When I think of creative entitlement, I think of the poet David Whyte. He says that one of the qualities that you have to cultivate to have a spiritual and creative life is what he calls the "arrogance of belonging."
I love the re-appropriation of the word arrogance. And what the arrogance of belonging is, it's not pumping your first in the air and saying "I am the best." It's putting your hand on heart and saying, 'I Am.'
That's it. I am recognizing that I'm here. And I'm part of this story. I'm part of the human family. I'm part of what we're all creating here.
I'm not going to pretend that I'm not here.
There's a great Leonard Cohen poem in his recent book where he says something like, 'If there were no other artists in the world, my art would be very important. But there are are, and they're really good, so I'm willing to take my place at the end of the line, and to keep making art.'
Now that's the arrogance of belonging, which is saying, "I belong in the line." I'm not sure if I belong at the front of the line, or the back of the line, but I'm going to put myself in line along with all of this. The humility that is intrinsic in that is not the false humility of self-deprecation, which is not humility, but a kind of a sin.
Self-deprecation is a sort of violation of the remarklebeness of you.
The exceptionalness of you. The extraordinary miracle of the human life. It's a sort of a sin to pretend that you're not a big deal. You exist, and you have consciousness, and you have dreams, and you're here. It's extraordinary.
Just for today, I will radiate success with my whole being. Not tomorrow, not next week, and not someday. But today.
What makes me feel successful today will change tomorrow. And each day after that it will change, as I change and evolve my idea of what success even is. I know that today I am further than I was yesterday. I'm a little wiser. A little stronger. A little more centered.
Today is the day that I won't just believe, but I will know, I am successful. It doesn't matter if I haven't achieved the thing I set out to achieve. It doesn't matter if I'm not holding the results of my dreams within my hands.
What matters is that I valued those dreams and gave them space to breathe and grow. What matters is that I dared to believe in the value of my own ideas. I am successful because I took the first shaky steps in realizing my full potential. I am successful because I am here, learning, growing, facing my fears, embracing my fears, embracing me, and becoming one with all that I am, in all ways.
What makes me successful is personal to me.
No one knows where I started. No one knows what I went through just to get to this moment. No one knows the mountains I climbed and the valleys I traversed just to show up today and say, "Here I am day. Bring it on."
Today I will celebrate my own personal idea of success. I will look back and realize that I have overcome a lot. I have achieved a lot. I have done things that shook me to my core. I have changed in ways no one will understand the impact of but me. I have even torn down my idea of self, questioning the very nature of who I am and what's possible for me, without any idea of how I would land safely on my feet.
What makes me successful is not always even success.
Sometimes I fail, and in that failure, I know I succeeded because I tried something. I dared to step outside what was familiar and known and tested the boundaries of my world. My failure is the seed from which my dreams will take root and grow.
And when I fail, I allow myself to be one with my disappointment and insecurity. I remember that success is not always about winning and being the best. Sometimes, success is about honoring where I am, nurturing my wounds, and taking time to rest before picking myself up and trying again.
No matter where I am at, or where I'm trying to go, today is the day I believe in my success.
Today, I am successful because I refuse to let other people project their fears and limiting ideas onto me. Today, I believe in my own idea of success, and I don't need anyone's approval in order to declare, "I am successful!"
Even if no one sees it but me, I will value and cherish my success. I will nourish it with my love, and I will guard it from the judgement of others.
And by the end of the day, if I no longer feel successful, if I feel down and defeated, that's okay. This is only for today, and tomorrow will be a new day, full of new opportunities, new people, new ideas, and new energy. I will wake up tomorrow and tell myself, "Yesterday I tried my best. And for that reason, I am successful."
But tomorrow isn't here. There is only now, and so for today, and only for today, I will believe fully in my success.
I like money, I love it, I use it wisely, constructively, and judiciously. Money is constantly circulating in my life. I release it with joy, and it returns to me multiplied in a wonderful way. It is good and very good. Money flows to me in avalanches of abundance. I use it for good only, and I am grateful for my good and for the riches of my mind.
- The Power of Your Subconscious Mind
Excerpt from Chapter 10: Your Right To Be Rich
The Power of Your Subconscious Mind
For years, I have found comfort in the phrase "What you seek is seeking you."
It wasn't until recently that I realized that this phrase can be misleading. It does not reflect how the Universe works, or how we work with it. If it did, all people who are seeking a healthy, loving relationship would be in one. All people who seek wealth would be rich.
