by Christine Kane
This is Part 1 of a multi-part series on money, prosperity, clarity, and anything else that came up as I wrote it. To view the main page of this series, click here.
- Benjamin Stolberg, Journalist & Author
(1891 – 1951)
I’ve succeeded for 13 years professionally as an independent self-employed artist. So, I’ve had to go through many lessons around money, prosperity, lack, abundance, and accounting systems. I hardly ever talk about this with anybody as there seems to be an unspoken agreement among artists not to talk about money — which is probably why it feels so odd to choose to write about it. I think those of us who aren’t corporate or who don’t wear a neck-tie are all supposed to leave money matters to the experts. I don’t think anyone should leave anything to the experts.
The problem I have with experts is that I no longer believe in them. (Oops.) I believe in teachers. I believe in coaches. I believe in wisdom. (Okay, I’m beginning to sound like Don Williams meets Deepak Chopra.) But not so much in experts who purport to know more about your finances, your body, your health, or your life than you. Here’s why:
An expert in any given field — let’s say money — is operating from a limited context. He sees only the entity of money. And he tends not to look at it holistically. If you see money as more than just a paper exchange and as an actual consciousness, then its context shifts. And if you add another field of consciousness to the picture — yourself, for instance — then the context shifts even more because you bring thought forms, beliefs, and emotions into the picture. No expert can claim to have knowledge of the full spectrum of a field of energy like money, especially as it applies to other fields of energy — like us!
An example of this limited context paradigm is the Western medical approach to illness. A Western doctor (the “expert”) will look at a symptom (i.e., constipation) and address it as an isolated symptom. He will prescribe a laxative and send the patient on his way. The remedy may work on that symptom, but may actually harm the system even more without addressing the cause of that symptom. An Eastern practitioner trained in Chinese Medicine will look at the patient as an overall system. The practitioner will take pulses, evaluate all of the organs, and consider the emotions and thoughts of the patient. Treatment is based on the full picture. But that practitioner won’t give a laxative. The problem is not the constipation. The problem is an imbalance that causes that symptom. Fix the imbalance and you heal the problem and the symptom goes away. This is not expert. It is wisdom. Most experts are not wise. They just know a limited set of facts. (Not to mention that the medical world is now under the very powerful influence of pharmaceutical companies.)
Of course, most people who defy the experts are typically shunned and cast out of their fields. Bruce Lipton, a remarkable biologist, comes to mind. If you ever get a chance to see him speak, you’ll love him. His book, The Biology of Belief, is recommended reading, especially for those who need the proof behind all these freaky new thought ideas…
Another reason I don’t like experts is that many mainstream expert opinions are born out of fear, and mostly just keep us scared, helpless, and reactionary. After all, they’re the experts and you’re=well, NOT. In the same way that I am wary of experts, I’m also wary of fear. Advice based in fear says, “Stay helpless. You have no power.” My feeling is that instead of messages like, “Be Scared. Be VERY Scared,” the messages should read, “Be Conscious. Be VERY Conscious.” Lasting solutions don’t come out of panic or fear.
Here’s the last reason: I have, at times, given my power to the experts, and I’ve had to do some defying myself. A major instance of this occurred when I got to have a session with a very famous success guru/author. I had admired this person deeply. (I still do actually.) At that time, I was just beginning to record my CD Rain & Mud & Wild & Green, and had borrowed quite a bit of money to begin the project. This author listened to my situation and told me to stop doing music and to get a job. Seriously. The author was very grave about this without ever having heard my music or my performance. For the next several weeks, I had to come to terms with the fact that this expert whose encouragement I so wanted had pretty much dismissed me and my life’s work. I chose to defy the expert though. I made the decision not to get a job, to finish with the CD and move in the direction of my intent. It worked. I’ve said this before, but that CD sold five times more in the first year than any other I had released. It continues to do very well, too.
(Side note: It cracks me up to watch the media use experts and “expert opinion” to hook viewers. The Weather Channel alone provides endless stage-banter material. The mere fact that TWC has gotten us all to believe that we need a Winter Weather Expert who sits at this Assemble-It-Yourself-IKEA-Expert-Desk is simply awe-inspiring. (“No, no, no, Jim Cantore, you can’t sit here, as you are not an expert. Only Paul Kocin can sit here! You go back out and cling to a telephone pole in a hurricane or something.”) I’m not exactly sure what rigors one must go through in order to become an expert in all-things-cold, but I would like to know why they don’t have a Summer Weather Expert? Surely there’s a margarita-sipping-fin-hat-wearing Buffet fan out there somewhere that could stand in on occasion)
So, here’s what I’m NOT saying: I’m NOT saying to turn your back on the massive amount of wisdom being offered out in the world. (Unless, of course, it’s the Weather Channel.) I’m saying to use it to make informed decisions and become aware of your own life, your own values, and your own situation. I could certainly see why a success author wouldn’t want to encourage an artist to go into debt to make a CD, especially since that author had probably heard a lot of bad CD’s along the way. But my life experience taught me to turn the other way and decide something else — to look at my life holistically and to rely on the power of my own intent.
Here’s what I AM saying: What I AM saying is that we are each called to be an expert in our own life, and then help other people be experts in theirs. Being an expert in your own life requires that you also become an expert in process as you keep changing and growing. Books, classes, lectures, workshops are all helpers and guidelines, but you ultimately will do best if you become your own expert. Is it harder to do this? Yes. Because you have to consistently be conscious and aware and present. And because you have to be willing to make mistakes sometimes and defy the grouchy experts — and when it comes to money this can be scary.
I’m also saying that in this context, money is not a segmented or separate part of your life. It’s tempting to say, “I don’t do money. I’m a teacher.” Or “I’m an artist. What does this have to do with me?” Your life is a whole picture. I’m going to keep that idea as a backdrop as I write this series…