4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions…”Exodus 16:4-5
Newcomers to metaphysical spirituality are often drawn to the teachings for the purpose of healing. In many cases the focus on the healing is their relationship to money, and the study of metaphysics has helped countless seekers learn how to change their perspectives around money and live in a much more harmonious relationship with it.
Unfortunately, some seekers come with misguided, preconceived notions about metaphysical teachings and attracting wealth (thanks in part to the movie The Secret and some of its Law of Attraction teachers) that can create misunderstandings and disappointment.
In my previous post I wrote that too often we pray, chant, affirm, meditate and wait on a million dollars – feeling increasing misery and disappointment as time passes and we’re still not seeing it materialize. From this perspective we are unable to recognize the crinkled, unassuming dollars that show up – millions of times across our lives.
In this regard, while I do not draw a line in the sand and say that it’s impossible to manifest winning lottery tickets or some other giant, financial windfall; it has been my experience that the Good we seek comes to us most often as daily bread.
I feel justified in this perspective since it has some strong Biblical backing. The first and most significant reference is documented in Exodus about the Hebrew people’s journey from captivity in Egypt.
They had followed Moses across the parted Red Sea, and into the desert, where they faced much uncertainty – at least it seemed so to the average person.
Keep in mind that the concept of One God had been competing with the many gods of Egyptian culture that they had lived in for generations. And while they had been slaves in Egypt, they had more to eat than they saw available in the desert. Human nature being what it is, the many gods of Egypt were associated with enough food and this One God concept was starting to look like an iffy proposition.
Fifteen days into the second month of wandering in the desert, the unrest was growing. God then spoke to Moses and promised to provide food to the people – and the food came, but not in the form of a warehouse of food designed to last a few months, or even a week.
Quail fell from the heavens into the camp each evening, and in the morning after the dew on the ground had gone away, “thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor“. The people were told to take what they needed for their family for the day and not to hoard or store any extra. They were specifically instructed to eat that day’s manna; not to keep it overnight.
True to human nature though, some people saved a little extra, keeping it overnight. But in the morning, the manna smelled terrible and was found to be full of maggots.
I think we can all relate to the motivation. Only one day before they had been close to starvation. When the manna came they found just enough sustenance to feed them. Could they count on this God to provide tomorrow’s supply?
When we are in distress, and especially financial distress, it can be tempting to focus our meditation, prayer and affirmations on a large financial solution to our problems.
“If I could just pay off <insert list of debts>, things would be OK.”
Lottery winnings, an unexpected inheritance from a wealthy relative or finding a valuable and rare coin in our change purse all seem to be pretty desirable answers to our prayers when we’re knee deep in money trouble. Like the Hebrews wandering in the desert – we want to know that we’re going to have enough, and we think we know how much “enough” it needs to be.
It didn’t work that way for the Hebrew people. The manna went BAD if they hoarded more than they could eat throughout the day. It doesn’t work for us, either.
The God portrayed in the Hebrew scriptures was teaching the people a lesson: that they needed to draw closer – to rely on God, and not once in a while when they needed something (like a quick escape out of captivity); but all the time. They were learning that God is the Source & Substance of all their Good. In this story the manna fell for 40 years, sustaining them until they entered the land of Canaan.
The lesson for the 21st century modern world is this: real abundance comes when we move beyond the excitement of manifesting amounts of money and things, and move into the knowing that no matter what we need, no matter how dire our circumstances appear to be, we are provided: always, and in all ways. There’s not a lottery jackpot anywhere that can compare.
And so it is.
(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path
Neville Goddard spoke often about this physical world as the “world of Caesar“. He is referring to the passage from Matthew in the Christian Bible:
17 “Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. 20 And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21 They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”Matthew 22
The point that Neville was making based on the above passage is that there are different constructs in the spiritual world than exist in the physical world.
