Recently I have come to the conclusion that a lot of our own self worth has been tied into whether we “have it”, whether we “have enough of it” and whether we “are enough” in order to make/create “it”. It seems such a waste of precious life energy to have so much of our time and attention tied into such a paradox….and this global scarcity paradigm pervades everything!
Many of us are finally coming around to deeply honoring whatever it is that we are called to do, whether it be in the arts, health professions, or business….and disengaging it from having to make large amounts of money from whatever it is that we are doing. Though that may naturally happen – it is not the “end all” goal, nor does it define who we are and what we have to bring.
When I had my own business in massage, breath work, yoga therapy and women’s retreats, I remember the thoughts of “needing one more person to sign up” or “having enough clients for the week” which seemed to be a never ending cycle of “not enough” and struggle – which then translated inside of me to “I guess I am just not enough because I don’t know how to do this and sustain my well being at the same time in the manner that my culture tells me I should be doing”! In fact, I loved what I was doing, but the self imposed pressure to “make more money” took away from that natural feeling of fulfillment and creativity.
This week a Facebook connection that I think highly of posted a piece that you will find below. McCall has been consciously walking her path for awhile now and I found this piece deeply honest and real. This may touch some of you and others may disagree,…but what is important here is that we speak what is moving in us, share our stories, and support each other in walking the path of “enough” – ourselves and the resources we have at our disposal. I have asked that we start a revolution – a revolution of ENOUGH – of perhaps more than enough – as we look in the mirror at our magnificent beings and recognize the “power of one” walking a soul path ! Thank you McCall for this piece and for stimulating dialog!
So many of us are feeling it now. The urge to do deeper work, to excavate our deepest gifts, passion, and truth, to be the change we want to see in the world.
Not only are we feeling it, we’re doing it! We can’t help but do this. And in doing so, we’re often called to leave behind many traditional life patterns. Including traditional jobs.
How do we continue to pay our bills while following our hearts? We can’t turn away from our soul’s work any sooner than we can avoid death and taxes. We also can’t turn away from the fact that our rent is due, we have mouths to feed, and god damnit it still takes money to live in this world. (Don’t worry; I’m working on a revolution to change that) But for now…
Let me share with you a few key points that have helped me shift and soften this money conundrum since leaving my 9-5 job five years ago to follow dreams.
First, we must must ditch the “Do what you love and the money will follow” saying.
I don’t know where this woo-woo-feel-good tagline came from, but evidence shows it’s serving the credit card industry, NOT the soul-saving-change-the-world-with-your-dreams industry. It’s just not reality for most people to instantly make money doing what they love, and I am “most people.”
Let’s face it; we are in a culture that doesn’t pay change-the-world-creative-types the big bucks. We pay doctors, lawyers, athletes, and Hollywood mega stars. Many of us are called to follow a soul path of music, writing, art, healing, mentoring, and teaching that doesn’t pay the big bucks. So? We’ll do it anyway if that’s what our souls call us to do. We’ll do what we love and figure out a way to pay the bills. Some may call this limited thinking. I call it reality.
Next, we must must stop attaching our worth or how well we are following our true path to how much money we are bringing in from it.
There’s a saying among writers that goes, “The only difference between not being published and being published is being published.” Same goes for making money from our gifts. One of my greatest mentors is an amazing writer. All of her books are self-published and as good (and more life-changing) than many books I’ve read on the best-seller list. But she doesn’t pay her mortgage from book royalties. (Few authors do) But she is hitting her soul calling right on the mark.
As for me, I felt like the most dreadful failure a year after quitting my job, writing killer songs, creating my own buzz in the indie music scene, and expecting the money to follow, because “God damnit I was following my passion!” but instead I had a $10,000 credit card bill in my hands and no way to pay my rent.
And I couldn’t go back to a 9-5 job. I just couldn’t. I’d come too far on my own path.
Learn to negotiate to fund the dream.
So, I got a waitressing job, knocked out my debt, kept food (organic food, of course) on my table, and kept writing songs. Strangely, that waitressing job made me feel less of a failure and more at peace knowing I was taking care of shit on my end. I’ve gone in and out of seasons of needing my waitressing job to pay the bills since then, because sometimes I’m making enough from my dreams than other times. I am no longer ashamed or prideful about that either way. It is what it is. It’s all an energy flow, and there are greater things at play here than I have control over.
These days I’m not picky about where the money comes from, as long as I’m living true to my heart and bringing good to the world. I can do that while waiting tables too. Some people can even do that while working a 9-5 job. Truth be known, you’ll find me more often than not advising my clients to keep their day jobs as long as possible. Day jobs can be a blessing. They can fund the dream! I say, stay until staying truly interferes with your soul moving forward, not until you merely have a case of entitlement and wish you were somewhere other than there. Only you can know when that is.
Embrace the paradox.
All this said, I still find myself falling into the trap of thinking “Someday when I figure out how to really make money with this. Someday, when I’m discovered. Someday….then the money paradox will go away.” Hmf! It never goes away. It might soften and get easier over time, and yes, we really can (and do) make money following our hearts and using our gifts. But the paradox is always there. Even for Oprah, Meryl Streep, and James Taylor. We all need money to live. Embrace the paradox, and it softens. I promise.
Alright my friends, that’s all I have for now. I just gave you my best on the money issue. As always, open to hearing your take on things. We all grow together when we share our experience, strength, and hope.
From one dream-builder to another,
OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT: www.BreathingSpaces.net