The man’s voice came drifting over and I felt the appreciation in his tone wash over my shoulder like a warm breeze. For a split second, I had to chuckle at myself.
You see, I was on my way to lead a women’s retreat and I’d managed to score a seat in first class. As I stepped into the cabin and looked around I had felt paranoid about how this pseudo-bohemian-wild woman-artist-priestess with the tribal hand-made Panamanian shoes and her own soul-based online business would fit in with the well-suited executives of traditional Fortune 500 companies.
It was a sign.
Thanks, I replied, instantly feeling more comfortable. I turned to meet the face of the mystery voice–a man sitting next to me, probably in his mid 50’s, dressed very casually in jeans, a t-shirt and a pair of tennis shoes of which I could tell he had 10 more exact pairs at home in his closet.
He struck up a conversation with me and immediately I noticed it– a hint of…an emptiness almost. But an emptiness that wanted to be filled. Almost a longing that has no consciousness of itself. That doesn’t realize it is longing. It is just there, newly born and present, reaching for something it cannot yet name.
He led the conversation by revealing to me that he was the owner of a very successful, multi million dollar supplement company and as the conversation turned towards our shared passions of holistic living and authentic marketing, he motioned the flight attendant over and ordered us each a glass of red.
I politely declined. There was something about this gesture, me declining the alcohol, that took him aback. It was an almost imperceptible widening of his eyes, but I could tell that something about this was surprising to him. Maybe it was the wine coursing through his veins by this point, but suddenly this small gesture of mine seemed to trigger a turn towards more depth in the conversation.
He shared with me that he was frustrated with his dating life. He was still single and had never had a very long lasting or satisfying relationship.
Why do you think that is? I asked, delicately.
I think I’m picking the wrong kind of person to date. All of the women I date are much younger than me and they are only interested in my money. They don’t want to go very deep.
He then revealed that he had once been out to dinner with a young woman and when she got up to go to the bathroom, she left her phone on the table. A text came in from a friend saying “thank God he’s loaded with money!”. Curious, he opened up the text conversation and the entire text conversation was about how she really found him gross but she was dating him because he had a lot of money.
I felt a deep sadness and distress arise in me towards this man.
I spent so many years working so hard and building this business that I didn’t spend time developing myself as a man, he confessed.
I don’t know how to relax. I work a lot and I am afraid to stop working because I feel I will become irrelevant or that somehow I will lose what I’ve built if I’m not always driving it.
I can’t imagine that I would be interesting to the kind of woman I’d really want to be with, because I feel I have nothing to offer except money right now. I would probably not be a very good partner. I worked so hard and now what I really want is love.
We stayed like this for an hour until our flight landed. Me holding space for this man to spill secrets he had probably never shared with anyone. I gave him some encouragement and we parted ways with a hug and well wishes.
But I thought about him for a long, long time after that. There was a sadness I felt for him, not a condescending sadness, not a sadness that says my life is better than his. No, this was a sadness that pertained to a much larger issue that affects all of us.
If you want to change the world, first you must change what is within.
That was how I opened up one of my women’s retreats 3 years ago.
And it still rings true for me after all these years of doing this soul work with leaders like you.
When we have a soul calling, a deep desire to impact the world with our gifts, we also want success. We want more love, more abundance, more freedom.
And for centuries we’ve been taught that the way to achieve this is to work hard.
Do everything we can to get noticed. To be seen as the “expert”.
The way to gain freedom is to make money and in order to make money, we have to prove our worthiness to others. When we get seen by the powers that be, when we build “fame” around our image, then we can be deemed worthy enough to be considered an expert, then we can charge the big bucks. Then we are allowed to have abundance.
Then we will be free.
There’s a formula–get the high level business mentor everyone wants to work with, meet the right people, hire the publicist, attend the right masterminds, be seen in all the right ways.
The only problem with this formula is that it requires that you constantly work to stay relevant. It requires that your entire focus be on receiving external validation and proving your worth.
In this old paradigm all of your energy goes into working hard, getting noticed, meeting the right people, receiving accolades and getting attention, instead of creating the expansive space that is needed for deepening into the work of your soul.
You can make a lot of money this way. This “formula” definitely works and has worked.
That man I met on the airplane had made millions. And he had made an impact in the lives of many.
But there was an emptiness. He had spent so many years building and working that he had little time to develop himself as the artist of his life. To nourish his Soul. And as a result he was missing the internal nourishment that to him was more valuable than all of his money.
There is a parable I’ve heard told often. The parable of the lighthouse vs. the tugboat.
The tugboat, with great effort, goes out into the storm and pulls in boats that are in trouble, one by one. The tugboat definitely helps, but in the end it can’t get every ship.
The lighthouse simply stands there beaming its powerful light. Its light can be seen by ships in distress from miles away and with its light it draws ships to it. It assists by beaming. It draws ships to it, instead of going out and getting them.
What if you could attract everything you ever wanted to yourself like the lighthouse?
What if all that time you’re using to work hard, prove yourself, stay relevant, meet the right people, find the right templates and formulas and make millions… could be spent instead on changing the world outside of you by changing the world inside of you?
What if working on your mindset, detoxing old beliefs that no longer serve you and increasing the frequency of your soul’s vibration was the “new” way to impact others and draw in the abundance you desire?
It is a radical way to view making impact.
And to be honest, for the last 4 years I feel like I often hit a wall when I propose this to people who express a desire to work with me. Half of them are too scared to explore approaching their soul’s work and life this way and end up hiring a strategy coach. (And about half of those people who walk away come back to me 2 years later, burned out, with lots of money but feeling un-nourished and out of alignment with their souls.)
And this is the crucial thing that so, so many changemakers miss.
We are driven by the ego’s need to prove, we continuously dismiss the soul work as “not serious” or the thing we do “after” we hire the coach who is going to give us the other stuff like structure and the formulas and the launch blueprints.
You can make a lot of money that way. But how will your internal atmosphere look at the end of it? Making a lot of money this way traps you in an endless cycle of having to go out and get noticed in order to generate income and success.
Learning how to attract what you desire to you through the soul tools of trust, surrender, manifestation and more, ensures that you generate what you desire when you want it.
In this paradigm, instead of looking for joy and freedom to be given to you once you have money and success, you make your joy a priority now. Because that joy becomes the guiding light that draws all that you desire to you. Your light becomes so bright, no one can ignore you, even if they tried.
This has been the focus of my work for years with soul aligned leaders and creatives.
And I can tell you it works. And it feels so much better.
What good is a pile of money if you have to constantly prove yourself to be worthy of it?
Or not be able to take vacation or disconnect from social media because you have to constantly stay relevant in order to generate income? What good is fame if you feel constantly anxious, ungrounded, unconfident or burned out inside, feeling like a fraud because your Instagram profile shows a life that you wish were actually yours?
The inquiry I am offering you today is a simple one.
What if the life and business you desire is accessible by going within and connecting with your Soul? What if seeking internal peace and joy is the true way to unlock abundance? What if all you have to do is beam your soul’s essence into the world?
I’ll leave you to ponder that this week.
And I would love to hear from you in the comments below what comes up for you when you ask yourself that question?
ps: When and if you’re ready to go deeper in this inquiry and learn the new way to revolutionize your mindset and attract soulful wealth so that you can build a life and business aligned with your soul, I’d love to invite you to this free event that I’m hosting on 2/17. Join us here.