QUESTION: I’ve been reading a lot about abundance and tithing and was wondering what your perspective on the practice of tithing is. I’ve realized more and more how strongly my thinking is rooted in lack and would like to shift and allow more abundance into my life. I”m having a difficult time allowing myself to expand, would you mind sharing a few thoughts about this?
REPLY: I’m not familiar with the term tithing so I looked it up on Wikipedia. It seems to be a practice that originated around religious institutions but sounds like you are more curious about the universal concept of ‘living and giving from a place of abundance’ so I’ll share about that from my personal experiences…
A Shift of Mindset!
After studying the laws of manifestation, I worked steadily to expand my feeling of abundance over the years. I increasingly felt that whatever I wished to accomplish, the funds and means would arrive if my energy was aligned with the desire!
In other words: If I am focused yet relaxed about “it” and I can trust that “it” will happen, “it” will arrive in its own good time in a magical and often surprising way.
1. After testing the laws since 2001, I am convinced that they exist and that they are always working whether we are aware or not. (Below this article, i’ve included some recommended reading) My awe and understanding keep growing as both the simplicity and the complexity of these laws keep unfolding in life’s laboratory.
2. The more I evolved on this topic, the more freedom I felt around money and resources. I regularly take time to explore, travel, play and experiment with my interests and ideas. Our enthusiasm rises exponentially as our fears and limitations decrease!
3. My work ethic is powered by inspiration, compassion and curiosity, not by financial pressure.
Important Practices of Abundant Living:
1. I have consciously increased my generosity each year as my feeling of abundance rises; I regularly donate time and money to community events and to individuals in crisis.
Over the last few years, I’ve often given up to 10% of my monthly income in cash donations and given 10 to 20 hours of donated service on a weekly basis. (ranging from counseling individuals in crisis, providing facilitation or organizational skills to community events, performing at fundraisers to producing a community events list)
2. While practicing the art of giving, I developed the concept of “Cosmic Reciprocity“. It is the idea that the Universe functions in a field of equilibrium and perfect reciprocity – where all energy exchanges are balanced.
This is the highest form of fairness but we cannot track it through our human senses. To us, many things seem unfair or unjust. Yet the more I learn, the more I see that there is a form of justice which is far beyond our capacity to comprehend or judge. It can be a tough concept as we must trust in this reciprocity with our hearts since we cannot measure it with our minds.
Cosmic Reciprocity means that even when we feel we are the ones who are giving, we are always receiving. There is a fair exchange in even the most seemingly unfair scenarios. The exchange may not come from the person we directly helped yet we must not feel that anyone owes us. (and vice versa: how many times have we been gifted in ways that we cannot possibly repay?)
Even if we cannot prove that this exists, we can still practice generosity without strings attached and assume that blessings are abundant in our lives even when we are not conscious of them.
3. Healing Our Relationship with Money: Often, money is consciously and subconsciously linked to concepts of greed, corruption, manipulation and fear. Many people have these negative associations yet at the same time, they want the means to pay rent, mortgage, bills and have extra means to raise children, travel, get educated and do fun things. For money to arrive more easily, we must have a healthy relationship with it and see it as a blessing. We must heal the schism around money and not have guilt nor fears around having it.
One of my healing practices is to receive money graciously when someone pays me. We can learn to be appreciative – not apologetic when accepting payments. We can see it as a way for people to nurture us and appreciate what we are offering. It is not greedy or selfish to be paid for our time and energy – no matter what kind of work we do. And if we have indeed invested a lot of time, money, energy and talent into our offerings, we can set fees that are worthy of the quality we offer. (for example, I once told a restaurant owner that they should raise their prices to better honor the value of their food and service. I among many others, would have been fine to pay more, especially if their business would thrive as a result and continue to delight our taste buds for years to come!)
Natural Plateau in the Cycle:
After some time, the limits of our belief systems reveal themselves. Often, it is at this point of limitation that we spring into a period of significant evolution.
Despite feeling wealthy in so many ways, I stumble into my own limits when the demand for my time is high. When we juggle an abundance of people, projects and ideas, it can be overwhelming and a feeling of “not enough time” arises. Instead of financial lack, it is “time poverty” which quietly sneaks through the backdoor!
Thus, one big question that I am currently exploring is: “How can I help more people in ever more effective and joyful ways while creating more personal time and abundance?
Answers come as we experiment with new ways of being and doing in the world. To rise to a new level of efficiency, we must look into our blind spots where subtler beliefs affect how we think, feel and see. So another question that I am asking is: Where in my consciousness, is the mindset of “lack” prevailing?
A Surprising Flip Side!
