If you are not living in an experience of flow and abundance you are likely entrenched in a scarcity framework. Lola tells us it is the great gift of the Universe to give all that you desire, in her talk titled “How Available Are You?”, as she opened our May Series, “GIVE IT AWAY NOW.”
This “talk” is electronically transcribed. Please excuse any errors or omissions.
Lola: There was this spot in Chicago back in the day called Medusa. Did anybody ever go there? One of the things that was incredible about this spot called Medusa is… See, I had my dad drive me there when I was 13. He was like, “What is going on here?” All kinds of folks would walk in, and it was really a celebration of self-expression. There were multiple floors. You could be on one floor and you could hear the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Cure, Jane’s Addiction. You could be on another floor and you could hear A Tribe Called Quest, Feral Mouth. You hear all kinds of stuff. It was really this bastion of love. People who typically would not be found in one space found in one space.
Lola: One of the things that I said on Wednesday that I want to share with you today – that I think will probably be one of the most powerful experiences of my life thus far. I said I have created alongside incredible human beings, a multiracial, intergenerational, queer, affirming, non-religious, pro-woman community in the most segregated city of America, Chicago. This community didn’t look like this five years ago, and it doesn’t happen by accident. It happens because you set an intention and then you create ways for that to occur. This is like my Saturday night at Medusa on Sunday morning. Thank you for being a part of that. I’m very grateful.
Lola: One of the lyrics in that tune is greedy little people in a sea of distress. Keep your more to receive your less. There’s a river born to be a giver. Keep you warm, won’t let you shiver. I love that because I know I have a tendency to hold my hand tight. I can hold on to that which I think is mine and hold it so tightly that it stops my capacity for giving. It stops my capacity for generosity. It’s a great practice of awareness. The tendency to hold on to what you have, thinking that that’s all you got and then realizing that if I could open my hand, I’d actually be available for more. That’s really the intention for our exploration this month. Would you be willing to consider that there is a reciprocal nature to life that as you give, you receive?
Lola: Often, we talk this tendency to experience lack, limitation, deficit or scarcity. The invitation is always get to giving. If you are experiencing insufficiency, there is some dissonance in your world beliefs because we do not live in an insufficient universe. We live in a universe that is abundant, that is ever-giving. You oftentimes hear me quote Lynne Twist, who says we do not have a sufficiency problem. We have a distribution problem. If we have a distribution problem and everything in the world of form is preceded by consciousness, everything in the material realm have something back of it, what’s back of it as a system of beliefs. If you’re having a lived experience of insufficiency, insufficiency of love, insufficiency of time, insufficiency of energy, insufficiency of money, you’d want to get curious about what you’re believing because that what you believe will produce an experience.
Lola: I will tell you. Yesterday … Nathan and I met here February 15, 2007. As many of you know, he moved in two weeks later. We got married May 4th, so yesterday, 12 years. We close our house May 25, 2007. Whenever people are like, “I just met someone. It really feels like the right one, but I don’t want to get too dramatic.” I’m like, “Girl, get dramatic because I did.” It was hard, but it did work out. There is not one way to do this thing. Right?
Lola: Right before Nathan and I had this most auspicious encounter, he oftentimes tells a story of seeing me at the Joyful Noise Choir rehearsal. See, back then, we had something called the Joyful Noise Choir, and Nathan and I were both in it. There was one particular Saturday that we had a rehearsal. I walked in as I always did with four bags. One, a very large one with all of my bills, Excel spreadsheets, folders. I had a backpack with my wallet. I had a bag for my kids, who at the time were six and nine. I had a blind dog in a roller backpack. That is for real. [Marcus Carol 00:05:35], I don’t know if you remember, but it was Agassi School and this little blind dog would sit in the roller backpack in the school gymnasium. Nathan tells me … I was living my best life, the best life I knew.
Lola: Nathan speaks of this one particular choir practice where I walked into the room with the four bags and, by the way, the two kids. He looked at me and he said to himself, “I will never carry that woman’s bags.” He had the thought, “I wonder why that has come to my mind. I wonder why I am thinking about carrying this woman’s bags that I do not know.” See, there is this funny thing called the reality of the universe, the one mind. There was something happening in creation of which he did not yet know. On Wednesday, at TEDxChicago, he carried all my bags. That was so funny because that morning, I was like, wow, I have a lot of bags, and he carried them out, and we had dinner with friends afterwards, and he told that story. I said, “It’s so funny that you’re telling that story because that was the exact story I was remembering this morning.”
Lola: I want to talk about one of those bags, and that’s the bag that had all the bills. What was going on in my world was I was fixated on my finances. I was fixated on trying to break the code on this experience of insufficiency. I got it all organized, and I would carry it around, and the delusion under which I was living at the time was perhaps at some point in this day I’ll have a moment and I’ll be able to sit down and look at the bills and all of a sudden, they’ll make sense, and I’ll know what to do. That never did happen. That actually is not how I experienced a shift in my finances.
