Today, we continue our Course in Creation. As we discussed last week, you should be continuing to work the early lessons, creating your own space in life, setting up your spiritual disciplines and following them through, gaining control over your mind through meditation and beginning to create a positive, fulfilling and joyous life. And what we will be doing now for some time is addressing individual topics that are issues for many people as they walk their path of spiritual transformation and evolution.
And today’s topic is money, a difficult and confusing issue for many.
First, let us just discuss what money is and what it is not. Money is not evil. Nor is it goodness. There is no spiritual aspect to money any more than there is to cabbage or carrots. Like cabbage and carrots, you can be nurtured by having a certain amount, but there is a limit to what is healthy and good. Something which helps sustain you and build your health can begin to make you ill when you have too much of it. And if you hoard it, it can begin to rot and corrupt. Money is just like this. It is something that should be considered live and perishable. It is something to be shared as well as used. It is a flowing piece of energy.
And now, let us address the issue of safety and security. Yes, money can give you some degree of safety and security. And, like potatoes in the cellar, it is good to have enough set aside so that a long, cold winter will not leave you starving. For life does have its cycles which come and go. But if you get yourself in a situation where you have few debts and perhaps enough saved up to see you through one long and difficult winter, if you have this as well as a livelihood, a way to make money in service to others, then you will be fine. And for anything that you have beyond this, you might well ask: Why do I need more? How high a price am I paying to get more? Am I trying to substitute money for other things?
For in the end, money cannot curl up with you at night and keep you warm. Money cannot hold off illness, if you are not taking care of yourself in other ways. Money cannot stop someone from dying, when the time has come for them to leave this earth. Money can only do what it can do, which is to be a symbolic representation for energy and service. That is all it is. And all the money in the bank will not buy you happiness.
This is an obvious truth. You can tell this, for you can see that there are many people who are quite happy and have very little money. It is also true that there are people with millions, even billions, who are not at all happy. And this should show you that there is no direct relationship. Yes, you need enough money to put a roof over your head and food on the table, and then to have a little bit of safety for that winter ahead. But beyond this, money will not make you happy. It is simple truth, even though your society tells you the opposite.
This society preaches that money will bring you happiness. And people are telling you this because they want to get your money. Yes, the very people who tell you that you must have a new car to be happy, to find love, to have an exciting and fulfilling life, these same people are telling you this because they want you to give them their money. And perhaps they do this because they believe that getting your money will in fact make them happier. But it is not so.
And other well-meaning people will tell you that money equals happiness, for they equate security and safety with happiness. They want you to go to college and then take a job which is secure and safe so that you are never in need. But what about your soul? What about the creative spark? What about the part of you that yearns for freedom, self-expression and beauty? Where is that fed?
As in everything else, part of the answer is in balance, in balancing your life in such a way that you are feeding your soul and your life’s purpose through work you enjoy, perhaps even love, perhaps even feel passionate about. And yet, if your passion simply does not bring in money, then you may wish to balance out your life finding other means to make money which are at least not distasteful to you, just some way to earn enough for the necessities of life. And of course, in this balance, you may also find that it is necessary for you to do work which you do not absolutely love while you are learning the skills which will make your true love more profitable at some future time. This is often the situation, and it is not a situation to be avoided or complained about.
In fact, if you find yourself working in someone else's field in order to support yourself and your family, while at the same time you are saving up your pennies to buy your own plot of land, and then carefully nurturing along the little saplings which you plant there, do not groan and grumble and complain about your lot in life. Instead, be glad. Be glad to be strong and healthy and able to plow your neighbor’s field. Be glad to have that little plot of land and that one little sapling which you are tending, and then another and another. For over time, perhaps for years, you will have the joy of tending your own orchard as well as the joy of serving your neighbor, if you will but allow yourself to see it all in that light.
It is all good. For you see, happiness is not owning a grand orchard. Happiness is how you feel when you get up in the morning, open the window and breathe the fresh air. Happiness is how you feel when you are walking across the fields and gazing up at the sky, whether you are on your way to your neighbor’s field or to your own orchard. Either way, the simple act of being alive and walking under the sky can fill you with joy and contentment, if you will allow it.
Happiness is all about your mind and what you have chosen to put into it, about your heart and whether you are nurturing love there instead of fear. In fact, unhappiness is all about fear and illusion. Happiness is all about love and living now, right now, and allowing yourself to enjoy it no matter what is happening. It is so simple. And it has nothing to do with money.
And so, knowing this, why is money such an enormous issue? Right now, are you starving? No, not if you are sitting at a computer reading this message. Obviously you have enough to be all right for the next few moments. And so, right now, if you choose to, if you allow yourself, you can decide to be perfectly happy. You can decide, no matter what your financial situation, to fill yourself with joy and peace. Right now. No matter what.
And as for increasing your flow of money and getting yourself out of difficult situations, piles of debt which you have accumulated while responding to the constant bombardment of advertisements which surround you, again, this is a mental exercise in combination with right action.
You know about the power of having an intention and holding it out in front of you, of aligning your actions with your thoughts, so that you are always working in a coordinated way toward the achievement of whatever it is that you have set out for yourself. We have spoken of this and many others have spoken of it as well.
But now, I would like you to add another dimension to this thinking. Think of money as what you get in return for service. Some people have the idea that the world should reward them, just because they are doing what they want to do. And yet, all around them are people who are in need of something else. They choose not to fulfill those needs, but rather to pursue what they want to do, and then complain because they do not have enough money.
In other words, you can set up a stand to sell licorice ice cream, because you happen to like licorice and love making licorice ice cream, and perhaps because you bought an oversupply of licorice at a good price. And people may be coming up to the stand all day long, saying, do you have vanilla or chocolate? And you turn them away and send an intention out to the universe that you want to make a fortune selling licorice ice cream. But instead, all you seem to be sent are people who want vanilla and chocolate. Why is this? Why isn’t your intention working?
