by Scott Kalechstein Grace
I do what I love. For a living. Full time. Have done so for twenty six years.
Lately I’ve had a few months in a row of practically no income, and Mr. Fix It (my mind) has stepped up to the plate with a very familiar solution involving two steps:
1) Freak out.
2) Use the adrenaline gained from freaking out to make things happen.
Mr. Fix It has given me this advice my entire adult life. He has glimpsed the future, and assures me that it will suck unless I let a sense of urgency push me to do things that have generated income for me in the past :
- Call churches where I’ve presented.
- Put together a local concert.
- Do another webinar.
- Offer a sale on my coaching.
- Remind people that song portraits are the best gift ever.
Sell, promote, sell!
All of these things have worked in the past. But I’m 53 years young, and freaking out about money is getting old.
Chill Out Now
I have another internal advisor, one that is dear to my heart but somewhat foreign to my nervous system. She whispers: “You are safe, and so is your future. There is nothing to fix. CHILL OUT NOW.”
Under her guidance, I’ve been building my to-do list based on the question, “What do I really want to do?”
My three main action steps:Sharing my journey through articles like this one. Creativity is an extended orgasm. And I love it when it is good for you, too!
- Going to public places with friends and holding up signs that say Free Hugs and Free Poems. These angelic interventions are putting huge smiles on faces, especially mine.
- I’ve been singing and strumming popular songs from the 60’s and 70’ (Today it’s Boogie on Reggae Woman, by Stevie Wonder.) Broadway musicals, rock, folk, even disco is fair game. Basically, I’m learning how to play and perform songs that touched me in my childhood. They touch me far more today.
So that’s my business plan: Investing in futures by investing in today’s joy.
On Monday nights I’ve been taking my guitar to the local health food store, which has an outside eating area with a fireplace. Other musicians and singers are joining me and we’ve been doing the Hit Parade. The Beatles. Cat Stevens. The Bee Gees. Michael Jackson. Stevie Wonder. Even the Carpenters. (“Why do birds suddenly appear?”) People who don’t know the lyrics look them up on their smart phones and sing along. I’m making new friends, creating community, and going home on the top of the world. Monday nights have become my favorite night of the week.
On Sundays, instead of my usual church gigs, I’ve gone with friends to the Farmers Market to hold up signs that advertise “Free Hugs.” I also have been making up Free Poems, and last Sunday a young woman asked me to rap a free poem about the free hugs.
My daughter went with me last Sunday. She wasn’t much into hugging, but sure enjoyed making colorful signs. Some people who were there to shop picked up signs and took up hugging. A tribe of huggers formed, at one point consisting of three women, four children, and a man in a wheelchair, all holding up signs and giving out free hugs. What a blast we had, dispensing fair trade human touch, tactile expresso without the jitters.
Lately I’m having some kind of awakening. My therapist says I remind her of someone who has battled cancer, came close to death, and emerged from the experience with a a passionate commitment to let joy lead.
Letting joy lead.
It’s not completely new territory. I’ve been doing what I love since I give up my day job in 1990. I’ve learned a few things and demonstrated some faith. But usually, when money got tight, I got tight as well. Motivated by fear of scarcity, I put on my business cap and got to work trying to make things happen.
Nothing wrong with that. It helped me build my male side.
But now I’m in a new place. My feminine, receptive side is giving me the business plan.
I call it a Faith Walk. I’m letting joy lead, doing what I love. The money may be following, but it hasn’t quite caught up to me yet. I’m walking into the Red Sea, trusting it will part. There’s no turning back, just forward motion.
“Show me the money,” my mind screeches. “Then I’ll relax and let you do this joy thing.”
But I have reached a point where I am no longer willing to be held hostage by a fear that demands ransom money in exchange for feeling safe, and puts off relaxing into an ever-present love until its list of conditions are met. Are they ever?
I was in a men’s group that included two millionaires. Sometime they would share their fears about keeping their wealth. Fear of loss and even a fear of poverty was a part of their lives. I took good notes: More money does not equal more happiness, nor a consistent sense of safety. Wow, what a lesson.
Daily Joy Deposits into My Bank Account
Meanwhile, I am continuing to strum my guitar and sing like a bird, taking my eyes and fears off my bank statements, and putting daily joy deposits into my mutual fun account.
Yesterday in Sausalito my friend Kani and I met up with tourists, greeting them with guitar, songs born in the moment, and, of course, free hugs and poems. I made up songs on the spot for a Catholic Priest from Guatemala, a newlywed couple from Tel Aviv, and a family from Chicago. We took a short video of the family enjoying and participating in my spontaneous silliness.
By letting joy lead on a consistent basis, it is law that synchronicity, serendipity, love and money will find me attractive. What law? The law of attraction, of course. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of Joy, and all these things…”
I will keep you posted about my experiments in being a law abiding citizen of the universe, and walking into the Red Sea with a guitar.
NEWS FLASH! While I was writing this article, in the space of two days, someone emailed me for a coaching session, another person hired me to sing at her Montessori School, and yet another emailed me inquiring whether I was available to share my gifts at a retreat in the mountains near San Diego three weeks from now. He had stumbled upon my Spiritual Dr. Seuss videos on YouTube, and the theme of the upcoming retreat was the wisdom of Dr. Seuss. We worked out the logistics, agreed upon the finances, and away I go.
Letting joy lead.
Thanks to Scott for allowing us to reprint this post from his blog, “Teach Me How to Love.”