The other night after a few weeks of domestic bliss and re-centering from the full summer of travel, I decided it was time to get out and socialize, so I went to a party. I found myself in a conversation with a man who had just begun a new career as a massage therapist.
Unsure of how he wanted to set up his practice, he told me, “It’s a hard town to make a living doing massage. I could work at a spa, but I don’t want to work for ultra-rich tourists.”
I told him how I’d encountered that outlook a lot here, and how different it was from LA. With a smile, I asked, “If one wanted to work for ultra-rich tourists, how would one do that?” He rolled his eyes and said, “I’m not the one to ask.”
Boulder was similar. I remember getting a new car when I lived there (a Toyota minivan, nothing fancy) and feeling looked-down on by my singer-songwriter friends.
One of my first nights out in LA with that mini-van, I accidentally parked it in the wrong lot and it was towed. When I realized my car was missing, I wondered if it had been stolen. My new, LA-local friend said, “No offense, but if someone wanted to steal they’d look for high-end cars.” I think that comment forever healed me from the discomfort I’d felt having that car in Boulder!
I remember going back to visit Boulder years after I’d left, and talking with one of my writer friends. As she was filling me in on how the town had changed since I’d left, she spoke with sadness and anger about the fancy new spa hotel on Pearl Street. It struck me how in LA, a nice new spa would be celebrated!
In certain communities, I’ve found a level of “group agreement” where if you are a such-and-such type of person, people talk with you as if you of-course agree to certain things. One example might be the assumption that “all creative and spiritual people agree that people with money are evil.”
On the other hand, in certain parts of LA, the prevailing thought is that the nicer your car and the richer your clients, the better! Especially amongst certain creative and spiritual people. Hmmmm…
While I’ve lived in both environments, I can see both perspectives. I am SO loving how much more grounded the energy feels in Santa Fe. There is not the frenzy of “never enough” (who I am, what I have, what I’ve achieved, how good I look…) that seemed so prevalent in LA. The creative energy here is more laid-back.
But I have to say how refreshing it was in LA to learn to celebrate the material world as an aspect of spirit. To be around people who don’t automatically exclude wealth, beauty or the body from being spiritual or creative. To realize the possibility of marrying it all.
Listening to that man the other night at the party, I couldn’t help but notice how his judgment of “ultra-rich tourists” came right after he told me how hard it was to make a living. It seems that since he separates himself from people with wealth, he automatically tells the Universe not to send wealth his way.
In my experience working with everyone from the ultra-rich to those who scramble to pay me, from trust-fund kids and trophy wives to waitresses, strippers and former homeless people (and lots of people in-between), I have learned this:
- Rich people need help just as much as poor people (if not more).
- In order for me to help anyone, I need to be comfortable and well fed, etc., which in our culture requires money. So I appreciate it wherever it comes from!
- If I am in resistance to anyone (whether that be the rich, poor, or my spiritual artist friends who judge the rich), I enter into a vibration of separation and limit my abundance.
I even wonder if perhaps, those who by separate from wealth and materialism actually somehow reinforce the fortresses around some wealthy peoples homes and hearts? In the case of the massage therapist I met, for example, it seemed his separation was a form of greed—the very thing he was separating from!
Not to excuse greed in any form, but just to say that the approach to eliminate greed and separation amongst people might not be to separate.
It’s as if some people express greed overtly, but they are not the only ones who have it. This may be over-dramatizing things, but what if– for example– a money-hungry corporation’s environmentally destructive practices were simply a shadow refection of our collective rejection of our bodies and feelings– and a manifestation of our expectation and separation?
It’s like the bully on the school playground. If no one were afraid, the bully wouldn’t have anything to do and would stop being a bully. It doesn’t work to say, “It’s fine for me to stay afraid, but that bully has to change and accommodate my fear.”
We are all interdependent and whether on a personal or collective level, the path to changing things starts with ourselves.
And as far as creative and spiritual people are concerned, just think how much creative energy it takes to judge others!
I wonder if this resistance and separation were ended, might there suddenly be an equalizing amongst people, where the creative would begin to manifest more wealth and the wealthy would no longer need to express as much separation and greed? And with this equalization, I feel we’d actually see more diversity, as we’d each return to our natural and beautifully unique selves!
What if we could all be wealthy, creative, grounded, spiritually awake and openhearted? I am holding space for this or something better!
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Intuitive Healer Ann O’Brien publishes the “Flowering Sol” email newsletter to help you blossom into your light. If you’re ready to open up your intuition and creative power to fulfill your dream life, get your free gifts at www.FloweringSol.com.
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