As we saw in the first part of this article http://silentvoicesmagazine.com/articles/defining-prosperity.-part-one-the-spiritual-vision) the different definitions we work with implied that prosperity went beyond material wealth and a sense of development or growth. There was also a sense of righteousness, of applying worthy values, honesty and virtue in our activity, as well as surrounding ourselves with like-minded people. There is no point in being virtuous if you do deals with corrupt persons or use illegal methods to assure your success. So a prosperous person is a decent person, who cares for her spiritual/emotional integrity and development and reflects her inner truths and values in her outer life and actions. Being able to resist the temptation of going down “the dark side” is part of those challenges to which we referred to on the previous article. And peace of mind is a highly-valued commodity that no prosperous person waives lightly.
We can then said that prosperity is the opportunity to be the best that we can be, putting our talents (including experiences, skills and studies) to work productively and efficiently, in a way that benefits ourselves and others, whilst honing our inner strength and practising moral and spiritual values that reflect the best version of ourselves.
Let me make a parentheses before we go on, and share the following image:
Both are Tarot cards, dealing with different ideas of hardship, one emotional (five of cups) and one monetary (five of coins). There are many meanings to these cards but I want to present one in relation to prosperity: that of opportunities missed or unseen. In the cup card, the figure is placing his full attentions on the toppled, empty cups –without apparently realizing that there are two full ones behind him. His pain, sadness and depression, appears to lock him into what has been lost and not on what is there to be achieved. The five of coins show us two poor people walking in a cold, wintery night, who seem to pass by a church (the stain glass window showing the pentacles) without realizing that they could go into it and find some form of warmth or comfort –or perhaps thinking that is not worth to try, because they me be send away or the doors may be locked.
These two images pinpoint an important element to prosperity. As we have said in our definition, prosperity is “the opportunity…” To access prosperity, then, we must be in the lookout for such opportunity, and in some cases, create it. Whilst is true that sometimes opportunity seems to fall onto our laps (prosperity is equated with good fortune, after all), we need to develop emotional, spiritual and intellectual awareness. Only then can we perceive patterns, connect dots and see the door of opportunity hidden in the most unexpected places, moments, people and circumstances. And to do so, we must first clean the spider webs of our perception, overcoming negativity and fear, amid other things, and clear the blocks that keep us away from the energy of prosperity that flows all around us.
Let’s go back then to our definition of prosperity: the opportunity to be the best that we can be, putting our talents (including experiences, skills and studies) to work productively and efficiently, in a way that benefits ourselves and others, whilst honing our inner strength and practising moral and spiritual values that reflect the best version of ourselves. As it stands, it is applicable not only to money and career matter, but to almost all aspects of our lives. And this is an important point. As we saw in some of the definitions of prosperity, an element of balance is vital, especially when considering that prosperity is also associated to health, studies/training, creativity/self-expression and family. Now, a perfect, 50/50 equilibrium would be very hard to achieve, since different aspects of our life may demand more attention at times than others.
Author James Arthur Ray coined the phrase “harmonic wealth” to conjure the idea of an orchestra, where different instruments have different moments when they are more active, audible and loud. I definitely like the idea of harmony, but for some reason visualise it as a music studio’s equalizer. The sound engineer listens carefully and fine tunes constantly each sound that is to be in the recording, mixing, lowering, increasing, until a harmonious, apparently unified melody comes into existence. When one looks as those columns going up and down, depicting the strenght and vibration of each note, instrument and voice, a mesmerizing dance appears before our eyes, showing how some columns recede and others advance to create beautiful music.
Therefore, when thinking about prosperity we must integrate the different spheres of our life. Being rich in money and poor in time to actually enjoy what that money can provide, can hardly be considered prosperous. Neither is working ourselves to an early grave or ill health, or have all the business success in the world, only come to a broken home, with no love, affection or companionship to sit with us at the dinner table.
Now that we have a definition for prosperity, I invite you to take some paper and pen and decide, from a scale of one to ten, how prosperous you are when referring to:
• your body/image/health
• your family/friends/relationships
• your business/work/career/vocation
• your spiritual and emotional life/self-development and means of creativity and self-expression
• your relationship with your community, country, nature, world at large
• your social stature/commitment/desires
• your toys/leisure/privileges
You may wish to depict the image of the sound equalizer to help you see visualise better the whole picture. Draw as many columns as life areas you are dealing with. Instead of a solid column, draw little rectangles, one over the other to create the bar. Draw as many rectangles as the number you gave to each area when grading it from one to ten. If there are great disparity between the bars, ask yourself what changes are needed to make this aspect of your life conform to your definition of prosperity.
So, if after the first drawing you realize that you are putting most of your efforts in family and home, but your work and self-development bars are really small, consider what can you do –or refrain from doing, according to the prosperity definition we have created, to give these two aspects their due attention. Remember, no drawing is final; like the sound engineer, you will have to always be fully aware of the “sounds” or life spheres, to keep the melody of your life in tune. As long as no bar is too high and nor too short, it’s fine (and actually realistic) if they have different heights.
Take your time and enjoy this process. Use the prosperity definition as compass to stablish goals and keep on track whilst cruising the route towards them. If you don’t feel comfortable with the definition we coined in these articles, sit down and write a definition that reflects more accurately your life views. In both cases, open yourself to the very real possibility that you can have -and may actually already be living- a prosperous and wonderful life.
© Karem Barratt 2015