I’m not sure I could be happier than I am right now. I’m sure I’ve been as happy, and hopefully, I’ll be this happy again. But what I really hope is that I can stay this happy, because the last year and a half have been quite a roller coaster!
Quick re-cap: About 18 months ago I was laid off from my job of 13 years – a job I originally liked, but which had become increasingly unpleasant and stressful due largely to the loss of people I loved and the addition of those whose methods and motives disturbed me deeply. So I took my small severance package and set off to seek my fortune with the goal of discovering what it is I love to do and then spending my time doing that, somehow acquiring the necessary income so that I could be happy, peaceful and content for the rest of my life.
The first year or so was spent decompressing, processing, relaxing, and rediscovering two of my great loves: singing and writing. I sang, I wrote, and I let myself be guided by “The Spooks” (aka, my intuition, my higher self, God, The Universe, insert-your-own-term-here). But when the money started to run low and my anxiety levels began to rise, my left brain decided it was time to take charge and it set me up in a small business, where I could sing to and with elders, especially those with dementia, and generate a little income. It was – and is – a very good plan: provide a valuable service doing something I love while getting paid to do it. The problem was – and is – I have no love for the business part, specifically marketing. So the “getting paid” part hasn’t materialized…yet.
Then one day recently, after obsessing about how to make my Musical Memories business a financial success without doing a bunch of cold calls, I asked The Spooks for guidance. They told me that, first of all, I should pull back from my tight focus on this one enterprise, and look at my “whole website” – meaning the menu bar at the top of my home page (scroll up and take a look) which includes pretty much everything I do or have ever done: mediation, conflict resolution, training, coaching, singing, performing, stories, poems, an advice column, a blog. The other thing they told me was to do yoga, mediate, and drink a lot more water every day. I tried to follow that guidance…for awhile. But things were not improving on the financial front. And I was getting more and more stressed about money.
At one point, I recall The Spooks saying, “If we told you that all you have to do is yoga, meditate and drink more water and everything will be fine, but you have to do it every day, would you do it every day? Because that’s pretty much what we’re telling you!” So I got serious and began to do those things…every day. Simultaneously – and “coincidentally” – I was introduced to the practice of Qigong, and for the first time really grokked this idea of energy – whether you call it Chi, Shakti, or the Holy Spirit. Which suddenly made the yoga, water and meditation make sense to me as the means to my desired end.
Then came the winter solstice on 12/21/12, which was not the end of days in my mind, but the beginning of the new age of enlightenment (aka Age of Aquarius), and everything started to shift. I felt such peace, even though my bank account was still falling and I had no renewed desire to beat the bushes for paying Musical Memories gigs.
But one day I realized the money had indeed run out. Looking at the bills on my desk and the number of dollars in my bank account, I knew I had hit zero. My grand experiment was over. I had failed. I was doomed. Doomed to a frantic scramble to find some job, any job, no matter how unfulfilling and mind numbing, no matter how stressful and soul sucking. If I could find a job at all. In this economy? And at my age, for God’s sake? How could I have been so foolish as to believe that everything would turn out okay?
About an hour later, a miracle happened. On a walk with my sister, she asked some questions and pointed out that, in fact, I do have money in a forgotten retirement account. Not enough to retire in comfort, by any means, but a lot more than zero and more than enough to cover any immediate shortfalls. And I’ve reached the age that allows me to withdraw some of it without any penalties. So there I was, absolutely, definitely out of money, and someone says, “Oh look, here’s some.” (It’s interesting to note that all of my spiritual advisors – including The Spooks – have been saying that they believed I might have to get to “zero” before I could see that everything would turn out okay.)
Granted, the money was there all along and I just didn’t factor it in. And granted, some people will say I’m crazy for even considering touching my “old age” money now, even though by some definitions I am old. But just knowing that money is there if I need it made me relax. I could breathe! I felt all my centers or chakras open. The energy began to flow freely. It was validation that I really can continue on this faith-based path through a life where I spend my time doing things that I love, with the support I need.
And then some surprising things started to happen. Within a couple of days, I got a lucrative contract with one of my businesses and suddenly had more than enough cash to cover my expenses for awhile. The next day I got two – count ’em, 2! – inquiries about conflict resolution services. Those may or may not turn into paying jobs, but I can’t remember the last time I got a cold call. I was also approached by a neighbor to do some freelance work which put even more money in my pocket. And I’ve got a good-paying training job scheduled for next month as well as small research assignment starting next week. I’m not saying the financial floodgates have opened, but there are undeniabley positive things happening!
And the best part is that while I’m meditating these days – and more importantly, when I’m not meditating, but just living my life – I have this deep sense of peace and attainment. My life is perfect…no matter what happens. And at least right now, I couldn’t be happier.