How to Stop Struggling with Money and Live Your Purpose
Have you ever had a moment in your life that was so shocking, so horrible, and yet appeared so absurdly random, that you were compelled to wonder, “How the heck did I end up here!?!”
I had that exact moment at 6 AM, one crisp, fall morning in Venice, California. The sun was just peeking out over the eastern horizon, painting the sky with a rich palette of reds, oranges, and yellows. The dazzling colors, enhanced by a thick, noxious, and ever-present layer of infamous LA smog, illuminated the city with breathtaking splendor. As this new day dawned, I watched this glorious sunrise from a perverse, unfamiliar, creepy, and totally unthinkable place…
The back of a police car.
Yes, that’s right! I wasn’t enjoying the sunrise from my deck, while savoring a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Nor was I heading out for a quiet morning run or catering the dietary whims of a finicky pet cat. Instead, I was anxiously sitting in the back seat of a police car, reflecting upon the ugly sequence of events that led up to this horrifying situation.
Many leaders, teachers, Saints, and even the Merriam-Webster dictionary refer to an experience like this as an “Aha!” moment: “A point in time that provides a keen and sudden insight into our life.” It is often characterized by a sense that time is “standing still.” In a state of shock, we watch our life unfold, from a vantage point somewhere outside our body. This surreal moment forces us to reconstruct our very essence on the spot. We know without a doubt, that we will never be the same person we once were.
In my case, my “Aha!” moment acted as a profound catalyst for change – an opportunity to make a significant “course correction” in my life.
Looking back, I was way overdue for a major shift.
Negative Net Worth
Before my “Aha!” moment, I felt incredibly stuck. My life was a constant, never-ending, painful, depressing, and long-suffering struggle with money. I always felt like I was spinning my wheels in a state of fathomless desperation.
How did I, an intelligent, level-headed, college-educated, and supposedly savvy woman, end up incredibly broke? More specifically, how did I end up with no money, copious amounts of debt, and no savings?
Let me describe my previously pitiful state of financial affairs.
First of all, my checking account was on life support; my balance always hovered well below the arbitrary “minimum daily balance,” prompting the bank to levy a significant (and annoying!) monthly fee.
Second, I had accumulated thirty-five thousand dollars of credit card debt and the substantial interest payments that came with it. Speaking of interest, isn’t it ironic that the bank charges us money, for having no money? Our financial institutions penalize us for being broke, yet, when we’re wealthy, they give us more money. The bank is like the antithesis of Robin Hood – it robs from the poor and gives to the rich! In my case, my interest alone surely rivaled the average monthly food bill for a family of four!
Third, in addition to my credit card debt, impressive interest charges, and whimsical bank fees, I also owed one-hundred thousand dollars on a business line of credit. Now one might argue that a commercial loan is not necessarily a bad thing, if it eventually generates a return on investment. However, in my case, this loan wasn’t funding any sort of business growth. Instead, it was the only lifeboat keeping my business afloat. Without it, I would have been forced to close the doors.
Finally, to cap it all off, I had absolutely zero savings. I was in no position to handle unanticipated expenses, such as car repairs, a sudden dip in business, a visit to the dentist, the adoption of a kitten, or an emergency fix to a leak in the plumbing. And forget about having money saved to pay for a down payment on a house, a vacation, or even a trip to see the family. Like many people, I was living pay check to pay check.
Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed, what appeared to be, a wonderfully abundant lifestyle. However, my copacetic way of life was only possible because I was highly skilled at borrowing money! For example, I had an “interest only” mortgage on my dream home in Hawaii! Unfortunately, as many of you may know, this type of loan behaves like a ticking time bomb; once the “interest only” period expires, the mortgage payments increase by a substantial amount! Hence, I had a beautiful house I couldn’t afford long-term. Also, I made sizeable monthly payments on a bright, shiny, “fire engine red” Mazda Miata convertible, which I absolutely loved, especially on sunny days! Unfortunately, it also contributed an additional thirty-thousand- dollars to my total debt! Furthermore, I frequently splurged on makeup, sparkly shoes, a personal trainer, new clothes, and expensive linen throw pillows – all of which was possible, thanks to MasterCard!
