Bekah Zachritz is one of many Millennials I’ve interviewed recently to understand what they’re up against and what they’re made of.
Bekah’s life and mine docked two years ago in the parking lot at a new co-housing community in my town. I’d bought one of the units for my deeper old age. Till then I needed to rent it. Walking from signing on the dotted line to my car I met Bekah who, with her son Cooper, wanted stay there now that her temporary rental was over.
For two years I’ve watched Bekah claim her prosperity even as her income barely covered the rent. I watched how her son won the hearts of the co-housing community so he could run free, play with other kids and find a lap any time. Her rent did double duty providing the security of a home and the support of an extended family. I watched her use the resources of social services to keep her and her son well fed while she taught art at a Waldorf School. When the school year ended, so did her income and she took a summer job of equal $/hr wages. When that business suddenly went on hiatus, she was alarmed and scared and realized she never again wanted to do what she didn’t love for an income she had no control over.
That’s when she found two resources that changed her life. I’d love to say one of them was Your Money or Your Life (especially since I was her friend and landlady) but it wasn’t.
She brought her fears to one of Cooper’s favorite “laps”, and this woman gave her a copy of Love Money, Money Loves You, which author Joy Prospero wrote – or rather wrote down almost as if taking dictation – when she asked money, “What do you want me to know?” The answer that came: “I would like to tell you to love me. Smile at me. Collect me. Enjoy me. Feel my power. Spend me. Invest me. Give me. Pay with me. Take me. I am an energy. I am very powerful.”
The sub-title of Your Money or Your Life is Transforming your relationship with money and achieving financial independence. It’s not about money per se, it’s about how we treat money. If you think of money like a punishing father, you’ll treat it with fear, resentment, superstition. If you think of money like a capricious granny with candies in her pocket, you’ll become ingratiating, manipulative and insecure. “Think about it,” Joe Dominguez used to say in the seminar on which the book is based, “if you were money, would you hang out with you? NO! You’d run the other way!!!”
When you grasp the core teaching of the book – “Money is life energy” – you see that how you treat money matters. Accept it’s gifts, channel it where you want it to go, honor its value, use it well, stop projecting your psychological dramas on it, stop abusing it and rejecting and hating it – and it becomes a partner in living the life you choose.
For Bekah, loving money opened her to possibilities she couldn’t see when she walked in a cloud of worry.
In our conversation she referred to this as abundance, which I understand as an open expectancy that money comes as one relaxes fears and notices opportunities and recognizes help is always available. We talked a lot about the many faces of abundance (for another post) and in the end she said that even though she’s earned less this year than last, she feels more abundant because she’s welcomed money and stopped entertaining fears.
Her father had introduced her to Chris Gillabeau years earlier, but the shock of being out of work got her to apply his teachings. She read his website and his book, $100 Start Up. Here’s a brief video of Chris’s message. It benefits from being clean, clear, obvious once you see it, free of hype yet empowering. Much like Your Money or Your Life, it is a road map for liberating you from making a dying and for having enough of everything you need for a life you love – now and in the future.
Love Money Money Loves You showed her where to come from
Chris Gillabeau showed her what to do.
And here’s how she put abundance into practice, finding the sweet spot between what she loves and what the world needs for growing a business.
She’d taught art at a Waldorf School because their nature and sensory way of introducing children to being in the world is how she wanted to raise Cooper. Interest One: sharing nature with children. Interest two: teaching young children. She’s got a beautiful singing voice and performs whenever she can. Interest three: music.
Massaging all this together and working on messaging, she came up with her offering: Changing Lives Through Music. She says, “As a mother, musician and educator, I strive to do meaningful work in the world that helps others feel good. I love teaching others to play music, I love performing and I love the intimacy we can share together through a song. I find joy in the work that I do and feel grateful for all of my supporters and students who make my job a success!” Through her business, Nanny Bee, she offers Arts Education and Events to Kids.
But this is just the beginning. She sees what she wants to learn and has plans to learn it through online courses or trainings. She’s got a college degree, but it’s irrelevant to anything she wants to now do.
In the years ahead, her business may grow, change, morph and even close in response to that sweet spot between what she wants to give and what people need. He love of song, education and the outdoors can continually reconfigure because these are three things parents everywhere want for their children. Abundance, then, becomes not just that open expectancy that all will be well, but an alert ability to change channels as the world changes so that money always has a smooth path to show up in her life.
As soon as possible I’ll give her a copy of Your Money or Your Life, of course!