Lola: It was the invitation to get myself set up on an automatic debt repayment plan and then focus on prosperity that shifted things for me. It was the letting go, which by the way has been a 20-year process for me. If anybody is getting impatient, let me tell you, it’s not a one and done. It’s a practice. It’s an evolutionary arc in my experience. I wonder, would it be okay if we talked about money? Yeah, because my experience is no matter how much you have, there’s always more to uncover there around your system of beliefs. What I have learned in teaching classes here is it actually doesn’t matter what the number is. You could be one of the wealthiest humans on the planet and experience profound scarcity. You could be someone with the lowest net worth, perhaps a negative net worth and haven’t experienced prosperity.
Lola: That being said, I have a deep desire for this community to experience financial abundance because my thought here is if a community such as this that has such a high vibration of values for the world that we could create, if we’re all poor, we don’t have a lot of power. There’s nothing noble here in us struggling but being right. Do you understand what I’m saying?
Lola: I really would love to invite you. If anyone is sitting here going, “Oh, that’s just too bad that I came today. I could have done without this. I could just be at home filing my nails because I already have this conversation handled.” I invite you to consider that you are here holding space for someone who doesn’t yet have it handled and that you could actually have a breakthrough of your own.
Lola: We have a collective experience on the planet that oftentimes gets narrated like the haves and the have nots. Is there anyone that doesn’t perceive that? Is there anyone, by show of hands, that says … Well, let me actually flip it. If you see the experience of the haves and the have nots, would you raise your hand, if you see that experience? It seems like that’s what’s occurring, right? If you can see something, it lives in you. If you’re seeing an experience of a lot over here and a little over here and it doesn’t seem to be working, there’s a system of belief that’s living in your subconscious mind that’s allowing for that to be. This is a collective invitation for us to disrupt the lie of scarcity.
Lola: In my experience, one of the ways that you do that is by circulating your money. I’ll just tell you so you can take a deep breath. I don’t really care if you circulate your money here, although we will gladly receive it. That’s not really the point though. The point is, do you have a practice whereby you are in intentional relationship with your money? My experience is the vast majority of humans do not have a conscious relationship with money. The vast majority of humans are going by the locus of control, which is outside of themselves and is creating a stimulus response, stimulus response. I want this, I get this. I want this, I get this. I want this, I can’t afford this, whatever. That’s very different than organizing yourself in a way that first you invoke this as a spiritual practice.
Lola: My experience was something like this. Sitting with the blind dog in the gymnasium and hearing a talk similar to this. Hey, you might want to consider taking 10% off of the top of your money and giving it to where you’re spiritually fed. My mom was sitting behind me and I thought, if I try this and my mom sees the check I’m about to write, she’s going to have a heart attack because she knows the mess that is the situation. I went like this and wrote the check. It was a scary experience for me because it seemed like if I started practicing the law of circulation that I would not have enough, but that’s only true if you don’t reorganize yourself. It’s only true if you don’t combine the practice with an experience of an expansion in consciousness. It’s not a magic trick. I don’t recommend you start giving whatever percentage you want to start with and then think that some externalized god is going to sprinkle fairy dust on your finances. That’s not how it works.
Lola: The practice is to create some healthy tension in your experience of money so that you have to expand your faith in this vast and holy universe that is always giving of itself. I just would love for you to consider that you are always supportive, that you are never left out or forgotten, that when you are in conscious relationship with your money, conscious is the objective word. That’s the operative. Conscious relationship with your money. You avail yourself to greater opportunities.
Lola: I recently did some corporate work in Tucson, Arizona. If you remember, I had a lot of resistance to doing corporate work. I didn’t really want to work for the man. That’s how I said it. My husband said, “Please go work for the man.” I was like, “All right.” I started to open up myself to the notion that if I brought the field of consciousness into corporate settings, it could actually make a difference, and why would I consider not being compensated in the process? I did this day-long executive retreat. At the end of the day, I got back to my hotel room and I felt a deep sadness. I felt a loneliness, and I thought that’s interesting. I had the awareness that I’m deeply motivated by relationships and highly inspired by community and that I didn’t want to do corporate work that was transactional. I didn’t want to go in, do a couple of tweaks, and then never see these humans again because when I engage with people, I am all in.
Lola: I just was in my bed thinking, well, Lola, if you could create anything that you’d like, what would you create? I got clear on the next 24 hours that I wanted to have three organizational clients that I worked with on a recurring basis that I could cultivate relationships with so that I could actually feel the experience of contribution and community. Almost instantly, three organizations showed up.
