There is Nothing Spiritual about Being Broke.

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I remember walking home from a gig right after my 40th birthday and everything was crashing down around me.

The money I made was owed from a weekday party the Tuesday before so I was completely broke. I could hardly breathe from the years of smoking cigarettes and hard partying. I was simultaneously exhausted and jumping out of my skin.

I went home and nodded off to sleep and had one of the most palpable and insidious nightmares I have ever had before. You know—the ones you have after being asleep for 20 minutes or so. I was staring down at four bloody stubs where the fingers of my left hand were. I woke up shaking uncontrollably.

By that time, the sun was up and I began to walk to the bakery near my house. I sat on the bench outside and lit up a generic cigarette and it wasn’t long before a new Volvo station wagon parallel parked in front of me. The couple and their elementary school-aged children all piled out to get breakfast, but not before the father caught a glimpse of me with the corner of his eye and looked at me with disdain and revulsion.

I started to feel sorry for myself and ruminate about how I managed to shut myself out from anything good ever happening to me again. I walked back home and began to contemplate taking my own life and a tear rolled down my cheek. This was not how it was supposed to end.

That was my rock bottom—and it was that day I decided to change everything.

And, I did.

First, I stopped drinking. Then I stopped smoking. Then I got a day job. Then I met a woman. Then I learned how to earn a living. Then we started a family. Then I got into motivation and started making money with my music.

In my heart, at this very moment, I feel as though I’ve only just begun. The bottom line is this: there was nothing spiritual or altruistic about being broke all the time.

We live in a paradoxical society. From the time we can understand such counter-productive concepts, we hear the older people saying things like, “Money isn’t everything,” and “Money is the root of all evil,” and the ever popular, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

Yet we also deify celebrities and the opulent. It’s no mystery to me why so many of us live “paycheck to paycheck.” I’d venture to say that most of us don’t even realize how unhealthy our relationship to money is. There is ample proof, both psychological and anecdotal, that many of us associate more pain to having money than to not having money whether we realize it or not.

Sadly, more often than not, we don’t realize it. We just try to find acceptance that we’ve have been born in a certain class and that’s where we’ll stay. We attribute those who are able to break out of their imaginary caste system as lucky. I am going to go out on a limb here and tell you that this is just not true.

If you study all the people who have ever raised themselves out of poverty into wealth, you will find that luck has never had anything to do with it. As a matter of fact, if you do the research, you’ll find that most people who receive inheritances or win lotteries are usually right back in poverty a short time after their windfall. Luck is the worst way to become successful.

Here are four simple steps to manifest great abundance in your life:

>> Reprogram your thoughts

You have to associate pain to being broke and pleasure to having abundance and you need to do it on a physiological and neurological level. Read 20 minutes of wealth consciousness books every single day. Some really effective ones are Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and Unshakeable by Tony Robbins. Depending on your age, you have years of damaging information hanging out in your head. It’s going to take a vigilant course of reprogramming to get you primed for wealth.

>> Walk the walk of the wealthy

I actually just put this into practical use today. Since I was in the middle of writing this article, all of this information was fresh in my head. I had a gig at a local winery and, instead of spending my time during my sets shooting glances at my tip jar and running a silent commentary in my head, I kept repeating, “I am wealthy. I have everything I need. I have unending abundance in my life.” Of course, and this is no lie, I left that place with a pocketful of cash.

When you make a conscious effort to come from a place of prosperity, the universe will believe you.

>> Invest in yourself

Get a life coach. Attend a seminar. Do all the things you need to do to begin to act “as if.” You will never be able to pull this off if the passenger window of your car is made of plastic and duct tape. If you have $150 to your name, put a hundred dollar bill and fifty singles in your pocket and have the $100 on the outside.

>> Create a sense of urgency

Everyone, at some point in their life has had the experience where they needed a new transmission for their car, or they needed to get a horrific dental issue taken care of or saved themselves from eviction by miraculously manifesting the money they need to get out of the quagmire. If you can do this with such anemic goals, you can certainly do it with loftier ones. Create a rabid urgency around your need to create abundance. This is not something that can be accomplished by wishing.

Once you have all of this in place, don’t allow friends and family to influence the direction you are going in. People don’t mean harm by it, but there is the “crabs in a bucket” mentality that you will run into constantly.

If you’ve ever seen crabs, you’ll notice when one tries to escape captivity, the others will pull him back into the bucket again. Remember that anything is possible if you just decide—and I mean truly resolve—that you are not going to settle for living in lack another day.

~

Author: Billy Manas
Image:  Lechon Kirb/Unsplash
Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Copy Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Social Editor: Khara-Jade Warren

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Billy Manas

Billy Manas is a poet, singer-songwriter, and truck driver from the Hudson Valley in New York, where you can catch his act at wine tastings and breweries. His distinct voice in both song and poetry is likely the result of his degree in literature and his teenage years spent outside of CBGB’s on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. His new book “Rockstar Recovery” will be available everywhere Fall 2019. Catch up with Billy on his website.

Billy Manas Aug 26, 2017 4:53pm

Like " they say the best things in life are free, but you can give that to the birds and bees ...?"

Billy Manas Aug 26, 2017 4:51pm

Thank you Lynleigh!

Richard Josephson Aug 26, 2017 4:02pm

May I suggest making this essay into a song!

Lynleigh Rose Aug 26, 2017 2:14am

Love this <3

Billy Manas Aug 23, 2017 2:26pm

Thank you for saying so Maggie!

Maggie Converse Aug 22, 2017 9:31pm

this is wonderful. thank you for sharing.

Billy Manas Aug 21, 2017 8:31pm

Thank YOU Helen!

Helen Saenz Maksutovic Aug 21, 2017 4:50pm

Great article, love your writing. Thank you.

Billy Manas Aug 20, 2017 11:17am

Well it wasn't easy! It required quite a bit of persistence, a lot of dates and a couple of songs. �

Kati Reijonen Aug 20, 2017 7:41am

Billy Manas Yes! I am always fascinated by these stories where people get their stuff together after turmoil and the awakening they experience after the rock bottom...I am particularly curious of how people find their partners because it seems like it is easier to start a new life with someone to live the life with. You made it seem so effortless and I envy you because I don´t seem to be able to make it happen no matter what magic tricks I try : ) But good for you Billy! I am so glad you did it <3

Billy Manas Aug 19, 2017 9:34pm

Do you mean the woman I started a family with?

Billy Manas Aug 19, 2017 9:33pm

That is awesome! Thank you Ashlee.

Kati Reijonen Aug 19, 2017 8:22pm

How did you find the woman?

Ashlee Ray Aug 19, 2017 8:01pm

HUGE applause!