Recently, I spent a day in conversation with a client whose business has quadrupled in the six months since we began working regularly together. A tidal wave of change has swept away the life she had, and brought her one more closely aligned with her dreams.
There’s more money flowing through her business than she – or anyone in her family, going back several generations – has ever enjoyed before. And this flow of money is accompanied by a rising tide of time, energy and spaciousness. Time to enjoy her family, to play, to rest, to create.
To get there, she has done the outer work of marketing and content creation, shaping systems and structures to support her business. And she has done the inner work that brings her business to radiant, vibrant life. She has transformed her patterns and beliefs — about who she is, what she can create, where and how she may live and work.
She has crafted a business story that truly supports her life.
Now, her deeper fears surface. That the flow of abundance will stop as miraculously as it began. That all this spaciousness and wealth will vanish like mist when the sun of reality rises.
Her fears reflect a story I hear from so many entrepreneurs. It goes something like this.
Sarah – let’s call the heroine of our story Sarah – knows in her heart that she has great gifts of love and beauty to offer the world. She wants to make a positive difference in people’s lives. She also wants to be rich, famous, work no more than two hours a day, and retire at age thirty to a beach house in Vanuatu.
So long as this dream remains a collage on her vision board, a set of affirmations, something she aspires to, it retains its aura of magic. She tells herself she will be happy, fulfilled, rested, vibrant and joyful. She will travel the world on her yacht, write her great novel and discover the cure for catastrophically cold feet — once those images climb off her vision board and stroll into her life.
The thing about energy alchemy is, it reshapes you – and the You that emerges includes your dreams and visions as part of your everyday life. You wake up one day to realize that the ecology of your life has completely changed. Everything you’d once dreamed of is now right here, a living, breathing part of you.
If you still believe that these things that you so longed for are outside of you – that they exist independently of you – then their existence in your life is always suspect. They could leave you at any time. They could disappear, and you’d be back where you started, hoping and longing for something out there, out of reach.
So, in the midst of all this abundance, Sarah – remember Sarah? – wakes up at night with her heart pounding. She can’t get enough air in her lungs; her pulse is racing. In her nightmare, her villa in Vanuatu is swallowed by a tsunami. Her customers are fleeing the harbor of her business to swarm the new, shiny marina in Pago Pago.
She worries about money more than she ever has before, because she has more of it to worry about. Forget about writing the great novel or finding the cure for terminally cold feet. She has to make sure she dreams up the next, new sparkly thing so her customers – fickle creatures that they are – don’t disappear down the road to that raucous upstart of a business that’s giving away free tofu dogs, and vegan iPads with every purchase.
It’s a heartbreaking story. Girl nurtures dream in her secret heart. Girl’s dream miraculously comes true. Girl’s dream decides to decamp with dreamboat next door. Girl’s heart is broken. Girl is secretly relieved. Her worst fears have come true. Now the cycle of dreaming can begin again.
But stories can be transformed, once you see the truths that lie beneath them.
The truth is, Sarah, you, me – we are all in relationship with everything around us, at every moment. And the nature of our relationships shapes our experiences, our lives, our stories. Every time.
Some of those relationships are radiant with love, tenderness, understanding, wonder.
Others are more like that annual family reunion picnic which always ends with your uncle-twice-removed wearing his boxers wrapped around his bald head, bellowing Deep In the Heart of Texas in a broken baritone while your aunt wipes the snot from your nephew-in-law’s face with one hand, and wraps up the last of the potato salad with the other.
Guess which relationships gather your dreams into the lap of your life – and which ones send them scattering.
If you want a story with a happy ending, bring those qualities of love and understanding, tenderness and sovereignty, to your relationships with everyone and everything in your story. The desk at which you sit. The computer on which you write. The stories you tell yourself. (Love them. Love them.)
Your relationship with each of these is as magical, as supportive of you and your success, as your relationships with your clients, with your beloved, with your child or business or pet ferret.
And they are all reflections of your relationship with yourself, your soul and your Source.
So begin there, where your story truly begins. Begin with your relationship with yourself. Your soul. Your Source.
Romance your soul the way you’d romance the love of your life. Lavish your soul with your love, appreciation and attention. Get to know it – its depths, its desires, its particular penchant for soul food.
By the time you look up from all that canoodling, your wildest, most wondrous dreams will be curled up in your lap. The life you dreamed of will be all yours.