Affirmations only work when they are supported by consistent action. Working with your new money message is not as simple as saying a new thought and sitting back to enjoy the show while your life transforms. For your money message to work it must be backed up by powerful intention, consistency, faith, and deeds.
You don’t create a garden by thinking about it and affirming you have a beautiful garden. You do some planning, get your tools together, turn the soil, plant seeds, water, pull weeds, and so on.
Once you have your money message, you need to let it guide you in taking some baby steps. If your soul wants more time with your family, go home earlier. If you are an artist at heart but have never acted on it, take a class at a community college. If you hear your soul telling you that the universe is abundant and will take care of you, buy yourself a weekend at a bed-and-breakfast. If your money message tells you that you are a shining light of attraction, ask the girl behind the espresso counter, whom you’ve been interested in for months, out for a walk. If your money message tells you that you are a divine entrepreneur, research the new business idea you have. Meditate more. Start designing your dream house. Go in and ask the boss for a raise. Keep going. Build on your successes and don’t let the failures get you down. Keep at it.
Almost everyone experiences fear at this point in the process. That means you are on the right track. The Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron says in her book When Things Fall Apart that “fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” It makes complete sense that committing to action elicits fear, for you have absolutely no evidence yet that your money message is true.
For most of your life, you have been influenced by your money baggage even when you didn’t want to be. You may have taken actions to change your life but found yourself frustrated by the results. You may have done the ten things you were supposed to do to succeed at job interviews but still didn’t get the job of your dreams.
Perhaps the reason you did not get your dream job was because you didn’t know your money baggage was, and is, operating under the surface. Once you replace it with a new money message, it is time to get out in the world and experiment anew. It is time to trust, to take risks, and to believe in the wisdom of your money message.
Some people simply get paralyzed at this stage. This is another reason why it is so important to get out—shake off the paralysis, get things going, get anything moving. A misstep—and learning from it—is better than staying afraid and immobilized.
Ward learned early on that money was something you never spoke about. And you certainly never asked for it; you earned it by being “responsible.” He also got the message that being responsible meant not taking risks outside the box. He developed a deep-rooted insecurity about being himself, as he was constantly being groomed to be someone he was not. As if that weren’t enough, he had an alcoholic parent, and like many children of alcoholics, he gravitated toward work that was highly structured—in his case, accounting. Creative by nature, he felt stifled by this way of life. His money baggage became: I’m not good enough. I can’t be myself and live.
Ward explained, “In my family, the idea that a person could be successful and be an artist was never imagined. I never saw it as even a remote possibility until my mid-thirties.” When Ward moved to Alaska “to escape the force field” of his family, he left accounting behind and instead pursued artistic adventures in theatre, photography, radio, and filmmaking. Eventually, he began an ambitious project, a feature-length documentary on girls’ basketball called The Heart of the Game. In order to complete it, he realized, he would have to ask a lot of people for financial support. But Ward’s money baggage, I’m not good enough. I can’t be myself and live, told him that he was undeserving and that asking for money would just end in rejection. This led to an almost paralyzing fear of asking people for money for his creative projects, especially this film.
Ward’s new money message became: My own deep healing love of myself radiates truth, peace, and joy into the world, which returns to me in abundant and beautifully unexpected ways. Once he had it, he set out to apply it. He did all the necessary research to find people who might know anyone who would support his project. He met with some of them and got referrals to possible funding sources.
He held a number of fundraising parties at people’s homes, showed them a bit of the film, and then at the end asked the group for money. Ward shared, “It was amazing. People would pull out their checkbooks and write me $100, $250, and $500 checks. Teenagers might give me $10. I would raise somewhere between $500 and a couple of thousand dollars at each event. The more I reached out, the more I was supported.” When Ward finally got over the fear of asking individuals for investments, the first woman he met with was so enthused about his film that she gave him $5,000 on the spot.
The project went on for seven long years. He lowered his living expenses. He found a full time job making films for nonprofits and foundations, and put any extra money he earned into the film. He used up all his savings while he kept writing grants, meeting prospective donors, and looking people in the eye to ask them for support. Eventually, nearly 200 people gave him money to make his dream a reality.
His consistent, persistent actions, aligned with his money message, led to the completion of The Heart of the Game, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2005 and earned a distribution deal from Miramax Films. The film was shown in theaters all over the country and received rave reviews from USA Today; Ebert and Roeper; O, the Oprah Magazine; Jay Leno, and many more.
I saw firsthand the paralyzing grip Ward’s money baggage had on his life. I saw him struggle to listen to his soul’s calling. To find the words to create his money message. And then to find the courage to continue to take actions consistent with his money message.
There were days when we met that he was literally down to a few hundred dollars in funding for the film and he needed to raise tens of thousands more. At those moments I returned him to his money message and encouraged him to continue to take actions consistent with it. It wasn’t easy. Despair and rejection took its toll. But little by little, step by step, one thing led to another and the film became a reality. A reality beyond his wildest dreams.
Ward is a perfect example of how to transform old beliefs about money into a promising future. His story illustrates what is possible when the limiting bonds of one’s money baggage are replaced with the limitless possibilities of a new money message. In order to create a truer life for himself, he had to first recognize the limits of his money baggage and how it ruled his life. He then created a new money message and took some action.
The most important lesson to take from Ward’s story is to keep taking actions in alignment with your new vision even when you are afraid. It took many years but now he is living that new vision. He gave the world a gift in the form of the story of his movie and Ward’s life will never be the same. He told me the other day, “I’m already half way through life but I feel this great sense of promise about the future.”
Part 2 of Money Message Principle #3: Take Actions Consistent With Your New Money Message will continue next week.