Teachings about the spiritual aspects of prosperity and abundance aren’t “New Age.” They’ve been around for hundreds of years. Many teachers have imparted wisdom about how to create wealth and abundance through spiritual and energetic means. No matter what the recommended method may be (heightening your vibration, visualization, affirmations, or countless others), the essence of these teachings is the same: You create your own experience of prosperity through your own thoughts and intentions; nothing outside of you can create the abundance you desire.
After twenty years of studying spiritual prosperity and abundance teachings, I recently had to take a step back and ask myself why these methods weren’t working for me. I’d ridden the spiritual prosperity bandwagon for two decades, studying with famous and not-so-famous teachers, taking guidance from life coaches and healers, and practicing the principles that I believed would create the abundance I so badly longed for.
I’d like to take a moment here to define what I mean by prosperity and abundance. Many people say that prosperity and abundance aren’t just about money. Good health, happy relationships, fulfilling activities, and taking in a beautiful sunset are all forms of abundance. This may be true, but, for me, the only area of my life that was lacking was the financial area, and that’s why I turned to spiritual prosperity teachings in the first place.
Along the way, I met many people like me who used spiritual methods faithfully but never got the financial results they were hoping for. For most of them, the fact that these methods (which reportedly had worked for so many others) hadn’t worked for them led to the inevitable question, “What am I doing wrong?” The next search they undertook, of course, was to study with yet more teachers who claimed to have the answer to that question.
In my case, I had always experienced uneven results. I had certainly experienced some “successes.” For example, after doing a 12-week prosperity tele-class, I landed a huge freelance project. I assumed, naturally, that what I was practicing in the class had yielded this result. Other times, though, my financial situation would stay the same or even get worse, no matter what abundance practices I did. I watched the famous movie The Secret and asked myself why one person’s vision board manifested him the house of his dreams, while mine yielded nothing.
Several years ago, I had two of my best years in a row financially. I made more than I’d made in any previous years. I paid off all my credit card debt. I felt free and in-the-flow. All that prosperity work had finally paid off.
Or had it?
The next two years after that, I experienced a downturn. My freelance business was slower than it had been in a long time. I was worried about paying bills and had to use credit cards again. I felt guilty during months when I had to ask my husband to make the mortgage payment without my usual contribution. Once again, I asked that same question, “What am I doing wrong?”
This time a new idea came to me.
Maybe what I was doing wrong wasn’t energetic or spiritual at all. Maybe my problems were on the normal, day-to-day, easily observed level. Maybe I was ignoring the obvious. When I started looking at it this way, I realized what my real problem was. I was in denial.
Denial in any area of life is a pattern that develops over time and doesn’t lift overnight. We usually develop a habit of denial when we’re children in order to cope with trauma. Denial protects us from experiencing extreme fear in too large a dose.
Here are some signs that you may be in denial about prosperity and abundance:
· You fantasize that a windfall such as winning the lottery will solve your financial problems.
· You get anxious when you have to look at your bank account.
· You want to do something meaningful with your life, but you never manifest it.
· You never change your financial habits, even though you’ve never gotten the results you want.
· You feel ashamed in comparison to people who seem to have their financial act together.
· You want to make more money, but you tell yourself you can’t for a variety of reasons.
In my case, I had experienced early trauma around finances because my parents often didn’t have enough money. My inability to process my parents’ fear led me to develop certain financial habits as I grew up. For example, I would tell myself that “someday” I would have a lot of money. I had no idea how I would get there or where the money would come from, but the idea of “someday” would soothe my fear anytime I looked at a low bank balance.
I finally realized that I was in denial. Now I know that, rather than holding onto the fantasy of “someday”, I can make better use of my time by creating what I want through working enough, earning enough, and saving enough.
For years, I’ve made a living doing voiceover narration for commercials, videos and films, and multimedia productions. I always loved what I did, but the work was never steady. I first turned to the prosperity teachings because I wanted a stable flow of income. That has always been the focus of my visualizations, affirmations, and intention-setting. Yet, no matter how much I tried, nothing ever changed.
When I came out of denial, I faced the fact that I was in a “feast-or-famine” field, and my personal prosperity practices weren’t going to change that. I still loved what I did and wanted to keep doing it, but, if a steady flow of money was my goal, I was going to have to create additional streams of income.
That’s when I dusted off my writing skills. I had been a writer in the corporate sector for years before focusing exclusively on voiceovers. Now I turned back to writing and began to get some projects, and I’ve been doing both lines of work since.
It’s important to force yourself to lift the comforting blanket of denial and take a look at what’s underneath.
Are you waiting for a miracle to rescue you from your financial issues? If so, it’s time to realize that you are the miracle you’ve been waiting for. You have the power to solve your own problems.
If you need to develop better financial habits, learn more about money. Take an online class or webinar. Sit down with a representative at your local bank branch and go over your accounts. Ask a professional for financial advice.
Do you want to do something more with your life? Whatever your dream is, it’s time to start exploring it by taking classes or networking with people who are already living that dream. Stop telling yourself all the reasons why you can’t do it. The only way you will be rewarded financially for your gifts is if you start to offer them to the world.
If spiritual prosperity teachings aren’t yielding the results you want, you may not be using them in the right way. Remember, these teachings all have one thing in common: Your thoughts create your reality. In order to affirm, visualize, or attract abundance, your thinking has to be clear. Denial is based on fantasy—not on clear thinking.
If you come to understand that you’re in denial about money, be gentle with yourself. This is a common pattern, and you developed it to protect yourself. Take baby steps to look at your financial life in a more realistic light. Only then can you use the spiritual principles to create all the abundance you desire.