Money can be one of the biggest deterrents, strongholds, or even excuses that keep us from following a dream. Putting up the money for “Coaching for Spiritual Leaders” was one of the best investments I’ve ever made…and I don’t even have a career. So where did the money come from? Come. I’ll tell you ALL about it.
This is a story I shared with my class on the final morning of the workshop:
Hey, April! Do you want to know how I came up with the money for this class?
I have these boots, these Australian work boots, I bought while visiting Australia, almost 20 years ago. And in one of my boots, I’ve collected money over the years. I haven’t had a career in 13 years, but I’ve earned a little bit of money along the way for jobs here and there. So…I started saving it. Sticking money in one of my boots. It’s been my money that was supposed to go toward my dream trip to Italy. And it’s just been sitting in my boot – all of these years.
The other day, I had a tough conversation with myself and realized, I’m no closer to going to Italy today than I was when I started shoving money in the boot almost 20 years ago. At my church they have been talking a lot about money lately and I’ve been feeling bad about hiding it away. That’s biblical, right? We are not supposed to hide our money, our treasure, away, right? I quickly realized I need to do something with this money. Something that matters. What was I waiting for? And BAM – here I am.
I’m so happy. Here we are on the last morning of “Coaching for Spiritual Leaders” and I have no regrets whatsoever; some of the best money I have ever spent. Investing in myself so that I can better help others.
At one point, I had around $3,000 dollars in my boot, but I traded some money along the way for things like a ticket to go see Prince in concert with 100 or so people in a little bar in Orange County, which, thank God, because he died, right? So money has come and gone from the boot for little things along the way. I haven’t actually looked exactly how much is in there, but I probably had somewhere between $1,500 – $2,000 collected from over the years. And then, to make up the balance, I’ve been paid for some of the gigs I’ve done in the last year: directing, leading retreats, what-have-you. So it was just an easy decision, “Let’s get the money out of the boot and use it.” Let’s do something.
Quite the metaphor, right? Boots!
Come on, it was made for walking money! Yeah, that’s my new metaphor, too.
In class the day before, I had shared that I had been down in a big black hole (a Spiritual Basement) for some time and had recently gotten out of the hole, but now was just sitting next to the hole. Calm. Pondering. Sitting. Hendre responded by coaching me to “get a new metaphor”; a metaphor of my choosing.
So yesterday, I’m driving home after Day Two of “Coaching for Spiritual Leaders” and I’m like, “Okay Ann, you have an hour long drive, let’s come up with a new metaphor.” As I’m driving along, I have no idea what’s going to be next for me. A new metaphor? A new metaphor. I love metaphors. I have been called, “The Metaphor Queen” and I LOVE that title. Do you know who else loved metaphors? Jesus! I heard Jesus telling me very clearly, “Girl, I got you out of the hole. What are you waiting for? Go!” So… I’m driving along and this thing came to me, out of nowhere, two minutes into my pondering. Seemingly random, but very specifically – the Pacific Coast Trail.
And I’m like, “is it the Pacific Coast Trail? Is that my new metaphor?! I have never been there, but I know it’s a TRAIL. And I know I love hiking. I know there’s going to be hard times. There’s going to be times when I think I’m not going to make it. There’s going to be twists and turns I don’t see coming. There’s also going to be beauty I’ve never seen before. And I know God’s gonna walk with me.” Within minutes of starting this conversation in my head, I’m like, “Yep, I’m going on a hike and I’m going down a trail.”
The Pacific Coast Trail, baby! That’s my new metaphor. I know.
So good. So good, right?
I can’t even believe it happened like that… but it did.
Then, as I told my class about what had happened, my boots and my new metaphor, someone said it reminded them of the Camino de Santiago trail in Spain. They said it was (paraphrased), “…amazing because you’re just walking like you’re on a pilgrimage. And you can just walk and talk with friends or you can be all spiritual and pray or whatever, but it’s beautiful. It’s supposed to be a spiritual journey, a spiritual walk. People come there because they’re looking for something or to find themselves or experience God or to meet people. It’s people from all over the world who come there. And then you stay at these little Bed and Breakfast places that local people own and you sit around the table with folks from all over the world and have three-hour dinners and drink wine and eat bread and cheese.”
What?! Just the three-hour dinner of wine, bread and cheese with friends from around the world is worth the trip! Let alone the spiritual journey…
My mind was blown. I said, “What?! I have never heard of this trail! But it’s MY metaphor and I’m going to upgrade!” I’m going on the Camino de Santiago Trail instead of the Pacific Coast Trail. I’m upgrading my metaphor!
“Hey, I got a metaphor for ALL the coaches. This is awesome! I know – let’s meet. Let’s meet there in 10 years.”
Someone at the table said, “Yeah. Imagine how different our lives are going to be in 10 years!”
I can’t wait to find out.
All I know is, my boots are out and I’m hitting the trail…
Who wants to join me?