If you believe in the Law of Attraction and like attracting like, then getting anywhere is not an option. There is no there to get to. You gotta already be there. You have to experience the feelings and the knowing of that thing you want. (Maybe all that singing into my hairbrush and strumming my mom’s tennis racquet when I was a kid paid off. Then again, absolutely nothing came from teaching myself the entire zombie dance routine from the Thriller video.)
On an even higher level, there is no future success. When you are successful, you are successful now. Artists know this principle well. When you create, the creating is the reward. The creating is now. When you draw a picture, the moment of drawing is the reward. When you can be present to the moment and the work of art, then you have already succeeded.
And the same is true with prosperity. So many people blog about wealth and money and business and success, and there is often such a frantic-ness emanating from the computer screen that you find yourself short of breath after the first paragraph.
Stop for a second. The struggle, the grabbing, the getting – all of it is taking you out of this moment, and this great abundance that you are already experiencing. In this moment, what do you really need? I mean, now. Right here and now. What exactly do you really need?
Being rich, as I see it, can happen instantly when you recognize the depth of your life and the depth of your surroundings. When you can experience those things – really experience them – that is wealth. So many people want more more more, and they experience so very little of that more more more. They don’t even see below the surface of what’s in front of them.
This is not saying that you should just deal with your debt and hang out in the now, dude. This is saying that you can gently shift your attitude moment-by-moment and experience wealth and peace and then attract even more wealth and peace.
So my answer is to stop trying to GET rich and start BEING rich. Here’s how:
1 – Fill your gas tank up every time.
When I first moved to Asheville, I was a poverty case. I waitressed when I could. I did open mic nights. And one of my habits was to go to the gas station and only put five dollars worth of gas in the tank. At some point, I recognized that there was so little logic in that habit. I started to fill up my tank. And I felt rich when I gave myself the gift of having a full tank. Since then, I’ve never even considered not filling my tank up. I have no idea if other people do the $5 thing, but when I stopped being stingy with my gas tank, I felt like an honest-to-god successful artist!
2 – Count Acorns
I was sweeping my deck a few weeks ago, and I just started counting the acorns. There were hundreds on my deck alone! And I thought of this beloved oak tree and how little thought it gives to just dropping acorns every damn where. (Some of them nearly gave me a lobotomy.) For weeks and weeks, my house sounded like people were throwing billiard balls at the skylights. Acorns and acorns and acorns. The universe is not at all stingy with its creativity, its abundance and its offerings. So, why should your life be any exception?
Count acorns. Watch a river and ask yourself – where is it all coming from? Look at all the leaves as they fall, and see how nature continuously creates. You are a part of this flow. Allow that. For now, just notice it. This is true abundance.
3 – Be Silent
Eckhart Tolle summed this idea up perfectly in a talk he gave. He said, “When Jesus said, ‘I want you to have more abundant life,’ he didn’t mean more abundant consumer goods. He didn’t mean more shopping malls. He was not talking about the ‘things’ in life. He was talking about life itself. The aliveness of life itself. The only place where you can be in touch with that is through the stillness underneath the mental noise. The vibrantly alive stillness underneath the mental noise.”
I need silence now more than ever. I need meditation time and stillness. I often drive with no music. I watch and listen and experience my surroundings. I believe it makes me a better performer, a better writer, a better listener, and a better friend and partner. It is where I find my wealth.
4 – Give.
I think the world would be the most wild and exciting place if everyone tithed constantly. Tithing is the most outrageous act of courage I know. It says, “There’s more to come. I’m happy to give away and support other beings.” It says, “Thank you. You have helped me. This isn’t mine anyway, so have some of it.” Tithing is different from donating. Tithing is giving just to give. Donating is giving to help, as in a cause or a non-profit.
Giving creates space. And space gets filled up again. If you are feeling poor, try giving a little away. I’m not saying to give your life savings away, but try giving even a little.
I have received: Someone stopped me in the hall of my office building and handed me cash. She said, “You helped me so much by recommending that book and that writing exercise. I want you to have this.” I was so moved and so happy. Not because of the money, but because of the trust and the flow.