Two of Neville’s best stories highlight this point. His first – the story of being honorably discharged from the Army during WWII and the second – how he and his family got passage back to the US on a boat when there were no available tickets for months. Both are classic examples of a miraculous event coming through the people and circumstances around him.
I have written many blogs about manifesting things in my life that I wanted or needed. And in sharing my stories with students and friends, someone inevitably says: “but we should also be able to manifest a winning lottery ticket, right?“
In theory, yes. In practice however, I have found that the spiritual laws I have studied and apply regularly work most often within the framework of the physical world that we live in.
“What does that mean?“
It means that money does show up when I use the spiritual tools shared by Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra, Neville and many others; but it comes through physical – not paranormal – means.
My needs (money and otherwise) are met – not by a disembodied hand coming down out of the clouds with a fist-full of money – but by the shifting and movement of the people and circumstances around me.
I have shared multiple stories on how this works, but my 2 favorites are the one where I needed a new roof and a storm, a tree and a part time job came my way; and the story of my student loans. The money manifested in these 2 scenarios alone totals almost $50,000 but before I could receive it, I had to be willing to accept it through the framework of the world I live in: the world of Caesar, or physical world.
If I had insisted on receiving money from a leprechaun, a disembodied hand or lottery winnings – I’d still be waiting – and likely with a leaky roof!
Two of the most important skills in manifesting in the world of Caesar are openness & willingness. We must be open to seeing the opportunities that come to us: the people, the circumstances, the information. We then must be willing to act. I’d still be paying off part of my roof (plus interest) if I had not been willing to say ‘Yes!‘ when I was approached about taking on a part time job.
This openness and willingness enables us to see signs and hear the whispers of Spirit. It’s very rare that the answers we seek show up in large, flashing lights on a billboard conveniently placed along our route to work.
My experience has been that it more often comes in someone’s passing comment, or a request from someone, or a gut feeling to go somewhere, or do something – sometimes even an email! In order to manifest, we must be willing to follow Spirit’s nudge.
While we can use the tools and techniques taught by gurus, priests and rishis for centuries; we must understand that most of us will need to work within the limits of the laws of physics that exist on this plane.
Some may say that I am closing the door to miracles, and I understand the point. But I believe that the more day-to-day magic we experience, the more open we are to even greater magic. I also know that waiting on lottery winnings and disembodied hands are long-shots – whereas the demonstration of Good that comes through the people, places and circumstances of every day life can be regular occurrences in life if we choose.
I’m certainly open to once-in-a-lifetime miraculous demonstrations, but I also know that I don’t need to sit and wait: real miracles come my way on a regular basis and I’m grateful for them all.
The point of all of this is that we can wait on a million dollars, feeling misery and disappointment each time it eludes us; or we can give thanks a million times for the crinkled, unassuming dollars that show up. In the end, the money will add up to the same amount, but the truly “richer” life will be the one lived in faith, and taken a step at a time.
When we learn to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” – accepting that we live within the physical constructs of this world; we will not only avoid the disappointment of trying to manifest a lottery jackpot, but we can enjoy the many wonderful demonstrations of Good that come our way, every day. And so it is.
(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path
Years before our culture became intrigued with clearing clutter and minimalism, I questioned things like why we needed an entire store filled stem-to-stern with cheap, plastic jewelry and accessories.
I worked in retail while I was in college, and still remember the feeding frenzy that would occur when we had a promotion where shoppers got a “freebie” with a certain level of purchase (I worked in the prestige cosmetics section).
We’d come in early to unpack boxes of the freebies, and prop them up around the department using glitter, shiny paper and other merchandising tricks to make them look more expensive and exclusive than their actual value.
The advertising worked. The shoppers responded and I think the general zeitgeist was much more in tune with a “shop-til-you-drop” vibration than one that critically thought about whether it was really something worth the cost.
I admit, I was caught up in that vibration for a time and as I haul decades of things out of my house now, I shake my head – wondering how it all got off track.
