if i do what i love, will the money follow?

Last week I was scheduled to participate in a focus group discussing a legal case, for which I’d be paid $100.  It was a no-brainer for me to sign up; now that I have an overseas trip to save for, every penny counts.  When I arrived at the session, however, I realized that I once worked in the same office as the focus group facilitator.  Since this was a no-no, I was promptly sent home, no cash in hand.

I was a little disappointed, but got over it quickly.  The situation was out of my control, so it was pointless to get too upset.  And in a way, I was kind of relieved. It was a gorgeous sunny day, and I could certainly see the benefit in spending the next couple hours outside, rather than within the confines of a dark office, discussing an intense case that would have probably left me feeling drained for the rest of the evening.

As I walked along the seawall home, my relief grew.  There was abundance everywhere.  In the sunshine. In the breeze.  In the warmth. In the water.  In the ducks (pictured below) just doing their thing in the water.  In the happy smiles of passerby. In the parks lining the seawall, filled with families and dogs and people-watchers and sun tanners getting ready for their Saturday night.

In noticing this beauty surrounding me, I felt expanded.  I could breathe.  It was blissful. When I thought about the focus group I had left behind, I felt constriction.  Bored. Grey.

I knew that what had happened was not a meaningless coincidence.  It was a clear message about abundance and money.

I have a dear friend who teaches yoga almost daily and has a popular musical gig a few times a month.  She truly loves what she does.  For the most part, she can arrange her day any way she wishes.  She doesn’t have a lot of money, but her ‘work’ is so aligned with her values and spirituality that I know she is infinitely happier and more fulfilled than she would ever be sitting behind a desk all day.

This is deeply inspiring to me.  It seems there are many of us out there who are more than ready to break out of the cubicle and start something new of our very own: something meaningful, imbued with our personal values and marked with our unique creative stamp. There’s a growing number of social media sites devoted to discovering this new, higher conscious way of living.  And that’s a very good thing.

But it can also be a new and uncomfortable road, one that seems risky and fraught with unknowns.  And it brings up all kinds of limiting beliefs and perceptions.  For example, I personally have struggled with the notion that creative self-expression and financial abundance are mutually exclusive.  Because I’ve believed that for so long, I see my belief played out all around me.  (Which only reinforces the belief!)

It is time for an upgrade.

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Is there another way?  Do we have to choose between doing what we love and financial abundance?  Do we need financial abundance if we are doing what we love?  In other words…does money matter and, if so, is it possible to have it all?

In the late 80s, the book Do What You Love And The Money Will Follow was released.  This text, still hugely popular, is a forerunner of many premising that when we follow our hearts, all areas of our life – including money – flow as an extension of that.

But to me, it’s not necessarily that doing what we love means money will automatically follow.  It’s that the deep fulfillment and inner peace that comes from doing work we love is infinitely more rewarding than the paycheck we receive from doing work we’re not remotely connected to.

The focus group experience really crystallized this for me.  That $100 didn’t hold a candle to the immense gratitude I felt on my walk, in truly appreciating my surroundings.

And the ironic thing is, we’re more likely to attract money into our lives when we’re already in a contented state.  Abraham Hicks teaches that focusing on that which gives us joy brings us in alignment with our (limitless, non-physical) Source – Who We Really Are.  In that place of alignment (love, appreciation, gratitude), our desired manifestations can more easily become physical.

It takes conscious practice to keep ourselves aligned.  It requires trust, surrender, releasing resistance, letting go, and allowing.  Ultimately, true alignment means knowing that we are inherently worthy of all we desire.   Once we really get that, the flow is unstoppable.

18 thoughts on “if i do what i love, will the money follow?

  1. This really hit home! I’m in this state right now. This part you wrote “… have struggled with the notion that creative self-expression and financial abundance are mutually exclusive.”, this is me! Rather this was me!! I don’t have a choice but to embrace my love for the arts and wanting to make my money through these means. Just this weekend I was in battle with the choices and that made me feel stuck and I couldn’t even write. The creativity left! I knew what I was doing and I knew I had to shift from limiting thought patterns.

    Thank you for this post!

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    • you are so welcome! i’m glad you could relate…i am at that in-between point where the old way (doing work that’s not feeding me creatively) doesn’t work, and the new way isn’t entirely clear. but the only direction is forward, so i just feel my way along!

      i also relate to being stuck…if i don’t blog for a week, it feels like forever, and then it can be hard to motivate myself to get back into it. (why? it’s so fun!) actually, this past week i’ve been helping a friend with editing her book before she sends it out to publishers. and wow. what a fun, fun experience. and it’s shown me that there IS something i love to do, where time flies and i’m in my element. so that’s encouraging! thank you for your comment! here’s to embracing our artistic side, yay! aleya

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  2. I love this 🙂 I agree, that was one of the most profound things I’ve learned so far from Abraham Hicks… You don’t want the money, you want the FEELING GOOD that money *could* bring…that everything we want, we want because we think we’ll feel better in the having of it. When I read that I thought Oh. My. God. It’s true! Which reminded me of the Joseph Campbell quote “Follow Your Bliss” and that has taken on a whole new level of meaning to me. Because that’s it. We didn’t come here to suffer, we came to expand, and how do you expand? Follow your bliss wherever it takes you, even if it takes you to Italy 🙂

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    • you know that’s something i am so thankful for in abraham’s teachings – we did not come here to suffer, we came for joy and expansion, and there is an endless stream (no, way more powerful than a stream!!) of well-being flowing to us always – if we only allow it and not resist. i’ve been really feeling how much i’ve not let myself follow my bliss for whatever reason in the past, and it’s (partly) because of the idea that life is about struggling. i am so so SO relieved that this belief (just a thought i keep thinking) is finally dissolving for reals, and that my (our) true nature is being revealed. it’s so awe-some. yes to bliss all the way!! to colorado and italy and wherever else our hearts desire!! xoxo

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  3. Thank you Alohaleya! I so much resonate with what you’ve written and glad that so many are ready to “break out of the cubicle.” Imagine a world where we’re all in alignment with the gifts that we are meant to share!

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  4. It seems to me that if you are abundantly happy with your life, usually, the lifestyle is not as expensive to maintain – For instance, when I first found myself on my own again and especially after my stroke, I vowed to build a life that I didn’t need a vacation from – and while money is tight and sometimes stressful when the unexpected strikes, I have to admit that my days are pretty joyful for the most part and I do not pine over the fact that I cannot afford to eat out, take vacations or go to the movies.

    In stark contrast, when I was working 90-100 hours a week, I always wanted to eat out, because I was too tired to cook – I wanted to go and be entertained on Sunday afternoons, to zone out from the fact that in a few short hours, I must be at work again – 😀

    And while my life is by no means perfect, there is a great satisfaction in knowing that once I am well enough to return to work, I will not need to work very many hours to earn the money my toned-down lifestyle needs – – 😀

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    • i love this! this is how i want to live…to have my day filled with the joy of doing what i love, so that i don’t need distractions (shopping, eating out, etc.) to cope with the monotony and disconnection of a 9-5. there’s nothing with a 9-5 if you enjoy the work. but if you don’t, the soul-sucking becomes unbearable.

      my friend who does what she loves lives so simply, and i admire that. there’s less ‘stuff’ for her to manage – less clutter, less distractions…so her energy can go into her passions. in general that’s my philosophy on life – i like having beautiful things, but in smaller quantities so that i can really appreciate them. hm…now to imagine what i would like to create in place of the job i’ll soon be leaving…

      thank you!

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