Sunday, April 24, 2011

Christos Anesti!

Christos Anesti! This is what Greeks say to each other on Easter Sunday. Christ has risen. The response is "Alithos Anesti"--truly, He has risen. And that's what I feel today. The world is about resurrection and rebirth, which is why Easter falls at the same time as the pagan holidays around fertility. Do you really think that eggs and bunnies have anything to do with a Jewish rabbi being crucified and resurrected? No, they are symbols of fertility. Spring is here and nature, just like Christ, is experiencing a rebirth.

We got the message wrong by focusing on the crucifixion and making the cross the symbol of Christianity. Christ's message was one of everlasting life, not of sacrifice. The point is that he rose from the grave. The point is that he showed us that death is an illusion. As is fear. I once read that fear was an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. I am seeing this more and more clearly everyday.

The analyst's job that I mentioned in my previous post was full time and required being in the office. Despite the fact that I had less than $10 to my name, I told the headhunter I wasn't interested. It was an easy test to pass. The next day I got a book to edit, a student to tutor, and $100 from my house mate. I felt rich! For the first time in a while I was able to go to Whole Foods and buy everything I wanted. I used to take that for granted. Now I am grateful.

Rather than focus on fear of survival, I have been focusing on starting a speaking career, and the Universe is supporting me. This past Thursday I went to the Toast of Petaluma (, a group that supports speakers. I loved it! The people were kind and friendly and professional, and I felt at home. I could see how this group could help me become a speaker.

At the end of the meeting I met a wonderful woman, Anastasia ( who, for a reasonable fee, helps new speakers find speaking gigs. I knew she was the answer to one of my prayers, especially when she offered me an installment plan so that I could afford her. Not to mention that she lives three blocks from my house. I love how the Universe/God operates, when you commit to living your life from a place of purpose!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Replacing fear with gratitude

Today I am in awe of how much I am being given. Despite the fact that I have not had money, I have felt totally abundant. And the fear of survival seems to have disappeared! I keep checking in with myself. I don't have money. Am I worried? And the answer comes back immediately, No. All is well in my kingdom. It's hard to believe that a fear I have been carrying around all my life has been replaced with gratitude. Woo hoo!

This morning I had a phone meeting with my tax accountant. I had been dreading it, but it turned out to be inspiring. He asked me how I was, and I explained that while externally things didn't look good, internally I was great. I felt loved and supported, and I was committed to doing work that I had a passion for: coaching and speaking. He was amazed, and then proceeded to tell me where he was in his life. We connected on a deep level, and never spoke about my taxes. We couldn't really, as his computer wasn't working. But it was clear that this conversation wasn't about taxes. At the end he told me he would take care of things, and that he would no longer charge me for doing my taxes. He would do them as a friend. " I love you dearly" I heard myself saying to him, and he responded in kind. I hung up feeling happy and full.

Then I went to my class at the Foundation of Spiritual Development. I love this class and wouldn't miss it for the world. I had just enough gas to get there and return, and not enough money to pay the $35 for the class. I spoke to the teacher during the break about not having money and he shrugged, and said to just leave anything I felt I could afford. I gave $3 and once again felt totally taken care of.

I came home feeling abundant. My housemate,who is a great cook, had left me a large pan of lasagna before she left for a long weekend. I have to admit that I have been eating better in the month-and-a-half that she's been living here than I ever had. Tomorrow a friend is taking me out to brunch and giving me money.

So being poor but totally happy, I got on my computer and saw a job for a marketing analyst in San Francisco that a friend had forwarded to me. I have the perfect experience for it and so I sent a resume, saying that I would be interested if it was part-time and remote. If it is , it means that my money worries are over and I can continue to pursue speaking and coaching. If it's a full-time job that requires commuting, it means that it was just a test for me to say no. Regardless I will be fine. All is well in my kingdom.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Learning to be interdependent

I realized today that, despite yesterday's post, I still have concepts about being independent. I don't like to receive something unless I am working for it or giving something back in exchange. Otherwise I feel the burden of indebtedness, and I am not willing to be in dept to anyone.

