I’ve been thinking about the feeling of scarcity a lot this week as my friend Dave Burns and I get ready to teach MONEY: the life-changing course on wealth magic as an initiatory path.
Ah, scarcity. There’s few things more poignant and savory than the delectable flavor of lack and the fiery, panicked sensation of impending doom that goes along with it.
I know it well. Let me tell you a story:
As I stood rubbing my hands together in a long, miserable line outside the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank one bitingly cold December morning in 2013, a very strange little thought entered my head.
I wonder if some part of me really, actually likes this.
About a year prior to this scene I had graduated with a PhD in Critical and Cultural Studies at the University of Pittsburgh…
…. (in case you’re wondering, Critical and Cultural studies is a discipline centered on the study of cultural artifacts in relation to the social modes in which they exist — it’s a blend of history, literature, psychology, and continental philosophy).
I was 29, I had just spent 7 years of my twenties (“the prime of my life!” I would bewail) earning a PhD from a fancy university, and now I was flat broke as I scraped by doing odd freelance writing jobs – as no one wanted to hire me for anything.
Which was understandable, as my PhD meant exactly nothing outside of academia and it took a whole lot of – shall we say – creativity – to fudge my experience as a student instructor into sounding like anything remotely desirable to an employer.
Accordingly, I was living on the couch of some very kind friends, earning about $1500 per month, eating thanks to the generosity of the Food Bank and associates who knew how to dumpster dive…
…. and most of the time I felt wildly, exuberantly, endlessly sorry for myself.
I had imagined that by 29 I would have become something respectable and glamorous, like a hotshot young professor at Columbia.
In the life my teenage self had believed I was absolutely destined to lead at 29:
… I would sleep in a big bed with fine linens (like a cloud) in my Upper West Side apartment, rise, imbibe a dainty espresso, pen some pithy words at my mahogany desk, teach some wily undergrads under autumn trees, and then fall asleep again in a silk nightgown inside my luscious bed.
Instead, in reality, at 29 I slept on a creaky corduroy couch in a small Southside row house, woke to a mean cat named Monkey scratching my face (my friends were very kind; their cat – not at all), waited urgently to share the one toilet with my three housemates who liked long showers, and then spent my days frantically seeking some scraps of work.
I wonder if some part of me actually really likes this?
The curiosity itched at me as I stood in line at the Food Bank – was it possible – as the New Thought movement of the 19th Century taught – that our experience is created by our desire?
And if that’s somewhat true – as my readings of Jung and Freud had suggested – what if it wasn’t conscious desire that created experience, but unconscious desire — and could it be that I secretly had a really fucked up, kinky, unconscious desire that was creating my rather sad conditions in life?
I went home that day after gathering my cans of government-issued chicken soup, and I began a process of inquiry into that strange little thought which wondered whether or not some part of me secretly desired the very taboo humiliation and anxiety of my poverty.
Eventually, about a year later, with much patience, much self-honesty, and much setting aside of shame and judgmental-ness -I discovered that indeed – a previously-unconscious part of me truly, truly loved my poverty and all the indignities that came with it.
Shortly after I accepted this fact at a deep, visceral level (through Existential Kink, a shadow integration process I’ll be teaching in the MONEY course)…
… my whole financial picture rapidly turned around. In three months I was earning triple my previous income. The cash didn’t fall from the sky, I still had to hustle for it…
… but it was as if my whole worldview had flipped open, had re-arranged — revealing totally new creative vistas & business ideas that let me earn that new high income so easily it astounded me, and continues to astound me to this day as my income approaches the 7-figure mark.
The feeling was “I was blind, but now I see” — it was as if by searching out my deep secret unconscious desire for the taboo sensations of scarcity – and making that desire conscious — I had completely altered my perception of myself (for the way better) and unleashed a new level of my being.
Since then I’ve taught the Existential Kink process to thousands of people, and it’s similarly helped many of them positively alter their whole world and financial situation. You can find testimonials about it here.
If you’re feeling any sense of scarcity at all in your life today, take a moment to sweetly, humorously, non-judgmental-ly sink into that sticky hot feeling of lack.
Let yourself wallow in the dangerous pleasure of it with zero shame. Let it change you, let it heal you. Take two aspirin, and call me in the morning. ;)
love and villainy,
P.S. We’re hosting a Free Live Training on starting your intentional journey of working with the Spirit of Money on Monday November 18th at 1pm ET / 4pm PT. Don’t miss this! Reserve your seat here.
P.P.S. Today’s delightful money anthem is the Eurythmic’s “Sweet Dreams.” Oh this song is about kink, and not money, you say? Hmm – same thing, I say ;)
P.P.P.S. If you’d like much more in-depth guidance on practicing Existential Kink with your money issues, definitely click here to learn more about & sign up for MONEY: the life-changing course on wealth magic as an initiatory path. The course is open for registration this week only, and room is limited.