faith (noun) – complete trust or confidence in someone or something
fear (noun) – an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat
Every action, word, or thought comes from one of two places- fear or faith. Depending on which foundation you launch from will determine your experience/perception of the situation and the potential outcomes. When we act out of fear, we may end up having decision paralysis in which we second guess every option and instead of making a choice, we stress ourselves out and end up worse off than even if we had made the least appealing choice. When making a choice, it can be agonizing to stand behind it and if our first choice ends up not being the best fit, it takes courage to move on to another choice So long as we are alive, we can simply make another choice. Choose different. When we operate from a place of faith, it doesn’t necessarily mean we know 100% with our heart and soul a specific choice is the absolute right one. There really are no rights or wrongs, just our perception of it. While faith traditionally means believing in something 100% without a doubt, I think as humans it’s a very real and human thing to have a little doubt sitting in the back of our minds. Doubt can be helpful in that keeps us on our toes and questioning things. Seeing is believing, this is true. But believing is also seeing. When we have faith life is going to work out for us in the best way, we begin to see our worlds differently. We start to notice the small things such as other drivers being very kind that morning when you are running late, letting you merge in and get to your 9am presentation on time. Or the big things such as when you make a choice such as leaving a painful relationship and while you aren’t 100% sure if it’s the right choice, it ends up leading you down a path you would’ve never gone had you chosen differently or not at all. It leads you somewhere even better than you were. If you’re still with me at this point, I’ll give a personal real time example.
2 years ago when I moved to Charleston and was picking up the pieces of my life while adding new ones, I became more interested and dedicated to holistic health. I had been dealing with acne and depression increasingly since my Mom died and wanted to find natural ways to heal my body and soul. I explored acupuncture, cryotherapy (standing naked in -220 degrees), colonics, meditation, yoga, nutrition, tai chi, singing bowls, reiki and so on. As time went on experiencing all sorts of healing modalities, a thought formed in my mind that I’d like to open a Wellness Retreat someday. A soothing, welcoming oasis for everyone that will feature teachers and specialists of all the endless alternative healing modalities. It will be situated on the beach, feature an open kitchen for cooking classes as well as where we’ll feed guests a wholesome, nourishing plant based diet. There will be a lovely back deck where we’ll have open mic nights, live music, and comfy chairs for gazing out to the ocean. Hammocks will be strung up between palm trees perhaps for reading, rest or meditation. Wide skylights to let in the moonlight and see the stars. As this daydream began to move from a far off dream to a dream within reach, I started researching my perfect climate to determine where this retreat will be and help manifest this into existence even quicker. My ideal is sunny mostly year round, temperatures never dropping below 60s or above 90s, relatively low humidity, beautiful clear blue waters, palm trees, white sand, texture (ie trees in the background, cliffs, elevation) and no big buildings. A place to completely let go, breathe deep and be at peace. I punched all that into google and a ton of places returned fitting all the criteria but the one that caught my eye was Costa Rica.
A few of my friends have been to Costa Rica and raved about its beauty; their experiences planted the seed in my heart years ago. Wanting to water this seed quickly to manifest my dream ASAP (and skip all the work required to grow that seed), I thought for my 30th birthday, I’ll go to Costa Rica to celebrate but also scope out the land. See if this really is the place my retreat will be, see if it feels right, resonates. If it does, I’ll have an real life visual of the location vs. my imagination based off of photos. I found a wonderful retreat walking distance to the beach, surround by jungle trees and jungle life, and put down a deposit. Some unexpected and some expected (and forgotten about) expenses started piling up early in 2018 causing my credit cards to cry in pain. The knot in my stomach while looking at my finances and thinking ‘how am I going to pay this off’ assuming my income stays fixed, had me feeling like maybe I should cancel the Costa Rica trip. I mean, I only put down 1/4 of the total cost and had no free cash flow; how was I going to pay for the rest? Credit card is how. However, another dream/goal of mine is to be free of debt- credit card and student loans- by age 30 i.e. before I turn 31. I set this goal halfheartedly after graduating college with a mountain of loans but had no game plan to achieve this. I planned out my income and expenses for the next year and it appears possible to reach the debt free goal or come very close by May 5th, 2019. However, this didn’t factor in adding Costa Rica to the debt pile.
As I faced the reality of the two goals seemingly opposing each other, I wondered if my thought to cancel the trip was coming from a place of fear. Fear I won’t make any more money this year, fear I’ll have tremendous expense calamities I can’t afford, fear I’ll be in debt forever. So I consulted the oracle cards asking the Universe if my thought was fear or faith based. The Universe replied with the Acceptance card- “Embrace and be at peace with everything in your life…What if you could completely embrace every situation and every experience knowing that you have created all of it for your own personal growth?” That was a nice message and all but I needed specifics so I consulted another deck and pulled the card Follow the Signs– “Look around you for clues. The answer to your question is right in front of you…Your Angels and Guides are coming through to let you know that you already know what to do...What signs are all around you that you are not paying attention to? It could be something as simple as seeing a poster that has the message you have been hearing in your mind. It could be that a friend begins to tell you something that you already know. It could be that you think of someone you need to call and run into them in the grocery store. Today, take the time out to be present, to observe your surroundings, and listen to your heart. Your Angels can assure you that you already know what to do. The question now becomes: are you willing to listen?“
Great. I guess I’m now Steve looking for Blue’s clues that are apparently right in front of me. Slightly annoyed with the cards, I acquiesced, keeping the guidance at the forefront of my mind to practice being present and feeling into any potential signs aka nudges from the Universe. A few days after the card reading, I was emptying my inbox when I saw an announcement email for the 2019 Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise. I was intrigued because a friend and I were considering this cruise for 2018 but it set sail in February when I was in busy season at work and couldn’t take off. You can read more about the cruise in the link above but basically it’s all the things my retreat will have except on a big cruise ship. We’re talking yoga, meditation, cooking classes; soul purpose workshops; vegan, organic food; saunas and spa; renowned speakers; live music; and of course, port stops in cool places. I opened up the email and 2 things popped out right away.
1. The cruise is happening in March next year, which means after busy season and I can take time off
2. Brand new port locations including…….COSTA RICA
This was the sign! Not only will I still be going to Costa Rica within my 30th year, I’ll be sailing there on a magical vegan ship! It will further help me manifest my retreat as I learn from experts, network with like minded people and get ideas. Initially, I was a flurry of doubts weighing fear vs faith, questioning if this was really a sign. But when I thought of all the money I’ll be saving by postponing the trip and putting it towards the debt, the excitement and relief were immediate knowing I will be debt free by the end of year 30 AND I will get to visit Costa Rica after all! Both dreams will come true vs. just one, all based on following the signs and trusting divine timing. And how much sweeter that trip will be knowing I’m not digging myself into a financial hole. There you have it- the longest example giving a real life example of fear vs. faith. I had faith there’d be a sign, I noticed the sign, pushed back the fear that crept up telling me it was not a sign, and now I feel at peace having made this choice based on faith. Faith that more money will come in. Faith that I’ll see Costa Rica when the time is right. Faith that I will be debt free. Faith doesn’t mean it’s going to be an easy rainbow road to your dreams. Faith just means your belief and trust that everything will work as it’s meant to in your life, in your favor, is greater than your doubts.
If you’re facing a similar debt mountain and can relate, check out Dough Roller podcasts/articles for great advice on where to start.