This morning a close friend called me, who knows that money is tight for me right now. Like me, he has written a book about his journey, that is about to be published. Like me, he wants to start a career as a speaker. He was discussing how we could support each other in moving forward. One thing I know that he can use help with is editing, and that's something I can offer. When he offered to help me out by giving me money, I assumed that he wanted to consider it payment for editing. I wanted to feel that I was working for the money.

He didn't agree. He explained to me that with his friends, if one person has money and the other one doesn't, the one with the money helps out. There are no strings attached. The time will come when the tables are reversed and the other person will help. Our relationship, he explained, goes far beyond money. He does not want to lend me the money, nor does he want to give me payment for editing. He is helping me out with no strings attached, and as friends we will support each other in our careers.

Is that the way communities work? I am so used to feeling on my own when I'm struggling with money. In the Matrix you are taught that you are on your own. If you can't pay the bills, it's your problem. You're not working hard enough, you should have gone to school, you're irresponsible, you're not willing to do work you hate, so you suffer the consequences. Friends who have money do not consider helping you, as that would just be co-dependent. So you keep your money worries to yourself, put on a happy face, and say that you're fine when people ask how you are. And more and more you feel isolated, as if you are left adrift on an ice float to die.

My friend doesn't come from an upper middle class "Matrix" background. He comes from a poor background. It seems to me that poor people have more of a sense of community, as they don't have the illusion of being independent. They know what it's like to struggle to pay the bills, and so they have empathy for those who are struggling.

I am no longer afraid of not having money. This is a huge relief. I don't feel ashamed, I don't feel like a loser, I don't feel that I need to apologize for the situation I'm in. I also don't feel that anyone owes me anything. What seems to be left is clarity. Seeing how I bought into the Matrix belief that I need to be independent, and that supporting others or being supported by others is a negative thing and co-dependent. What a clever way to keep us separate and in chains.

Rather than feeling indebted towards my friend, I feel a great deal of gratitude. He cares about me and he is offering to share without getting anything in return. He is showing me a different way of being. Having unplugged from the Matrix, I am not alone. I am surrounded by support that is showing up in many ways. And there are no strings attached.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Is it possible to be independent?

For years I prided myself on being independent. I got my MBA on a scholarship, I got one good corporate job after another, and I was able to support myself in a lifestyle which would be considered luxurious by most standards. But back in 2001, when the internet crashed and I couldn't get a job to save my life, much of my arrogance around being independent fell away. All of a sudden I was very dependent, on my mother who would send me money, my sister who lent me money that I haven't paid back fully, friends who let me stay at their place...The arrogance of being independent was transformed into gratitude for all the support I was receiving.

Later on, when I started earning a very good income again, I knew better than to think I was independent just because I had money. Was I raising my own food? No, coming from New York I haven't a clue on how to garden and hate seeing worms. Ugh! Was I making my own clothes? Are you kidding? I don't know how to sew a button. How the hell do you get thread through a tiny needle hole?? Did I build the house I was living in? Yeah, right. One hour of doing construction work and I would be passed out for days from exhaustion. Did I know anything about plumbing, besides turning on the faucet? Nope. How about electricity? Half the time I have to call my landlord to change my light bulbs. Let's face it. If civilization as we know it ended today, I would be in deep doo doo.

So the idea of independence is laughable. We are all interconnected. And as the old structures seem to be falling apart, it is time to acknowledge our interdependence and start creating communities that can support each other--not just physically but also emotionally. Today, as I struggle once again with money issues, I am much happier than I was back in 2001 because I have a strong sense of community, and I know that I am not alone

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Not buying into other people's belief systems

We all have belief systems. We can't function without them, just as a computer cannot function without software. Many (dare I say all?) of our belief systems are limiting. They run unconsciously and cause suffering. Rather than try to fix the world outside, when I have a problem I try to figure out what limiting belief system I am running. Then I go in and heal it, usually through a visualization. (I've started leading people in coaching sessions through this visualization and it seems to be helping them too.) It's really interesting to see how the outside world shifts automatically, when I clear out a belief system in my internal world.

