The Double Bind of the Spiritual Entrepreneur

Fir ring mandalaMy audience is largely made up of “lightworkers” – healers, spiritual practitioners, intuitives, creatives…

And despite the fact that many of us are “in business,”  we (I include myself) are not actually motivated by money.

We are inspired by a vision, a desire to give and help others, to create, and to contribute to a better world.

Many of us have a strong inner knowing that we’re here to contribute to a major transformation in the world, what’s been called the Global Shift or Great Turning.

We know in our hearts we’re here to help bridge Heaven & Earth.
(Some of us have known this for a very long time.)

We’re very comfortable working our craft and skill, giving our gifts.
But when it comes to the business side of things we’re on shakier ground, and are caught in a double bind.

All kinds of terms have sprung up to describe us – spiritual entrepreneurs, soulpreneurs, conscious or heart-centered business owners. 

But for the people in my tribe, the truth is, we’re not really entrepreneurs at all. Not by nature.  

We’ve never identified with that term, although we’ve gotten used to it.

In the old days healers just said we had a healing practice, or were self-employed.
When I was an exhibiting artist, none of us thought of ourselves as being in business.

It’s a foreign idea that’s been imposed on us and makes us itch a little.

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A true entrepreneur is someone who loves to create businesses, to come up with new ideas and try them out, loves creative challenges, enjoys thinking about the marketplace and their place in it, gets a rush from the game of it and from playing with ways to make money.

Most of the spiritual practitioners and lightworkers I know have an uneasy relationship with money, at best.

We’re not comfortable with it, don’t trust it, may blame it for what’s wrong with the world, may feel incompetent or inept about money. We may have judgments, resentments, fears, or feelings of unworthiness about money.

We often don’t feel like we belong in this hyper-competitive, materialistic culture that is dominated by money and values the rich, famous, and successful.

At the same time, we are in a field (and in a world) that requires that we master some basic skills of survival.

If we have embarked on launching our work in the world, and have started learning about business – especially on the Internet – we’re probably being inundated by aggressive marketing pitches telling us how we’re supposed to go about it – or else!

A whole industry has arisen of Business or Marketing for Heart-centered or Spiritual Entrepreneurs, usually offered by mentors who also call themselves spiritual.
(Although, in most cases, I’ve noticed that the Law of Attraction is what passes for spirituality, and what it too often teaches is how to use energetic laws to do the bidding of the ego.)

You would think that an industry designed to teach “soft” selling practices for the tender-hearted soulful business owner would have a gentler, more compassionate approach. But in actuality, it is often a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” espousing spiritual principles while using manipulative fear-based tactics to sell high end programs to make us all (supposedly) rich.

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The double bind we find ourselves in is that on one side we feel disempowered by our low self-esteem and poor conditioning around money.

And on the other side we’re pummeled by these aggressive and manipulative marketing messages that not only overwhelm and confuse us (and often persuade us to part with large sums of money), but often blame and shame us for not being ambitious enough, big enough, impactful  enough, rich enough, successful enough – or for not even wanting to be.

In a word, those messages are also disempowering.

So we’re disempowered if we do, and disempowered if we don’t.

How do we get ourselves out of this double bind?

To answer that, I’ve been wondering about two questions:

Question !. What would it mean to become truly empowered? Not from the ego’s perspective, but from the soul’s perspective.  How can we access the true power and infinite potential that is our birthright as sovereign souls?

Question 2. How can we create a viable, thriving, sustainable business model that works for who we are and what we want?

Years ago I had the idea to create a High-Five Club, to counteract the insistence on 6 or 7 figure incomes as the only measure of success, and to assert the rightness of a human-scale livelihood.

True success (in my book) is being able to give our gifts, live our purpose, and provide for our needs in a way that brings us joy, ease, harmony, and creative growth.

Most of us don’t want to create empires or to maintain the complex structures and responsibilities that go with that. And most of us are not motivated by the desire to amass a fortune.

(By the way, the new justifications for focusing on high incomes by those who are selling their “think big and get rich” programs are:
a) you can do more good by contributing to worthy causes if you have lots of money;
b) the more money you make, the wider your reach and the greater your impact.

Clearly they use these arguments to persuade those who are not motivated by money but who want to do good and help lots of people. The latter argument has definitely been proven untrue – just look at the influence and impact of Charles Eisenstein, or many other thinkers and writers, for that matter. Or of my friend George Kao, whose influence grows, the more content he gives away for free, maintaining a modest income.)

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So these are the 2 questions worth considering:

First:
How to become truly empowered on a soul level?
Which is to say, how to free ourselves from the trance of scarcity, limitation, separation, and inadequacy that most humans live our lives enslaved by?

What would it mean to access the actual power and potential of our true  identity, our unlimited Essential Self?

And how can that be achieved?

In fact, there are many methods that dissolve and transform the bondage of our limiting beliefs, karmic imprints, and soul contracts, most of which are unconscious. These unconscious bonds create the delusions we take for Reality.

We can methodically release ourselves from this bondage, but it takes conscious intention and effort, as well as knowing how. (And having a gifted guide helps.)

This is part of the great work before humanity at this time – liberating ourselves from the delusions that have kept us in fear, limitation, and separation.

It is this transformation that humanity must achieve if we are to create the world we all want to live in, a world that can actually survive and in which all beings thrive.

We cannot achieve a healed world  in the same state of consciousness that created this seriously ailing one (to paraphrase Einstein).  We must raise our consciousness.

As we do the personal work of liberation we contribute hugely to the transformation of the entire human field of awareness. Each individual has enormous power to affect the whole.

Second:
How can we create on our own terms a flow of giving and receiving in which we honestly offer our gifts to the world and receive what we need for our support in return?

How can our attitudes about the transaction of offering and receiving, and the relationships we wish to establish with our audience, lay the foundation for a sustainable living business that brings joy to all?

In its  largest scope this is a question about what a new economy, new way of doing business, and new societal structures might look like. This might include a Universal Basic Income, a gift economy, and more. It may involve a shift from competing solo endeavors to more collaborative, improvisational, and playful ones, from isolated units to fluid networks of association. 

But for now we are considering what we can do in our own lives right now.

For instance: How much is enough? And how do we ask for what we need by offering to others what they need and long for, and by creating a space for them to enter that they are searching for?

How do we ground this relationship in a genuine sharing of heart energy, wisdom, guidance, support, and intelligent resources? How do we offer the magic that is our soul’s unique gift, and allow our souls to reveal even more than we know in the process of service?

How can we simplify this process so it’s as clear and basic as an offer of food to those who are hungry?

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As spiritual entrepreneurs we don’t have to be motivated by money. It is enough to be  motivated by our soul’s highest vision.

But to bridge Heaven and Earth, we also have to be grounded in the practical realities of the Earth plane that come with human incarnation.

We need to be responsible to our own human vehicle as much as we are to those we serve.

There is a middle way. It is the way of true empowerment and freedom. It is the way of our personal and global evolution. It is a vision both grand and humble.

As we embrace this way, we will discover ourselves to be both far grander than our ordinary sense of self and far humbler than the grandiose delusions of the desperate fear-based ego.

And our soul’s highest vision – the purpose we took birth for – will also be furthered by following this path. For as we start to create our own personal Heaven on Earth, we will be bringing that potential closer for all.  

 


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