There are many reasons why that energy was prominent then and a more reserved approach to the acquisition of things is popular now. Some of the “whys” include the inevitable cultural shifts, political changes and economic ups and downs that occur over time.
I’ll let the political and social scientists sort all that out. From my perspective I think we, and when I say “we” I mean western and specifically American culture, had evolved into thinking that anything that was intriguing, beautiful or inspired could be copied, manufactured out of synthetic materials, mass produced and sold for an extreme profit. And for many years, the public rewarded that thinking, lining up at stores to claw our way to the front of the line to get our “free” gifts.
Eventually some of us woke up and looked around to see that we were surrounded with piles of junk jewelry, uninspiring decorations, clothes that last less than 5 laundry cycles and a deep realization that none of those things had added any substance to our lives and now were more burden than bounty.
The trends in many corners of society to look inward are much-needed and serve as an antidote to the crass consumerism of the previous decades. But even this reset comes with a cost.
I’m sitting in front of an auto repair store while my Jeep is in for repairs and across the busy, 4-lane road is a mall that is empty except for the remaining anchor store – JC Penney’s. The Toys-R-Us on the same property is boarded up, as is the Rite Aid across the street, the mattress store to the left and a number of other former businesses up and down this strip.
The reset in our culture can be seen in many places but is painfully obvious here. The causes are multiple, and include the availability and ease of online shopping as well as the spreading realization that buying more “stuff” doesn’t heal anything and often causes more pain.
The inevitable shifts and jolts that will hit people’s lives as their own personal paradigms navigate this new terrain will be painful for many – just as the emergence of the fancy shopping mall was painful for the downtown stores of small town America in my childhood.
I think often of that time in the early 1970’s as sprawling new malls lured shoppers away from the neighborhood stores and downtown streets.
I remember the adults in my life discussing those changes with grim predictions for the businesses on Main Street, and they were right. The downtown areas of my childhood never recovered to their former health and strength, and today are haunting reminders of the price we pay for what we think of as progress.
The mall and big box properties today will morph more easily into different uses, becoming medical office buildings, surgical centers and professional buildings, but the human capital costs will echo the painful shifts of the earlier decades.
With all of these realities swirling around in my head, I stumbled upon an unusual arrangement that was beautiful to behold, and quickly took a photo of it: it’s the photo at the top of this blog post.
It’s the end-beam of an old porch that sits underneath newer, higher decking at the home of a family member – and it’s random placement with the fern growing out of the obvious wood grain, along with the border bricks makes it a stunning visual.
Its beauty lies in the randomness with which the different elements come together. It is a beauty that would not survive being plasticized and mass-produced, and it is a simple reminder that the best things in life – the things that bring us the most and the purest joy – cannot be found on a rack for $3.99, or sent to us in 2-days with free shipping.
Will we learn our lessons once we emerge from the changes in motion today? Only time will tell.
(C) 2019 Practitioner’s Path
Here’s another “demonstration” story from a family member.
This family was getting a bed and a couch from another family member. It was free for the taking, but they needed a trailer to move everything from one house to the other.
They made a few calls and found a trailer that would fit on their hitch, and at a price point that was workable. The estimate was $36. They had about $50 in their checking account until the end of the week and would need gas and some groceries before it was over; but this was the only time that everyone’s schedules lined up, so it needed to happen.
The wife knows these principles and kept knowing that it would all work out. But very often, things “working out” initially take on the appearance of the exact opposite.
When they arrived at the store where they had made the arrangements, there was an issue with the trailer unit they had reserved, and they were directed across town to another location. This made her husband grouchy and cross, but she reminded him that “Spirit has this,…” and that everything would work out.
Unbelievably, the chaos in the second location was even more pronounced than it had been at the first location, and the $36 quote that they had been quoted for the unit they has reserved suddenly went up to $70 before taxes and fees.
