Isn’t it strange how, if you think about it, we never wish for what we really want?
The point was driven home to me this morning in the shower. When I moved in, my roommates praised the virtues of the showers starting with “great pressure”. Well, that’s great if your primary purpose is to get scrubbed clean as quickly as possible, but that’s not why I take showers. My showers are like the exhale at the end of a long day. I love a gentle relaxing mist of warm water to envelop me and calm me. I don’t like being pummeled. But, I didn’t wish for a relaxing experience, or even for a different shower head. No, I wished for money: “I wish I had the money to get one of those adjustable shower head.”
“I wish I had the money to get a kayak” actually means “I wish I had a kayak”, which actually means “I wish I had the freedom to play on rivers and lakes at will.”
“I wish I had money to go see my friend Rich in Nantucket” means “I wish I could see Rich, which means “I wish I could feel the specific kind of companionship I once experienced with Rich and assume will still be there when I visit” which actually means “I wish for companionship, in general.”
“I wish I had the money to not work so that I would have all the time available to finish my book” –> “I wish I could finish my book” –> “I wish I could do with my time as I please, whether it is writing a book or not” and
“I wish I could finish my book” –> “I wish I could share my story”
“I wish I had money to pay rent, to buy food, to put fuel in my truck” –> “I wish I could stay in the house in the woods with my favorite roommates, eat well and take care of myself, and be free to roam as I please”
Our minds are so conditioned to think of wealth as that green stuff or that big number on our online statement. My big number right now is $11. But, I feel richer than I’ve felt in a long time.
I quit my job at Ragged Mountain this week. I liked working there, but I didn’t love it. What’s the point of being anywhere from which you wish to be elsewhere? I decided that I want to uphold the statement of purpose I wrote on my birthday to its fullest extent. I will only engage in activities that make my heart joyous and grateful and nothing less, regardless of financial consequences (for as long as I reasonably can). The old model is full of shoulds and musts in that respect. I’ve decided to not abide by any should or must, only to “oooooh – I want to do that!”
So far, so good. It’s been tight, but not dire.
Starting next week, I will teach two more yoga classes, for a total of 6 a week – I never wish to not be teaching yoga. I’ve also picked up a side gig as a nude model for a drawing class because it amuses me. It pays about what it cost in fuel to get there, to the mountains and back. With the spare time that has opened up, I have been roaming, hiking and kayaking in borrowed boats. Between all my activities, I earned enough for rent, not a dime more. I was fed meals, and invited in homes with soft misted showers. I charged a few groceries run on a credit card that still had a little bit of room until max, thanks to the money Rich gave me last month when I worked with him on Nantucket. I spoke with a man about working on an organic farm this week. I’ll be able to take home whatever organic vegetables I want for free. And I am sharing my story, right here and right now.
I have tried this lifestyle before, but it didn’t work because I couldn’t squelch the fear of running out. Within a few days, the discomfort was unbearable, and the Universe matched me. The more I worried about money, the more I had reasons to worry. Suddenly, my tires were delaminating, a large bill I didn’t expect came in, utilities were more than I expected, and my yoga classes were empty. Ugh.
I don’t know what shifted, but this time, the process seems more fluid, more organic. I see the gifts, every day, all the time, and I feel fully supported – maybe even a little spoiled. I don’t know how it will work itself out, but it’s not really for me to figure out. This isn’t a matter of the head, it’s a matter of the heart. Trust is all that’s required to pull it off. Whatever “it” is. Living fully? Living joyously? Checking out of the shoulds in the system? We’ll see …
I am open to my experiment failing. I am open to having to return to a job I don’t love in a pinch. I figured this is like learning to walk on your hands. Maybe this time I stay up for 30 seconds before I fall. It’s alright. Maybe next time, I’ll be up for a full minute. Eventually, I’ll be dancing on my hands, and it will feel effortless.
XOX – The Roaming Bobcat.
P.S: All images from Google Images. Thank you!