Backyard Budgets / by Melanie Ida Chopko

Backyard Babes Bugeting! I've been rather nerdily excited about money in the past few days - I spent Sunday afternoon with two dear friends Diana Gameros and Maddy Streicek, creating a fresh start with the sparkly new platform of You Need A Budget, a program that changed my life beginning four years as a self employed Entre-prenartist. When I take care of my money, I also take care of my creativity.

And, to continue my dance and dialogue with this "transformation partner," money, tonight I begin a class with one of my mentors, somatic coach Isaak Brown. I I feel grateful to have the support of all my wisdom teachers and other artists as I contribute towards rewriting the obsolete, put-me-into-a-corner-scarcity stories that still lurk around my brain: the soup of the "starving artist" but also "you love making [drawings/music/writing], so why should we pay a living wage for that?" "you just cranked that out! It's a gift you got from the heavens, not a skill, so why should we pay you a living wage?" and "get a real job!"

In the intro class we did a mind map of all the cultural narratives of money that float in the air I breathe everyday in the West. I was reminded again that my story is, by default, shaped by this narrative, unless I actively write a different one. And I am - words woven from the chorus of truths I know in body and see in the eyes of these men and women, and in the natural world around me.

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