Jennifer? That’s the ultimate!!

Pam Asberry - January 19, 2013 - 6:20 pm

Hm, Elle, I love flowers too. I might need to add a #26 to my list…

Pam Asberry - January 19, 2013 - 6:21 pm

It’s awesome that you and your husband have so much fun together, Sandy! And the next time you see that granddaughter, give her a hug from me! :-)

Anne C - January 19, 2013 - 8:37 pm

I love this post! :)

My top 3:
1 – doing anything with people I love
2 – the beach
3 – chocolates

Pam Asberry - January 19, 2013 - 10:40 pm

Three of my personal favorites, Anne! Thank you so much for sharing!

heather s - January 19, 2013 - 11:54 pm

1. Decorating my home
2. spending time at the beach
3. relaxing with a good book

Misha K. - January 20, 2013 - 12:50 am

1. Disney World
2. Books
3. Baking desserts

MostlyMisha [at] gmail [dot] com

Cynthia C - January 20, 2013 - 6:21 am

My list would be quite similar to yours with the addition of coffee!

Amanda DeWees - January 20, 2013 - 11:06 am

What an inspiring and reaffirming post. I think I need to seek out the Julia Cameron book now!

Some of my top favorite things that come to mind…

1. Having written something that I know is good
2. Kissing
3. Really being understood by someone

brittney - January 20, 2013 - 11:15 am

1 – doing new things with my daughter
2 – snuggling with my dog
3 – reading a good book

brittneydejajason at gmail dot com

Pam Asberry - January 20, 2013 - 1:36 pm

I enjoy home decorating as well, Heather, although I’m afraid I have been remiss in that area the past couple of years. I think it’s time to do something about that. Thanks for the reminder!

Pam Asberry - January 20, 2013 - 1:38 pm

I haven’t been to Disney World in more than thirty years, Misha, although I probably should add “roller coasters” to my list. Whee!

Pam Asberry - January 20, 2013 - 1:39 pm

Now there’s some food for thought, Cynthia (pun intended). I go days without chocolate, but I can’t get through the morning without my coffee! Hm…

Pam Asberry - January 20, 2013 - 1:42 pm

Thank you so much, Amanda. And I love your top three list. In light of everyone’s comments, I think my list is in need of some revision! :-)

Pam Asberry - January 20, 2013 - 1:43 pm

My dog says that he cannot believe I left snuggling with him off my top 25 list. That is definitely going on the revised version. Thanks, Brittney!

diane Baum - January 20, 2013 - 4:04 pm

1.Reading !
2. snuggling with my rescue pets
3 spending fun time with my buddies

bn100 - January 20, 2013 - 11:39 pm

Very nice list.
1. reading
2. watching movies
3. chocolate

Jessica Fortner - January 21, 2013 - 11:56 am

First off, great post. My top 3 would be doing anything fun with family, good Filipino & Mexican food, and a great nights sleep to tackle anything & everything the day might bring.

Michelle Hudak - January 21, 2013 - 12:45 pm

1 Reading a good book
2 baking something sweet
3 quilting

elaine bishop - January 21, 2013 - 4:35 pm

1. reading my books where it is warmer than Illinois
2. motorcycling year round (I read my kindle on the back of the bike while my hubby drives)
3. traveling

Pam Asberry - January 21, 2013 - 6:38 pm

Thanks, BN100! I enjoy movies too but especially after reading the books they are based on, LOL!

Pam Asberry - January 21, 2013 - 6:39 pm

Mexican is my favorite cuisine, Jessica. And youa re absolutely right about the importance of a good night’s sleep, something that often eludes me. Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

Pam Asberry - January 21, 2013 - 6:41 pm

Sweets are definitely my favorite thing to bake, Michelle. And I used to enjoy quilting a lot. Although I haven’t done a project in several years, I have an idea for a collage quilt I might start on this winter. Thanks for sharing your list!

Pam Asberry - January 21, 2013 - 6:43 pm

Good list, Diane! What kind of pets do you rescue? Regardless, give them a snuggle from me!

