I recently had lunch with a dear friend of mine, and after I excitedly told her about all my new writing projects, she looked me in the eyes and asked me how I was doing financially. Now, you have to understand, I’d been struggling for years to pick myself “up off the floor” after a big “humpty-dumpty-type” fall when I was fired from my dream job as a TV writer. Okay, I wasn’t “fired,” my “option wasn’t picked up,” but it’s the same damn thing if you ask me. I was canned, kicked to the curb, given my walking papers. I was a staff writer on a hit TV show and I thought my life was on-track. “So, you’re on the gravy train now,” another writer said to me. And I naively believed him. Of course, he WAS on the gravy train and still is to this day. No one kicked him off the train. Guess it wasn’t his destiny to get fired… It was mine.
Thank you, Universe.
For years and years… and years, I worked my butt off trying to get staffed on a TV show. My focus was success, money, stuff, more money, a big house, designer clothes, shoes, purses, exotic vacations, more money…. Did I say money? All my value was tied up in my career and how much money I made or was going to make. And then, my time finally came. I was a television writer. I had made it! I had an identity that I could be proud of.
Thank you, Universe.
And then I lost it all.
To really stick it to myself, I got divorced the same summer that I was canned, fired, “don’t let the door hit you in the ass” let go. Suddenly I was unemployedand divorced. Not exactly the “identity-drop” you want to make at a cocktail party. I was so embarrassed, I dreaded meeting anyone new. What if they asked me what I did for a living – as they always did — and I’d have to tell them the truth? I’m unemployed! Oh, the horror! Which now, looking back, seems absolutely ridiculous. Who in the entertainment business ever tells the “truth”?
The reason for all this “back story” (as those of us in the “biz” like to call it), is because it’s important for you to understand what world I came from to understand how insane my life seems to be now. And by “insane,” I mean “crazy, but in a good way.”
The first four years after my divorce and subsequent firing, life wasn’t so bad — financially speaking. I had no “identity” to write home about, but I was learning to love myself for who I was, not for what I did – and all that self-help gooey stuff. I had some money saved up and I got a pretty nice divorce settlement from divvying up real estate equity with my ex-husband. Money that I quickly put back into the real estate market, thinking I was being a smart little investor— in 2006. Yes, 2006 — the height of the market.
Thank you, Universe.
Now, by this time I was all about “signs” and “messages” from the Universe. And I definitely thought I was “lead” to this house. It screamed out to me, “I’m your home!” So I bought it, with plenty of money left over to live on. Life was good.
Thank you, Universe.
Then two years later, the bottom fell out of the market. I was completely broke and all my credit card rates skyrocketed, making it impossible for me to pay them. To top it off, I was informed that I had one of the now-infamous sub-prime loans. BAM! Life just got really stressful. I stopped sleeping at night. I’d wake up with massive anxiety attacks. How had my life gotten so out of control? I had a perfect credit score! I was Miss Responsibility! I paid my bills on time! I ironed my sheets! Okay, maybe not. But you get the point.
This is when I learned the art of surrender.
I knew there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t stop the tornado from coming in and destroying my house and taking all my belongings. I just had to take a deep breath and let it all go. So I stopped paying on all my credit cards, stopped paying my mortgage, allowed my credit score to plummet… and prayed for a miracle. “Take it all away,” I told the Universe… (and the banks.)
But then something happened.
I started manifesting like crazy. No – not anxiety, hives and heartburn. First, I got a loan modification. My loan mod guy said I must’ve had an angel looking out for me because no one was getting modifications at the time. And I didn’t even have a job!
Then, I started manifesting trips. I went to Costa Rica, Alaska, Hawaii, Sedona, Cancun, Chicago, Arizona – all for free or very close to free.
Out of the blue, friends got really generous – treating me to lunches, dinners, drinks, even shoes!
I even got free tennis lessons.
Thank you, Universe!
I was able to manifest almost anything I wanted – EXCEPT a writing job and a stable relationship. What was up with these two things? I’d been working really hard, writing everyday—putting my heart and soul into my dream. But the two things that I wanted the most still eluded me. I couldn’t help but think that the two seemed to be tied together in some way…
I realized there was a huge lesson I needed to learn about money last Fall while walking on the beach in Maui with my Aunt Liz. (I told you I was living the life!) You see, my Aunt Liz and I have this thing for manifesting trips to Hawaii. It’s pretty amazing how often we go. I’m almost embarrassed to admit to my friends when I’m there. “Let’s just keep this trip a secret. We don’t want to upset anyone.” One time I told my sister-in-law that I was going and she said, “Which one of your rich friends is taking you?” I laughed and said, “Aunt Liz and Uncle John.” “Oh, the poor people are going!” she exclaimed. You see, my aunt and uncle were also unemployed and had just sold their house—and yet they also knew the secret to living the good life – without money.