Lola: I share that with you because these laws are again not magic. They actually respond to specificity. If you want the law of circulation to return back to you that which you desire, you would want to be intentional in your giving practice. Whether it is your giving of your time, whether it is your giving of your talent, whether it is your giving of your financial resources, why do you give what you give? When we throw 20 bucks in the basket, I just always want to know, why 20? We don’t do a basket anymore, but you understand the point. Why 20? Why not five? Do you feel better about 20? Well, then, why not 90 because it actually costs $90 per seat per Sunday if we just break even? You might say, I can’t do 90. Okay, that’s fine, but why 20? Do you understand what I’m saying? I want to know, why are you giving what you’re giving here or anywhere else?
Lola: A lot of us live in foggy relationships with our finances. I didn’t have a foggy relationship. I had an overly clear relationship with my finances. I needed to relax a little bit on that and trust because it turns out, staring at your bills and obsessing over your credit score and looking at your student loans actually doesn’t change them. It doesn’t change them. Get yourself set up on an automatic debt repayment plan and focus on prosperity. What does prosperity look like? I am one with this infinite, infinite capacity to create. There is not some god outside of myself that is pulling the puppet strings in my life. There is a presence within me that do with the work and from that place, I align and get clear. How do you want your life to look? What kind of life do you want to have? Then, begin to create that life. I invite you to have giving be a practice of that.
Lola: Oftentimes, we’ll find people to say, “Well, I don’t have the capacity to give money, but I have the capacity to give time.” What we oftentimes say is if you want more time, give more time, but if you have an abundance of time, you might be wanting a shift there. If you want more money, you might consider giving money because there’s some kind of system of belief that has you caught up in scarcity. When I started to give, it made no sense. The numbers didn’t line up, but I just kept affirming that who I am as a conduit for all that is good and holy, who I am as the infinite manifest, who I am as a magnet for all things good, who I am as a woman of power. How can I not be open and available to create? Who must I become to organize myself such that I can actually live in integrity?
Lola: It’s out of integrity for you to live in scarcity. It is out of integrity with your being to live in scarcity. You are a conduit, but when you are deeply entrenched in this dimension of reality and all you can see is the number on the page, that’s the consciousness from what you create. If you can stand back and go, “What else may I be available to?”
Lola: This guy, Raymond Holliwell, says it like this in Working With The Law. Your power to think is inexhaustible. Your power to think is inexhaustible. It is our power to think that determines our state of living. The kind of thoughts we register on our memories or habitually think attracts the same kind of conditions. If I’m habitually thinking about my debt, guess what I create more of? An experience of debt because I’m fixated on it. The same could be true in relationship with your partner. If you’re constantly fixated on their deficiencies, guess what you will see more of? Their deficiencies. This is just the law. It’s impersonal.
Lola: One of my friends who helped me create Normal white people, he’s formerly in the nation of Islam, and he always says to me, “Lola, you get so worked up about racism. It’s just business, honey.” I’ve really been chewing with that for about a year and a half. He’s like, “It’s just business. It’s not personal.” Huh. Interesting. The same is true with your money. The law is impersonal. It responds to a system of beliefs. Whatever you’re seeding in the soil of the subconscious mind, it will return back to you. That song, In the Land of I Am, which we did in our centering, I am that I am.
Lola: When I was a little girl, I would say things like I am hungry. My dad would put his hand out and he’d go, “Nice to meet you, hungry. I’m Pat.” He interrupted me with that all the time because he was training my mind. Who you are is whatever you put after that statement. If I am is your spiritual nature, if it’s encoded with the power and presence that animates whatever goes after it, then do you want to walk on the planet saying, “I am sick. I am poor. I’m broke, blah, blah, blah,” or do you want to walk on the planet and say, “I am the god made manifest. I’m the infinite nature of all that is.” Can you imagine saying that to yourself before you walk into a client meeting? Can you imagine saying that to yourself before you walk into an interview?
Lola: Remember, a few weeks ago, we talked about chemicalization. When you actually start to work that law, everything unlike it will come up. Every fall … That’s actually designed to do that. It’s designed to disrupt your operating system, so all the crap comes up to the surface. If you don’t deal with the crap, you’re just putting lipstick on a pig, as they say, right? You’re just trying to make it look pretty, but you’re not dealing with what’s really there.
Lola: I like to walk on the planet and ask for feedback, not from everybody but from real specific folks because I want to know, what do you see about me that I can’t see about myself? If you trust the people that you’re asking that of, they will give you honest, candid, powerful feedback. If you are in a loop of scarcity, find some people in a higher state of consciousness and ask them to give you feedback on what they see about you that may be contributing to this loop of scarcity. If you don’t want that feedback then you are deeply committed to being in your constricted state, totally cool. It really is. I’m just wondering what you might want that could be different than that because we’re here to transcend our survival states of consciousness. We’re here to transcend the reptilian brain. If you’re so entrenched in scarcity, you can’t get out of that thing.