Taking the thirty-thousand-foot view of my financial portfolio, I had:
- a one-hundred-thousand-dollar business loan
- thirty-five thousand dollars of credit card debt
- a mortgage I couldn’t afford
- an auto loan, and
- zero savings.
Sadly, I wasn’t just broke; I was beyond broke! In fact, I actually needed to raise money just to bring my net worth to zero! Regrettably, my life of costly creature comforts came with a steep emotional price tag as well. I always felt anxious and stressed about money (or more specifically, the lack thereof!)
Follow Your Heart and The Money Will Come?
All of my financial troubles began when I quit my “real job” to follow my Heart. I may have been naïve, but at that time, I was under the impression that if I did what I loved, the money would come. However, I was dismayed to discover that this ideology wasn’t true for me.
Not at all.
Here’s what happened.
Previously, I was working as a software developer and while I wasn’t in love with my job, I appreciated the reliable paycheck and benefits that came with it. Although I was financially solvent, I was emotionally bankrupt. I felt disillusioned by my work, and often wondered, “Is this all there is?” I believe that we are all put on earth to do something meaningful, and for me, it was not writing software in a cold, lonely cubicle, day in and day out.
Everything changed when I attended a lecture by Richard Gordon, the founder of an energy healing company called “Quantum-Touch.” As you may know, energy healing is a form of alternative medicine based on channeling healing energy to facilitate physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. During his talk, I fell in love with Richard and his mission to teach energy healing all over the world. And as we all know, falling in love can inspire us do insanely wonderful things! Just two months after we met, I threw all caution to the wind, quit my “real job” and moved in with hm.
Unfortunately, Quantum-Touch was on the verge of going out of business. In fact, shortly after I settled in with Richard, the current CEO of Quantum-Touch quit! Prompted by an uncertain future, she wanted to find a “real job” – a secure position at a profitable and stable company. Ironically, she wanted the exact same type of job I had just left! And who could blame her? I certainly understood her desire to jump off a sinking ship! Hence, she invited me to take over her position and that’s how I became the CEO (or “Chief Magical Officer,” as I like to say) of Quantum-Touch.
Despite the bleak state of the company, I loved my new role. I felt extremely passionate about the philosophy behind energy medicine. Although conventional medicine views the body as physical matter, Quantum-Touch sees the body as consciousness, information, and energy, all of which can be dramatically influenced by our love and compassion. In other words, we all have an incredible ability to heal ourselves, using the power of our love. I longed to share this inspiring message with the world and Quantum-Touch was my vehicle to do just that!
Unfortunately, as much as I loved living my purpose, working with Quantum-Touch did not create the financial abundance that I was so eagerly anticipating! In fact, it created the opposite – lots of debt and stress around money. We were always teetering on the edge of going out of business and unfortunately, I was acquiring debt faster than a hyper hamster, running in his wheel. When I pondered my negative net worth, I couldn’t help but wonder what went wrong.
How did I end up spiritual and broke?
Love Versus Money
Although I loved honoring my true calling, I felt more financially frustrated than a benevolent butterfly, hopelessly trapped in a cage, with no place to fly! When I contemplated how to fix my negative net worth, it seemed like I only had unhappy, heart- wrenching, and impossible options.
For example, I considered going back to the “real world” and getting a normal job. On the upside, I would, once again, enjoy that nice steady paycheck and perhaps I could slowly dig myself out of my massive and unfathomable financial hole. This idea seemed extremely tempting at times, yet in my heart, I knew I couldn’t do it. I would be going back to feeling unfulfilled, depressed, and miserable at my job. What sense would that make? I knew I had a unique purpose on the planet. No matter how I framed it, getting a “real job” would be selling out; I would no longer be following my Heart. I would be sacrificing my soul for money.
Cutting back on my spending seemed like an obvious solution, but that didn’t work either! Every time I tried to lower my expenses, I felt like I was depriving myself of something that was essential to my well-being. Organic food is more expensive than fast food, yet I felt it was necessary to take care of my health. Like many healers, I am extremely sensitive to the energy of my environment, so I spent a lot of money on a quiet, peaceful, and nurturing place to live. I purchased a brand-new car, every five years because I didn’t want to risk breaking down in the middle of nowhere. Hence, lowering my expenses felt like a dangerous and ill-advised crash diet, with unhappy and even perilous consequences. To me, saving money meant sacrificing my health and happiness.
