Money is like Love: The more you give away, the more you have to give.
The Truth of the Law of Compensation says that You cannot out give God.— Edwene Gaines
In these 5 posts, I will share a 5-part interview with Edwene Gaines, author of The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity: A Simple Guide to Unlimited Abundance. This in number 2 of 5.
WHY am I sharing Edwene Gaines with YOU? I love her, and finding a female role model who has so much conviction and natural humor needs to be highlighted. Edwene turned 76 years old this summer.
I ask you, how many 76 y.o. women do you know who are making a living speaking internationally on a topic that they love? We see many male motivational speakers of all ages, happy to have them in my life, but YOU need to get to know Edwene Gaines.
Diane: Edwene, you are considered to be one of the forerunners in the prosperity movement,
please speak a little bit about your first Spiritual Law: tithing. It seems that many people get confused is that they give to charity and they think that’s a tithe, and it is not. It is a wonderful thing to do, but a tithe has to go where you’ve been spiritually fed.
In my opinion it is a sacred commission that we’ve been given which does several things for us. It increases our faith one hundredfold, because when we tithe it puts us in a position where we feel in integrity with spiritual law. When we feel in spiritual integrity, then we allow ourselves to receive what is here for us.
Diane: I have practiced tithing at various points in my life and I could never get away from thinking ”I’m going to tithe because I’m ‘supposed to’ ,” or, ”I’m going to tithe to get something back.” There seems to be a challenge to get into the ”I’m freely giving” kind of mindset. How do you do that?
Edwene: There are several different ways. I’d like to go from the foundational scripture that the Bible gives us on tithing. Malachi 3:10, says ”Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith,” said Jehovah Lord of Hosts, ”…if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
So it’s already connected, not by us but by the writers of this scripture. It says you bring your tithe in, you prove God in your life, and the windows of heaven are open for you.
So I say to people, ”Look, do you go to the water faucet and say, ”I’m going to turn you on but you don’t have to bring water out unless you want to”? You turn on the facet and water comes. You don’t even have to think about it.
Diane: Are you saying that it doesn’t matter what your personal attitude is about it?
Edwene: That’s right, at first it doesn’t matter. Ideally, it all would be most wonderful if we could begin it with the most pure of motivations, but I did not, so I can’t say it has to be that way.
I started tithing because I had tried everything else. I couldn’t make my life work. It was an absolute mess. I thought, What if this was the way and I missed it? I’m going to give it a try.
Because this scripture said ”prove me now.” I felt that gave me permission to put it to the test. So I decided to do it as a research project to see if it worked. I did it, and absolutely amazing things began to happen. The scriptures say that if you have faith as big as a mustard seed, that is enough — and that’s all I had.
I came to the discipline not knowing, but hoping that it was true. I began to tithe not because I was such a lover of God but because I wanted to pay my rent! That’s not the reason I tithe now, of course. I believe in an Infinite Being that loves us enough to allow us to start where we are.
Diane: Let’s talk about getting ”on purpose.” This has to do with your passion, right?
Edwene: Absolutely! The question I urge people to ask themselves is, ”What would be the most fun thing I could do with my life? What makes my heart sing? What do I get excited about?” and then go and do that. Even if at first it seems like it is playing video games or growing garlic. It’s going to lead you to the most magnificent of lives. But you have to go the way of your joy — ”the way of your bliss,” as the mystics say.
Diane: Many people who are involved in a 9-to-5 job, have a family, a mortgage, and credit card debt feel that the risk to move from that to their passion is too drastic and too great.
Edwene: Yes, it is very scary sometimes. Here’s how I did it in my own life. Within a three-month period, I moved from being an employee of a school district — secure, with tenure, a retirement plan, all that stuff — to opening my own business. It was very frightening so I didn’t quit my day job until I had my night job fairly well established. It required a great deal of juggling — of time, energy, skills and talents — but all my passion was with what I was doing in the evening, which was teaching these kinds of classes. I kept up the work that I was doing in the day until I got to see that the thing I was doing in the evening would support me.
In that transition period, my belief is that you have to spend a lot of time in prayer asking for guidance. ”Show me the way to do this.” Ask for those ideas. It does take courage.
But courage is the commitment to begin without any guarantee of success. And it takes courage for us to step out of the comfort zone even though we are not happy there. To move into the possibility of living a magnificent and joy-filled life — it takes courage to do that.
Diane: Because you come right up against the edge of fear of failure, and the possibility that reality is never going to match the picture in our pipe-dream.
Edwene: Exactly. You know, a lot of people do experience what the world calls failure before they accomplish their dreams. But at least they are moving in the right direction. As scary as it might be, it’s scarier to stay stuck in a dead-end, joyless life, then retire and get a gold watch, and die, and never know what pure joy of living is about. That, to me, is a terrible hell!
Diane: Yes, for myself I can’t begin to think of dying without accomplishing the dreams that I have or going to the places that I choose to, yet I see people doing that all the time. They give up their dreams. . .
Edwene: . . .and just settle with the idea that ”this is impossible so I can’t even think about it.” These are the lives I want to touch by opening the door to new possibilities.
Diane: Have you ever reached the point in your own life where you lost touch with your passion for a time?
Edwene: Not really. There have been times when I have been tired and when I’ve overscheduled myself. There have been times when I’ve had family situations and what seemed to be emergencies and I just felt I was in overwhelm. But I really never lost the passion for this teaching that I love so well.
There have been times when I’ve had to take time off for self renewal. But, no, the passion has always been there since I first discovered it, which was about thirty years ago.
Diane: Do you feel that if someone does lose their passion for whatever it is they are doing it might not be what they came here to do?
Edwene: It could be that, or it could be that they just overdid it. There must be balance. You can only go as high as you are willing to go low. So I take out regular times of privacy and solitude to feed my soul. I go apart a while from the work and do something else that feeds me at another level. So if you lose your passion, well, just go and do something else for a while. And come back if you come back. Maybe you won’t.
Diane: Are there exercises we can do to discover our passion?
Edwene: I suggest people ask themselves questions like, ”What is the most fun thing I can do with my life?” What would you do with your life if money was no object, if you didn’t have to work, if you didn’t have responsibilities, if you could do anything, be anything, have anything? I suggest to people that they begin to go there in their fantasies and write about it. Visualize it. And start taking baby action-steps towards those things. In that way we begin to discover that life is a lot bigger than we thought it was.
Diane: How can we get into the flow of money and stay there? I have a friend, for instance, who is working her passion, but her work ebbs and flows. How can we live above the line while working with the tides of life?
Edwene: Catherine Ponder says that if you’re stuck and life isn’t going the way you want, something has to give — and it is usually you. My suggestion is that whatever you can give, give that. Whether it means clean out your closet and give away all those unused or old clothes, or make cookies for a school class, or give away all your books — somehow, make space to receive. You can do that by giving away things, and also by doing forgiveness work. Because it is not the universe that is stopping the flow. The only one that can stop the flow is ourselves.
In order to prime the pump and get the flow going again, we’ve got to give something, and it usually has to be something of self, like forgiveness or giving ”stuff” — because we want ”stuff” like money to flow in.
Diane: Could we do service work, as well?
Edwene: It could be service, certainly. It could be time and talent, phone calls, writing letters. Or giving gratitude — that is a wonderful thing to do.
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