Pam Asberry - January 21, 2013 - 6:44 pm

Where in Illinois are you from, Elaine? I grew up in southern Illinois and lived in Peoria for three years. Brr! I cannot imagine riding behind a motorcycle in the winter, much less read while riding in the back. You are amazing! Thanks for visiting our blog!

Sarah L - January 22, 2013 - 2:52 am

1. Singing
2. Swimming
3. Reading

Can only do 2 of the above at the same time, but I swim 3 times a week and do the others daily.
Thanks for the contest.

Pam Asberry - January 22, 2013 - 9:00 am

I’m afraid I am not much of a swimmer, Sarah, but I try to run a couple of miles two or three times a week. But I rarely get through a day without making music and reading. Thank you for your comments!

Jen - January 22, 2013 - 3:05 pm

I am with you on glitter.

Pam Asberry - January 22, 2013 - 5:40 pm

Thanks, Jen! Life would be a lot less fun if not for glitter! And tiaras. :-)

Daniel M - January 22, 2013 - 7:23 pm

the beach, reading and chocolate!

Allison - January 22, 2013 - 8:55 pm

1. coffee
2. running with music
3. petting my dog

brett - January 22, 2013 - 9:47 pm

-watching movies with my girlfriend
-taking long walks with my dog

Pam Asberry - January 22, 2013 - 10:54 pm

Sounds like a perfect day to me, Daniel! Thanks for sharing!

Pam Asberry - January 22, 2013 - 10:55 pm

I just bought an armband for my iPhone, Allison, and I am going to try running with music the next warm day we have. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Pam Asberry - January 22, 2013 - 10:55 pm

Good list, Brett! There’s nothing like watching a movie with someone you love!

Carla - January 23, 2013 - 8:00 pm

1 My pets.
2 Being outside in nice weather.
3 Once Upon A Time.

Lesley M. - January 24, 2013 - 12:08 am

1) Reading by the fire
2) Walking on the beach at sunset
3) Drinking coffee with friends

Alexandra Roach - January 24, 2013 - 2:00 am

1. Attending the Olympics
2. Attending the Superbowl
3. Eurotrip

Pam Asberry - January 24, 2013 - 9:46 am

Ooh, I’m a big fan of “Once Upon A Time” too, Carla! But it’s one of only four shows I watch regularly, the others being “Downton Abbey,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Modern Family.” Which is why TV didn’t make my list!

Pam Asberry - January 24, 2013 - 9:47 am

Nice list, Lesley! Thank you for visiting our blog!

Pam Asberry - January 24, 2013 - 9:48 am

That sounds more like items from your bucket list, Alexandra! May all your dreams come true!

Amanda Wilson - January 24, 2013 - 9:51 am

1) Mountains
2) Reading
3) Sunday drives through the countryside

Pam Asberry - January 24, 2013 - 10:40 am

You are so right, Amanda; there is nothing like a country road trip, especially in the north Georgia mountains, especially on a Sunday afternoon, with a good book to read at rest stops. I hope you will stop by again soon!

Kristina - January 24, 2013 - 2:30 pm

my amazing children

Pam Asberry - January 24, 2013 - 2:35 pm

I have a leaky roof right now, Kristina, so until I get that repaired I am praying for no more rain, LOL! But there’s nothing like sleeping in on a rainy morning, and it was especially sweet when my children were small and snuggled up in bed with me. Thanks for sharing your list!

Sand - January 24, 2013 - 10:55 pm

1. Dance Workouts!
2. Trips to NYC!
3. My perfume collection.

meme - January 24, 2013 - 11:46 pm

cooking with my 6 year old helper
skyping with my 13 year old grandson who lives in another state
talking to my niece every Thursday who lives in another state

Pam Asberry - January 29, 2013 - 9:08 am

I have only been to NYC twice, Sand, but I would love to go back. What a great place to add to your perfume collection

Pam Asberry - January 29, 2013 - 9:09 am

That’s awesome that you keep in such close touch with your out-of-town family, Meme. I might try Skyping my niece one of these days!

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