To avoid either of these tough decisions, I rationalized my debt, telling myself that it was inconsequential because someday, one day, my ship would come in. Sooner or later, the Universe would reward me for all of my hard work and eventually, I would receive the abundance I had so greatly earned and deserved. I had fantasies of going to the bank, and proudly writing a substantial check to pay off all my debt. I dreamed of the day that my money worries would be a distant memory. Essentially, I was treating my debt as a way to buy time; I was waiting for the Universe to deliver on the debt that I felt it “owed me!” After all, the Universe should reward us for having the courage to follow our Heart and share our love with the world!
Yet, there was a big problem with this rationale: the money never came! Year after year, nothing changed. I was working so hard to help others, yet I felt like a victim and martyr for my cause. I talked about the power of love, yet behind closed doors, I was angry at God. Overall, I felt betrayed by the Universe.
Did we really have to choose between love and money?
Misery Loves Company
As the old saying goes, “Misery loves company!” Just like me, many of my friends and colleagues were living their purpose, yet felt frustrated, angry, and disappointed by their complete and utter failure to make ends meet. Clearly, I was not alone in my financial despair!
For example, I knew other spiritual entrepreneurs who had no savings and hence no resources to handle regular, let alone any unexpected expenses. Believe it or not, I actually met life coaches who were living out of their cars or “couch surfing,” unable to afford a place to live! Many of them had maxed out their credit cards to fund their mission, only to discover that their mission never paid them back! Worst of all, despite my own financial problems, I loaned money to other seemingly conscious business owners who needed help funding their own heartfelt dreams. Sadly, these loans usually turned into unintended “gifts.”
Overall, it just didn’t seem fair that so many beautiful, amazing, heart-centered people were living their purpose, yet extremely stressed about taking care of their family, loved ones, and employees.
Why? What is the Universe trying to tell us? Should we stop trying to follow our Heart?
Police Car Epiphany
As the bestselling author H. Jackson Brown Jr. observed, “Every great achievement was once considered impossible.” Like those living paycheck to paycheck, I felt trapped in a vicious cycle, always struggling to make ends meet. I used to believe that I would never achieve financial inner peace; I would forever suffer under the seemingly impossible weight of my insurmountable debt; I would never be able to save money; and I would always remain hopelessly spiritual and broke.
I felt like I was doomed forever, until I had my “Aha!” moment, in the back of a police car. Later I will share the gory details of exactly how I ended up there – the one place I thought I would never be! As I watched a glorious sunrise illuminate one of the darkest moments in my life, I experienced an epiphany that radically altered my worldview. I finally understood why I was struggling with my finances, and other aspects of my life as well. My “police car epiphany” was the catalyst I so desperately needed to turn my finances around.
Now, I am debt free and no longer burdened by one hundred thirty-five thousand dollars of unsecured financial baggage. I have established a real savings account, instead of using my credit card as the “emergency fund.” I have more than enough money saved for car repairs, plumbing leaks, fancy cat toys, a new couch, a vacation, or even a down payment on a house! Also, I consistently save money each month. My net worth went from insanely negative to comfortably positive. More importantly, I turned my finances around without any feelings of deprivation or sacrificing my well-being. During this time, I never felt like I was embarking on an unsustainable financial crash diet. Above all, I no longer constantly agonize about running out of money!
Now, I want to clarify something. This book is not about making lots and lots of money or becoming a multi-millionaire. Nor is it about sacrificing our happiness and well-being to save money. Rather, it’s a guide to what I’m calling financial alignment, which is a harmonious co-existence between our Heart and our money. In other words, we have enough money so that we don’t need to worry about money, and we are living our purpose. We don’t have to sacrifice our soul to make money or sacrifice our finances to follow our Heart! We can joyfully pursue our true calling in life, without worrying about how to make ends meet. And here’s the best part about financial alignment: it frees up our energy to do what we love! It actually supports our true calling by allowing us to fund it!
