How I found the deep wealth I was looking for [Wise Wednesdays]
It was a week before the conference. We were supposed to finalise a fantastic agenda to inspire hundreds who were working at the frontline of public health. Improving health and reducing inequalities was the mission. But how do you do that?...
It was around this time that I’d started to wonder whether waiting for the perfect policy or the right leaders to come along would really cut it for people who want to improve their lives right now.
So short of a revolution, what could be done?
That’s when some of the pieces of my research and personal experiences started to come together. I had learned a few things from my PhD too:
1) Part of us is wired for a psychology of scarcity (of not enough)
2) This can be triggered by the environment into counterproductive behaviours (overthinking, overdoing, overconsuming)
3) Unless we transform our way of thinking, we just repeat the same patterns and stay at the mercy of the environment…
The good news is that ‘behaviour change’ is a real thing. We’re not stuck in our personality, upbringing or environment. The brain is ‘plastic’ and our feet can carry us far. But I had to find my own way of applying the understanding.
And I had to go on a deep personal journey myself (hello therapy, coaching, spirituality, solitude).
Deep security comes from within
I eventually realised: while having a salary and a roof over my head was a good thing, it couldn’t be everything, even if my job was meaningful. I needed to fulfil my deeper potential.
I wanted to have more control over my time, energy and how I earned money. I wanted to know what happened if I wasn’t dependent on the security of an organisation, boss or even a country. I wanted to express my creative longings in work and life. That was deep wealth to me – material and non-material freedom including:
- The freedom to reimagine my relationship with the environment
- The freedom to reimagine my relationship with others
- The freedom to reimagine my relationship with myself
- And a strong connection to the mystery of life that gives rise to it all (heck, recognising that we are the mystery of life expressing it all!)
I’m not talking of wealth as fur coats and fast cars but as a spacious sense of abundance in key areas of life. It’s a sense of abiding in your own inner-wellspring of ideas, energy and action. Some call it “an internal locus of control” in psychology.
It turns out “wealth” comes from old English for wellbeing. So it can include money but so much more: - Your time - Your energy
- Your health - Your freedom - Your creativity - Your relationships - Your physical and psychological environment
- Perhaps most importantly, a sense of sovereignty over your experience of life.
The cost was letting go of my beliefs around scarcity and security as well as a humble willingness to meet life as it is and not how my fearful scarcity psychology tells me it is…
You see what blocks us from wealth is what blocks us from love and fulfilment:
The feeling of not enough. That we’re not enough to meet life or to expand into the possibilities it offers.
This is what scarcity psychology really means in modern society where our basic needs are usually met.
It shows up in tiny ways and it can be dissolved one step at a time.
Legend in the making: C helps self-made entrepreneurs including from deprived backgrounds to become wealth-literate and create a meaningful legacy through charities, sustainable investments and other vehicles. She was about to push herself to keep working last week even though she needed time off to process the loss of a loved one. When we explored this she got clearer and remembered that she had an assistant! So she asked her assistant to rearrange some of her meetings and was able to take time off and benefit from a longer weekend. She felt a little guilty and anxious at returning to work on Monday but she noticed that her clients were fine! She also noticed that she had more headspace to focus on the important things including a big meeting with a potential client that she would have cancelled otherwise. She is now committed to regular Executive Time and allowing her assistant to support her - cultivating deep wealth for herself as she helps others do the same for themselves and society.
Deep wealth embraces the rawness of life
It’s an ongoing journey but the more I stay open to what life presents – its ups and downs and the vulnerability that triggers - the more spacious, calm and abundant I feel.
And the more life’s possibilities seem to expand in a fascinating way (hello creative autonomy, transformational business and enriching relationships).
A deeper exploration into wealth now is in fine-tuning the harmony between the material and non-material aspects of wealth where engaging pro-actively in the world and abiding quietly in calm rest mutually enrich rather than oppose each other (goodbye guilt around rest and spaciousness, hello sense of abundance and ability to take inspired action).
Being in the world but not lost in it.
You can create the career, life, business and relationships that truly nourish you precisely because you hold the seed within you. If the notion is coming to you from the depths of your psyche, then it’s a premonition of the deep wealth that you can experience in this lifetime.
Deep wealth isn’t something to be chased out there. It’s what you spontaneously create and experience as you live from the wealth within.
What does (deep) wealth mean to you?
Have a great week,
p.s. Winter used to be the season of scarcity, but it can be a season of abundance. As I notice the seismic shifts happening for clients in a short space of time to reclaim their happiness and abundance, I feel increasingly committed to this theme for the coaching I offer in 2022: Activate Your Prosperity on all levels! If some of the ideas and possibilities resonate with you today or this year, please, let me know and tell me how it’s changed what you do and also what you’d like to hear more about. More goodness to come!