An article re-purposed from my contribution to the co-authored book “Pioneering the Path to Prosperity” – organized by Jane Ashley
I found myself at a serious fork in the road and often telling my story to new friends or clients to inspire the different types of choices that life can present us.
Regardless of whether you believe in destiny, free will or fate, choices are indeed available to us and I made a choice to go all in.
I’ve made this choice at varying crossroads in my life and it is always a deepening commitment to letting something greater than myself take over and from my perspective, this is the source of everything positive in my life.
I had been living month to month as a healer and I got to a point in my process where I remember a type of fire lighting in my soul that said ENOUGH. I can’t live like this anymore; not knowing how I’m going to make rent, feeling a deep discouragement and desperation every time I spent more than $100 on groceries. I reached out to a close friend of mine that I knew entered the coaching industry for help. I signed up for his program and invested $5,000 I didn’t even have and took a massive leap of faith. That fire built, the knowing that I was ready to have a new experience of life. I had crossed thresholds in my journey before, I understood what initiations could lead towards, but choosing to participate in the world to interface with money and grow a business in a new way was a new threshold for me as a being.
With a rebel tendency more towards the fringe and spiritual sides of life I always had resistance to things that brought me more “into the world”. 10 days after I invested in the program my band broke up, which was the entire focus of my life at the time, and the falling out with my best friend that I grew the project with was totally heartbreaking. Two weeks later I did over 30K in sales. My entire paradigm around abundance had shifted along with my entire reality.
It took a deep and committed choice along with the culmination of enough actual experience to genuinely claim the value of my offerings. Fast forward almost 3 years later and I had built a strong and growing 6 figure coaching business, as a multi-dimensional healer / conscious business coach and had continued to grow my music as a solo artist and was touring the U.S living off what I made in the first month of the beginning of the year which amounted to the entire amount I had made the year before.
I felt like I had mastered the money game, but there was another fire burning in my heart. At moments throughout the year I found myself evolving out of one construct and then out of another, feeling almost alienated from previous communities I had once interfaced with and challenged by my ability to stay grounded in my business as I went through spiritual initiation after spiritual initiation being asked to let go more and more of who I thought I was. This “new” fire that was deepening had to do with impeccability and the desire to be in right relations with all parts of creation and to live in a “flow state”; that I often experienced when I hadn’t had the pressures of running a business. I had experienced a type of pendulum where I was broke living in scarcity month to month to a “higher end”; but somewhat more demanding lifestyle as an entrepreneur. My artist felt a bit neglected, my activist a bit conflicted, and my ceremonialist a bit at odds with money suddenly and yet I knew I was honing in on something. I was being pulled towards refinement from the universe.
My background as a healer of over 10+ years, working with indigenous elders sitting in various ceremonies, mentoring with master healers, spiritual guides and participating in many different lineages where the values systems were not emphasized on money I kept a neutral approach to exploring it as energy. I was finally enjoying my life more out of struggle, survival and I wanted more people to experience this. My background as an event producer also started to culminate bridging many different worlds; I started to see where the gifts and shadows lived in each community. I so desperately wanted to build bridges of connection across these communities seeing that each community had a different solutionary approach to the world’s problems that we’re facing. Each perspective valid and beautiful, each community had its unique gift and challenges, its different types of power and shadows.
There was the power of ayahuasca and its shadow, the power of money and its shadow and the power of music and its shadows. I could rant for a while offering multiple perspectives on the dynamics of light and shadow within community, but the focus of this is addressing the gift and the shadow of money.
I found myself at the end of this tour in South Dakota sharing my music in support to a special Indigenous Unity concert design to protect the Lakota people’s sacred Black Hills, the home of their origin story. This was a bridge building concert welcoming natives and non-natives to stand together in solidarity. Many Indigenous Leaders from many different tribes gathered together and the post-standing rock energy was strong, reconciling more and more relationships between non-natives and native people recognizing the dire times we are living in and the need to work together. Earlier in the year I had been sharing a presentation on bridging the gap between activism and entrepreneurship (a seemingly impossible bridge at the time) in the face of and in support of the Standing Rock movement.
What I was honing in on was how to make peace with money. I had learned the game, but something still didn’t sit right with me. I saw the impoverishment that a lot of Lakota people from places like pine ridge experienced in the past and it broke my heart. Here I was again having to look at that reality and I had no desire to get on sales calls. I didn’t want to make any money while there was an unseen and even hidden third world country in our own backyard. I felt guilty, I felt saddened by the quality of greed in the world and the unique disparity of wealth that existed between classes, the level or racism and out right persecution of indigenous peoples especially.
I had felt things like this before, going from a small village in Mexico with the Wirarika tribe, to being in a mansion in San Diego in the same week.
At this Unity gathering, I saw smiling faces break bread together, laughing and joking; I could see many of my other world travels flash before my eyes. All the places I had been where poorer people who had spirituality but very little money were so loving, generous and happy. I reflected about how capitalism and colonialism were completely enmeshed and that it was a huge blind spot for a lot of the entrepreneurial community.
I thought about how massive it could be to truly have value systems from the indigenous peoples of the earth actively implemented into how we do business. What would it look like for the “Ubuntu” village philosophy of Africa (“I am who I am because of who we all are”) or the value system “For the next seven generations” actively drive choices in how we do business in the world. Is it possible for profit to still happen and have business regenerate nature and culture. I believe so. For me, there is no separation between the earth narrative and the narrative of indigenous people, their struggle & the earth’s struggle are the same. And I realized I had to be a pioneer toward bridging both worlds.
Now with crypto-currency, an ever increasing risk of the ecological crisis, erosion of cultures, endangered species and many other challenges of our time we have a unique opportunity. I once use the word “neo-pioneer” (See article) comparing that of the pioneers of the old world who traversed great oceans to discover new land; I believe there is a second pioneer that is stewarding new realms of thought, consciousness and ultimately new culture. To me the current culture surrounding money is broken. It is deeply disconnected from the earth and the hyper-focus on external successes, materialism and the current form of business as it stands in an exploitative, competitive driven model is unsustainable. I realized that money is not “bad” but rather neutral and when stewarded with the right intent can make a difference. We need a new culture around money, around the coaching industry, in venture capitalism, in philanthropy, investment & in general.
As we create a new culture around these things I believe money can be a means in which to support the building of this new earth. As my buddy shine has a cool song that goes “there’s a reason why it’s green”; I believe this to be the case. To make green