And yet, there are people who yearn for a healthy, loving relationship and are in one toxic one after another. There are people who cannot break out of debt, despite wanting abundance more than life itself.
Our desire for something absolutely does call that thing to us. But how we feel when we desire it, where our energy is focused - on the lack or the abundance - determines in what form it will show up.
In other words, if you desire a thriving online business, but your energy is focused on debt and failure, you aren't going to attract success to you. It's not what you want that is delivered to you - it's what you are. What you are vibrating with is sent out like rings in a pond. They go out and out and out, find matches, and then flow back. If every fiber of your being is vibrating with fear, then your fear will be mirrored back to you through loss, bad luck, or even bankruptcy.
However, if your inner self is radiating with the joy of creation, then it doesn't matter what's happening in your business - your joy will be reflected back to you. If, in your mind, you feel you've created something wonderful, and you're excited to share it, that excitement will return to you as customers, good reviews, and good luck.
It doesn't matter what's happening (or not happening) because everything is in a constant state of flow and change. If things look grim, don't focus on that. It will simply amplify it and bring it back ten fold. Instead, get into the feeling of, Hell yes, this all worked out and I am the Queen of My Universe! And then walk around like you really are a queen or king, because when you're royalty, you know that energy bends to your will. You don't ever question how or when. You just straighten your crown and think, Thank you. I am so blessed. Thank you thank you thank you.
Rather than telling ourselves, what you seek is seeking you, it would be more true to say what you feel is showing up all around you.
There is nothing wrong with seeking and desiring things. It's what sets the gears in motion to eventually bring that thing to us. Feeling a strong impulse towards something inspires us to act in ways that will align us with our desire. But at some point, you have to let go of seeking it, because the seeking will continue to reinforce it's not there. At some point, you have to declare it's done and prepare for it's arrival.
You must essentially believe you have it before you have it. You have to trust that all the unseen forces of the Universe are bringing it to you at this very moment. Because when you feel you have it, the rings of energy roll out of you, and everything that vibrates with YES to that will come back to you.
Now put down that fear and pick up your royal scepter. I bow down to your greatness. You got this.
Children live life with open hearts, passion, freedom and a deep sense of trust in life. They live in a way we slowly forget as we grow up, until one day we want to remember all that good and important stuff we lost.
For me, this is never more true than when I think about the business my best friend and I started when we were 8. Way back then, we made hand crafted gifts (cards, jewelry, knitted bags) and sold them door to door. We had no sense then that what we were doing was brave and revolutionary. We had no idea we would grow up to be people that would simultaneously fear and crave that same sense of freedom, responsibility and leadership. We were truly masters of our own destiny, but this was nothing to be thought about. It was the only thing we knew.
Sharing your own personal creations with the world can be terrifying. If you have tried to or are following your passion to its fullest extent, you understand how much it surprises me that this was so easy for me as a kid. There was no fear then. Only love and possibility.
I have begun lately to reach back to those feelings that were full of love and excitement. Our business felt like a fun adventure, and that is why it was so easy for us to succeed (we sold a lot of stuff!). Below are the top four things my inner child taught me about living my business dreams and life in general:
1.) YES is just a door knock away
If you think people bought things from us just because we were kids you'd be somewhat right. People did buy things from us, stuff I realized later they would never need nor did they really want. They did it because they wanted to support us - there is so much loving support in this world.
However, for every person that wanted to cheer us on, there was one who was annoyed. Lots of people don't like to have their doorbells rung by strangers (even adorable young ones). They don't like to be bothered by earnest kids selling their homemade wares. They don't want to wonder what you really want, because when people come to your door, there's always that moment of suspicion. So they told us to go away. A lot.
This, far from being discouraging, meant we were just at the wrong door. When someone slammed a door in our faces we didn't linger, wondering what had gone wrong. We ran with excitement to the next house. We didn't pause for one second to ask why they didn't like us and what we were offering. Why would we? Yes was just a door knock away. All we had to do was move on. So we did. As soon as we stepped away, we forgot the "no" and we talked about school, friends, life, and let each new door be that - a new door.
2.) You Get to Choose How You Feel About Everything
You know those people I mentioned that told us to go away? Well one actually paid us money to go away and never come back.
