Perhaps the greatest determining factor of someone’s overall well-being is the degree
to which they value themselves and feel okay internally, regardless of circumstances.
The biggest thing on my mind this last few weeks has been my relationship with money.
In fact in a recent exchange, a friend shared she just returned from filming a documentary about some homeless people in Kauai, and her email really started my wheels turning.
It got me thinking how much my relationship with money has completely changed since I went on sabbatical in February of last year. You see before this time, I had no idea how closely tied my self worth was with my annual gross income. I also had a lot of fear that I wouldn’t make any money on sabbatical, and I worried about the labels “poverty” and “homelessness” .
Now before I continue, I want to iterate loud and clear.
Today’s post is NOT about real poverty and homelessness—actual people living in horrible conditions. Today’s post is 100% about exploring whether you are living with a POVERTY MINDSET.
I want to be 100% honest with you, at the moment I write this post I’m 37 years old, and according to governmental standards, I’m statistically below the base poverty line. I’ve made less than $250 on this website since it was birthed on January 1, 2015, and in stark contrast, I actually earned more money working as an 18 year-old freshman in college than I have since I left my life in Austin in early 2016.
The strange thing is that while the numbers look rather bleak, I don’t actually live in poverty. I don’t feel impoverished either. I actually feel I have more wealth than I’ve ever had before.
I feel this way because I actually do have more wealth than I’ve ever had before.
I have absolute freedom with how I spend my time. I have the freedom to study/write about/share whatever I desire. I get to follow my bliss and allow my passions to direct my path. I have had the great fortune to travel to six different countries in the past year. In contrast, I only visited Mexico in my 36 years prior. I have an invaluable education, the ability to think and reason with clarity, and I’ve discovered I can manage my emotions with Inner Bonding.
If you wonder how I’ve been able to travel while only making a quarter of a grand in the past 18 months, the answer is simple. Much of that travel was gifted to me, and the rest I purchased with my dwindling savings.
Strangely enough money has just shown up to me in so many unique and wonderful ways—not as “earned income” which came directly from working on my site or from a job. Opportunities have continuously presented themselves to me, and I’ve said YES! Even though I had no idea how things would turn out. I’ve spent the last two years scared out of mind, not knowing what would happen to me, and I’m surprised to say: Never my in life have I had this amount of abundance and freedom!
Yet statistically, I’m currently earning below the “poverty” mark.
In addition to this grim fact, from July 2015 to January 2016, I was teased by many of my friends. They called me “homeless” because I chose to live in my chiropractic office for the seven months prior to my sabbatical. Now I wasn’t technically homeless. I wasn’t living in my car or on the streets as many people do.
But the truth was the label “homeless” really penetrated my soul.
I loved living in my chiropractic office. It was one of the biggest adventures of my life, and I never once felt “homeless” while living there. I felt more at home in my beautiful office than I ever felt living in what many would consider a proper “home”, and all of the money that I previously spent on renting an apartment either got saved so I could take the risk to do what I really wanted with my life—to work full time on this website while exploring the world—or it went towards traveling.
I never expected to fall in love with utilizing my money differently than “normal” people (whatever that means) nor did I set out to live an alternative lifestyle, it just happened, However, in the process of my transition, I discovered that words like “poverty” and “homelessness” are only painful labels that negatively impact what really makes the biggest difference in the actual state you live in —YOUR MINDSET.
Your Self-Compassion Challenge:
Get quiet and ask yourself—Does money dictate my sense of value? Does my net worth equal my self worth? Does my annual income say more about who I am than my character? Do I fear poverty and homelessness? If I ever were (or currently am) poor or homeless, would I allow the labels “poverty” and “homelessness” to define who I am and what I am capable of?
Explore what comes up for you, and if you can, invite a friend to chat about this topic. I think people are hungry to talk about money, especially the fears and misconceptions around this topic. You’d be surprised how much you realize you are not alone in your fears about money. You’d be tickled to discover that no matter how much money people have, the worry about money, too.
When I went on sabbatical and began to work full time with DrMistyFunk.com, I became very discouraged. I got confused and thought that I had no longer had any value because I was not longer earning money. I thought my value came from the number of newsletter subscribers I had, the number of Twitter followers I maintained, and the number of people who purchased my online courses.
It’s taken me to over a year and half to clearly see how wealthy I am, and I dearly hope that today’s post will encourage you to find where your true value lies. I hope it allows you to recognize how truly wealthy you are—even if the numbers in your bank account reflect differently.
Sending you lots of love,
Check out the entire 30-Day Self-Compassion Challenge
and subscribe to my monthly [LOVE LETTER].
Featured Image: “Pen to Paper Project” by Keith Williamson on Flickr and “Manipur (Portfolio)” by Jake Guild on Flickr