“Anyone who genuinely and consistently with both hands looks for something, will find it.” Rumi
The air was misty, the trees alive and green when I ran off the main trail onto single track tucked in the middle of the forest. I was in my element, going off well worn paths into unexplored territory, running among the trees on a trail seemingly hidden from the outside world, where there was no trace of city life, no remnants of other humans. It was just me, the trees and wildlife. Or so I thought until I rounded a corner and to my delight discovered thirty dollars on the dirt path. I laughed and scooped it up, not another person in sight.
Until recently, I never struggled financially. I had to work for it and it did not always come easily, but I always had money when I needed it. Having grown up in single parent working household of six, I knew money did not “grow on trees.” My parents instilled this belief that money was not always overflowing, but there was enough to get by.
At twenty two I chose a rewarding career in the non-profit sector, however it did not pay much. But I did not let money or the lack of it impact my ability to dream and pursue my dreams. After graduating from University I wanted to travel the world. A large student loan and minimal salary did not deter me. In a period of six years I not only paid off my loan, I saved enough to travel the world while taking nearly two years off work.
In that time I made choices that supported my decision to travel. I drove a 1978 car I inherited rather than having car payments and I rarely ate out. However, it was knowing this dream was a possibility and never feeling lack that enabled me to make it a reality.
In the 17 years since I first explored the world, I became a mother and chose to leave my professional life to stay home with my girls. When my youngest entered school three years ago, I was drawn to a new career path. I took several trainings and launched a new business. That along with changes in my husband’s business left us feeling tight financially.
It was during this time a girlfriend moved to Paris. I wanted to visit her but we did not have the money. I returned to work with an old employer in hopes to save money. The interesting thing is although our household income increased, we were no further ahead financially than when I was not working. In fact, we just managed to pay the bills.
I have since learned that continually worrying about finances and focusing on lack does not allow you to receive. Paying bills and feeding your family is required, however it is important to look at the reason you are taking that extra job or not allowing yourself to pursue your dreams. The intention behind what we choose is sometimes more important than what we do. I returned to work in hopes to have money for Paris, but mostly out of fear and feeling lack. And the trip did not happen.
Three years later I am recognizing, as I once did, we live in an abundant universe. In the spring, still feeling financial strain, I booked a climbing trip to BC with my girlfriends. This trip was necessary for many reasons, not least to inspire me after a very challenging year. I really did not know how I was going to pay for it, but despite not having a cent saved, I knew wholeheartedly this experience would support my path.
Not coincidentally then, in just 2 months the entire trip form airfare, accommodation and expenses, was completely paid for. A West Jet voucher for $200 that my husband transferred to me and was in fact expired (this was overlooked by West Jet) bought my plane ticket, a $200 master card bought on points paid for dinners and wineries and miscellaneous items from children’s puzzles to a birthing pool I sold on a swap page covered more than the remainder of my expenses. Rather than focusing on what we didn't have, I trusted and believed I was meant to go on this trip and the money would come. And it did.
I have also learned to be grateful for what I do have and the experiences I have had. Although I have felt the financial pinch at various times in my life, I completed a University degree, travelled the world, spent months in the wilderness doing what I love, taken numerous trainings and I've spent the majority of my time at home with my girls. Focusing on gratitude allows us to appreciate the things we are blessed with and more importantly, it prepares us to receive.
A few days before my trail run, I met a fellow shaman student for an exchange. We worked on healing my issues around finances and receiving abundance. And so it came as no surprise when I ran in the misty forest I discovered money delicately placed on the secluded trail.
When I need a reminder that both abundance and lack are a part of consciousness and that I have the choice to choose one or the other, I am shown. I know money may not grow on trees, but with the right belief, perhaps it can be found resting on the forest floor.