But back to the beach. I was walking on the beach, feeling the sand between my toes, looking out at the beautiful ocean and thinking, “How did I get here?” Two days ago, I had no idea I was even going to Maui. Now, I’m here. How did that happen? I have no money, no job and yet I’m in paradise. What does this mean? I knew in that moment that the Universe was trying to teach me a lesson about money. I knew it in my heart. I just didn’t quite get what the lesson was yet.
The next day, I was hanging at the pool with my dad and his wife. Oh, yeah—they also just happened to be in Maui. This Hawaii obsession is a family trait. My dad was bragging about all his millions of Marriott points and how he’s planning to use them when he retires. Now my dad is a workaholic (sorry, Dad, I love you, but it’s true!) and will never retire, so I suggested that he use them now. “Wouldn’t it be nice to take some family vacations?” Suddenly his wife chimed in and reiterated, “They were using them for retirement.” Okay – I know she didn’t mean any harm, but I went into full-on trigger-mode. I could feel the blood rise up to my head; the tears fill my eyes. Those points weren’t hers. My dad earned those points traveling so much during my childhood that I never saw him, therefore I should be able to use them to spend time with him NOW. She just married my dad – so why was she entitled to them? I was pissed.
I stomped over to my lounge chair, threw my face into a towel and bawled my eyes out. Moments later — okay, maybe more than “moments” — and temper tantrum complete, I came to my senses and realized two things. One: I had unwittingly regressed myself back into a twelve-year-old spoiled brat. Oops! It happens… (I forgive myself for judging myself as a spoiled brat.) And two: Here I was in Maui, crying my eyes out over Marriott points that I wanted my dad to use for me to go to Maui!! I was already here! And I didn’t need his Marriott points to get here. I manifested this trip on my own! I dried my eyes and propped myself back up and looked out at the ocean, appreciating my new-found awareness. And just then, a waitress came over, “Hey, sweetie. Do you want a Coke?” I looked at the Coke, really wanting it but knowing it probably cost eight dollars and I couldn’t justify putting the tab on my dad’s room. “No thank you,” I said regretfully. “It’s free,” she said. “Somebody ordered a diet Coke and I accidentally brought him a regular. You can have it.” I was thrilled! I knew this was the Universe reminding me of my manifesting skills. I had just manifested a Coke! And not a diet Coke – a real Coke, just what I wanted. And then I heard the words in my head, “Your dad is not your Source. Your ex-husband was not your Source. You are your Source.”
Thank you, Universe.
And now as I sit in my living room – 2 and a half years after I stopped paying my mortgage (I got a loan mod, but then couldn’t pay it because I still didn’t have a job!), I wonder, why are we all so obsessed with money? If we can manifest a great life without it – then what is it really for?
I realize that these questions can be quite controversial, as someone paid for my travel, food, clothing, housing, etc. But I didn’t. So is this just some big karmic payback? Maybe. I was always very generous with my money when I had it. Some might argue that I am just fortunate to have friends and family who are willing to help. That’s true—and I am very grateful for that. Some might even call me an irresponsible “mooch” – a term I called myself at times of deep self-loathing. Maybe that’s true. I certainly hope it isn’t! But in the end, I’ve been taken care of. And aren’t friends and family part of the Universe? As far as my credit goes, am I just “screwing the man”? Based on my history, it’s very clear that I have a strong work ethic; I play by the rules and I’m very responsible. Iwant to work. So why haven’t I found a job? Why have I managed to keep the same lifestyle, stay in my house, travel, write from home, live a life of freedom filled with love and luxuries – when I don’t have the cash? I’m not really sure yet.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not inferring that everyone should quit their high-paid jobs and sit at home with a magic lamp wishing for the Universe to take care of them. I don’t believe that works. But over these past few years of “struggle” the most important thing I’ve learned is this: While pursuing a heartfelt dream, if you let go and trust, everything will work out okay. The Universe (in its many forms) will take care of you.
I read a quote recently from an unknown source that says it all for me. “Safety and security comes from within. Not from financial abundance or financial institutions.” While I do think having money is a good thing, I now see how the “emphasis” on it can be detrimental to our well-being. Some of us work so hard to earn more and more money (as I did in the past) and never get to enjoy the benefits of having it. As I strolled on the beach in Maui, I thought, “People slave all their lives to have this experience and here I am with no effort at all.”
I think this money lesson is a lesson of liberation for me. I’ve been unable to manifest a relationship because I needed to learn about money BY MYSELF. If I had a boyfriend (or husband), they would most likely want to take care of me and I never would’ve learned how to manifest a wonderful life on my own. I wouldn’t have learned how to surrender, trust and be open to receiving from the Universe. And for that I am grateful for the “fall.”
And now, as I pick myself back up, dust myself off, and turn on my computer to write for the day, I can hold my head high and say once again:
Thank you, Universe.
And thanks, Mom, Dad, and all my friends and family who have loved, supported and bought me drinks along the way. It was a long road, but I get it. I release all my fears and embrace trust. It’s all going to be okay.
Now dammit, where’s my man?! 🙂
I mean: Thank you, Universe, for sending me the perfect man and writing job for me. For my highest good…
With LOVE, For the highest good…
xo, Christy Jacobs