If someone paid me, as the person I am now, to stop what I'm doing I would be seriously shaken. I don't care how much money they gave me. I would feel deeply wounded, embarrassed and unsure of myself.
Me as a kid though? Yeah that was totally awesome. If something had a shred of good in it, that was all I saw. I was not embarrassed by what had happened. I was THRILLED. I told EVERYONE. Why? Because he gave us TWO WHOLE DOLLARS.
The average price point for our stuff was ten cents. The high end, this-took-a-long-time-to-make stuff cost a whole quarter. Paper money never touched our hands, only those precious coins. So when this person handed us dollar bills our eyes nearly bugged out of our heads.
As soon as the man closed the door we turned to each other and laughed with delight. We were pumped because we would've had to have sold a lot of stuff to get that much money. And he just gave it to us! We never questioned if this meant we weren't worthy, if our products weren't worthy, if we should stop knocking on doors, or if we should feel bad we hadn't actually earned the money.
All we saw was that something good had happened. That was all we needed to know. When we put those dollars in our jar full of nickels, dimes and quarters we were damn excited. It was not some signal people didn't want we had - it was a signal amazing things happen all the time.
3.) It Only Hurts If You Let It
Something that has been so hard for me to relearn as an adult, with this business and my writing, is to take nothing personal. When someone leaves a mean comment, let it go. When someone doesn't understand my approach, let it go.
As a kid, I never took people's reactions and rejections personal. Sometimes I even laughed. There was a time when we went to the house of a much older gentleman. He opened the door and saw we wanted to peddle our goods to him. Before we could even speak he began shouting at us. Now this man, being advanced in his years, had very loose skin around his neck. As he yelled and worked himself up, shaking his head in all his old man fury, this neck skin flapped back and forth.
If this was me, and someone yelled at me like that, I would cower away. I would shrink and feel ashamed for trying to do what I do. As a kid? I stood in awe, watching the spiddle fly, and as soon as he closed the door... I laughed. We both did. All we saw was that neck flap. We laughed for hours, saying how his neck made him look like a turkey.
Now, I want to be clear, I don't believe laughing at people is a good thing. I don't encourage making fun of others as a coping mechanism. What I mean to share here is that laughter in the face of adversity was our natural reaction. We did not laugh at that man because we felt joy and superiority in making fun of him. We laughed because the situation was funny to us. We chose what we wanted to take in from that moment. We had no interest in clinging to his angry yelling. All we wanted to remember, and all we did remember, was that he was the turkey man and he was funny.
There will be many turkey people in your journey. Don't ever hold onto their angry ramblings. Don't ever put their opinion above your own. Just know that you can choose to be hurt and dejected by what they say, or you can choose to walk away, laugh and know that YES is just a door knock away.
4.) There Will ALWAYS Be People Who Want You To Do What You Do
As adults, we tend to get focused on all the no's. We obsess over the people who gave us two dollars to go away and never come back. We put all of our value and meaning in the turkey people who yell at us and want to make us feel wrong and bad.
The most valuable thing I learned from my childhood business is that there are always people who are so glad you do what you do. They thank God that you showed up on their doorstep to brighten their day with your unique gifts. No matter how many people were annoyed with our door to door business, there was always someone who was so glad we showed up.
I know because I could see it in their eyes. I could see it in the way they looked at each thing in our cardboard box, treasuring the time they had with us. I could tell in the way they talked about how special our cards and yarn bags were. These were the people we lived for. We didn't have to remind ourselves of it. It was just obvious - these people matter.
These were generally the people who were home all day, mostly older people. But it wasn't only lonely retirees who loved us. There were younger people dressed sharp, who perhaps worked from home or who had gone home on a break. They were sometimes the most excited, perhaps because we reminded them of their own entrepreneurial spirit. Or perhaps it was simply because they were having a bad day and we distracted them from it for a moment. The why doesn't matter. All that matters is we showed up.
There will always be people who are annoyed with you and what you do. But you can't live for them. Because there are also always going to be people who are so full of joy and gratitude for you that you won't even be able to understand it. There will be people who's doorbell you ring at just the right moment, and you put a smile on their face, and they are so glad you are you, out doing what you do.
Don't miss out on being a gift for someone who is looking for you. You might doubt those people are out there, and perhaps that's because you're too focused on being something for everybody. No one can do that - and no one is meant to, because we are meant to work together, each sharing our own unique piece of the pie.