2 weeks ago, my beloved RV broke down.
I didnâ€™t let it get me down. I smiled and embraced the obstacle like an adventure.
A few days later, I learned that the engine was destroyed and repairs would run at least $5000.
THAT got me down.
Most mechanics suggested I consider scrapping it and investing in a newer motor home, â€œâ€¦unless you are strongly attached to this specific vehicle.â€
I realized that the test from the Universe had just begun with the breakdown. The real coursework involved dealing with this financial challenge â€“ not just the challenge of finding the money, but the deeper and more important work required to change my beliefs about my relationship to resources in the world.
I have been writing lots about work & money lately. It has been 3 months since my consulting gig ended and I have been dedicated to a non-corporate life path. In that time the HelpTheHomeless project was born, my burning man camp has come to life, Iâ€™ve added a Happy Hour Hug Nation, & my writing has progressed tremendously (I even had a rough copy of a book printed up.)
But none of these projects generates income.
For years I subsidized HugNation and my other creative ventures through consulting gigs. For many years I was on retainer for a European porn company. And the last year I worked for FreeCreditReport.com. (Iâ€™ll let your personal values decide which is sleazier.)
When I stopped the consulting a few months ago, I decided I would give myself a year to live off savings and surrender to faith.
For the previous decade my motto was â€œLove more, fear less.â€ This new chapter is about, â€œFloat more, steer less.â€ In this non-income state, I wanted to allow the cosmic current to take me where I was supposed to go. Basically, Iâ€™ve been working on being of service. And then having faith that acting in integrity & Love will take me where I am supposed to go.
This has been difficult.
But even as my mind fights to let go of itâ€™s old beliefs about work and sacrifice, I have been receiving more and more signs that I am on the right path. Internally and externally, I am getting re-enforcement that regardless of money, my â€œworkâ€ is valuable.
The test came in the form of the broken down RV. As soon as I shared my troubles, people suggested posting a Pay-Pal donation link. It took me several days to do so. I was afraid. I was afraid that all the love I get from sharing what I share would be diminished if I asked for financial support. I was afraid that my â€œworkâ€ would no longer be seen as a gift. I was afraid of saying, â€œI deserve resources to do what I do.â€
But I sat with the fear. I made a video. And I asked for donations to help me repair my precious Hugmobile.
Over the next week, 60 people chipped in and yesterday my PayPal balance broke $5000. The Hugmobile will rise again.
Actually, that is a poor word choice. Last week, this would have been unbelievable to me. But now it is Truth.
I wish I had a minute or two with each of those 60 people to hold them and whisper â€œthank youâ€ in their ears. Not just for the financial support â€“ but for the far more valuable gift of showing me what is possible.
Personally, I have a monthly budget for supporting people and art that I believe in. And I guess I thought that some day I would be deserving of that kind of support from others. But my inner â€œdiscouragerâ€ voice always had a list of things I needed to do first: Write a book, get a PHd, meditate, do more yoga, eat raw, etc..
It took this massive mechanic bill to get me to a place where I allowed other people to believe in me. And support me.
The critical distinction is that I am not asking people to support the ego whims of â€œme.â€ I am asking for assistance so that I can continue to be of service to whatever the Universe asks me to do as I â€œFloat more.â€
I see now that this challenge was necessary. The breakdown wasnâ€™t enough. I needed to fall hard enough that I was forced to ask for help.
I was afraid that asking for support would diminish the good of what I was doing. But the effect is infinitely better: It now becomes the good that WE are doing.
(photo by Mike Hedge)
June 17, 2010