Work is love made visible. ~ Kahlil Gibran
I never imagined I would be able to make good money in a sustainable way. Before getting married I was a student who received scholarships to go to school, and then I worked as a model. I did make good money then, but I knew it was a time-limited endeavor. When I got married, I imagined I would work until we had children, and then become a stay-at-home mom. This was definitely something I wanted to do and felt called to do. I also did not see myself as being able to bring in a good income. Making money felt foreign to me. It was a mystery.
Life is always full of surprises. I did stay at home with our eldest daughter until she was eighteen months old, but this was during the time of the digital revolution in photography and my husband Angus’s work was getting wobbly. He was on a huge learning curve with the new technology staying up at night trying to learn what was needed before shooting the next day. He would spend hours on the phone with tech support on and off his shoots. There were mistakes that felt like catastrophes such as losing the entire digital file containing the day’s catalogue shoot and it not being able to be retrieved even after it being sent to a facility that NASA used. Angus’s work became time consuming, cumbersome and it started to dry up.
Income became inconsistent, and when our savings ran out, we rented out room in our house and even found ourselves having garage sales to get by. My wisdom told me if I wanted to stay in Los Angeles, instead of going back to London, I better do something about it. I quickly found an admin job. It only paid 40k a year, but it was enough to give us stability. The only downside was I didn’t like the work. I loved the people, but working in an office doing administrative duties did not light me up.
When I became pregnant with our second daughter our financial situation had not changed much. Angus was still working as a photographer, but it continued to be a feast or famine cycle. I did not feel comfortable giving up a steady income so I kept my job and went back to work when our daughter was three months old.
Every fiber in my being felt like it was telling me to stay home, but she was in good hands with her dad. My common sense prevailed, and I went to work. I was just not ready at that time to make the leap into following my heart’s desire. I was still holding on to the notion that Angus’s career would pick back up again, and I would go back to being a full-time mom.
When things did not progress in this direction, I eventually reached a point where I realized my ideal of being a full-time mom was not working out, and it did not look like it was going to work out any time in the near future. It was then I realized that if I was going to be working, I needed to find something that I enjoyed doing. I then choice to work and go back to school to get a second master’s degree in Counseling Psychology so I could become a therapist.
I was fortunate to get an amazing opportunity to work at a behavioral health start up company when I graduated. I began as an intern and worked my way up to becoming Executive Director of Operations. I also joined the faculty of the university I graduated from and started my private practice. I never imagined I would be working as an executive traveling across the country for speaking engagements and conducting trainings.
This experience woke me up to how fun and creative business is. It melted away my conditioned ideas about gender roles. I appreciated how much our girls got from having a hands on dad with more than 50% responsibility. It helped me to see that I was quite capable of making a good income. It was in the doing that I discovered this about myself. I did not plan on becoming a leader, trainer, mentor, and teacher, but I had the common sense to take the opportunities when they arose.
I share this as an encouragement to embrace your life and the opportunities in it even if they don’t look the way you think they should. My career trajectory was not my first choice, and I am so grateful for how it turned out. I would not be living and working the life I love today if things hadn’t unfolded as they did. And no matter how much kicking, screaming, and resisting I did, I eventually got on board with what life was presenting me with. I followed the natural momentum and moved into cooperation with becoming a financial provider.
I took all of this learning with me when I decided to go out on my own. When I realized I could earn more, work less, and set my own schedule, becoming an entrepreneur was a no brainer. It met my desire for greater work life balance and more time with family. I trusted I would continue to see opportunities and follow the natural momentum that presented itself.
As an entrepreneur it has become clearer to me that making money and creating a business is no different than any other creative endeavor. I simply listen to my inspiration and common sense and act on it. The innate creative potential that exists inside of each one of us provides ideas that are tailored to my real-time needs and circumstances. I had been enamored with spiritual practice and my own spiritual development since my early twenties. It never occurred to me that making money and creating business comes from the same source as my spiritual understanding. I had put money and business in the category of work and parenting in the category of love. I did not see that all human expression can be love made manifest in the world. I learned to see beyond my limitations and to grow my understanding of love beyond my family and myself. When we come from a place of love, it does not matter what you are creating — it is love.
May this to inspire you to make your work love made manifest in the world no matter what form it takes — parenting, working for someone else, working for yourself, or some other endeavor. It doesn’t really matter what you do. When you come from love you get filled up and the world benefits. May you experience the wellspring of your true nature as you express your love into the world.
Rohini Ross is passionate about helping people wake up to their true nature. She is a psychotherapist, a transformative coach, and author of Marriage (The Soul-Centered Series Book 1). She has an international coaching practice helping individuals, couples, and professionals embrace all of who they are so they can experience greater levels of wellbeing, resiliency, and success. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, watch her Vlogs with her husband, Angus Ross, and subscribe to her weekly blog on her website, rohiniross.com. Her program The Space: A Global Mastermind for Solopreneurs co-facilitated with Barb Patterson starts February 7th, 2018.