I was taught to believe in scarcity and to save what I earned for important goals, like going to college or buying a house. I was taught to carefully conserve my resources. None of that advice was bad, and following it has served me well.
The part that hasn't served me was the built-in definition that there wasn't and wouldn't be enough. I could never really relax and enjoy what I did have because of the fear and constraint that went with that belief.
It's been a lifelong journey move from "earn, save, spend only on necessities" to "earn, save, spend, invest, enjoy and share." This journey also included learning to work and share with a life partner who urged me to do what I considered to be irresponsible things with money.
There been many bumps in the road since we married in 1960. Overall, it's been both fun as well as challenging.
My first awareness of the need for financial literacy beyond knowing how to balance my checkbook came in 1976 when my husband and I were blamed for competition problems and excluded from a group practice we'd started with professional colleagues several years earlier. This painful experience was largely the result of ignorance and the mismanagement of the financial aspects of our business.
Continuing our practice and teaching on our own made us squarely responsible for the financial success of our business. We needed help so we started out on our financial and management education.
A casual conversation with another colleague some years later led to the question, "If we’re so smart how come we’re not rich?" Our colleague invited us to a workshop about money that opened the door to two very different things. One was a focus on important practical aspects of creating wealth beyond just what you could earn. The other was a beginning awareness of the energy aspects of money.
Our journey included a deliberate education about how money works in the world. It included books and workshops about the practical, the metaphysical and the spiritual energy of money. Willem and I will share some of these tools throughout his book as we encourage you to begin or continue your own journey to experience abundance.
A small inheritance from my husband's parents allowed us to make a larger down payment on a home a little bit earlier than we had planned. A small inheritance from my parents made almost no difference in our lives.
Our journey also included some major mistakes including a money-losing attempt at investing in real estate. In that case, doing something we did not love doing, in an effort to create wealth, led us badly off course.
I learned to enjoy both the process and the rewards of creating the experience of abundance in our lives. This money has arrived in our lives because we focused our energy on our important life work: helping others get what was most important to them.
Now the financial abundance in our lives comes from income from investing some of the money we earned while doing that life work. Those investments were suggested by our financial advisors.
Even now I sometimes pinch myself when I spend what used to be an unthinkably large sum of money. I remind myself that there is enough. Now, my biggest challenge is finding the time to balance doing all my projects with all the wonderful possibilities for relaxation and play that I also enjoy.
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