an excerpt from Whispers from the Cave. Learn more HERE.
For my entire professional career, I have lived off less than $30,000 per year – most years closer to $25,000. Back in 1987 when I graduated from college, a single person could live off of $25,000 per year, especially when rent (in the Midwest) for a really nice one-bedroom brownstone was around $350.00 per mo. Fast forward to 2023, and $26,000 is a little (A LOT!) harder to stretch to make ends meet. By some miracle of the universe, I have managed to do it, but I really don’t recommend trying this at home!
People could come up with all kinds of reasons for why I’ve NEVER made an income commensurate with my education or experience. Some might judge me as lazy, or not trying hard enough. Others have suggested I’m “ahead of my time.” Conditioning suggests there must be something wrong with me. Some think it’s simply a matter of me living in the wrong market where people aren’t yet ready for me. The reality is that the answer lies in none of the above. For the entirety of my professional career, I have worked my ass off, done everything the so-called experts say will guarantee my success, and if I thought any more “right thoughts” about money, I’d be wealthier than Mr. Musk.
I sure as hell don’t know why with 14 years of post-secondary education, a pile of certifications, and 30 years of experience, I’m still living far below the federal poverty level, I just know I am. I also know I’m NOT ALONE IN THIS! With a very few exceptions, nearly everyone I know that is called to a more contemplative, self-aware, perhaps creative lifestyle, struggles with money. Either they aren’t getting paid what they’re worth, they’re forced to work a job they hate, or, in my case, they can’t find a well-paying job for their life!
Case in point. In the several (many) times I’ve tried to go against my Soul’s calling to seek out and secure a “real job,” my efforts have blown up in my face. Rather, my efforts simply die a slow and painful (or quick and explosive) death. Just this morning, after a night of sleeplessness, I got up for an interview I had scheduled with a local service organization (I gotta pay my rent!). I got up at 6, took a shower, got dressed up, put on my makeup, had breakfast and coffee, completed my morning meditation. At 9 am I checked my email for a second time and the interviewer had emailed me to say the position had been filled. I wasn’t sure if I should be frustrated and angry (you couldn’t have emailed me on Friday?????) or elated. Truth be told, I’m a little bit of both. I have to believe this was Divine Intervention, but now I’m all dressed up and have nowhere to go!
What happened this morning is the perfect summation of what happens EVERY SINGLE TIME I try to find a job that is other than what my heart knows I’m supposed to be (and am already) doing. EVERY SINGLE TIME. It doesn’t matter how many applications I submit, interviews I have, or promises that are made to me about certain opportunities, the results are always the same. Zilch. Nadda. Nothing.
Again, I’m not alone in this! I cannot possibly count the number of (mostly) women I know who find themselves in a very similar, or even more desperate situation. It’s definitely NOT because any of us have chosen poverty or taken some worn out vow. Neither is it some past-life karmic agreement or vow (well, maybe it is?). The fact remains, many of us doing “this” kind of work, committing ourselves to being of service to Love and living a somewhat-mostly contemplative life find ourselves on poverty’s door. Not because we chose it, but simply because it is. I don’t understand it. I don’t get it. It’s not fun. I don’t enjoy it. But it seems that no matter how hard I try or through what means, it is the fate I/we’ve been dealt. There’s really nothing else I can say or do but accept it……while desperately clinging to the words gifted to me by a dear friend today in response to the cancelled interview:
I KNOW YOU as a member of GOD’s army.
If it ain’t aligned it ain’t happening.
YOU are carrying precious cargo.
I absolutely believe this to be true! Now if everyone else would just figure it out! 😊
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