Lola: When I started coming here, I had $90,000 worth of debt, and it wasn’t sexy debt like student loans. It was parking tickets, medical bills. I got it all organized. When Nathan and I decided we were going to do this thing, I was like, “Look, you need to know exactly what you’re getting into because I don’t want to turn around a year from now and have you feel like I hoodwinked you. Here’s exactly what it looks like.” He was like, “Wow. Wow. Wow.”
Lola: Nathan and I were in very different experiences. I was living as a single mom, working at Bank of America, and not only did I arrive here with four bags, but as many of you know, I would take two trains and a bus with the two kids and the four bags just to get here. Nathan was living in a Logan Square apartment. He had half a million dollars he had inherited from his grandmother. He was meditating 12 hours a day, and he was talking to orchids. We were living in vastly different experiences. We had to have a reconciliation.
Lola: The gift was that I had so much to learn from him, and he had so much to learn from me. Just because he had half a million dollars sitting in the bank doesn’t mean he had his prosperity game tight. Don’t let that fool you. That was the nest egg, and you don’t touch the nest egg. That’s a lot of pressure, pressure to wear holy clothes, clothes that are too short. It’s painting a picture.
Lola: I don’t know where you are on this journey, but I just want to keep standing for the possibility that you can have an expanded experience of life in relationship to your finances, that you can experience greater and greater degrees of freedom. Charles Fillmore, who is one of the founders of the Unity movement, said I think there will be a time where the system of money no longer exists because we will be so deeply moved and inspired by joy that we won’t need that kind of energy exchange, but we’re not there yet. While we’re waiting, would you be willing to avail yourself to a greater experience of abundance? You got to become deeply curious about all of the beliefs that keep you tethered to an old state of consciousness like I don’t want to work for the man. That’s a deep seated belief in me that somehow my credibility will be threatened if I’m prosperous. There’s some kind of righteousness in being in some kind of struggle.
Lola: That might not be your narrative, but you would want to get curious about what your narrative is. I grew up in a very affluent family, and I developed all kinds of judgements about that, and so I became the antithesis of that, to my detriment. Over the last 20 years, I’ve been unraveling that. The practice of giving financially was deeply confronting for me. It required me to question everything. When you stretch yourself through the practice of giving, it’s not going to be what you see in your bank account that’s going to give you respite. It’s relying on the unseen realm. It’s trusting that there is a power and presence for good in this universe that is actually the source and supply of your existence, not your job, not your bank account, not your 401(k), not your hopeful inheritance.
Lola: It’s actually a presence that is back of all things that is the source, the supply, the sustenance, and over the great traditions that’s gone by many names, God, spirit, life, Allah. I don’t care what you call it, but know that what we see in this dimension of reality is just a teeny, teeny, teeny slice of what is occurring in existence.
Lola: I wonder if you’d be willing to give up the good to receive the greater good. That’s really the practice. When I hold like this, it’s because I believe there’s some kind of good that I have, and if I release it, there may not be more. If I release it, there may not be more. My practice is every dollar that comes through me gets circulated at a rate of 10% gross. I’m just telling you what my practice is. I’m not telling you what you should do. I’m just telling you what’s worked in my life. People say, why 10%? We don’t subscribe to the Bible in anything, but you love this 10%. Number one, it’s easy to calculate, real basic. If you want to work on 7.5%, have fun. 10% is real easy.
Lola: There’s a great book called Spiritual Economics written by a guy named Eric Butterworth. I think it’s chapter one, chapter two. He talks about the founder of Johnson & Johnson. He accumulated so much wealth, and he was so deeply devoted to the practice of circulation. By the time he laid his body down, 90% of his wealth was being recirculated. Wouldn’t it be way more fun to organize yourself around how much you could give versus how much you could grip and hold? Not very fun. Lots of fluidity in giving and doing it in a way that trusts that I’m going …
Lola: Here’s the thing. You’ve got to still open your mail because if you do that practice and you don’t look at your bills, you’re going to get yourself in a precarious situation very swiftly. If you do not have right relationship with your money, and by that I mean if your money is not in an orderly state, start there. Not looking at it won’t change it. I have practiced that. It doesn’t work.
Lola: There’s this scripture in the Christian Bible and it says it is the father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. If you could just for a moment not get deeply triggered by the patriarchal language that is all over the Bible, just take a breath and go, what did we mean when we said father? We meant the universal presence. It is the great gift of the universe to give you all that you desire. It is the universe’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Would you be willing to believe that? If you’re deeply entrenched in a scarcity framework, you must have a belief in a god that withholds. If you are not living in an experience of flow and abundance, it’s not wrong because we are all on the arc of expansion, but it is something to look at and go, how could I create a deeper experience of faith such that I may know I am always sourced and supplied?
Lola: I invite you to take a deep breath. The Talmud says it like this. We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.