It was an interesting year when our household went from two incomes to zero. On one hand, I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I said there weren’t mornings of feeling panic and anxiousness. But on the other hand, those feelings didn’t last long especially when we counted our blessings each day and how rich we are – the word rich doesn’t always translate to cash.
We looked at this tough economic time in our lives as a blessing. Frankly, we were a little unconscious when it came to money. Never being big spenders or living beyond our means, we never focused on a strict budget either. Then our circumstances required that we watched every penny we spent. We scaled back our spending dramatically. With every purchase we were forced to make a choice.
For the last ten years I have been on a journey of awakening, of being conscious every day. This tough economic time was a big series of lessons. Three of the biggest were 1) Recognizing how much I still need to learn to be fully present and aware. As I mentioned, I was unconscious in this area of my life. 2) My pay check is not my self-worth. It was humbling to go from a big pay check to zero. We put a huge emphasis on what we do as defining who we are. Make no mistake, it is good to have money because money gives you more choices, but I’ve learned that it can’t define me 3) How having less I’ve figured out how to do more rewarding activities. Having less requires creativity.
The picture with this post is of flowers, a small cantaloupe and a red pepper. I’ve never been much of a gardener, but since we couldn’t spend hundreds of dollars on annuals and perennials for our yard (like we’d always done in the past) we grew our own flowers and vegetables from seeds. I had never done that before.
I used to spend $5-$10 dollars at the grocery store every week on fresh flowers. Now I go out to my garden and cut my own. It was so exciting to plant the seeds, make sure they were watered and the bugs and weeds were kept at bay and see the fruits (literally) from our labor. I felt a connection to the earth by planting my garden.
The tough economic time gave me a great gift of being more aware, of living with less and discovering new hobbies and much more.
Just like the garden, I am sewing my seed of starting a new business. I know if I scatter enough seed out there, nurture and take care of customers, my business will grow.
God has taken care of us every step of the way. Every time a sense of panic would start to set in a check would come, a new client would show up, friends gave us resources we needed for the business, I could go on and on.
These tough economic times will end. In the meantime, start counting your blessings. Maybe God is trying to get your attention. If so, listen.
What’s my business? That changed too. I was helping clients with marketing and website development. Now I’m in the transformation business – helping people transform their lack of direction or lack of joy into knowing and trusting God more fully. I do that through the meditations, books, online courses, and one-on-one coaching. Find out more at JoyAndFlow.com.