It’s hard to believe that it has been more than 10 years since the movie The Secret came out and brought talking points into mainstream conversations that were once reserved for a small group of New Thought adherents in religious science and similar churches.
I remain ambivalent about the balance of positive and negative in regard to the movie. It was most certainly a gateway to a larger spiritual understanding for many and offered freedom from some of the more egregious old school religious dogma for others.
On the flip side of the issue, it presented some simple-but-not-easy spiritual principles as being so simplistic that they led to more than a little disappointment for many people.
Today I want to address the counsel offered in spiritual prosperity studies that I have often seen misinterpreted and misapplied: the advice to live “as if” your desired goal is already here.
This is a critical piece of the prosperity puzzle, but it holds within it the risk that we will place ourselves in greater financial peril if we misinterpret the advice.
So the question becomes: can we utilize spiritual principles to manifest real life abundance into our lives?
The short answer is yes.
The longer answer is that we have to take care not to be idiots in the process.
Living “as if” we have more abundance is too often interpreted to mean that we should go out and shop as if we had a bank full of money. This is not only wrong-headed, but it is a path of peril that can lead to more credit card debt, bounced checks and less money for things like housing, food and transportation. This path leads us further away from prosperity – not towards an increased experience of it.
Living “as if” works best when it takes the form of our feelings and our beliefs. Living as we would if we had the abundance we desire in our lives does not require that we have anything tangible in our hands. It does require that we THINK differently; that we react and speak in new ways about our circumstances.
We don’t have to spend anything additional to think differently when bills come in. We don’t have to check the balance in our bank account to speak positively about our financial circumstances. We don’t need to worry about the credit limit on our credit card to react in a calm and peaceful way to money-specific situations that arise in our lives.
We can bless the bills that come in – feel real gratitude for the things they represent in our lives.
Are you paying student loans? Feel the gratitude for the learning you achieved and the opportunities that your education has enabled for you. Pay the bill each month with gratitude and appreciation.
As you pay utility bills, housing (rent or mortgage), car payments and insurance – stop and think about the GOOD that these things bring into your life. It’s 15F tonight in Pittsburgh, PA and I’m very grateful for the natural gas that powers my furnace; for the electric that powers the lights, the blower on the furnace and the stove and microwave that cook my food as I hunker down indoors this weekend.
I am grateful for the many entertainment options I have from my cable company and for the connection I have to my family and friends through my cell phone.
Last weekend I took my Jeep into the garage for the annual inspection. It’s a 9-year old vehicle and I knew there were a couple things going on. I left the garage after paying $729 for the inspection and repairs. Instead of complaining or being miserable, I told everyone who asked that I was GRATEFUL for the garage, and THANKFUL that the repairs were made. I recognized that the bill for inspection and repairs represent less than 2 months of car payments (I own my Jeep outright). There was a LOT to be thankful for wrapped up in that $729.
The REAL secret – one that is much less sexy than gazing at a gold necklace in a window and having it show up around our neck – is that getting our HEAD where it needs to be also requires action on our part.
We must act by intentionally feeling grateful for things in our lives. We must act by resisting the urge to spend money we don’t have. We must act by cultivating the knowing that all is well, and by remaining open to opportunities that come our way and being willing to take the job; take the extra work or accept the offer.
It’s important to remind ourselves that we will not realize expanded prosperity if we poorly manage the financial circumstances in our lives. And we will not realize increased abundance in our lives without any inputs from us. There are indeed no free lunches and Newton’s 1st Law applies to finance as well as physics:
Every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force.
Our financial experiences will remain as they are today unless we are willing to change: our thinking, our attitudes, our behaviors, our actions.
If we want a new experience of prosperity but we are unwilling to act in accordance with our desires, we get what we deserve. We must take care that we are not praying for abundance while shopping ourselves into poverty – all in the name of “feeling prosperous“.
We can change our experience of abundance using spiritual principles and practice when we remember that the most POWERFUL prosperous feeling comes when we are in control of our finances: physically, emotionally and mentally – and it doesn’t cost a cent.
(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path