Tag Archives: spirituality

The Real Measure of Your Wealth

From: Tiny Buddha  

Amazing Skies

Editor’s Note: This is a contribution by Julie Hoyle

“The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.” ~Unknown

A wonderful story from the yogic tradition highlighting the true meaning of wealth goes something like this:

There was once a beggar who spent his days sitting under an old banyan tree on the side of a dusty road that led to a bustling town. The man had been begging in that spot for years, rattling an old tin can hoping that passers-by would feel compassion and offer alms.

Yet, at the end of each day he would only have collected one or two rupees, barely enough to buy a dry chapati and a cup of sweet chai.

One day a wise man approached. Witnessing the beggar’s plight he called out, “My man, why are you wasting your days begging in this way? If you dig right where you are, you will discover great treasure!”

Desperate about his impoverished situation and intrigued by this idea, the beggar decided to take the wise man’s advice. Using his bare hands he began digging the earth under where he had been sitting.

To his utter amazement the beggar discovered a huge bag of rare, gold coins.

Dancing with joy he declared, “Had I realized I was sitting on top of great wealth I could have eased my suffering years ago!” 

I was once like the beggar, always seeking ways to fill the empty bowl of my perceived lack, believing that if I worked and saved hard enough I would ensure financial security. However, on October 6th 2008, the bubble of that illusion burst when my husband and I discovered our bank had dramatically collapsed.

Suddenly finding myself looking into the grim face of my worst possible fear, I knew I had to change my understanding of what the energy of money represented and discover the source of true wealth.

As a young adult, I had inherited a strong work ethic from my father along with a subconscious belief that money was “hard to come by.” As a consequence, I had become terrified of lack and even more terrified of loss.

Though I had recognized this unhealthy energy dynamic years ago when starting out on my spiritual path, and grew determined to face and transform ingrained fears, here it was again in a form that could not be ignored.

Committing to pulling the old beliefs out by the roots, I kept drawing strength from entries I had made in my journal a few months earlier. They came in the form a wise man whose “voice” was so strong, powerful, and imbued with equanimity that I was compelled to listen.

The first message was an insistent directive I had heard repeated while waking up early one morning. It was:

“Why are you sitting on your wealth? You have been given everything! What are you waiting for?”

And intriguingly another message had been:

“You are exhausted because you are repressing the energy of your own creative impulse, which is your true wealth.”

Now I became acutely aware of being presented with two choices. One was to descend into contraction, panic, and despair. The other was to accept what was unfolding, view the situation from an elevated perspective, and use the messages like a lifeline.

Choosing an elevated perspective, I knew my soul was urging me to take action and find the courage to share my intuitive gifts rather than continuing to hide out of fear. It was definitely time to start digging in.

With that awareness I formed an intention to heal the financial and creative dynamic, realizing one was simply a reflection of the other:

  • First: I accepted the financial loss as a gift, immediately resolving to turn it into a positive, abundant experience.
  • Second: I wrote a statement in my journal declaring, “Fine! If we have lost everything, let this be a beautiful starting point. I vow to spend the rest of my life living in alignment with my gifts, skills, and talents.”
  • Third: I began to work on the situation energetically. When I sat quietly and asked: “How does this financial situation manifest in terms of a fear-based image?” I saw a dark pit, descending deep into the ground which had the power to suck me in, draining all my energy and resources. The title I gave it was: “Bottomless Pit.”
  • Fourth: On inquiring, “What can be done to transform the fear into expansion and abundance?” I began to feel a sense of empowerment and began directing light to the image, working on reducing the size of the opening.

For weeks after, every time fear began surfacing in response to lack, I would visualize the hole becoming smaller and smaller until it was completely gone.

In its place, rising up and out into the universe, I visualized a strong web of light, like a vast tree, spreading its golden limbs into infinity. This image reflected the belief that we receive limitless resources if we share the abundance of who we are, rather than believing in scarcity and limitation.

The gift of losing everything was amazing. It forced me to face my subconscious fears around lack and take responsibility for transforming them into something creative and beautiful.

Since then, the universe has led me to numerous vehicles for creative expression, which have included articles for Mind-Body-Spirit magazines, two books, and several online courses.

Three years on, our financial situation has also taken a graceful turn for the better with a large percentage of our savings unexpectedly reimbursed. I am also feeling more vibrantly alive, energized, and aligned with purpose as formerly repressed creative energy has been allowed to flow unencumbered.

If like many people worldwide you are facing your own financial challenges, have the courage to dig in and access what is available to you right now, right where you are.

Give yourself the abundant gift of engaging in your own self inquiry by asking the following questions:

  • Am I sitting on hidden gifts, skills, and talents?
  • Is there something I have always wanted to do and have kept putting off?
  • What am I most afraid of in relation to the expression of abundant goals for my life?
  • Starting right now, how can I begin to make my dreams a reality?

