A friend of mine asked me yesterday: how are your financial freedom and spirituality connected, and are they? It was a great question. The immediate answer the came was: they are one and the same for me. And it made me thinking… And my thoughts took off, jumping around but staying around the same subject. So I just share them below as they came, hopefully it will spark some realizations and a-ha's in whoever is meant to read them :)
What is spirituality to me? Being able to flow with the Universe and manifest what my heart desires. And what my heart desired from early age, but it took different shapes throughout years, is freedom, and desire to live the life I want, be my best self and reach for highest potential. That's why I got into personal development years ago. And as I realized I wanted to be free financially and time wise after reading "4-hour work week" book by Tim Ferris years ago, it defined my goal to create financial freedom. That's what motivated me to commit to it and reach my milestone of retiring last year. In different times in my life different goals took place, and excitement around learning and growing changed focus. At some point it was around life purpose exploration and tools in life to create overall happiness (when I overall felt unhappy, trapped and uninspired), which took me to transformation and life coaching. Then it was relationships that drew my attention, which inspired me to learn about everything that makes them successful: getting clear on purpose for my relationships, communication, sexual chemistry, tantra, love, mom/dad healing that minimizes projections on romantic partners, being real and vulnerable (yes, there is science and 10 super effective tools for that too :) ). Then it was financial freedom. I wanted to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it, be the master of my time, and not depend on a job, or a boyfriend/husband, so mastering financial game became my goal for years. That motivated me to learn about business, investments, taxes, corporate structures, until I found my journey to where I am not (having passive income coming in from website investments that allow me to live my life without a need for a job or business to support my lifestyle.)
I also had some realizations and flash backs, while talking to another friend of mine later yesterday on the same subject. I remembered I used to have a belief that spirituality and business success are two separate things. And another belief that people who are really good at business have no interest in spirituality, and vise versa: people who are really good about spiritual matters are bad at and have no passion for business and finances. Years back, while I was searching for "my tribe" (people that I click with for friendships and romantic relationships, my kind of people), I realized success and entrepreneurial motivation is important to me in the people I clicked with. But I also was fascinated by spirituality, energy, the magic of manifesting things without direct "action-result" link. So seeing those as separate put me at a fork in the road, I kind of felt like I have to choose what was more important to me then. So at that time in my life my journey took me to Sedona AZ, a very spiritual place where regular coffee shop talks were about charkas, angels, energy work etc. At a time before Sedona due to my project management job and my techy circle of friends, I was surrounded by lots corporate people so I had no lack in people motivated by success but I craved more of the unseen, magical parts of life, so the spiritual woo-woo Sedona was so perfect for me to fill that cup. And by the end of the year I lived there, when it was time to move away, I realized something. In my experience most people I've met in Sedona were very spiritual in their own unique ways, with lots of gifts, but not many of them were "practically" spiritual. Yes they talk about energies, and transformations, but didn't necessarily applied it to their lives, especially to the financial matters, or if they "tried to" apply it, not so many of them were successful. And many of them had inspiration and trust in the universe, but lacked commitment to their goals and taking action towards it. So it seemed a bit off balance, and I realized I didn't click with that any more: spirituality is great, but without a tie to the real world and having an impact on it, when those intuitive insights through some action can make a real difference, it wasn't enough for me.. But I got exactly what I needed in Sedona at that time: I got my "spiritual" fix, and more clarity towards what people are my kinds of people. Neither corporate people who were climbing the career ladder without a clear purpose, nor spiritual people who are constantly broke were my tribe. I needed not just people who were spiritual and value personal growth, and not just people driven for success, but the ones that master both and balance them well. Now the quest became: where do I find such people?
The answer came a few years later :)
When I attended Digital Footprint conference in Atlanta this past April, where I was invited to speak about my financial freedom journey, I had a huge a-ha. I was blown away by the quality of people there. Organizers, speakers and attendees. They blew my mind. Never in my life I came across such a high concentration of people I admired, respected and clicked with, totally felt like my tribe, my kind of people. People with purpose, integrity and success. I was surprised that most people I met there who "made it", who achieved a huge level of success doing what they love are deeply spiritual, and also surprisingly to me humble, compassionate and very relatable. And I had a huge realization/shift: business success and spirituality are not separate at all. More so: successful people practically proved that their spirituality "works" by manifesting and creating something amazing, that people value in many ways including $$. And I realized: maybe to look for my tribe, instead of finding a big group of spiritual people (like in Sedona) and among them look for few driven ones, I can instead meet entrepreneurs on their journey and most of them (who are driven by purpose of course and not just by money) turn out to be very spiritual and committed to their growth!
