What, in fact, is prosperity, and why has money been so hard for some people to attract and manage? What will money and prosperity mean in 2018?
2018 is a year of creativity and innovation.
In America and many other parts of the world, money is a representation of the energy of exchange for providing a product or a service. Going forward, what product or service will be your highest calling to provide? What would you like to do, and what are you willing to do? And who will pay you now to do it?
What many want to know is how they can do what they love and not have to worry about money. Some people have attempted to create businesses based on adaptations of spiritual principles, such as the Law of Attraction, but have failed, largely because of ungrounded approaches that lacked necessary business planning and execution. Others attempted to enter competitive career fields from the same perspective. Awakening spiritually in America brings particular cultural challenges due to expectations of instant gratification, entitlement and entrepreneurial encouragement.
There are many products, services, scriptural interpretations, philosophies, communities, certifications and “shortcuts” available now to the spiritual seeker. Much time, money, effort and energy can be expended in the discovery of which of these offerings are helpful, which provide little discernible value and which even hamper spiritual progress.
Discernment in all things is especially important now.
Due to enculturation, many Americans still think about prosperity in terms of the “American dream.” Take a moment and really reflect honestly on this. Are you using spiritual principles to try to create a house, car, career and/or romantic soulmate without the necessary spiritual foundation? And, do you believe, that when you arrive at the right combination of these things that you will finally be happy?
In the feature film Just Wright, Queen Latifah asks her god-sister, who lives with her, when she will get a job. The camera pulls back to show the sister at a table with a pile of books, including Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. The sister points to a collage of pictures on the wall behind her depicting what she wants to manifest in her life and says, “I do have a job. I’m going to be an NBA player’s wife.”
Queen Latifah replies, ironically, “I’m sure that’s why Eckhart Tolle wrote that book.”
While the basics are necessary for life, doesn’t each of these key aspects of life on Earth at this time also come with a downside? A house requires maintenance, cleaning and usually a loan, as does a car. Careers have their ups and downs, including layoffs and office politics. Romantic relationships that are idealized often create arenas for conditional love and karmic lessons. The larger the possession, or ego-based attachment, the greater the maintenance and consumption of our most valuable asset—our time here on Earth. In the old energy we continuously tired of those things and wanted more. This created the endless economic treadmill we’re still recovering from today.
Several years ago, my sisters and I helped our parents move out of the house we grew up in. Many of the possessions we had all acquired over the years had deteriorated and needed to be recycled. Think of how much extra energy we can liberate and access for other pursuits if we let go of material possessions that cost us time, mind space and emotional attachment.
Humanity is awakening from eons of survival consciousness. Fear, greed, competitiveness and aggrandizement still play large roles in financial decisions and career choices. I have found my path and arrived within my highest calling and created my dream business as an author, healer and spiritual teacher. My days, though, and those of others I know who do similar work, include many of the routine and mundane business-related tasks of marketing, sales, promotion, record keeping and customer service. For me, prosperity arrives continually but still not necessarily in the ways my fear-based, or lower mind, would like it to arrive. We still have a way to go in terms of releasing our survival consciousness around money and livelihood.
A once wealthy Wall Street investment banker who lost everything came to see me after the 2008 financial crisis. I don’t think he was completely clear on why he came, but what began to emerge during sessions was that some of his childhood experiences and their resulting perceived inadequacies had been driving his relentless quest for material wealth. He came to see that it was now time to discover what had been driving him toward this unsatisfying, fleeting picture of success and to transform it.
Prosperity, therefore, is a mindset. Anyone can be wealthy the moment they create a balanced lifestyle in which they spend less than they earn. This can be accomplished by coming into alignment with soul purpose while accepting that there will be ups and downs—lessons to learn, puzzles to solve and journeys to complete.
Perhaps you’ve seen the TV series “Kung Fu.” In one episode I recall seeing Kwai Chang Caine, the Shaolin priest played by David Carradine, cleaning fish at a dockside market.
A man walks up to him, bows, and says respectfully, “Priest, why do you work here? Surely you could be many other places.”
Caine reflects for a moment and then says, with a shrug and a slight smile, “I work. It does not matter.”
Caine had arrived at a point of balance in his relationship with money. Creating this kind of balance is a necessary part of the path to higher consciousness.
I know a man who works as a night manager at a convenience store. The job provides him with everything he needs: money to live and an opportunity to be of service and set an example to others. Most importantly, he has the time to pursue spiritual progress and to help create Heaven on Earth right where he is. He also has the opportunity to embrace the gift of the lesson of humility.
Another client’s job doesn’t pay very well, which can cause him stress, but he also knows that, through higher-consciousness living, he has arrived at a place where he can truly recognize and appreciate that he has much to be thankful for. He has a wife who is on a path of spiritual progress with him, a warm and comfortable place to live, good friends and a knowingness now beyond what he ever thought possible.
Several years ago, I felt that I should create a car-less lifestyle. I began to bicycle and use public transportation more, even in the winter in Chicago. I sold my car in 2012, and I was sad to see it go. I bought it new in 1987, took good care of it all that time, and it was only a few years away from becoming a classic. Then I discovered how much fun it is to have a well-maintained, late-model rental fleet available whenever I need to go longer distances. The rental company lets me pick the car I want to drive that day and I’ve been able to experience some great cars this way. Even as a frequent renter I’m way ahead financially because I save on parking, plates and registration, and insurance. This is one example of how having less can actually create greater abundance.
Whenever I complete a purge and reorganization of my living space my old home feels like a brand new place to live. I donate the items I am finished with and organize the things I am not displaying or using every day, but not ready to part with, into labeled containers. Having a clear, clean, functional space provides the springboard and safe haven for the next part of my journey.
Owning what we have, as opposed to being owned by what we have, is another key way we can create prosperity and greater flow of abundance into our lives. We just have to open our minds to what that really means. It doesn’t mean more possessions, more money, or more status. It means opening ourselves up to the beauty and flow that is already present, and which amplifies once we recognize the pathway to perceiving it. This is what naturally happens when we arrive at a place of balanced, higher-consciousness living.
It is said “you can’t take it with you,” and this is true of material possessions. But what we will take with us is the spiritual progress we’ve made in this lifetime. It’s amazing to learn how little it truly takes to live well. When we live in touch with abundance, we can find great joy and satisfaction with simple pleasures and stay on a path of spiritual progress, which in turn creates even greater abundance and true prosperity.