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.
Have you ever been in a place that you want to figure out what you want to do next in life and feeling frustrated that no matter what you do you can't see it? When you have this feeling that you want to do something meaningful and maybe knowing the general direction, but not clear on the details and being stuck in that place for a while?
Well, on and off I've been in this place for the last 5 years. I got glimpses of what I want, but never the full picture. And every time periods of clarity were followed by the periods of disillusionment and back to now knowing.. Once I figure out what i want, it's usually pretty easy for me to get it, but it's that phase of figuring it out that has been the most challenging for me.
And now, about a month since my last job, my over-inflated desire to know what's next and not having that clarity created a big discomfort. I noticed that I was in this loop of resisting this "not knowing" state that I was in and so being stuck in it. Remember the old saying "what you resist persist"? Well, me as a life coach and knowing it very well, I was in double resistant: feeling resistance, and than feeling bad about having the resistance.
After I got back to Seattle on Wed, I decided to try an experiment: only focus on and do the things that feel excited to me. Listening to Bashar on the drive reminded me that excitement is what shows us what is ours to do and if we just follow it to the best of our ability in small things and big things, it will lead to the path that brings fulfillment and satisfaction as it will be our unique path.
Yesterday I got glimpses of what I might be interested in: helping entrepreneurs move on the dreams and projects where they know what they need to do but not doing it. I even drafted a questionnaire that they would fill before having a strategic session with me and drafted the outline of the program, and after showing it to a friend and getting some feedback from him, where in an intent of helping me to make it better he mostly focused on what needs to change or isn't clear, I noticed the feelings of deflation, like nothing I am doing is good enough, and wanting to give up coming up. I didn't let them take over, but my energy and excitement went down for a bit.
Today reading "Reality Transurfing" book reminded me that if we are dissatisfied with something, we are transported tot he life tracks where we just get more things to be dissatisfied with and it's not the place at all where satisfaction or clarity might be available. He wrote: "“The more you want, the less you’ll get.” When you want something so much that you are ready to risk everything you have in order to get it, you are creating a huge excess potential, which upsets the balance. The balancing forces will throw you onto a life track where the desired object doesn’t exist at all."
I know two ways to dissolve this excess potential when simply lowering importance is not easy: to find the good in where I am at right now and accept it, and to take some action.
So I decided to do two things: write about "what's good about it" and to walk my talk and reach our to my Harmony Integration coaching community with the request for a 5 session journey to tackle this resistance and create a space for clarity once and for all. The request for coaching has already been granted, we start next week. And here are my thoughts on why this is perfect that I don't have this clarity right now and struggling about this:
Next steps: working with my coach, and enjoying life and following my excitement.
Off to some kizomba dancing tonight.
Have you ever noticed that when you want something really badly, it usually doesn't happen. But when you finally give up and stop focusing on it, that's when it usually shows up?
People use different words to describe that phenomena:
I am just amazed how even when I am aware of this, I still have resistances in my life. They are rare, hence I need a whole new level of triggers to bring it up in me (i.e. now it's not having a job December 1 and now having clarity yet what I want to do instead and how I will create money).
Big part of October I spent in resistance to being in the unknown and not having all the answers. And now when I after coming back from San Francisco kizomba festival and dancing 16 hours a day for 3 days straight my brain must have been turned off and let go of all that struggle things finally started to flow again. And everything is changing quickly.
Just in the last 5 days this is what showed up:
So what I reminded myself about again is this: it's important to set an intention, but if there is a strong attachment to it or importance about it, it can actually push it away. And when you feel like you give up on it, or forget about it, that's when the energy finally starting to flow and your intention starts to materialize in reality, very often surprising you.
Note to self:
Excited to what's next!
Not sure where I read it, it was sometime last week. The author of an article was saying that very often when something stops us, we can view it as an obstacle or use it as an excuse. When you can't do what you want to do because of something getting in the way, do you keep looking for creative ways to go around it (in this case it's an obstacle) or do you let it stop you and give up (in this case it's an excuse)?
It made me thinking. For so long I wanted to decide what specifically I want to do with my coaching business: who is my target client that I would be inspired to coach, what are the services/packages I want to offer etc... And not having that clarity I didn't do much (up until now) to develop it as a business. Did I do coaching and have clients? Sure I did. I just didn't have a solid business goal of what I am building and didn't do much to attract those clients. So as for obstacles and excuses I had a really good reason not to fully commit to coaching and developing my business: I don't have that clarity, and I need it to start, so I am not going to fully commit until I get that clarity. But when I asked myself today: having that lack of clarity in the way, did I let it stop me or did I look for ways to get through that? And I realized I was in and out. Sometimes I seek out coaching, do brainstorming etc., and sometimes I just focused on other things in my life, and at other times I just pushed too hard working to get that clarity and just got myself frustrated. My commitment in getting through this lack of clarity to the other side wasn't consistent. So I didn't have consistent business results (consistent clients and flow of new clients).