This did not appear to be “working out” and any less of a spiritual warrior would have been certain that in their hour of need, they had been abandoned. But this woman is a spiritual warrior of the highest order and she held tight to the knowing that this was going to work out.
They continued to negotiate around the original price quoted to them and the second location finally relented, and charged their credit card for the $36, taxes and fees. They hooked up the trailer, and got on with their retrieval of the gifted couch and bed, grateful for the opportunity.
The next day, the husband received an email from the rental business apologizing for the confusion, the referral to another location and the mix-up in pricing. The email went on to say that the full amount of the rental ($36 plus taxes and fees) had been refunded on their card.
This is a wonderful example of standing firm in the knowing that all is well, when not only wasn’t there a sign that things would work out – but things kept looking WORSE by the minute. Instead of falling into a defeatist posture, and believing that “nothing works out for me,…” the wife stood strong in the knowing that it would all work out; and it did.
As part of the 40-day Abundance Journey, author of The Abundance Book -the late John Randolph Price – wrote 10 statements of principle. The 2nd statement sums this circumstance up nicely:
I lift up my mind and heart to be aware, to be aware, to understand, and to know that the Divine Presence I AM is the Source and Substance of all my Good.
Or as Karen Drucker sings it:
“God is my source. God is my power. God gives me everything I need.
So I give thanks, for all my blessings. God gives me everything I need.”
And so it is.
(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path
When The Secret came out, I was immediately mesmerized – as were millions. And yet, somehow I knew that the spiritual tools hinted at in that movie were much deeper and more nuanced than wishing for a gold necklace and having it appear on your neck with no effort.
While I have been critical of some aspects of The Secret, it was a gateway to deeper learning for me and for that I am most grateful.
After The Secret came an explosion of metaphysical teachers on the national and international stage teaching the “Law of Attraction” (LOA) and similar content. And the workshops and seminars multiplied – as did the dollars in the bank accounts of many teachers.
I have no issue with anyone offering a product or guidance and charging a fair price, so I am definitely not disparaging all LOA teachers*. I do wonder about the participants who have spent thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars, to sit in seminar and workshop after seminar and workshop: this stuff isn’t that hard! Learn the basics, and then get up off the workshop seat and get to work!
One of the things that is missed (or left out) in these seminar offerings is that once you learn how to manifest things into your life; it rarely (if ever) shows up as a lottery jackpot or inheritance from a long, lost wealthy relative. It most often takes on the form of what I call “daily bread“. And from what I have observed (I’ve attended a few of these over the years), many of the frequent flyers in the LOA workshops are primarily interested in manifesting a ton of money.
I get it. I would ALSO like to be able to meditate for a few days, chant, speak some affirmations, journal in a fancy book, and have $10 million, $1 million, $100,000 or even $10,000 show up with no additional effort.
Heck – there are days when $100 showing up would be awesome! But in my experience, that’s not how it works at all.
I’ve had some significant success in attracting things into my life that previously seemed impossible, but instead of life-changing lottery winnings; more often than not, I manifest “daily bread“. I use the term “daily bread” to refer to things that I need (or want) that are integral to day to day life.
I’ve written about some of these demonstrations: money for a roofing job; new shoes; a new chair and an under-shelf basket; a retirement pension; and someone to pay my student loans – and many more. All of these experiences began with at least the passing thought that if I “won the lottery“, the situation at hand could be solved. But the lottery never showed up – and that’s likely a blessing – especially since research tells us that the odds of winning are very low and many people who win large lottery winnings end up much worse off just a few years later.
Like many things in life, successful manifesting is a long game. There are no quick fixes, or get-rich-quick techniques. Success requires studying the principles, changing our perspective, practicing the pivot away from old mindsets and toward a new way of being, and finding gratitude in the smallest of wins.
I suspect that a seminar where you could learn how to find the perfect price on a pair of shoes, or an almost-free chair or a part-time job that lasts just long enough to pay off the roof would be hard to pitch. It’s much sexier to have a wealthy (or seemingly wealthy) person stand up and promise that you, too, can have what they have.
