My perception of what prosperity actually is has changed over the last fifteen years. There have been times in my life when I had lots of money, a fancy car, and expensive clothes, and then there have been times when I was without transportation, struggling to pay my rent, and dealing with the relentless phone calls of bill collectors.
The interesting thing is that the times when I was more financially affluent were my darkest years. It wasn’t until I was without a car, walking to work, and changing careers that I finally had a taste of what true prosperity is. It was during that time that I discovered Deepak Chopra’s book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. I read it, dog-eared, highlighted, and underlined it, and carried it with me everywhere I went. It was my reference book, and I practiced each of the principles until I started seeing the reflection of that practice, the shifts in my consciousness, in my daily life experience. My life began to come into balance emotionally and spiritually. My world began to open up and blossom. I was still very strapped financially, but I didn’t mind, because I was doing work I loved, making a difference in the world, and attending to my needs spiritually through meditation and prayer. I just knew that everything was alright.
What follows are my current reflections and beliefs about the laws of prosperity; what works for me personally in this space and time of my life. Perhaps it will inspire you as well!
Once you know what prosperity is to you, then you must have clarity about how to create it. In order to do this, it helps to recognize the obstacles that stand in your way. These obstacles can often be deep seated belief systems that have been a guiding undercurrent in your life—ideas of not being enough, or not deserving, or unprocessed resentment toward others or even yourself. I found that being curious about myself, getting to know me, helped to peel away the layers that were in the way of my most magnificent self. It is an ongoing process, and one that takes commitment and faith in yourself, but positive changes are only sustainable when they come with conscious, compassionate awareness.
There is a lot of new age talk about using affirmations to create prosperity. I have definitely done my time writing them, repeating them in front of a mirror, breathlessly affirming how peaceful and loving I am while I’m planning the demise of my enemy. That may be a slight exaggeration, but not much of one. Affirmations can be a great tool to train and focus the mind, but can also bypass the important healing of emotional wounds that created the need for affirmations in the first place. One of my teachers, Rev. Janet, used to say, “Affirmations are like pouring whip cream on a pile of garbage—it still stinks under there!” Until I have faced my own dark shadow and embraced those aspects of myself that I have denied, affirmations will not be very effective. However, affirmations in conjunction with honest self reflection can be pretty powerful, have the potential to create a lasting shift in consciousness, and put you in touch with true prosperity.
A cliché about affirmations that I have found to be true by experience is, “Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.” I have a memory of wanting to buy a used Volkswagen Bug, for less than $600.00, by a certain date. I visualized, meditated, and affirmed, day after day. I found and purchased a VW two days before my deadline, for $550.00. It practically landed in my lap through an acquaintance. Two weeks later it was discovered the VW had been stolen at some point in time, and never registered. When I tried to register it, the police came and took it away. I learned a valuable lesson. I had lost touch with the quality of what I was looking for, namely, reliable, affordable transportation that would provide me with freedom to travel. I became consumed with the details and got in my own way. It is helpful to explore your desires to see what the quality of life is underneath them that you are truly wanting. For example, my desire for a house will provide me with room to have children, and space to teach and practice yoga. Family, connection, spirituality, and service—these represent true prosperity for me.
Deepak Chopra talks about “setting your intention for the future, but letting your attention be on the present.” I have found this to be a very effective tool in experiencing prosperity. When I set my intentions for the things I want to create in the future and keep coming back to the present moment and my life as it is, I stay grounded in reality. I make a point to cultivate gratitude for what is. I have a personal mantra that I use, which is, “Thank you for bringing me here.” It honors my past, it appreciates the present moment, and it frees up my internal energy from any judgment or denial so I can sit in the perfection of that moment, knowing anything is possible.
The “laws of prosperity” is a vast and rich subject with many truths. Depending on one’s life circumstances, level of self-awareness, and willingness to explore, the journey will be different for everyone. The key for me has been to start where I am. Some days it is writing in a journal about what I’m grateful for, sometimes it is meditating, listening for the guidance of Spirit. At other times I have created collages with bright photos and words to represent my goals. There have been days I have needed to scream into my pillow to release anger and stuck energy. Donating time, money, and energy to someone in need offers great perspective. Often I go to a yoga class to get in touch with my body and its needs. All of these are valuable resources on the path of discovering what prosperity means to me and creating it on a day to day basis. Above all, the key is to enjoy the journey, and recognize the many ways in which you are already abundant.
The Energy of Money by Maria Nemeth, Ph.D
The Seven Spiritual Laws to Success by Deepak Chopra
Creating True Prosperity by Shakti Gawain