Since we each have different belief systems, we each live in very different worlds. The saying "I'll believe it when I see it" is backwards. The truth is that you will see something only when you believe it. Do you want to earn a lot of money? You need to believe this is possible. Do you want to have a best-selling book? You need to believe that you will. Do you want to have a job that pays well and offers you the freedom of four-day weekends? You need to believe that you can. If you don't believe that something is possible, it will not happen.

One thing I struggle with is not picking up other people's beliefs, especially when they seem painful to me. Last night I had a long discussion with a friend. She believes that you can either be plugged into the Matrix and earn a lot of money, or you can do work that you love and be scrounging for every dollar. And if she believes that, that will be how her life will work.

I do not believe this. I believe that once you click on your path and are doing work that you love, the Universe, which is infinite, will provide much greater abundance than you could have had in the Matrix. It won't just be an abundance of material things--and let's admit that we are in a body and need shelter, food, warmth, clothes etc. It will be an abundance of time, energy, love, passion, joy, peace--all the other things that make life worth living.

I found myself becoming upset with my friend's point of view. Why?, I asked myself, am I upset with her beliefs? The answer came back quickly: It's because you believe that her beliefs will affect yours, and you will have to live her limitations. Ok, that explains it. "Let me be clear," I said to the Universe, when I was walking in the park today. "My reality will not be affected by anyone else's beliefs. I am clicking on my path, and I expect abundance. If I have any limiting beliefs around this, please let me heal them."

Refreshed from the walk in the park, I came home feeling much more peaceful. No one can impose their view on me, unless I let them. My thoughts create my life, and I will focus on creating an abundant future that is on purpose. And I will allow everyone else to have their beliefs and create their life as they wish. That is, unless they realize they are suffering, and ask me for help. Since we need to teach what we are learning, I am here to support others in changing any limiting beliefs. God knows I'm not perfect, but I am willing to show up and share what I know.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fear or passion? Hell or Heaven?

As one of the unemployed, it seems to me that I have one of two choices:
  1. I can lament the loss of a steady income and be terrified of not surviving, trying in desperation to get a job--any job, or
  2. I can feel the freedom that not having a job--which I never liked anyway-- has given me, and I can focus on creating work that serves others and that I am passionate about.
I've read several articles today on the unemployed, and most of them follow the first choice. Woe to the unemployed, especially if they are over 50. They will never get a job! The Matrix that used them up and spit them out will not take them back in because they now have a scarlet letter (U) stamped on their forehead--they are unemployed. How insane is that? If you choose to focus on this reality, I guarantee you, you will be in hell. However there is much good luck in failure, if you approach it the sane way.

The sane way is to recognize that failure is serving a higher purpose (I write about this in my book, Not a Guru.) Being unplugged from the corporate matrix is freedom, especially if you are over 50, like me. The Universe (God, the Force, whatever you want to call it) is saying, "Come on. You've paid your dues. You've been a slave doing something you don't like just to survive. It's time to do something that you love. Life is suppose to be joyful." Some of the articles I read today are inspiring, like the woman who lost her job as a cake decorator and started her own business doing what she loves, creating parties for kids. Yes! We want more of these stories.

Having unplugged from the Matrix for the second time, I am focusing on my passion: writing, speaking, and supporting others in unplugging from the Matrix and creating a life of freedom. Yesterday I had a group at my house of six people supporting each other in unplugging. "How do you know that you have a Matrix job?" one member of the group asked. If you don't love your job, if it doesn't give you joy, if you are only doing it for the money, then you are plugged into the Matrix. As we are all transitioning to work that we love, we will need to find ways to pay the bills. In my case, editing books is supporting me in this time of transition. But the work has to be stress-free and allow enough time and energy to create the work you are passionate about.

