2 weeks ago, my beloved RV broke down.
I didn’t let it get me down. I smiled and embraced the obstacle like an adventure.
A few days later, I learned that the engine was destroyed and repairs would run at least $5000.
THAT got me down.
Most mechanics suggested I consider scrapping it and investing in a newer motor home, “…unless you are strongly attached to this specific vehicle.”
I realized that the test from the Universe had just begun with the breakdown. The real coursework involved dealing with this financial challenge – not just the challenge of finding the money, but the deeper and more important work required to change my beliefs about my relationship to resources in the world.
I have been writing lots about work & money lately. It has been 3 months since my consulting gig ended and I have been dedicated to a non-corporate life path. In that time the HelpTheHomeless project was born, my burning man camp has come to life, I’ve added a Happy Hour Hug Nation, & my writing has progressed tremendously (I even had a rough copy of a book printed up.)
But none of these projects generates income.
For years I subsidized HugNation and my other creative ventures through consulting gigs. For many years I was on retainer for a European porn company. And the last year I worked for FreeCreditReport.com. (I’ll let your personal values decide which is sleazier.)
When I stopped the consulting a few months ago, I decided I would give myself a year to live off savings and surrender to faith.
For the previous decade my motto was “Love more, fear less.” This new chapter is about, “Float more, steer less.” In this non-income state, I wanted to allow the cosmic current to take me where I was supposed to go. Basically, I’ve been working on being of service. And then having faith that acting in integrity & Love will take me where I am supposed to go.
This has been difficult.
But even as my mind fights to let go of it’s old beliefs about work and sacrifice, I have been receiving more and more signs that I am on the right path. Internally and externally, I am getting re-enforcement that regardless of money, my “work” is valuable.
The test came in the form of the broken down RV. As soon as I shared my troubles, people suggested posting a Pay-Pal donation link. It took me several days to do so. I was afraid. I was afraid that all the love I get from sharing what I share would be diminished if I asked for financial support. I was afraid that my “work” would no longer be seen as a gift. I was afraid of saying, “I deserve resources to do what I do.”
But I sat with the fear. I made a video. And I asked for donations to help me repair my precious Hugmobile.
Over the next week, 60 people chipped in and yesterday my PayPal balance broke $5000. The Hugmobile will rise again.
Actually, that is a poor word choice. Last week, this would have been unbelievable to me. But now it is Truth.
I wish I had a minute or two with each of those 60 people to hold them and whisper “thank you” in their ears. Not just for the financial support – but for the far more valuable gift of showing me what is possible.
Personally, I have a monthly budget for supporting people and art that I believe in. And I guess I thought that some day I would be deserving of that kind of support from others. But my inner “discourager” voice always had a list of things I needed to do first: Write a book, get a PHd, meditate, do more yoga, eat raw, etc..
It took this massive mechanic bill to get me to a place where I allowed other people to believe in me. And support me.
The critical distinction is that I am not asking people to support the ego whims of “me.” I am asking for assistance so that I can continue to be of service to whatever the Universe asks me to do as I “Float more.”
I see now that this challenge was necessary. The breakdown wasn’t enough. I needed to fall hard enough that I was forced to ask for help.
I was afraid that asking for support would diminish the good of what I was doing. But the effect is infinitely better: It now becomes the good that WE are doing.
(photo by Mike Hedge)
June 17, 2010