In my last post, I shared the story of the day the *@#!%* hit the fan for Nikky. And her panicked call to me saying that her husband, Greg, blew out his knee and suddenly wouldn’t be able to work for three months (or more). And how that meant 60-70% of their income was gone.
One thing you need to know about Nikky is that she is an ACTION kind of gal. In her mind, she had to do something RIGHT AWAY to start solving their problem. (Any chance you can relate?)
By the time she called me, she had already researched driving for Uber or Lyft. She was looking online for jobs – hoping to find one she could tolerate for the next 3-6 months. And she had already started making plans to offer a SUPER-discounted price for her coaching program. She thought she had to do something – ANYTHING – to start making the money Greg no longer could. She thought that’s what she was SUPPOSED to do.
One of Nikky’s greatest fears is that she will disappoint others. With her family depending on her to be the sole breadwinner, she didn’t want to let them down. Even if, in the process, she let herself down.
You see, the truth was that none of those options sounded fun or appealing for Nikky. She felt “yukky” thinking of most of them. But she was wired to think she had to DO something – even if she didn’t like it or want to do it. (Again, any chance you can relate, my friend?)
The first thing I asked Nikky to do that day was pretty basic.
“BREATHE, Nikky. Stop right now and just BREATHE, okay?”
She resisted at first. She was so wired for ACTION – for fixing their problem. And so deathly afraid she wouldn’t be able to do so. At that moment, she didn’t (and couldn’t) remember that she didn’t have to figure it out or fix it all by herself. She was not alone.
Slowly, she started to settle into the rhythm of long, slow, deep breaths. As she did, I repeated the new definition of abundance that was the foundation of the work we had done together in my Soul Work of Money™ program.
“Remember, Nikky, that you are part of something bigger than you and your individual efforts and your individual situation and life. AND as part of that, you have access to all that you need. Even if, right in this moment, you can’t see it.”
As she continued to breathe, I underscored the power of this definition by gently reminding her that she didn’t have to MAKE the oxygen she was breathing. She only had to OPEN herself to inhale it – and then OPEN again to exhale.
Knowing that Nikky needed to feel like she was doing something to fix the problem, I reminded her that sometimes doing NOTHING is actually one of the most empowering things we can do. Because in resisting our impulse to do something – ANYTHING – right away, we OPEN ourselves to the resources and guidance that comes from being connected to that “something bigger”.
From all of the work she had done with me, Nikky knew this – in her HEAD. Now life was giving her an opportunity to know and trust it at a deeper level. Breath by breath. Moment by moment. Day by day. Nikky didn’t do any of the things she initially thought she had to do. But she did DO something.
First, she got clarity. She got clear on how much money they currently had, when the next bills had to be paid and how long their current money would last. Then she and Greg looked at their expenses and found ones they could reduce. This included money they spent on eating out, entertainment and having fun. But all they did was REDUCE the amount – not eliminate it completely.
With this clarity, Nikky realized that they were good for the next two weeks – maybe a little longer. She didn’t have to do anything RIGHT AWAY to “fix it”.
So what she did instead was a whole lot of what felt like NOTHING. She redoubled her commitment to spending time throughout each day sitting still, in silence, letting her God love her, support her, reassure her. BREATHING and remembering the “something bigger” she’s part of.
Like a caterpillar entering its chrysalis, Nikky stopped all of the activity she felt compelled to do. And she listened, waited and trusted. And what unfolded as a result was astonishing – both to Nikky and to me. I’ll share that part of her story in my next post.
Spoiler alert: To quote Nikky, “I never could have imagined any of this. And I wouldn’t have even known how to be OPEN to it but for the tools you gave me in your program.” In other words, the caterpillar became a butterfly and is flying today.