So, what does financial alignment look like?
First of all, we are doing what we love! We don’t just show up at work for a paycheck. Instead, we are passionate about what we do. We are helping others and we know, without a doubt, that we are fulfilling our true purpose.
Second, we have no debt. This means no credit card debt, no car loans, no bank loans, and even no money owed to friends and family. The only exception to this is debt that actually builds wealth such as an affordable (non-interest only!) mortgage. Debt is a massive emotional burden that can weigh down our creative Spirit and actually thwart our mission in life. Not to mention, the interest alone can feel insurmountable and downright depressing!
Third, we happily and easily live below our means. After all our monthly expenses are paid, there is money to spare. Please note, I said “happily” living below our means because I believe that anyone could all drastically cut their expenses if they are willing to endure enough pain and suffering. Anyone can pitch a tent in the woods, ride a bike in the snow, and eat ramen noodles as their only source of sustenance. This book, however, is about financial and emotional abundance, not deprivation. We can live below our means and still have money left to enjoy the little luxuries in life such as dinner out, organic cat food, a pedicure, skydiving, or whatever it is that makes our Heart sing!
Finally, we have a decent-sized savings account. It’s very tempting to think of a credit card as the “fund for emergencies.” But relying on credit is the mentality that creates debt in the first place. Hence ideally, we have at least one year of expenses saved. Also, because we are cheerfully living below our means, we consistently and painlessly save money, month after month.
In the process of turning my finances around, I realized that financial alignment has very little to do with how much money we actually make. I hear stories of people who make millions upon millions a year, yet they have mounds of debt and spend every penny they make, proving that it’s possible to make lots of money and still be broke! Although I believe that we have the power to attract infinite amounts of money, I don’t want to encourage, in any way, the mindset that we need to wait until we have more money before we can improve our financial situation. In fact, we don’t need to wait for anything or anyone; no need to wait for a raise, or for our spouse to change, or for our children to move out, or for someone to die, or for an act of God. We can create financial alignment, right here, right now, regardless of our current situation.
In this book, I describe everything I did, step-by-step, to create financial alignment, without feeling deprived. My financial turnaround was possible only because I didn’t feel like I was suffering in the process; I never felt confined by an unrealistic and painful budget. In fact, as I got out of debt and started saving money, I felt incredibly empowered, inspired, and free!
We all have the power to create more than enough money to follow our Heart, live our purpose, and enjoy the life of our dreams…
Or at least pay the rent on time!
About the author:
Jennifer Noel Taylor is an energy healing practitioner, self-help motivator, and the CEO of Quantum-Touch, Inc. She has dedicated her life work to helping people discover the healing power of their love.
Jennifer graduated from Cal Poly (San Luis Obispo, CA) with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science and a Minor in Philosophy. After graduation, she started her first job as a Software Engineer at a big company in San Diego. Like so many people, she felt incredibly trapped and depressed at a job that paid the bills but didn’t align with her true passion in life. She innately knew that she had a purpose and felt keenly aware that she was not following her true calling in life.
To cope with the social isolation and depression she felt at work, she studied bodywork and alternative healing. She attended the International Professional School of Bodywork, Esalen Institute in Big Sur, and the Maui Academy of Healing Arts. While working on people, she started to feel the “energy fields” emanating from people. She became fascinated by energy healing and studied various energy healing modalities, including Reiki.
She met Richard Gordon, the founder of Quantum-Touch as his lecture on Maui. She fell in love with the vision of Quantum-Touch and received a very clear message from the Universe that energy healing was her true calling. Shortly after training in Quantum-Touch, she quit her job, took a leap of faith, and finally followed her Heart. She took over as CEO of Quantum-Touch in June 2002.
As CEO of Quantum-Touch, she continues to promote optimal wellness by helping people connect more deeply to their love. Not only is Love the basis of all healing but it also is the guiding force behind the business itself. Her business practices include spiritually rewarding jobs, loving service to the world, environmental responsibility, and financial abundance. Quantum-Touch has grown from a regional U.S company to a Multinational corporation.
More Info on Jennifer can be found at: www.jennifernoeltaylor.com