Purposeful Point: The 'ground of gratitude' is the foundation from which to launch any true creation — i.e. Anything you want to manifest in your life will be brought into your life more easily and more magnificently if you start by being truly and authentically grateful for exactly what is in your life right now.
So, let me elaborate on this purposeful point just a bit. I know for much of my life the process of creating what's next in my life was more motivated by the perception that something was wrong and therefore needed to be changed. This is the old paradigm of problem solving vs. true creating, and as Robert Fritz points out so well in his book, The Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life, problem solving, even creative problem solving isn't creating.
He writes: "When you are solving a problem, you are taking action to have something go away — the problem. When you are creating, you are taking action to have something come into being — the creation. Notice the intentions of these actions are opposite."
And one of the soundest ways to avoid dropping into the 'creative problem solving' approach to life is to start by being grateful for your present reality exactly as it is. (Can you imagine Michelangelo looking at the huge block of marble that would later be carved into the masterpiece, David, and saying to himself, "Oh no, this will never do. That marble is all wrong?")
So, let's look at an example that I've been engaged with for awhile and that prompted me to write this article, because I want to make my own shift from changing something that's wrong to a more authentic form of creating and manifesting what's next in my life.
To Be or Not to Be…Debt Free
Like many Americans, Ann and I have accumulated a fair amount of debt over the years, both consumer debt in the form of credit cards and an equity line of credit, and also long term debt in the form of a mortgage on our home and on two investment properties.
I think it's important to make a distinction between consumer debt and long term debts, As Robert Kyosaki, points out in Rich Dad, Poor Dad consumer debt is 'bad debt' while long term debts like mortgages, especially mortgages on investment property, is 'good debt.'
So, Ann and I have decided we want to be debt free, starting with our consumer debt and eventually also eliminating our mortgages.
But where I've started this "Purpose Project" hasn't been the most empowering perspective. First, I've not yet tied it closely to my purpose, so it's really more of a goal at this point, and not a particularly empowering one. It just seems like it's going to take a lot of hard work and something we 'should' do to be responsible. (And if that sounds like it's coming from the fear and lack of the Inherited Purpose…well, you're right.)
Still, there's something underneath all this that still calls to me, so let's see how I might go from creative problem solving with my Inherited Purpose mostly running the show to truly creating this as a Purpose Project that will enhance life, starting by answering this question:
What's There to Be Grateful for About Being in Debt?
After all, being in debt is bad, and the more in debt you are the worse off you are, right? So, what's there to be grateful about? And with that question I start building a foundation of gratitude. I'm grateful:
* That we're not more in debt than we are.
* That we're able to meet our monthly credit card payments.
* That Ann handles most of the bookkeeping on all this so I don't have to.
So far, these are not the most empowering things to be grateful for but they are a start, and they are true for me. So I continue. I'm grateful:
* That we have good credit so during this time of economic downturn we can tap into our credit for unexpected expenses (like when our renters in one of our investment properties lost both their jobs for several months and couldn't pay the rent.)
* That we were able to use the equity in our home to buy one of the investment properties at under market value, thus creating significant equity in the property.
* That we have the convenience of using credit cards for handling some of our monthly expenses that we then pay off each month, and that most of the consumer debt was not use on frivolous spending but on building our spiritually based business and for our family's needs.
* That we're able to do what we both love to do as life coaches that gives us the means to pay off portions of our credit card payments each month. Also, having built good credit has allowed us to use that credit to supplement our business during low cash flow times or times when we need to invest in the business without needing to go through the process of acquiring a small business loan.
* That Ann and I have over the years become more knowledgeable about how to manage our money so that we're not in the tough economic situation that many others find themselves.
* That even with significant credit card debt, we enjoy our lives and what we're building together.
Okay, these are all pretty much off the cuff, and I'll probably continue to add to the list, but I think you can begin to see the point. The more I look for what I'm grateful for, the more I find, and the more empowered I begin to feel about the present reality.
And you don't need to stay 'on topic.' You can expand on this by being grateful for things not directly related to that which you intend to create. For example, I'm grateful:
* For my life and business partner, soul mate, mother of my child, and best friend, and that they are all the same person — Ann.
* For the miracle that my daughter is, and for her wonderful gifts and talents and how much she has taught me through the years, especially about love.
* For knowing my life purpose with crystal clarity and the close and growing connection to Divine Spirit this gives me.
And now we're cooking. I can feel my energy growing as I become increasingly present to the many blessings of my life even in the face of having some consumer debt, and the debt begins to disappear as an issue or problem and becomes just a part of what's so about my current reality.
And from that 'ground of gratitude' I can begin to create a new possibility and a new Purpose Project, which I'll save for another time and article.
What are you grateful for that could serve as the foundation for building your life on purpose? Why not share it on the Living & Working On Purpose Blog and make it more real for yourself.