Creating Wealth Like No Other
Being brought to your knees. Quite a humbling place. It can be a place of humility, or humiliation, depending upon your perspective.
In the not too distant past, I was brought to my knees (literally and figuratively). Never in my life had I had so much un-secured personal debt. My rent was in arrears. I owed the IRS. I sold a $400. pair of boots for less than $20. to buy groceries – and at that I had to put $4. worth of items back on the shelf.
Friends gasp when I share this. But I assured them that I was okay. I was fine, actually. My life had never felt more rich.
Sure, I missed the days of my quarter million dollar income. I could travel when and where I wanted – pretty much. I could buy a pair of shoes or a sweater on a whim. My home was twice the size of my current one and I never had to even think about the rent.
I drove a European sports car. I dined out often. I could treat friends and family with frequency.
By no means was I financially wealthy, but I certainly had more than enough. Rich, by the standards of the majority of the people in this world. I had plenty of money. But rich, my life was not.
Not from the standpoint of my soul. My soul was starving. My heart was starved. My spirit was parched from internal drought.
Four years ago, I walked away from the source of that income. The income that most would classify as one that made me “rich”. Four years ago, I walked away from the soul-sucking, spirit squelching path that I had created. Four years ago, I stepped into the abyss that I have been navigating ever since.
Certain that I would start my next venture within the coming year, I wrote a business plan, hired an architect to create renderings, attended trade shows, planned inventories and dreamt of the new chapter I was to create.
It seems that the Universe had other plans. For a number of reasons, that venture fell apart.
I wrote another business plan for a different concept. And another. I walked through many steps toward implementing these new ideas. And again, they never came to fruition.
By this time, I was two years from having sold my business. I had only made enough in the sale to last for a year at my former income level. So I stretched it. It lasted a full two years. And a little more.
Although I resisted greatly, I decided to explore re-entering the world of handbag design. This had been the focus of my former career and I had wanted to run as far away as possible from it. The pain was still fairly fresh.
But creating functional, beautiful and necessary pieces for women to carry their lives in was something I first began at the age of eight. It was virtually in my blood.
I joined an incubator that was to assist the participants in creating sustainable fashion companies. It was an amazing program. But I could not create enough momentum to actually launch my business at the completion of it.
By this point, I was beginning to withdraw funds from my retirement accounts for my living expenses. Warned of the stiff penalties by my accountant, I dutifully put 15% aside with each debit to pay the IRS penalty. What I failed to do, was to put aside the actual tax savings, since this was pre-tax money. I knew this. But I chose not to look.
Blinders on, I proceeded to live off of these funds, as well as to begin searching for jobs. Job jobs. The kind where you get a paycheck. Have insurance. Maybe even put into a pension fund.
With my newly polished resume, I approached head hunters, searched regularly on Linkedin, even applied numerous time for postings on Craigslist. Several times I had interviews, but most of the time, my outreach was ignored. It seems that I have been a jack (or jill) of many trades – but mastery? Not so much.
I began to consult small business owners. Was contracted on a number of interior design projects. I revitalized a former career as a voiceover and on-camera talent that I had abandoned 15 years earlier. I even took a retail job. One that pays retail wages.
Still, it wasn’t enough to make ends meet. Not enough to pay the bills for a single mom with a half-time kid. And certainly not for one that lived in the Bay Area.
All of this finally got me to my knees. Add in a relationship earthquake and I completely hit bottom.
Throughout this entire time, I knew, that for whatever reason, this path that I was on was being spiritually directed (as all are, of course). It made it far easier to keep in mind that there was Higher Good at work here. That I was not a victim, but a student. I signed up for this. Unconsciously, perhaps, but I signed up for it.
And so, behind on my rent, not knowing exactly how I was going to pay yet another month’s worth of bills and buy groceries, I felt hopeful. Excited, even.
I knew that this path has been created for me to become intimately acquainted with my own self worth. I knew that without the self esteem to believe that I was worthy of whatever I had created, that I would lose it. I proved that well.
I knew that I was paving the way to create a new future for myself – one that is based in how I can best be of service in the world. One that is not about impressing others and trying to prove that I can do it.
It’s about truly feeling worthy - even, wealthy. Rich to the depths of my soul.
It’s about trusting that the Universe only has my best interest in mind.
It’s about listening. Deeply.
It’s about celebrating all that I was born with and all that I’ve learned in this lifetime and putting myself into service in the form for which I was intended.
It’s about living life with soul, love and creativity. It’s about living with meraki.
It’s about damn time.
In the coming weeks, I will be sharing more about this path, this journey, to higher truth and greater purpose. Thank you for joining me.