So the question is: how do I create that clarity, that inspiring vision for my business and what I want to create in the world and for myself through that while doing it in the flow with ease? Good question :) I don't have a solid answer yet. You would think a coach should know it right? Wrong :) Bad news: I can't coach myself. Good news: I have lots of coach friends. So... Tomorrow I have an early brainstorming session, then I am off for three days and nights of dancing at SF kizomba festival (time off from thinking about my goals). Starting Monday I will reach out to more friends and coaches for brainstorming, strategizing and coaching. I also committed a few days a go to at least 1 minute meditation every day (thanks to my friend Michael for nudging me!). I am open to any and all ways to create that clarity. If you have any idea or support you'd like to offer me in this exploration, give me feedback or brainstorm with me, feel free to reach out!
Speaking of commitment, also in the past I realized that the only time I didn't achieved an intention of mine was when I didn't commit to it with a timeline. So here it is: my intention and commitment is to define my target client and my service offerings by Dec 1 with ease and flow so that after that I will have no more excuses to procrastinate. 1 month commitments is how I changed my last two jobs and transitioned to a part time remote consulting. Now a little more than a month is a good duration for me to create my next professional outlet. A little scary but that just means I am on the right track of expanding myself and my comfort zone. Part of me is scared that what if I put it out here I still don't reach it by December 1? And that thought signals me my intention is not 100% at the moment (otherwise why would I doubt). Plus this will be a good accountability for me!
I will keep you updated on my explorations goes!
Today I've taken the bull by the horn. While I committed not to do anything to force clarity about my life plans, there was still some worry, thoughts and feelings that I felt somewhat dis-empowered by. I decided to walk my talk and do what work best in such cases: run a few Harmony Integration processes to bust through all the things, thoughts and negative charges that have been stirred up by not having a job starting December 1.
I have reached out to our harmony Integration coach community and asked if someone can guide me through some processes (I go much deeper that way then when i run it on myself). I did two processes:
1. End of words, highlighting what's good about that and what's bad about that and bringing it into balance.
2. Gnostic Intensive, the process designed to have a direct experience of who you truly are.
End of Words brought me to this balances place, that I really saw all the good and bad sides of it and arrived in the balanced middle where it's all neutral and all the charge was gone. Gnostic Intensive however blew my mind.
I have had Gnostic Intensive run on me a few times before, and I always had resistances coming up and I never got to the direct experience. After couple times I felt very frustrated, started thinking my old thoughts "what's wrong with me" or "why things work for everyone but me" and was hesitant to do it again.
Today was different. Maybe because I was exhausted of thinking and my brain was shut down and got out of the way, but I got to this very interesting deep space that I have never been to before.
Here is what opened up for me when I was in that state and my coach asked me a question "Who Are You?":
I probably knew all this before intellectually. It's not something new. The difference was that this time I experienced it. I felt it, I saw it and my level of awareness of myself jumped couple levels. It went from intellectual idea to a knowing.
I feel very peaceful and grounded.
Actions I am taking TODAY to live this awareness:
A few days ago I got news from my boss that starting December 1 I will need to look for a new position. Layoffs. I can get back if I want to March 1, but between December 1 and March 1 I get to figure something out.
Surprisingly enough when I heard it I felt mostly excited and happy, a little worried and not at all upset. I felt I was ready for something new and sometimes I need a kick in the butt to move forward when my life if too comfortable. When I went on my vacation to Mexico couple weeks ago I set the intention to finish a chapter in my life so when I get back into my life I will start a new one, and everything that doesn't serve me in my life has to go to create space for what is best aligned with me. Well, I didn't realize job might be one of that. Be careful what they ask for :)
So since Monday I got through an interesting journey. I 100% believe that I totally manifested it and it will be good for me. First I felt excited and open to what's next. And when I did that all sorts of creative ideas started to flow towards me about different opportunities and directions I can take. Then I thought I need to do something to figure out what I want to do. I have lots of ideas of what I might be doing, but I need to settle on which ones I will actually commit to and take action on. It didn't take me long to go into the "doing" mode thinking I need to do something to figure out right now what the plan is etc. I put a lot of pressure on myself and started feeling very tense and unhappy and afraid of what if I won't be able to figure it out..
Tonight luckily talking with my best friend Demola I remembered a few things that helped me get back on track:
So I decided to try an experiment: between now and the end of Sunday my main focus is to be happy and be in the flow and to not do anything specific to get clear or come up with the plan and see what happens. Will share the results after the week is over. :)
Celebrating the start of a new phase in my life!