If you are willing to engage in this work, you will have access to the unique beauty and vast richness of your own personal treasure. Over time, you will also arrive at a place where you are immensely grateful for any financial challenges you have had to embrace and transform.

Through suffering and loss, we often recognize that when we have the courage to be who we are, rather than procrastinating or hiding in fear, we are the source and embodiment of abundance. 


Mind Control

The mind is a powerful tool.  Many (if not most) people live their entire lives never truly realizing its full potential.  Ponder for a moment, the mind has the ability to think, dream, predict, forget, and even manifest.  When people talk about the subconscious, what they are really referring to is the part of the mind that has been “flashy thingyed” by society– the part we were programmed not to recognize.  Men in Black does a great job of depicting this phenomenon (click on above link for details)!  But, by design, we are able to overcome this setback if we are willing to put in the work.  It takes time, although the reward of awareness far outweighs the challenge it takes to get there.

 

Consider this scenario for a moment:

You awake from a long, unscheduled nap, and you know you have to make it to the dining hall to eat lunch before it closes.  You rush around, but the entire time you are doubting your ability to get there in time to eat, check your e-mail, and return before your campers come back from their afternoon activities.  You keep telling yourself not to forget your meal ticket before you leave your room, so you make sure you take it out  of your wallet (which you are not bringing with you). You are also unsure of what to wear because you know the forecast is calling for mild weather, but you are almost certain it will be warm outside.  You grab your laptop bag, and head out the door.  As you are locking the door, you double-check your laptop bag and realize you don’t have your meal ticket! You left it on the dresser next to your wallet.  You run in, pick up the ticket and stick it in your pocket.  You briefly think to yourself, “what if it fell out of my pocket on my way to the dining hall?  That would suck!”  This thought makes you laugh because you think it’s highly unlikely.  You get outside and a few things pop into your mind: you aren’t dressed appropriately because you threw on a long sleeve shirt even though you expected it to be warm, you want to walk fast so you have time to eat and check e-mail but rushing will cause you to sweat, and you better not drop the meal ticket.  You finally get to the dining hall and as you reach into your back pocket, panic starts to sink in.  Where the heck is the meal ticket?!

 

Now honestly ask yourself what you would do or think in this situation?  For me, this was one of the many events that actually happened to me today!  But there is a lesson in this, and that’s that our minds have the power to manifest.  I had been thinking about all these negative scenarios, and I doubted my own ability to make things happen peacefully.  Furthermore, I didn’t actually listen to myself long enough to change somethings around, like put the meal ticket in a safe place (i.e. in my bag), or put on a cooler shirt.  But the difference between myself and the average person is, the whole time I was aware that these negative events would happen.

The first issue is that I was rushing.  What I have learned through experiences in my life is that rushing is futile.  You are exactly where you are supposed to be at any given time.  Rushing expends unnecessary energy, makes you do things sloppily, and may even cause you to arrive at your destination before your favor, blessing, or fortune!

The second issue is doubt.  When you doubt yourself, you actually welcome negativity or opposition.  The best thing to do is to trust your instincts.  If it doesn’t feel right, leave it be. But if you feel like you will forget something, you most certainly will so do yourself a favor and write it down, or act immediately.  Had I just changed my shirt or put the meal ticket in a safer place, I could have avoided the confusion all together.

The last issue is this:  Think, speak, and act positively.  Giving yourself room for negative thoughts creates negative outcomes.  It’s true it can be difficult to be positive all the time, but if you have a negative thought, finish it, and then replace it with something positive.  This may require you to actually tell yourself enough.  And then forgive yourself, and move on from it.  When we harp on our issues is when they consume us and over-extend their welcome.

 

Because I am aware the power that my mind has, I was able to pause for a moment, think clearly, laugh at myself for my own carelessness, and retrace my steps (not far at all), back to my meal ticket which was lying neatly on the ground awaiting my return.  It was as if the ticket, the Universe, and myself all shared a moment that no one else noticed.  Had I not known the power of my mind, I may not have retraced my steps successfully finding the ticket, and I would have been angry at how careless I was and allowed it to takeover my mood, the whole time sweating unnecessary buckets, and still hungry.

This is a super simple scenario (and true could have been avoided altogether, but I’m happy to share), but I guarantee it can be applied to all of life’s situation.  We are often the culprit for confusion, not because we are unfortunate people, or deserve chaos in our lives, but because we fail to recognize that we do have a say in how we react, and how we welcome the flow of energy into our lives.  It is unwise to assume that you have no control over what happens to you.  And while the Universe has the last say, we can use our minds to give a gentle push in the direction we hope to go.

 

My mom always taught us as kids, think good things, good things happen.  Think bad things, bad things happen.


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