Oprah said something on her final show that caught me by surprise. She mentioned that she was fortunate to be blessed with her calling aligning with her ability to earn a living. It wasn’t the message that surprised me; it was the realization that I was harboring an illusionary belief that triggered a reaction. My first thought was “why would I think that one’s calling and ability to earn money would be aligned?” Silly me, I thought. In reality, there are very few beings on this planet that know the luxury of manifesting their calling in a way that supports them financially. I realized that I have consciously and unconsciously been making choices regarding my life style and earning money with this underlying illusion – or what I call a belief – for my entire life.
There are plenty of layers to the formation of beliefs relating to working, money, doing what you love, and finding your calling. Bookstores are filled with self help messages that espouse finding your calling and the money will follow. From motivational teachers to self help gurus, there is an abundance of guidance that implies that if we follow our bliss, find what we love, and just do it, the money will manifest. Our path will become aligned with all aspects of our selves and the wonderful harmony of earning a living without really being focused on the reality of economic gain will magically unfold as we are transformed into a life of prosperity. Cinderella will never have to return to the horrible life of poverty, lack, and chores. Let’s face it, if we could change our lives that easily in 10, 12, or however many steps are put forth, we’d all be happier and wealthy. In my opinion, it’s never that simple.
On a more personal level, we have the role modeling of care givers – or takers – that slowly form into an unconscious belief system. For example, I had multiple people in my life that seemed to convey that working brought misery not reward. Consequently, the prospect of having a job just to earn money seemed like selling my soul. Of course, there are times when needing to earn money is required to clothe, house, and feed our bodies, but to what degree? At some point it becomes relative. I’m not referring to those who are struggling to minimally survive and/or cope with crisis, but to those of us who have the comfort of choosing a simpler life in order to get by on less. I still ask myself: What do I really need to be happy, healthy, and well, and do I need more money to accomplish that? I guess it’s a bit obvious given my eclectic and sporadic work history that my answer is almost always “no, money will not bring me what I genuinely desire.”
So what do I genuinely desire? My hope is to be of service, to find my calling, and trust that I will provide for my well-being on an economic level too. The tricky part is balancing the realities of what it takes to find one’s calling with the necessities of surviving as a vulnerable human being in a community that requires money in order to exist beyond primal needs alone. Sometimes, we will need to earn a living that is not aligned with our calling. If we’re fortunate, as I have been, we are able to find our calling in spite of not experiencing economic gain as a byproduct. I do not think that there is some universal law that says: Do what you love and the money will follow. Prosperity and abundance may still manifest, but the source may not be directly related to your life’s purpose.
I prefer a more holistic view. I ask questions like: Is my life working? Are my well-being and the well-being of those that I share my life with being served? Am I growing, expanding my awareness, and healing? Are my doubts fueled by genuine concerns or are they the by product of conditioning? I trust that I am more than who, what, and how I was taught to be. I let go of the expectations that my search to manifest my calling – to find the vehicle in which to voice my soul’s purpose and to move out into community – will automatically bring financial gain.
I have spent decades searching for my calling and life path. I’ve read books, processed my past, let go of limiting beliefs, and tried to open to whatever presents to my awareness. What I now realize is that I have questioned my path because I was confused about how to earn money. I am still confused. But, my realization that money and finding your authentic expression are not necessarily linked creates more breathing room. Maybe letting go of the assumption that my life path will bring economic gain in a painless manner (in spite of learning curves and bumps along the way) will open the door to change.