Paths to Prosperity

Merriam-Webster defines prosperity as the condition of being successful or thriving; especially: economic well being’.

In my experience the modern definition of prosperity is only ‘economic well being’.  We are missing the first part of the definition to be inclusive of every kind of success which is simply defined in part as ‘turning out well’.

Turning out well.

That’s it? Simply turning out well indicates success, which indicates prosperity? This doesn’t match up with my distorted cognitive thought processes at all.

You mean it’s not in the careers we enter into, or the cars we drive, or the wardrobe we can afford, or the fancy dinners we eat, or the homes we live in?

I’m finding myself overwhelmed by societies definition of success, which also means that if I do not feel I’m successful then I must be failing. Then I have to remind myself, yet again, that perspective is not a mathematical equation. Just because you feel one is true, does not mean the inverse is true as well and should not be taken as FACT.

I am a minister. I work to support my spiritual family and its work to share meaningful personal religious experiences and emotional evolution of the spiritual self. This is not a path that lends its self well to a 9-5 job, a dedicated money making career, or the popular views on what makes us successful.

In the Pagan path, our religious houses are still very new.  They are not as well developed as our Abrahamic brethren whose religious organizations can better support its ministry staff. We are still trying to break through that stage of growth so those who dedicate themselves to our communities can do so and still thrive (or at least have enough for groceries, maybe holiday, or continuing education).

Therefore, as I struggle with my own means of support (tarot readings, writing, reiki healing, crafts, house cleaning, administrative work) I do not perceive success in the way that society has told me it is measured (in cars, homes, or the money in your bank account).

This leaves me feeling like a failure which leaves no room to manifest success, or prosperity, or joy. It’s a terrible cycle that almost demands a childlike optimism to overcome.

No matter what happens, my needs will be met.

There’s a lot of faith in that statement, and I have tried to hold that close in my heart over the years. While materialistically I’m destitute by modern standards I am prosperous in the actual meaning of the word.

“Understanding definitions can help us better understand our own boundaries which help create the foundation for our own joy. ” -Misty Taylor

May you always know how to best define your personal joy, your prosperity and your success.

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Cascade Writers Review

Earlier this year, a friend of mine reminded me of a non profit organization she worked with called Cascade Writers. She iterated that I should check it out if I wanted to explore my writing abilities and network with other authors, publishers and editors. Thankfully this once, I listened.

In the last 20 years of working in the background of conventions, organizations and festivals I realized that I cannot remember the last time I attended an event as a spectator! The whole thing was unprecedented and I was worried I would be bored, or ill at ease with all the new people!

I was very surprised just how intense the panel topics were and how many of them were! They included things from beginning in short stories, to sentence structure to editing to decolonizing our stories to avoid toxic tropes.  Among it all was a wealth of acceptance, and camaraderie.

People were kind and curious.

I know, I know… I didn’t know what to do either but I did something unprecedented in such a new environment. I made friends. I talked about my ideas. I was listened to and I listened and offered constructive thoughts in turn. It was three days of a creative conversation with like minds with various backgrounds all bringing their own flavor of perspective to the whole experience.

To top off my experience, I was talking with a panelist for the Religion, Faith and Myth in writing discussion. It turned out she was a Christian minister, and I shared I was a Pagan minister. Even in Seattle Washington, in the heart of liberal ideas, I get nervous talking about being a Pagan or Wiccan Minister. Not only was I welcomed as a fellow person of the cloth but invited to work with her on her panel.  It was my first panel and I had a BLAST and would do it again in a heart beat. Hopefully we can get a Rabbi to join our discussion and do it again next year!

 

Photo Credit:
2018 Cascade Writers Staff