Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Upgrade Your Energy: Accept Money

So, this is one of THOSE blogs: it's spiritual, it's granola, it's hippie dippie, it's all that stuff. Which is why what we're going to talk about today might blow your mind a little.
Today's post is about $$$Cash Money$$$!!!
Ok, deep breath. How did you react to that? Was there resistance? A rejection on a visceral level? For us hippie dippie, granola people, there usually is. We generally do not like mixing spiritual ideas with financial ones anymore than we like eating in the bathroom.

Well, maybe a little more. We have made some progress with businesses like Abundant Yogi, and personalities like Marie Forleo reminding us that, hey, maybe it is ok to make a living helping others.

Why is that a concept that needs to be sold to us? Where does this idea come from?

Well, in indigenous cultures and tribes, the kind our ancestors lived in, and that still exist all over the world, there are shamans, healers, priestesses, etc.: people who live closer to the divine, and are able to help those around them through that connection. Being close the divine isn't easy. If it was, everyone would do it. Generally there's sacrifice involved. In the Catholic church today, priests, nuns, sisters, monks, and brothers all take vows of chastity, for example. Generally great material wealth was also sacrificed: these people tend to live humble lives.

With this cultural setup in our DNA, it's no wonder we bulk at the thought of living a posh life doing healing work.

But here's the other side of the proverbial (and not so proverbial) coin that often goes ignored: these shamans, etc. are not starving or homeless. In fact, they often have the nicest home in the village. Because of what they do for the tribe, they are given a place of honor. Every member of the tribe makes offerings to see the shaman well cared for, especially those who have, or who hope to, benefit from her or his healing services.

That's how it used to work for all of us, and how it still works in some places in the world. Maybe you've noticed, it doesn't work that way in the time and place where YOU live. No one is offering you their two bedroom apartment, or showing up at your door with pastured eggs and local organic greens.

If you're doing spiritual and/or healing work,  you need to ask yourself, are people honoring you for the work that you do? Maybe it seems like they are! Maybe your heart is warmed by the deep, genuine gratitude of your clients, and the encouragement of your friends. But you're not being honored by your electric company for your contributions to your community with free service.

Whoa. You may be saying. Back this money train up for a second. I am NOT a Shaman! I am not a community leader, and I am NOT especially close to the divine! I don't DESERVE honor, or the nicest hut in the village, or someone showing up at my door with anything other than what I just ordered on seamless!

I hear you. That's a big responsibility to claim. I would challenge you, though: if that's not you, if you aren't doing important work, um, what are you doing? Maybe you need to take down your website and figure that one out. I'm not saying you must, or even should, claim some special connection to the divine, but if what you're offering works, you've got something going on. It's important that, whatever that is, you OWN it, and you take responsibility for it. Part of taking responsibility for it is expecting, even insisting, that it be honored for what it is.

And how do people show honor for contributions in your time and place? No, not by saying thank you, not by saying how much they admire you for what you do, WITH $$$CASH MONEYY$$$!

Because money is not the physical manifestation of greed, shallowness, grasping, materialism! Money is a physical stand in for energy, for gratitude, for love.

I'm just going to let that sink in for a minute.

Money=love.

What's more spiritual than love? Alright then.

People who want what you're offering, and tell you how awesome they think it is that you're offering it, but who won't pay you for it? I'm going to oversimplify here because clearly there are people out there barely scraping by in financially who just can't spare money for anything other than food and rent, so bear with me: Those people are not honoring what you're offering. Don't get me wrong; that's ok! It's not for everyone! No matter how great what you're offering is, it's not going to be for everyone, and if you're trying to make it for everyone, I've got bad news: you're probably decreasing the value for your true potential clients.

Aside from sustainable free offerings to those truly in need, you need to stop participating in one-sided energy exchanges (and those free offerings need to be truly sustainable for you, regardless of how many people in need you'd like to be able to help). It doesn't take much energy to say thank you, even if you say it lots of times really enthusiastically. It does take energy to make money. When someone gives you money, they are closing the energy loop, making it possible for you to keep on giving your energy to others who need it and value it (and even in the case of those sustainable free offerings, you need to be closing that energetic loop in some other way whenever possible. It's not just about taking care of yourself; it's important for your recipient's dignity and agency as well). That is your task. Upholding that end of the bargain, the one where you take back the energy you gave in another form, is just as important as the part where you give your energy via the work you do. If you give a lot of energy, a lot of value, then you can, and you should, expect a lot of energy in the form of money to come back your way. Make space for it. Let it in.

This is not easy work! It won't happen overnight. You may need help to really believe this in your soul. It's worth it. You're worth it. Do what you need to do. Give your energy, in the form of money, to someone who can help you do this, if necessary. That alone can be so helpful for rewriting this programing.

Ok, so let's say that you're totally cool with owning the amazing services you provide to the world, and you're totally comfortable earning money in line with the value of what you're offering...but you're still not making bank. What gives??

You may think that you're offering a tremendously precious service to your community, and you may be right! But that won't earn you any honor, energy, love, or $$$ if your community doesn't think that, too!

It's essential for you to be able to communicate the value of what you're offering to the people around you consistently. And here's the other thing: no matter how clearly you're communicating, you may be peddling what they need, but if you aren't peddling what they want, they still aren't going to pony up.

Here's the formula we hear: follow your passion! Follow your heart! Do what you love!

But just like our image of giving ourselves to our spiritual work and expecting no payment in return is incomplete, so is this idea.

YES, do what you love...but if you want that $$$Cash Money$$$, you also have to do the thing that people will pay you for.

This does not mean selling out, or giving up, or going corporate. It does mean making a list, drawing a venn diagram, and figuring out where those two things overlap.

If you love lots of different things, odds are, people aren't going to be willing to pay you for all of them. That's fine. Choose the one the most people are willing to pay the most money for, and make energetic space, in terms of time and money, for those other things to be part of your life in other ways. Over time, people may start seeing the connection that you see between those things, and they may be willing to pay you for some of that other stuff, too.

And, none of this has to mean running your own business, or creating a whole new enterprise. Maybe what you love that people will pay you for is something you can get hired to do at a existing company. Maybe they'll even give you benefits! If so, then frankly, lucky you! That is a MUCH easier and more accessible path! Run with it!

But if that's not you, you have the passion that you have for a reason. You have what it takes to fulfill this divine contract. Maybe not right now, and maybe not all by yourself, but everything you need is out there waiting for you. Go get it.

Want help, inspiration, and cold, hard practical advice? Check out Abundant Yogi, Marie Forleo, and Emmeline Chang

And, don't forget: this goes both ways! If you're hesitant to close that energetic loop with others, you're sending yourself the wrong message, and leaving a lot karma for yourself, not to get granola all over you. ;-) Start honoring what others have to offer you with your wallet! Stop searching for the bargain basement dirt cheapest option, and start searching for value, and energy that's worth paying for! This lesson, right here at the bottom, this is the one I want you to take away. It will change your life. But that's a whole other blogpost...maybe the next one!

Live Omily,
~em

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