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I am not sure how our culture got so hung up about money.
How having more of it has made us successful and how having less of it has made us a failure.
I know many great people doing really amazing things in the world, and their activities don’t always equate to having a lot of money, and it saddens me to think that they might not be able to see their contribution to the world, their community and their own soul path just because the dollar bills aren’t rolling into their bank account.
I think we really need to broaden our societal view of success to include the real value of being human.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Healing our biological family relationships.
This takes time and effort, to reflect on the past and forgive where there has been damage and ask for forgiveness where it’s needed. This is a slow process, but it improves our quality of life vastly, and helps all generations to heal. Sometimes we need to take a break from work or career to focus on this healing work and sometimes we just aren’t able to strive financially while feeling the soreness of our previous path. But doing it definitely creates success.
2. Respecting ourselves.
It is a North American epidemic that we have lost our respect for ourselves. We live in a demanding consumeristic culture that constantly makes us question our self-worth, so that we will buy more. In many ways when we increase our self-respect, earning more money becomes less necessary because we don’t feel the need to purchase as many goods to fill the gap created, by lack of self-worth. Again, this is a time sucking journey. To increase our self-respect, we need to become conscious of the area where we lack self-respect. This takes some concentrated effort, that pulls us away from career focused endeavors.
3. Offering love and support to people who need it.
No one thinks of Mother Theresa as being a failure because she didn’t earn money. Giving without expecting compensation is one of the best karmic choices we can make. It feels good, it is good and we need more of it in the world. Maybe we have friends or family who need a little extra support or loving or maybe we want to volunteer and help strangers. When we pull away from the constant need to feel uber secure in our bank account room develops to give more love freely.
4. Spiritual study and development.
We need to develop all sides of our being and many of us ignore the spiritual one. Yes, developing a career is great and paying off the mortgage is important, too. But what about our relationship with the divine and our understanding of how true reality works? This is utterly important for our human journey. Taking time in the week, month or year to meditate, study, read or go on retreat should not be put off because our priority is earning an income.
5. Creative expression.
There are things we need to be express, that can only be shared with the world, through creative expression. And this does not need to be a career move. We can be artistic and creative, just because it feels good or maybe, more accurately, because it feels necessary for our journey. We do not need to make money from our creative expression. Make a pair of earrings, crochet a blanket, watercolor, paint, write, it doesn’t matter. Engaging in the creative process is the reward in and of itself.
6. Pushing our own comfort zones.
Pushing our own comfort zones is basically impossible to measure and this is the whole point. Success isn’t about a measuring stick. It is about bringing our best to the human journey and recognizing that the human journey is about much more then accumulating money or assets. We don’t want to stagnate. We want to keep growing, changing and evolving. This means not getting too comfortable, but instead, giving ourselves little nudges in the direction of growth.
7. Learning to give unconditionally love.
I think this one is the hardest on this list. Our egos are wired to feel protective. They want to ensure we only love when we know it will be safe. But this is impossible. Money might buy us stuff and make us feel like our basic needs are taken care of, but in the end we are tribal creatures, needing love and connection. Loving with conditions is brutal. It hurts us and it hurts others. Coming into unconditional love is a process. It takes intention and courage. It doesn’t make us money, but it makes our life way better then money ever can.
8. Spending time with Mother Earth.
I know it is incredibly cliche to talk about the importance of spending time in nature, but it saddens me that people feel too busy earning money to make communing with nature a priority. I think time in nature is much more important than money. The only way we are going to solve our environmental crisis is for us to remember that we are are part of nature and that we are killing ourselves. And the only way to realize this knowledge is to get away from the concrete streets and four walls and go be in nature for an hour, a day or preferably a week or more. This does not make us money, but it does bring us home.
9. Exploring our inner world.
Again, we get so busy thinking we need a certain yearly income that we often put off just spending time with ourselves. We have a wisdom inside us, about what we need to do with our time on Earth. It is bright and brilliant and will guide us to wondrous insight and experience, if we just quiet down and listen to it. But we always think that when the bills are paid and we know we have enough money for retirement, we will have the luxury to meditate and develop our sense of soul purpose. I would like to suggest, it is the other way around. Our inner world is everything. It is a mirror for everything manifesting in the outside world. Working less and listening to our intuition more is a smart path for the human race.
10. Experiencing pleasure.
One of the saddest aspects of human existence, in this day and age, is that many people work jobs they don’t like. People are creative, visionary and generous, but their time is being wasted pushing paper and stamping time clocks doing things they do not find useful or fulfilling. We are wired for pleasure. Why are we trying to make so much money anyway? To have pleasure. The thing is, pleasure doesn’t necessarily have to cost anything. All we need to do in order to find pleasure, is to turn our attention to enjoying our body, our food and our everyday moments. Maybe we have traded pleasure for money and not the other way around.
Each of us needs to take the time to look at our lives to find ways to gauge our sense of success and progress, based on our basic belief systems and not a monetary figure, that is impermanent at best and an illusion at its worst.
Author: Ruth Lera
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock