A number of synchronistic musings about wealth and happiness came across my path these past two weeks. These days there has been so much talk about the economy and the challenges of 2012 and onward. It seems somewhat ironic that the financially wealthiest individuals in the world have gathered together at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland to discuss austerity measures for the rest of the world. It has been acknowledged that much of the global financial corruption is by in large the cause of the economic collapse resulting in prescribed austerity measures for the middle class. It stirs up questions about what all these world leaders and financial leaders must think as they watch others hard earned life savings vaporize due to the global financial corruption.
I then came across a blog post written by David Wolfe, a leader in the raw food movement, pondering what “rich” really means. His post is titled “Why I am not a millionaire”. It seems that all his savvy internet marketing has stirred up his followers assuming he is making a fortune on all his promotions of healthy foods and super foods. He took the time to explain that he considers himself a “wandering Daoist”, never accumulating many funds, teaching from passion about helping others and that is what makes his life rich.
It stimulated me to reflect on what brings me joy and makes me feel “rich” at this moment in time. Through these reflections, I realized that sharing time with family, friends, nature, in quiet reflection and living in a conscious, compassionate community brings me my true joy. I also cherish being of benefit to animals and their humans worldwide. When asking friends, they shared similar thoughts. Time shared with our animal companions, whether domestic such as with our dogs, cats, horses etc. as well as wild animals that may surround our home brings a deep seated joy, independent of finances.
One couple shared that in the Jewish tradition the word for “rich” is the same for inner happiness. I feel that that is really the key. I have watched hard earned savings diminish for various reasons and have experienced the impermanence of all. I realize that richness is truly in each and every moment. I reflected on the times I would lie down on my couch in front of the wood fire after a long day in freezing cold horse barns treating the horses, dogs and cats at the barn, appreciating all the animals I was able to help that day. My rescued golden retriever, shanti, would lay by my side and somehow gently figure out how to get my hand petting his head as my black and white rough and tumbled, stocky rescued stray cat , Chi, would jump onto my chest, lay down and have his diesel powered purr warm and vibrate my body back to life. I would take a deep, relaxed sigh and slowly dissolve into a gentle, warm fuzzy, blissful feeling. They would help me heal from long hours, day after day in the cold barns. To me, this is true wealth, a truly rich life. When friends visit with their dogs or cats and we all cuddle together in front of the wood fire, these are priceless moments. Sharing time with our loved ones, two-legged, four-legged and winged is a kindred spirit richness that is so luscious, beyond words. To me, real wealth includes sharing our lives with all beings. How do the times spent with loved ones make you feel in your heart? Feel that right now and appreciate this rich moment. For really that is all there is, one rich moment followed by another.
It also provoked me to ponder about the way we use language. For instance, how we “spend” time, rather than experience or share time with others. It seems like the global mind training is that everything has a “price” and things must be done for profit. But what is profit? Is it only financial?
I invite my readers to ponder what makes them feel “rich” during these more challenging economic times. What really brings one deep, deep, inner peace, calm and joy? Perhaps write or chat about this and show gratitude and appreciation to all those beings that bring you true inner joy and peace.
When we transition from this physical form, our human bodies, what memories will bring you joy? I love the saying I once heard, “I never saw a hearse with a luggage rack”. What can we take with us as we transition into the formless? What truly makes you feel rich?
For animal lovers, I continuously hear that time shared with their animal companions are some of their most joyous, rich moments. What I now call kindred spirit richness! A richness beyond words! Take a moment and express gratitude and appreciation for the kindred spirits in your lives and let them know in some special way how they make your life richer, moment by moment. Now that is real wealth!
I look forward to hearing your thoughts regarding this question.