What you must realize is that it is working. What you are being given is the information which you must listen to. You are being given an opportunity to listen to what people want and need and to respond in kind. If no one walked by and no one said anything to you, you might say that your intention and visioning were a failure. But that is not the case. If you will but pull yourself out of your rigid expectations, out of your dream of selling licorice ice cream and instead open to what is around you, you will see that the angels have sent many, many people your way, and they are there, asking you for chocolate and vanilla.
And now, all you need to do is pay attention. All around you are opportunities. Set aside what you thought you needed to do, what you expected, that tired old dream. Set it aside for a moment. Instead, look around. You have changed. The world has changed. Everything is in a state of constant evolution. Pay attention to what is around you today. And then, make some vanilla and some chocolate; begin to experiment with adding in nuts. And then, maybe offer a little licorice on the side as your little pleasure and for those few who enjoy it.
Open up to how you can be of service to yourself, to others, to the world. What can you do that you enjoy, that others need and are willing and able to pay for? This is the key to making money. It is very simple, is it not? There is no great mystery.
Look around and see what people do. See how people are doing an incredible range of things. Not just what your parents and teachers said, not just what you have thought of. People make a lot of money doing things you would never have thought of. And often, they begin by just paying attention. They asked for guidance and got it. They actively asked people, how may I serve? What do you need? What would you be willing to pay money for? What do I do which has value to others?
And then they paid attention to the answers. And if they ended up not following their very first choice, if they found that the world simply did not share their love of licorice ice cream, then they focused primarily on what the world did want and kept a little licorice ice cream for themselves on the side.
I wish for you to see money not as a great mystery, but as a very straight-forward offering of service and merchandise for payment. You give and you get. It is very simple. Pay attention.
And then, when the money does begin to flow toward you, spread it around. Do not hoard beyond what you need for an emergency, for emergencies do arise. Give yourself some pleasures, yes, do things with your friends and family, enjoy your prosperity, but do not think that money will be the answer to anything except its ability to trade it for what other people offer. And if no one is offering what you truly want in exchange for money, then do not look to money to provide it.
Money is not a substitute for friends, family and loving relationships. Money is not a substitute for that freedom of expression which your heart yearns for. Balance it. Do not hand your life over to money thinking that you will get your reward at some later time. Live now. Find a way to do what you want to do now, even if you do it in the margins and around the edge. Still, do it now. For the promised day of retirement may not come.
Your safety and security depend more upon your relationship to yourself and the universe than upon your relationship to money. Everything in the physical world can be swept away, including money. But your mind is capable of creating it all again, for the world is, at the highest level, one which you create. Create a world of plenty and beauty in your mind and you will create it around you. That is simply the way it is.
If you create a world of poverty, worry and fear in your mind and emotions, then that is the world which will surround you. When you have those thoughts, consciously end them. Nudge them aside and instead, fill your mind with beauty, with abundance, with pictures of yourself succeeding, pictures of yourself relaxed and prosperous and doing things which you love. After all, the worry does not help, the focus on lack and fear does not help in any way. Being fearful and worried does not make you a better moneymaker. In fact, the opposite is true. Being relaxed and open and observant, being flexible and noticing the many, many opportunities which are sparkling all around you makes you the best possible moneymaker.
Let go that death grip you have on money. Relax it some. Whatever you have right now, you probably think it is not enough. Change this. For it is the attitude which matters, not the numbers. Ask anyone who has a thousand dollars in the bank, and they will tell you they are worried that it is not ten thousand. And yet, someone with ten thousand wishes they had one hundred thousand. And these people think they are not safe and fulfilled unless they have one million. And so it goes, without end.
And you, right now, have the choice to instead awaken with joy and observation, looking around and seeing what wonders and beauties the world is offering you today. Ask the angels to send you guidance on how you might become more prosperous. And know that when people complain about your licorice ice cream, you are not being sent complainers, you are being sent the information you sought. These are your angels, coming to you to tell you that they don’t want what you are offering, but that if you will just ask them, they will tell you what you can give them that they will gladly pay you for. These are your angels. The very people you have been worried about or complaining about.
Like that mean boss who criticized you, perhaps even fired you. Ask yourself why. What information did you gain about how you could have made different choices? Or that customer who gave you such a hard time. Ask yourself why. What can you learn about what people really want from you? All of the answers are there. All of those seemingly negative responses are lessons and information, if you will but allow yourself to see them in that light. You are surrounded by both opportunities and lessons. And all you need to do is combine them.
Remember that the universe loves you, cares about how well you do and desires your happiness. You are being helped at every turn. But it is up to you to send fear away. Fear and doubt make very poor decisions. Fear and doubt say, I have a warehouse full of licorice and if I buy vanilla and cocoa beans instead, I will lose my investment. That is fear speaking.
It is up to you to send fear and doubt away and then listen to that true voice instead, that voice that sees new ways to do things, that voice that might tell you to give most of the licorice away for a tax write-off and to invest in what people are telling you that they really want, the best possible vanilla and chocolate, full of chunky nuts and fruits and made with the finest ingredients.
All of the answers are there. Money and happiness are things which come when you fill your heart with peace and love, when you open yourself to the wonders of this life, when you love yourself and this lifetime experience deeply, when you open your heart to others. Do all of this and both happiness and money will come your way. Ask for them and they will come. All you need to do is learn to recognize the guidance which comes and then have the courage to act on it.
You are loved. You are love. And love has all the power. Let your light of love shine, fill your heart with peace, send the darkness of fear and doubt far away and it will all begin to blossom before you. Open to the world exactly as it is. All will be well. In fact, all is perfect right now, including you.