And yes, you have to be willing to let go of security and have faith. There are times when I have only five dollars to my name. But as soon as I need something, the money miraculously appears--not a lot, but just enough to take care of my needs. Miracles are constantly happening, but they only happen when you take a leap of faith and follow your heart's desire. There are no miracles in the Matrix; there is only suffering.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Letting go of the illlusion of security

In some ways I envy the people who still think that they have control over their life, who believe that they are financially secure, and who are making plans for ten-years out in the future. It seems to me that they are rearranging the furniture on the Titanic, waltzing to the music as the ship slowly sinks. While they may be in a happy dream for a short while longer, I don't envy their shock when they find themselves in the cold water.

I have nothing against being practical and taking care of business and your finances, if you are able to do it without much suffering. But if you hate your work and are doing it in order to survive, or in order to invest for the future, then it just won't work. Being miserable in the present in order to be happy in the future, is just a myth that we have learned to believe. It's not very different than the Christian doctrine of suffering in this life in order to go to heaven when you die. Folks, all we have is the present.

I hear people tell me that they will work at a job that is boring, that is deadening to their soul, for another ten years and then they will be secure. My first question is, "Do you know that you will live another ten years?" In the midst of tsunamis, earthquakes, nuclear plant meltdowns and 2012 approaching, do you really think that staying with the old paradigm of working hard and saving or investing, will work? But even if it did work, do you really have ten years to waste doing something that gives you no joy?

I am taking an energy class and last week the teacher talked about different levels of vibration. The lowest one was death. No surprise here. There is no vibration when you're dead. The second lowest was boredom. Not the kind of boredom that happens once in a while, when you have free time and don't know what to do (not that many people have that.) But the soul's boredom that comes from only doing things that support you materially, that allow you to survive and pay your bills. If there is no passion or purpose in your life, that kind of boredom will kill you--some faster than others. I know. I've been there.

So what are we giving our lives to? If we're giving our lives to security, we're going in the wrong direction. What will they write on our tombstone? She survived? I don't think so. As the world around us is falling apart, let's give up the illusion of security. It's time to check in with our heart or gut, and determine what our purpose is for being in this world. What gifts do we have that we are not offering? What is it that we would like to be remembered for? And let's take some small steps toward a life of purpose and passion.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Session with Barbara Sher

As I mentioned in my previous post, the Universe has been supporting me in moving towards my life's purpose. For months I have been praying for guidance concerning the next step to take in creating work that I am passionate about. Today this guidance arrived in a 20-minute Skype session with Barbara Sher. Who knew that with my limited funds, I could afford such a coach? Well, thanks to her generosity, and a good friend who forwarded me her newsletter, I found myself furiously writing down notes today as Barbara gave me one tip after another.

It seems that I'm ahead of the game, as I already know that I want to write, speak, coach, and hold workshops. I also have a book written, a blog (here it is!) and a website. And I even know who my target audience is: successful people who have it all but are unhappy. Barbara listened to all I had to say, and then asked me what my challenge was. "I don't know how to promote myself," I replied.

"You need to use Twitter," she said. "You'll never get anywhere without Twitter; with Twitter you can get far!" Hmmmm...Twitter. Of course I heard of it, but hadn't given it much thought. I'm really low-tech and pat myself on the back for having come this far with technology. Apparently I haven't come far enough. Her advice was very specific. She pointed out how Twitter could be used to obtain a following, as well as to search for people with similar interests. I had no idea Twitter could be used as a search engine.

Of course her advice didn't stop there. She went on to discuss how Linked In could be used (look for groups), how Facebook could be used (not quite that easy as it keeps changing), and how I could move on to (not yet but when I've become more proficient with Twitter). Her advice included mentioning people I should connect with. By the time our session was over, I had about four pages of notes. And all this information came with humor and grace. I felt nervous getting on Skype with her, but very quickly was at ease, as if I was talking to an aunt who cared about me.

I am very grateful to Barbara for offering this support, as many of us are transitioning from jobs in the "Matrix" to our soul's purpose. I have a couple of friends who are meeting with her in the next few days. As for me, I am going to figure out how to use Twitter...