I have given: I sent a hundred dollars to a blogger whose writing had helped me in making some big changes in my life. No big deal. I was just truly grateful.
Life is meant to flow. And we are meant to give. Money is like anything else. Let go of the tight grip and get out and give a little!
5 – Don’t bite your nails
Think dignity. Think Princess Grace or Katharine Hepburn. Would these women of stature and honor and wealth ever stand in the grocery aisle biting their nails because the price of organic oat groats had gone up? (Would they even have bought organic oat groats?)
When I am most nervous that life isn’t going to turn out well, I bite my nails. It’s the ultimate activity of not trusting the flow of things. When I catch myself, I stop. I breathe. And I remember who I am. Being really abundant means letting go and trusting. There is absolutely nothing worth biting your nails over!
6 – Gratitude.
Be grateful for what you have in this moment. So often we are tempted to compare our wealth with other’s wealth, thereby belittling our own life experience. If you are stuck in the “not enoughs,” then I would urge you to start a gratitude journal. Every night write down 5 things for which you are grateful. Remember, what you focus on will grow and expand. Focus on all the good. Even the littlest shift that you can celebrate. (“Hey! Look at me! I asked for what I wanted! I’m growing!” or “Okay, so my fledgling new business made $37 last month. That’s $37 more than it made the month before!”) Focus on the beauty. Focus on the richness. Taste your food. Feel the heat of the shower. You are so abundant. Notice that.
7 – Get a million-dollar bill
After we hiked Mount LeConte, my husband and I stopped in Cherokee, NC for breakfast. There was a gumball machine at the diner that had million dollar bills in it. I put my quarter in the machine and got one. I keep it in my wallet. It’s so much fun to see it whenever I pay for something. I can’t give you any Jack Canfield-esque great news about any million-dollar-deal I just made, but I like seeing it in my wallet. That’s all. It makes me smile. And it makes me aware of abundance.
8 – Happily pay for services
I worked with a promoter last year outside of New York City. After my show, he handed me the check for my full and highest fee. With a smile he said, “This is not nearly enough to pay you for this night.” Ah, to be paid like that all the time! If every promoter had that attitude, then I believe the music business would be in much better shape.
I try to take his attitude with every check I write. When I pay for anything, I make sure I recognize how valuable that service or that product was to me. The attitude with which you pay for things (the outflow) creates the abundance and the manner of the in-flow. It’s one big cycle.
Even if you have to pretend for a while, act as though every check you write is coming from a place of deep appreciation.
9 – Watch your language.
One of the things I do when I facilitate retreats is monitor the language of each person as she’s talking. I jokingly buzz them and encourage them to shift what they just said. By the third day of the retreat, the women are laughing at how many times they catch themselves saying, “I’m broke,” “I can’t afford this,” or “I’m too old for that.” They are learning to watch their language and reverse the intent. (For instance, “I am choosing not to buy that today!”)
The point of the exercise is not to ridicule people for their negativity. It’s to remind them how important their own language is. If you’re constantly saying, “I’m broke,” or “That’ll never work” or “No one would go for that idea,” then guess what? You’re right.
10 – Make some space
Clutter in your life, in your work space, in your house takes up space and holds old energy. Things in your house crammed on bookcases, stuffed in closets, lined up on shelves have energy. If you don’t love these things, then let go of them. Get rid of them. Holding on says, “I don’t trust that there’s more out there for me.” Letting go says, “I know there’s plenty out there for me.” Think of all those acorns.
11 — Yes is a really cool word
Lenedra Carroll wrote “The Universe Always Says Yes.” When you say, “I’m broke,” the Universe says, “Yes.” When you say, “I’m rich,” the Universe says yes. It’s impersonal. It’s just all yes.
I love the word yes. It sings. It allows. Start hearing yes more often. Start saying Yes to your life, even if you think you are the most messed up human on the planet. Laugh a little at all that drama. Start accepting and allowing your life’s flow. Say yes more often. Smile when you do it.
Because really, how can wealth and energy and flow find its way to you if you are constantly saying “no” and closing the doors to what is your life now?