It has become a cliché these days to hear sayings like "in this economic climate," or "in these difficult times." And of course it becomes a self-perpetuating prophecy. Are these statements the whole truth about today's economic climate? First, people selling gizmos of various kinds, people who run restaurants, and folks in service industries, will tell you that customers are spending less money. Why? Because they are making less money. Why are they making less money? Because their customers are spending less money. Why is all this happening? Because of difficult economic times! It is somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more we believe it, the more it becomes true. The other thing that is true about these times is that it's not longer so easy to make money from having money. Back in the 1990's you could buy a house for $200,000 and, if you played your cards right, you could put 5% down ($10,000). If the house went up 50% in value (which many houses did over just a few years), it then became worth $300,000. You just made $100,000 on an investment of $5,000. That is a 2000% profit.
The same thing could be done at that time in the stock market, or just lending money to start-up businesses. Why? Because everybody had the opposite belief as we have now. It was boom time! People were using worlds like "great opportunities" and "leverage." Everybody believed that story together, and it became another self-fulfilling prophecy.
If your interest in life is making a lot of money from having money without being particularly creative in the process, then this might be a sobering period for you. Sooner or later, of course, that bubble had to burst, and an economic system based essentially on gambling and creating income without contributing value is short lived. But not everybody is depressed these days. Many people I know are finding this to be a time of unprecedented opportunity and creativity. But wait, let me explain what I mean. Not an opportunity to make a living by doing nothing creative, without anything to give. It is a time of opportunity to make a difference and add value.
When it is easy to make money just by buying a house and waiting, there is not much incentive to look deeper into yourself. There is not much incentive to find out what you were born to give, what your unique talents are. There is not much incentive to find out about the unconscious blocks that prevent you from giving your gift, there are not so many opportunities to find out about co-creation and collaboration, just like a trust fund baby who never learns to work or discipline themselves. So the 1990's and early 2000's were great for turning a profit, but not necessarily the greatest time to bring the best out of us. And now that the 'producing money out of nowhere' game has come to an end, a much more creative and beautiful game follows in its wake: earning money from creating value. This has been a primary focus for me and my Awakening Coaching clients: tot only a shift out of the conceptual mind into direct realization of your unlimited potential, but to actually bring that down into the body so it becomes a tangible gift, one that contributes significantly to other people, and one that also translates into tangible rewards.
Here are the five most important tips that I have discovered in how to make this economy the best time ever to expand your potential:
1. Catalog your Beliefs
Get clear about the beliefs that you carry about money from your family, your culture, and you religious belief systems. This doesn't mean that you should try to change your beliefs to be suitable for massive profiteering. It means to get clear and sober about the conceptual biases you have around work and money, and find ways to let them go. You will find all of my favorite ways of letting go of beliefs on the CD series Let Yourself Go.
2. Listen to the Still, Small Voice
Make friends with your creative impulses. As you move through the layers of perceptual bias around work and money, you will naturally settle into a place of deeper silence, stillness and clarity within yourself. I call this Clear Seeing and I wrote a whole book about it in 1997. When you relax into clear seeing, you start to notice gentle impulses arising from within yourself. They may come as a still small voice, or a feeling, state, or an image. These impulses will guide you in what to do. Again, the impulses may not be for how to make massive profits by doing very little. Oh boy, that is oh so 90's! No, the impulses will be more about why you are here on the planet, what your deepest gifts are, what your contribution is, and ultimately what your greatest joys are as well.
Learn the meaning of the word enough. Explore deeply in your own life what is enough: enough to be happy, enough to be in a loving, open, creative relationship with your family, enough to take care of your body, and above all enough to be able to give the gifts you were born to give. Becoming friendly with the word enough is called sufficiency, and it's an essential consideration in order to be able to adjust to the new economic climate.
Dedicate your creativity to something beyond yourself. Last month I was visiting Jack Canfield in Santa Barbara, and he showed me a really interesting trick. He had me think about something that I wanted to create, and first he asked me to concentrate only on what it would do for me. Maybe it would bring me some income, maybe it would give me a creative outlet, or allow me to connect with people I enjoy being with. Then he used a simple method of kinesiology to test the strength of the muscles in my arm. I was quite weak. Next, he asked me to think about the same project, the same desire, only this time he asked me to focus on what it would contribute to my family, the team I work with, and all the people close to me. My strength became undeniably stronger and way beyond anything that was within my conscious control. Finally, Jack asked me to think about the same project, but this time in a larger context. How many people could it serve all over the world, what is the greatest potential for serving people I don't even yet know? My arm became like a piece of steel, and as hard as Jack tried, he couldn't even get my arm to budge an inch. This simple test demonstrates what many people already intuit to be the case. The actions and creativity we commit to that are of huge service are much more effective and easier to execute than the ones we do to our own ends. This is much more true in today's economic climate than it was 5 years ago.
5. Heal the spirit matter split.
If you have not already done so please check back to the blog I wrote last week. Some people might say that this time is about the collapse of everything we have created, the end of the world as we know it: a huge, karmic boomerang coming back on humanity. Others say this is a time of global awakening: a golden age, a time when humanity finally matures into collective awakening. How about if both are true? Maybe this is the time when we get to question the split we have all created between awakening to our true nature and fully participating in the world. For thousands of years it has been assumed that a "spiritual" life does not include worldly desire and that successful people have no time for navel gazing. Even today when I write or talk about intention or creating worldly results, the non-dual advaita people come out in droves as though I'd just peed on their holy book. More than anything, this is a time to examine the split within yourself between worldly achievement and awakening to your true self, and to question if it is fundamentally true or valid. What I have noticed within the last years is that it is people who are waking up to their true nature are also realizing their success in the world. And it is successful people who have the greatest access to spaciousness.
Remember, this kind of process of maturation around work and money doesn't happen overnight. We carry mountains of concepts about all of this not only from the way we were brought up, and from thousands of years of spiritual traditions, but equally from many contemporary writers and teachers as well.
I will be conducting a 4-part Tele-seminar series beginning on November 2 called "Getting Clear about Work and Money." Using the cutting edge Maestro Conference technology, I will be leading the class myself, but you will also split off into small, intimate groups with a trained awakening coach. The coaches will guide you, using effective tools, to awaken to your true nature and to recognize and dissolve encrusted old beliefs about work and money. The class is limited to 40 people and will happen on two Monday's and two Wednesday's from 5 until 7pm Pacific time.
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