At the nadir of my earning experience, I found myself completely detached from all that I dreamed I'd be as an entrepreneur. My vision of financial freedom, frequent international travel, writing, teaching and tithing my photographic talent and treasure - it all seemed to be lost in 2008.
One day I found myself standing in line to receive donated food, and the next to get my utility bills subsidized. HUGE blows to more than just my ego - it was more the lecture I gave myself while I stood there.
I studied the faces of the people in line. Some appeared completely content, others appeared completely void of hope. "I am capable of so much more than this. Dear God, I will find my way out of this, and I want to take others with me!" A mental prayer that felt so loud, I wasn't sure if it came out or not.
Just two years prior, my business was pulling six figures, and I was working one job alone that would have easily yielded six figures, for 6-8 months of product photography.
Somehow, something happened. It was too easy to think - "Duh... You, me and everyone else with a pulse and a mortgage felt the bubble burst!" I know that I certainly chimed in on this chorus from hell. After all, it seemed that everyone I met had been knocked down a few notches from their life prior to a global shift.
I was doing just fine until [insert sob story of house-sale-gone-awry HERE].
Or let's don't and say we did!.. As tempting as it is for me to share that chapter-worthy experience, it is THERE that I discovered (through complete inversion) the formula to my now-thriving success. Two simple, yet powerful words!
Words are THEE most powerful tool in the world. They can bring you up, they can bring you down. Words can help you normalize why you are, why you are not, what you can and what you... (I c##'t even say it, since I tell my kids to stop cussing when they use that "c-word")
Our choice of words hold such incredible power, and we use them against our own Self - perhaps more than we do to harm others. OKAY KIDS, PLUG YOUR EARS - Daddy's gunna cuss...
I can't... I'll try... I don't... I am fat... I am lazy... I am horrible with names... I am ugly...
And then there's those words of well-meaning wisdom that we bestow upon our kids, like "Money doesn't grow on trees", "We're in the poor house", "You'll never be able to...", "Don't get your hopes up", "Bad things just happen".
In 2008 I received a call from a dear friend of mine, Mary Morrissey to check in before a photo shoot I was doing for her DreamBuilder Live event in Los Angeles. I was at my wits end for coping with my debt, and "the economy" just didn't seem to be tossing me any breaks.
After calling me out on my language, she turned me onto a book called "The Science of Getting Rich" by Wallace Wattles. It was nearing 100 years old when I started it, yet chock full of timeless wisdom that countered everything I was doing, thinking and being.
I read the entire book once, twice, and then printed it out in a binder to underline and highlight the insights that kept popping off the pages at me.
Though I embraced it's principles, which strongly resonated with my beliefs, (never mind what I witnessed it doing for Mary) I was still busy telling that story about [insert sob story of house-sale-gone-awry HERE].
At the peak of my success in 2006, I had given a presentation to my speaking group called "Be Careful What You Say, You Might Be Listening". It was not only well-received, but the president of my group approached me afterward to say "you know, I think there's more to this than you realize, my brother is in town from California giving a lecture at OMSI on brain neuroplasticity"
I'd never heard of Dr. Michael Merzenich but I accepted his family pass and attended the seminar. Likely the only photographer in a room full of brain surgeons and other neuroscience professionals, I didn't care. I love this stuff, and found myself jotting down heaps of intriguing information about the potential between my own ears.
While I was intrigued by the primary objective of demonstrating the plasticity of the brain, the ability to treat autism with brain games and even jigsaw puzzles - it was the serendipity of my even being in that lecture that had my full attention.
My observation of language led to convictions that changed my path. I noticed, I amplified, I attracted.
In the midst of sharing my findings, I moved from dabbling word-smith, to what Wayne Dyer refers to as "The Power of Intention". I was now sitting in a room full of cutting edge scientists, ingesting this information with an entirely unique frame-of-reference to likely any other Soul in the room.
Combined with every other resource I was devouring at the time, I discovered through retrospect that the secret to eliminating drama is to never speak it. Every time I told my sob story of how... [insert sob story of house-sale-gone-awry HERE]... I was reliving the feeling. I was increasing my attention and amplifying toward the very thing I did NOT want.
It's easy to think "But I wasn't saying I liked it...". I thought then, that how I shared [insert sob story of house-sale-gone-awry HERE] would somehow change the direction of the results. WRONG!
Attention is attention. Be it good, be it bad - we've got this AMAZING tool at our tongue called WORDS! We speak them, we then hear them vibrating into our chosen reality. This tool, this Law-of-attraction does not discern good from bad. It only knows how to give us more of what we put our attention on.
As I read and wrote my way out of that downword spiral (not a typo), I was led to a book that was written - dare I say - channeled in 1934 by Godfre Ray King. His book "Unveiled Mysteries" is part of a very complex series called "The I Am Discourses". (Click that for pdf version or try to find at Powell's World of Books.)
I'm not one to get hung up too much on "the How". In other words, I don't always need to know how a combustion engine works. I just want to drive the car! Better, I want that car to take me to some AMAZING places!
Here is my one-sentence summary so that you can tune up your own vehicle without having to read the full manual. THE TWO MOST POWERFUL WORDS IN THE WORLD are "I am".
No matter what you say after the words "I am...", you are creating.
If you say - "I am broke", you may as well just substitute the word "am" for the word "create".
I create fat. I create ugly. I am = I create.
Look now, at the most wealthy or most successful people that you know. Ever hear of a guy named Cassius Clay? "I am the greatest!.." Or how about that billionaire with the funny comb-over that's running for office, sharing his secrets with you - "I'm really rich" = "I create really rich".
The Law of our language does not discern who accepts the artillery. "The Donald", like him or not, is affirming a perpetual mantra.
This observation, played back in pain-filled retrospect of my prior condition, has been the epiphany that IS forever changing my life.
My daily affirmations, became my "I amfirmations" as I reworked my goals list to read in an "I am" sentence. Feeling that apprehension of being egoic, self-absorbed or unworthy? GET OVER IT, push through it, and say nicer things to yourself! You deserve more!
I am grateful. I am creative. I am organized. I am concise. I am giving. I am kind. I am wealthy. I am a THRIVING money magnet. Go ahead - say THAT one out loud.
Money is a tool. It is not the root of evil. You are who you are whether you have money now or not. If you are kind, you will be a kind wealthy person. If you are apathetic, you will likely not be using your wealth to help others to rise with you.
This pendulum-swing in my perspective (being the visual sort that I am) did not happen overnight with words. I blended words with pictures to accelerate my revival.
The one line that I kept missing during my years of rereading "The Science of Getting Rich" was to "...never speak of your hardships again". The vibration that they stir, will check all progress away from you, and I must say that I proved this to be true.
I am affirming my desires on a daily basis. I am helping others to hear their words so that they never need to stand in the lines I did just a few years ago. I am a master of ethics. I am organized. I am prosperous!
From yet another great book by Neville Goddard in 1952 "The Power of Awareness" . "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind."
Please share this with anyone that you care about. It's not a competition, and there is plenty to go around!