By Reverend Barbara Bue
Pretend you are walking down a busy street in New York City. There is the hustle and bustle of cars and horns and people talking on cell phones and others calling out to one another. However, you are in a quiet zone in your own mind, kind of hearing it all but not really paying attention. Then someone drops a bunch of change on the sidewalk. Everything stops and everyone hears it. Why? Because it’s money and money gets our attention. Whether we have a lot of it or a little of it, money plays a central role in how we feel about our life experience and it always has some of our attention.
Many of us are still trapped in asking our money or our checkbooks permission before we decide what we want to do, how we want to play, where we want to vacation or even what’s for dinner. And some of you may be saying to yourself, ‘Prosperity? I know all that stuff.’ Which is great if your life is a reflection of prosperity and if you freely give and freely live. Then feel free to move on. But, if your life does not reflect a freedom and flow of prosperity and choice then you don’t KNOW prosperity, you know ABOUT it. There is a huge difference – a difference that is life giving and allows for such a feeling of freedom. Imagine never worrying about money again!
Some prosperity teachers and movies like The Secret have led people to believe that all they have to do is put a giant house on their vision board and focus on it and it will magically appear right before our very eyes. And while that would be fun, it is not the way the Universe works. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with women who are looking for a partner who apply this idea. They write lists, vision, pray and then sit home waiting for this special partner to fall through the ceiling. This doesn’t work either.
There is an incredibly profound statement in Wallace Wattles’ book, The Science of Getting Rich, in which he states, “By thought a thing is brought to you; by action you receive it”.
“By thought a thing is brought to you.” Yes, have a vision for your life and write it down. Create a vision board that reflects the kind of life you want to be experiencing, including the freedom and flow of money that allows you to live the creative life you love.
“By action you receive it.” This is the part that many of us have not understood well. We must take action towards the life we desire. The first action is to create a feeling and vibration of gratitude for all that is and all that is in the creative field. I have come to believe there are two key components to this practice: 1) we become incredible stewards of what we already have and 2) we start giving of our time, talent and our abundance.
First, there is stewardship. Stewardship is defined as the responsible overseeing of something considered worth caring for and preserving. Your money – which is a symbol of your ability to live freely – is worth caring for and preserving. We want to act like we don’t care about it. Why would money (which is simply an energy of well-being) come where it isn’t cared for and respected? Good stewardship starts with the basics: have an orderly wallet. Know how much you have in your checking and savings accounts. Stay out of debt.
There are a couple of spiritual causes for debt. Many prosperity teachers believe that debt is a symbol of unforgiveness in our lives. There are times when that is the problem. However, I think debt is primarily a symbol of our lack of faith. We buy things on credit when we forget that we have the ability to co-create with this generous Universe/Source/Spirit/God and we lose patience with the process.
If you already have debt, it is time to forgive yourself and anyone else in your life your soul wants you to forgive. Then make a plan to move out of debt (there are great programs for this-we are launching one after the first of the year) so that you can focus on your prosperity. Stick to your plan! This is the one thing that will allow you to stop focusing on the past and to move your focus and energy to the prosperous future you are creating.
Now comes the giving of our time, talent and abundance part of the equation. How many times have you heard people say that when they win the lottery they will give? And then they spend their lives in a constant mental state of deprivation, even in the midst of plenty. There is no avoiding this part. It is even in the language we use. We say, ‘Give and Receive.’ We never say, ‘Receive and Give.’ The code for our prosperity has already been built in to our language!
This is not a “give to get” scheme. This is a practice of giving in gratitude for all that we have already received. It is part of the practice of deep gratitude for all of the good our life already holds. And we, in this country, even those of us who are struggling, have things to be grateful for. I like to remind people that while others are hauling water in buckets for miles on end to use for drinking and cooking, we flush our toilets with clean water. We have a lot to be thankful about.
But here’s the thing. The Universe/Source/Spirit/God requires us to make the first move and there is a reason that the tradition of giving 10% (or First Fruits) has been around for thousands of years. Because it works! It can be a leap to get passed the mind set on this. Start with something that stretches your giving muscle a little bit and be grateful for all the blessings of your life in the process. If you can’t start with financial giving then begin with the giving of your time or something else that is meaningful to you. Perhaps you have a garden? Take 10% of your produce and give it away. There is no skipping this part!
Just on the other side of your mountain of doubt and fear is the life you want! Vision that life, write it down with feeling and clarity. Then find some people who will believe in that vision with you and keep yourself in a container of loving support. And have fun! Being prosperous is about creating a life you love and love to share. What could be better than that?