In the search for a holistic lifestyle, sooner or later one faces the challenge of “right living”, where work and wealth are in harmony with our physical, mental and spiritual aspirations. Wealth is so often seen as simply possessing money, perhaps splendid amounts of money. Yet across the spectrum of spiritual teachings, mentors and inspirational teachers, there is a common thread that wealth means so much more than just having the power attributed to money.
One of my beloved teachers told us that money is the expression of social justice. This suggests that money is an energy, which, like fire, can be used or misused. Surrounded by daily news full of examples of the misuse of money and power, how are we to navigate a balanced way to keep body and soul together on this Earth journey?
A common theme of spiritual teachings throughout history emphasizes two dynamics in self-realization. First, that prayer, meditation must also have a physical action to make it real. Secondly, that our personal actions are intimately connected with others. What goes around comes around, and that intention matters. Today’s concern with the environment and social justice reflects the realization that a person is connected not only to our human brothers and sisters, but also with the natural world.
With these ideas in mind, why would it so often seem that prayers and affirmations seem ineffective? Inspirational authors and teachers emphasize that aspirations and affirmations need to be followed up by action in order to work. Wishes may ultimately take the form of hopes, dreams, daily affirmations, visualizations, meditations and prayers. Yet without taking action in the physical, these wishes may very well remain just wishes and hopes, and a disciplined course of daily affirmations may seem to fail to produce results. Well-intentioned aspirations hit the wall, a condition that is often called a money block. Something is in the way, blocking the way to success.
Actions may include activities such as journaling, volunteering, tithing in a way that benefits others, and giving thanks. A measure of this “attitude of gratitude” is sometimes called the GQ, or gratitude quotient – is the day’s focus on being in the now, expressing gratitude for what is good in life, reconsidering our assumptions and attitudes, making needed adjustments and going forward, or is most of the days’ energy devoted to cataloging disappointments? Mantak Chia, Taoist teacher and author of the book “”Taoist Ways to Transform Stress into Vitality – The Inner Smile and Six Healing Sounds”, offers a suggestion for transforming our life with a smile. He teaches workshops on “The Inner Smile”, a self-help system for enhancing all aspects of life.
A valuable lesson can be learned from the comic strip character Pogo, who suggests that “we have met the enemy, and it is us”. The first step is to meet the challenge of changing those strongly held attitudes and choices that result in failure. How this possible, when is so often that attitude are unconscious, operating below the radar of awareness, such that there is a death grip on the very attitudes and emotionally charged beliefs that sabotage the very best of intentions?
If change is needed in order to live in a way that is a benefit to others as well as the self, the journey will likely involve challenging and reconsidering ideas and subconscious attitudes that are simply not true. The good questions always generate a slew of new questions. One teacher asked us “what is the definition of happiness”?” We struggled with that one, beating around the bush as we realized that we really didn’t have a clear idea of what this thing called “happiness” is. His suggestion was: “Happiness is the endless pursuit of a limitless dream.” In meeting the challenge of clearing money blocks, the teachers, mentors and ideas described in the following paragraphs are worth considering. Doors miraculously open when we can change according to circumstances, and are willing to consider what teachers and mentors have to teach us
Of Faith, Hope and Charity
One often heard piece of advice is to do what we love, and the money will come. While it is true that what we love brings passion, a high level of interest and most likely a wealth of talent into the picture, it very likely is only part of the picture. Certainly faith and hope are important elements; without these we are truly poor in spirit. Charity expands the individual from the individual to the whole. When researching spiritual traditions, or listening to the most gifted modern authors and teachers, we find a strong them e suggesting that “what goes around, comes around”. Another wonderful movement along those lines is “Pay it forward”. In other words, instead of wealth, abundance and money reflecting a state of greed and seeking power over others, we are asked to consider the whole of community. Aldo Leopold, author of “Sand County Almanac”, writes “All ethics so far evolved rest upon a single premise: that the individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts.
One of my earliest inspirations was the work of Dr. Wayne Dyer, a well-known author who often presents workshops on public television. His workshops and books teach how to make wishes come true, bring miracles into our life, and how our thoughts generate quality of life. It is soon apparent while reading deeply into his work that there is work to be done, and that our mental attitude, beliefs and relationship to other people and the world around us are dynamic factors in how we make choices, and especially in how our perspective on the world and what is on our mind will so often blind us to opportunities that are right in front of our noses.
A few of Dyer’s books:
The Power of Intention
“Wishes Fulfilled; Mastering the Art of Manifesting
Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life
Dr. Steven R. Covey, is a well-known author who wrote the influential book “Seven Habits of Highly Successful People”. This book about success does not direct the reader to envision a great pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Instead, his approach is practical and deeply instructive. His website contains a discussion of his book, and includes a discussion of Habit # 4: Think Win-Win – an idea that does not seem to be about money at all:
“Think Win-Win isn’t about being nice, nor is it a quick-fix technique. It is a character-based code for human interaction and collaboration.”
Music that stimulates the Alpha and Theta brain waves stimulate healing and creativity, and can be a powerful tool in helping to let go of long-held yet ineffective beliefs, and to create positive change in our life. The “Mozart Effect” is a term for research that has shown that music, especially baroque music, increases creativity and enhances learning. Biofeedback research has opened awareness of how the brain functions, and how that affects our state of being. Alpha and Theta brainwaves are associated with insight and creativity. A well-researched source is the system developed by Dr. Jeffrey Thompson, who has developed a series of CD’s on his Theta Meditation System. He has created special audio environments to help slow down the mind’s pace and guide the brain into brainwave patterns more conducive to calm and centered living. His Theta System CD’s can be found at Amazon and on the Sounds True website.