I was having a conversation with a dear friend of mine who also happens to be a renowned foot reflexologist. Passionate about what she does, she feels so strongly that it is important for her to have a long career. She wants to be able to share her substantial knowledge and talent with as many people as she can. I told her that I had been feeling the same way about my creative pursuits, about writing, about speaking, about offering as many opportunities as I can to remind those within reach of the enormity, the greatness of who and all that they are, and the incredible strength and resilience each of us harbors, deep within, to transcend any obstacle put in our path.
We began to talk about pursuing our passion as a career, and the messy fiscal entanglement that can happen. She spoke of how difficult it was for her in the beginning of her career to charge people, and then collect the money for her service. Mind you, she was one of the best at her craft—and yet still, not entirely confident or comfortable in accepting prudent monetary exchanges. It took her years of struggle and discomfort with this, until she made a simple tweak in her perspective. She finally categorized her fee as not getting paid for her reflexology, but rather, getting paid so that she can do what she loves to do—her passion, talent, and tremendous service.
After I left our meeting, I began to cull through examples of how often we let ourselves feel discomfort in establishing our rate of pay, or asking for a raise—even more so as women in business. We allow ourselves to squirm when asked to put a price on our value. I used to toil for years over whether and what to charge for services that I had provided, or the creative craft that I had shared with the world. I still have micro-moments of doubt on occasion when rendering a fee. Especially, if there’s not an established salary attached to an outside-the-box job. It can be even more difficult to represent and honor our own talent, our hard work with a particular financial compensation. Too often, I ended up “volunteering” most of my time away, and was then left little money with which to pay rent.
Ideally, we should understand our worth, our value on a deep, intrinsic level, so that attaching an monetary value is equivalent to saying ‘yes’ to the job. If we know that we can help someone, if we know that we can do a good job, then we should be able to accept the monetary terms. Ideally.
However, another expansive thought started knocking on the door of my consciousness regarding the magnificent nature of our being. What if we went beyond the notion that money, like our talent and passion for rendering a service are both energetic exchanges, available for reciprocity? What if we considered our gifts, our talent, our hard work, our desire to perform our avocation and to impact the world in our own specific way, instead, as a giant balled-up bank account of abundance within us…?
What if everything we had to offer made up the real nest egg of abundant wealth that had already begun to accrue interest from the universe? And when we acknowledged its balance, tended to it with trust in its exponential growth, it would allow us to go forth into the world and give powerfully from our prolific supply. What if the more we gave, the more the universe replenished, so that we could continue to do our best work whilst having the freedom to focus on giving from our growing pool of incredible strengths and offerings that each of us possesses...?
In other words, when we invest in ourself—through classes, creativity, enrichment, physical and spiritual nourishment, we add to our profound internal wealth. When we recognize our resources while doing that which lights us up—when we follow our passion down into our heart space, and go through the portal that leads to the place at which we are all one—when we understand, practice and cultivate our connection to all living things, we then know intrinsically, that we are far more powerful than mere money. We are far more omniscient than a single gig, a single job. We are not only the bank account, but the bank as well...the employee, and the employer...the product and the entire factory.
For those of us who live paycheck to paycheck, or for whom finances feel like a monumental stressor, I am not encouraging us to abandon our day jobs so that we can immediately begin frolicking freely while feasting off the spiritual landscape. I’m merely suggesting opening a new account within ourselves—shifting our perspective enough to start making deposits into a new and supportive way of thinking and being. Whatever we can set aside to take care of ourselves, whatever we can invest in our emotional, academic, physical, or spiritual expansion, we should do it. Each month, each week, each day if we can. Set it aside, but also open your mind, your heart, to recognize that this type of investment in all that we have to offer, all that we are, is infinitely abundant.
I wonder what would happen if we took this opportunity to shift our maniacal focus off of the mere monetary aspect of our avocation, but, instead, shift it as often as we can to the greater wealth of opportunity we have to do it, to make a difference, to share what we know, to have fun while helping. The more we practice this, the easier it will become to attach a price to what we do, and more importantly, the better we will feel, which allows us to do better, be better, and creates a beautiful cycle of raising our value for all to see, feel and be compensate for, thusly.
These aspects are the stocks that rise exponentially. These are the career traits that pay off in the end. This is our true, profound and sustainable 401k for the future. I cannot help but suspect that the more diversified our joy and fulfillment across all aspects of life and love, the more infinitely abundant our portfolio.
And we’re SO worth it.
Polo REO Tate was born in Lansing, Michigan, where her family has deep ties to the community. Her Great Great Grandfather was Ransom Eli Olds (R.E. Olds), a pioneer and prolific inventor most notably responsible for inventing the first internal combustion automobile—the Oldsmobile. Growing up, [...]