But you can have what I have – the tools to attract into your life the things you want, and the things you need when you need them. It’s simple – although not always easy; and you don’t have to spend any money (you can learn a lot on this blog, and it’s free!).
The principles are universal; the lessons are for us all. During this week of celebrating freedom, give yourself the gift of freedom from worry, and freedom from chasing unreasonable goals. Learn the principles of spiritual prosperity, and live a life free from financial anxiety – a life filled with a peace from knowing that what you need will show up; that you are provided – always, and in all ways.
As one of my first teachers liked to say, “This stuff works!”
For a primer on how these principles work, start with these blog posts – and if you have any questions, send me an email (I’m happy to share what I have learned).
- General guidance on “daily bread”
- More general guidance on using “prosperity principles”
- Manifesting a free musical instrument
- Money for a badly-needed roof job
- An under-shelf basket (just because she wanted one!)
- Someone to pay my student loans
- Job guidance
- Biblical prosperity
And so it is.
- *Blogs on LOA teachers with whom I have taken issue can be found here:
(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path
I never tire of hearing or sharing the stories of how things show up for those who understand Spiritual Law and are willing to be patient. In previous blogs I have written about a pair of shoes that showed up in divine perfect timing (and price!), a flute that appeared for a young musician, a chair for a new house, a tree and a part time job – and many more stories of receiving what I like to call “daily bread“.
When New Thought reemerged in popular culture in the late 1980s and blossomed into the phenomenon known as “The Secret” in the early 2000s, much of the focus was on getting stuff – often in the form of manifesting wealth. Many Law of Attraction (LOA) gurus were launched into fame and fortune by the movie. Some are still around while many others faded into history – some more infamously than others.
While I have experienced plenty of success in attracting jobs and money into my life, I have also learned that the principles of spiritual abundance work best in the area of daily bread, as opposed to winning lottery tickets. I have come to believe that the reason for this is that the Universe keeps a perfect balance sheet. There is indeed, no free lunch in life – whether you’ve learned the art of manifesting, or not. We receive in our lives what we have paid for in mental and spiritual coin.
If we are a miserable person, and see only what’s wrong in life, we are paying – in spiritual and mental coin – to receive more misery. If, however, we choose to see the good in life; the opportunities, the beauty, the peace and plenty – we are paying to receive more of these experiences in our life.
This week my daughter was searching for an under-shelf basket like the one pictured above. A quick search on Amazon for the one she wanted showed that it was $10. She didn’t want to spend $10 for a single basket, but she still wanted one, and so she let go of the desire, and settled into a knowing that she’d get one at the perfect price and in perfect timing.
The next day she was driving home from the pool with her kids when she had the urge to stop in the local thrift store bargain basement. On a table near the front of the store, piled high with castaway household goods, she spied an under-shelf basket – in perfect condition. The price? 40-cents.
This is not the first time she has manifested what she wanted with this “method” and here’s how that works:
- She lives as much as she can in the knowing that she is provided; or as Charles Fillmore (Unity co-founder) said it:
The inexhaustible Resource of Spirit is equal to every demand. There is no reality in lack. Abundance is here and now manifest.Charles Fillmore
- She allows her attention to fall on something that she either wants or needs, imagines how it will benefit her or her family, and then she lets it go.
- She does NOT get hung up on how much it costs, whether she has enough money to buy it, what will happen if she can’t buy it – none of that. She identifies it, sees it as hers in her mind’s eye and let’s it go, knowing that it’s going to show up and not caring where or when.
- She remains open to the HOW, and listens to her inner guidance. Invariably, the things she and her family need show up.
Spirit’s resources are inexhaustible; it’s we who grow impatient and weary. Spiritual Law is indeed equal to every demand and lack is an illusion – a persistent one at times, but an illusion all the same.
Abundance is always here if we know how to see it. And so it is.
(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path