And thinking further on the topic: none of our areas of life are separate. We can't really separate finances and spirituality. Yes we sometimes compartmentalize them by focusing of finances, relationships, health etc… But they are deeply connected, and part of the same whole: who we are, our life, and how we move through it. If we expand, learn and grow as people, we have to attend to all those areas with equal priority. We cannot expand far in life if we are focused on just some of the areas of life and not the others in the long run, as it becomes off balance and not harmonious (we all know people who focus one-sidedly on work for example, and that negatively affects their health or relationships)… I read a book few days ago about raw food, and the author said how we can't just focus on food by itself, we have to pay attention to food, exercise, managing stress, purpose in life etc. if we want to achieve Health with capital "H", we have to master all those elements. For me for example my current passion for raw food, detoxes and such is also deeply connected with me wanting to be my best self and strive to achieve my full potential, to expand my awareness and intuition, to keep my body vessel in best shape possible to live my purpose, at some point give birth to healthy kids etc..
And that brought it full circle for me: my passion ultimately and always was and is to be my best self in all areas of my life, and by that create ultimate freedom and self-expression (by manifesting the life of my dreams), inspire others do that same and create magic all around. To do that I have to grow and expand all areas, skills and learnings in balance with each other. Not necessarily all at once (I notice I take turns in time): financial aspect of my life (that I feel I pushed far in the last couple years), health (that I am moving forward by now being 1.5 years fully raw, fasting etc.), relationships (friendships, business, romance, family etc), creative self-expression (dance, art, jewelry making, writing etc.). Sometimes I focus on one areas more than others, and then a switch comes that other areas take priority and have more passion and excitement, which I follow to maintain that balance.
Good old "wheel of life" coaching tool comes to mind (google it if you must): where you rate yourself on the level of satisfaction on each areas of life. That usually shows best visually which areas are balances and ok, and which were neglected and need attention.
I noticed I don't define my next area of growth and expansion logically any more (decide which area I need to focus on), but rather intuitively following my excitement, and do what I feel excited about. Bashar has a great video on following your excitement, how it works, and why we can just follow it without trying to always logically make sense of it. At different times I felt excited about different things: coaching, dancing, business/finances/investments, personal development in different aspects etc. Currently I am most excited by two areas of life: raw food/health and everything to do with it (I am studying the theory, reading books and watching courses, watching youtube raw food recipes, recreating those and creating my own in the kitchen, doing cleanses etc) and relationships (love and sexuality aspect of it, that goes so deep and I feel I am barely scratching the surface).
Following excitement is one way to define what to focus on next. But sometimes we don’t hear it, or we hear it but ignore it for whatever reason (fear, discomfort, unknown, feeling trapped, etc… ). Sometimes when we ignore what we need to expand, motivation might be not excitement but rather pain which, if not attended to, usually increase in time (can take shapes of depression, drained energy, stress, etc.). Sometimes when we ignore something for way too long, then we might just get a kick in the butt from life helping us to propel forward in a shape of job loss, illness, break-up etc., which we may dislike and resist when it happens, but looking back we are always grateful for it. We all have experiences like that. In those moments it's important to remember that everything happens for the better, and stay positive, to create the most expansion with least friction. And once the growth is created, life becomes balanced again and life usually takes a leap to another level.
I will leave you with this: when we go through big changes (positive or painful), there is no need and it’s usually not most effective to do it alone. Besides supportive friends or family members, there are always professional resources that can help. If you need knowledge, tools or skills, it can be books, courses, trainings etc. If you need emotional support, change in perspective or just want to feel better, there are people who are professionals and specialize in what you need. If you don't know such people, reach out to others and ask for referrals. Find the people who are professionals that deal with your specific area of growth, find who you click with and learn from them. I am a coach myself, and I regularly hire and get support from other coaches, intuitives, healers, consultants, mentors and other advisors when I feel like I want to get to the next level. For me I also learn well through books, so when I come across the challenge or something I feel very excited to learn more about, very often I come across a book that gives me what I need. Your learning style might be different. In the past I used to do a lot of group workshops, seminars and trainings in transformation and business that worked great for me, now I found I mostly hire people 1:1 and get most results that way. It's not a sign of weakness to get help when you need it, it's a sign of strength, smartness and courage to ask for it. Most people who created something awesome in this life didn't do it alone.
And of course it all starts with intention: what do we want next in life? Clarity on that plus commitment to find the way usually attracts the right tools and resources, then our job is to follow the path, the yellow brick road of excitement and take inspired action. The main trick is to not wait to commit to the goals and intentions until we see a clear How (I am guilty of that sometimes too), as then it may never happen. The How is usually revealed in the process, after you already commit to your goals, very rarely before. And if it's the right goal for you, it's very often magical and synchronistic.