When I started my own business I had no idea what I was doing. I had insurance, a business license and registered my business with the county.
Taxes were a whole new process. A different form and a new way of tracking my expenses and income like I had never done before. I decided to hire a CPA so I wouldn’t make any mistakes.
So there I was, a new mom with new expenses, building my clientele and designing my own studio, leading workshops and courses on the healing arts to teens and women.
When I took my records to the tax office, she reviewed them all, filled in the lines as required and asked me a few questions here and there. I made an appointment to return a week or so later so I could finalize my taxes as complete with my signature and pay her for her services.
When all was said and done she announced that I had not made any money. I had broken even, had a small tax fee to pay and a flat rate that I owed her of a few hundred dollars. I wrote her a check after signing everything and went to my car, tax packet in hand. In my car I opened it up again, stared at the number which emphasized my non-income and broke out in tears. I leaned my head against my steering wheel for emphasis. It took me about 10-15 minutes to finish up my sobs when something occurred to me.
I had a wonderful year. My experiences, my work and clients, my time with my kids and vacations, and even my additional work training had all been amazingly joyful, fulfilling and engaging. I was surrounded by abundance, living in a beautiful home in one of the most extraordinary places in the world. Why was I so sad? I wasn’t suffering and there were no repercussions aside from the fee I had to pay my tax person.
My energy and optimism immediately returned. I started up my coveted SUV and drove away satisfied with myself and my life. I saw that I could take all the facts and turn them into something grim and shameful. Or, I could bring my presence to my personal experience of life. How I spent my time, energy and focus was completely worthwhile to me regardless of the numbers. Having more income to work with could potentially make it better but there was no guarantee. Perhaps it would cost me less time with my kids or compromise the quality of services I offered and enjoyed so much. I had plenty of food, clothing, and other resources to work with and my creativity was flourishing with ideas of what I could offer next.
I was enjoying my life. I had choices. I felt freedom to pursue ideas and goals.
I knew the numbers wouldn’t always turn out this way. So I let it go. I let go of the story that I had failed and stepped into the opportunities that were on the horizon.
This practice has gotten me through so many difficult setbacks and loss of expectations. I’ve grown tremendously from ALL of my life experiences whether intended or not. I love who I am and if I had not had those experiences I would not be who I am today.
As a result, I release blame and guilt much more easily towards myself and others. I understand that no one is perfect and if they say they are, they likely have even more growth ahead of them than those who can name their growth edges and places they would like to improve themselves. There is always something to do, to consider, to look deeper at or from a new perspective. I recognize that as I lean into challenges, I get through to the broader understanding a lot quicker and am a better person for it with a greater sense of peace and confidence in myself.