While the art of giving is revered for all its benefits, people are not fond of talking about its disadvantages. Yet the examination of this leads to places where a “lack mindset” may be hiding… Here are some observations which are NOT applicable to all people yet significant enough to note:
1. Participants who paid for my services tended to be quite “invested” and satisfied with our work together. When they had given crystallized energy in the form of money, they often valued our exchange more deeply.
2. On the other hand, some people who received donated services were less appreciative or less committed to the experience. For example, those who did not pay fees were more prone to skip classes and some even behaved with resentment due to their inner feelings of guilt, even though there were no strings attached to my gifts. (Those who paid had consistent attendance rates and never had resentment)
3. A concert producer friend of mine noticed that people who were given a complimentary concert ticket were more likely to leave half-way through the show or not even show up. But if they had paid for it, they usually came and stayed for the whole event.
4. Counter-intuitively, several businesses have told me that when their goods were regularly priced low, people were not buying. However, when they raised the price tag significantly, their products flew off the shelves because perceived value increased!
5. When I was doing many performances around town, I saw that most artists were underpaid and also asked to donate much of their skill to good causes. While it is wonderful to gift our talents to things we believe in, there is also a healthy balance created by honoring our own value. Knowing when to give and when to say no are important skills for any open-hearted individual. When I stopped doing the low-paying gigs, I started getting significantly higher-paying performance opportunities. (And these days, though I still donate my skills to certain events, I decline most gigs in order to create valuable time at this stage in life)
6. Another thing that I have witnessed, is that many people who requested donated services from me repeatedly found enough money for other big-ticket items. (Perhaps in our own lives, we have seen how we were able to generate enough funds whenever we were really committed to doing something and had relentless conviction.)
Basically, if a big-ticket item is non-negotiable in price, the person must abandon their lack mentality in order to acquire the item. Usually, this is not due to a lack of their integrity but a matter involving ENERGY DYNAMICS. (archetypal relationships and life patterns that we fall into due to our past experiences or subconscious beliefs)
7. Others can intuitively feel when our “compassion” will open the door to negotiations. Of course, they also know instinctively when negotiation is NOT available. Often unconsciously, some people will even guide our compassionate stance into pity or guilt so that we will be more receptive to their requests.
8. In some cases, we may be enabling someone’s poverty mindset when we agree to their requests for free services. Though our compassion is natural, we are energetically confirming that this person is “unable” to create sufficient resources or abundance.
Of course, these things are not happening across the board but they do reveal other aspects of “Giving”. I’m not advocating that we stop being generous or stop giving, but these are relevant angles to explore as we learn to understand the nature Abundance.
9. A brilliant activist whom I know stated that a population rises out of poverty in the long-term when they are activated as entrepreneurs rather than simply receiving financial aid. He has directly seen that third world countries are empowered by engaging in mutually beneficial joint business ventures, rather than simply receiving donations. He spoke with individuals in Africa who agreed that they would rather do business with other countries than receive hand-outs. I would agree that all people would prefer to be self-sovereign, self-sustaining and creative.
10. Most of the teachings available on the topic of Manifestation and Abundance agree that each being has its own connection to the universal well of possibilities and resources. Ultimately, recognizing the incredible power and wealth available to each being through their own channels is another way we can help someone. Perhaps this is not as popular nor as well-received as the traditional beliefs in “Giving”, but it is an important practice in our evolution around true Abundance.
Resources and Recommended Reading:
I offer a course called Evolution of Manifestation where these teachings are clearly explained and explored with practical exercises. Contact me if you wish to organize a talk or a workshop for your group or organization! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, here are some helpful books and teachers that you can explore further…
1. Abraham-Hicks: They are excellent teachers and have shared many important terms around the “Art of Deliberate Creation”. Around since 1986. Check out any of their books, youtube videos or CD’s. http://www.abraham-hicks.com
2. Neville Goddard: Check out his book “Your Faith is Your Fortune” which first published in 1941. I love his poetic writing style yet he expresses the laws of creation very clearly.
3. Sanaya Roman’s work: around since the 1980’s. (e.g. Books such as “Creating Money” or “Spiritual Growth”) http://www.orindaben.com/
4. Gregg Braden’s books (e.g. the book “The Isaiah Effect”) www.greggbraden.com
5. The Seth books: channeled by Jane Roberts between 1963-1984. Seth often talked of “Creating your own reality” and shared manifestation concepts. http://www.sethcenter.com/
6. Think and Grow Rich: famous book by Napoleon Hill (from 1937). He’s focused on money but you can still see that he and Andrew Carnegie were aware of the laws of manifestation.